Emerging Leaders in Chemical Engineering

The third annual Emerging Leaders in Chemical Engineering plenary session is a prestigious event intended to showcase the personal perspectives of leading early-career researchers in 10-minute TED-Talk-style presentations. Participants are expected to highlight their vision of opportunities and big challenges in their respective fields, discussing strategies for success and their views on where research is moving in the next 5 to 10 years.

2019 Emerging Leaders in Chemical Engineering

Joule Bergerson, University of Calgary

Joule BergersonDr. Joule Bergerson is an Associate Professor in the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department and the Centre for Environmental Engineering Research and Education in the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary and a Canada Research Chair in Energy Technology Assessment. Dr. Bergerson received her Ph.D. in a joint program of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. To date, her work has addressed fossil fuel derived electricity, oil sands development, carbon capture and storage, energy systems for low carbon communities, renewable energy and energy storage technologies. Project researchers on her team work with scientists, engineers and members of the business community who are developing new energy technologies, to develop and refine techniques for prospective life cycle assessment. These techniques help prioritize research and development activities, by identifying technologies – or optimal combinations of technologies – that provide particularly large life cycle benefits.

Daria Boffito, Polytechnique Montréal

Daria BoffitoDaria C. Boffito is Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal since 2016, whereby she is the head of the Process Intensification and Heterogenous Catalysis (EPIC) research group. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Intensified Mechano-Chemical Processes for Sustainable Biomass Conversion. She received prestigious Canadian and International prizes, including the NSERC Banting post-doctoral fellowship, the PBEEE FRQNT scholarship, GreenTalents2012 (German govt.), and The Australia Awards Endeavour Research Fellowship (2011, Australian govt.) Besides biomass conversion, her research interests include sonochemistry, heterogeneous catalyst design, photocatalysis, drug delivery, and water treatment. Prof. Boffito is very active in the field of scientific communication. She co-authored one book on how to redact scientific papers, posters and presentations, as well as a series of 21 articles in the Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, which also include bibliometric studies. Prof. Boffito actively collaborates with Canadian companies in the field of oil and gas, material synthesis and biomass conversion. In the last 6 years she published more than 70 papers in scientific journals (including 21 articles on scientific communication), 8 book chapters, 1 book on scientific communication, and she is inventor on 3 patents. She counts more than 70 communications at national or international conferences.

Benoît Lessard, University of Ottawa

Benoit LessardThe Lessard Research Group focuses on the development of novel carbon based electronic devices through material design and synthesis and device prototype engineering. The group has projects in the development of flexible solar cells, organic light emitting diodes (OLED) for highly efficient displays and ultra-selective biosensors. In May 2015 Prof. Benoît H. Lessard was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at University of Ottawa, and was promoted to Associate Professor in May 2019. He was awarded the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Advanced Polymer Materials and Organic Electronics, 2018 Ontario Early Researcher Award and the 2015 Charles Polanyi Prize in Chemistry. Prof. Lessard was also awarded one of the 2017 Emerging Leaders of Chemical Engineering Plenary Presentations at the 67th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (Edmonton, AB) and named a 2018 J. Mater. Chem. C Emerging Researcher. Since 2008, Prof. Lessard has published 73 peer reviewed journal articles, 14 patent applications, 1 book chapter and presented his work over 76 times at international and national conferences. Prior to joining the University of Ottawa, Prof. Lessard completed an NSERC Banting Fellowship at the University of Toronto studying crystal engineering and OPV/OLED fabrication and obtained his PhD (2012) from McGill University in Polymer reaction engineering.

Jinfeng Liu, University of Alberta

Jinfeng LiuJinfeng Liu received the Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011. Since 2012 he has been with the University of Alberta, where he is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. His works in the general areas of process systems and engineering. His primary research objective is to develop computing technologies for smart and sustainable manufacturing and production using systems, computing and engineering principles. His current research focus is on the development of enabling modelling, estimation and control methods to address the great challenges in closed-loop smart agricultural irrigation for water sustainability. He has published 3 monographs, 1 edited special issue, over 100 journal and conference papers. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the IFAC Journal of Process Control and Control Engineering Practice. 


Adam Donaldson, Dalhousie University
Jan Haelssig, Dalhousie University
Ian Jobe, Chemical Institute of Canada