Keynote Speakers

Special Sessions | Technical Sessions


Special Sessions

Emerging and Applied Industrial Research

Prashant Mhaskar, McMaster University

Prashant Mhaskar received the B. Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in May 1999, the MS degree in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University in May 2001 and the Ph. D. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University in 2005 as an Assistant Professor, where he is currently Professor. His research interests include nonlinear model predictive control and fault tolerant control, control of hybrid systems and batch process modeling and control. Research results from Dr. Mhaskar have resulted in 84 refereed articles in leading scientific journals, one book on “Fault-Tolerant Process Control: Methods and Applications,” (Springer-Verlag, London, England, 2013), and another book on “Modeling and Control of Batch Processes: Theory and Applications”, Springer-Verlag, London, England, 2018.  Prashant Mhaskar is a recipient of the UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship for the academic year 2004-2005, several Best Presentation in Session Awards at the American Control Conferences, Outstanding Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering Award and had two papers selected for the Computing and Systems Technology Division Plenary Session at the AIChE meetings in 2004 and 2012. He currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Nonlinear and Fault-Tolerant Control (2016-2021), and the McMaster University Scholar award (2018-2022). He has organized several invited sessions at the American Control Conference, co-edited a special issue of Journal of Process Control on Energy Efficient Buildings and a special issue of Computers and Chemical Engineering on Control of Complex and Networked process systems, and is currently an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology and Automatica.

Title: Data Driven Modeling and Control of Batch and Batch Like Processes

Luis Ricardez-Sandoval, University of Waterloo

Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval holds a Canada Research Chair in Multiscale Modelling and Process Systems; his research aims to develop novel theoretical models and techniques for modern Chemical Engineering systems. Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval works in an interdisciplinary fashion by combining advanced techniques from chemistry and catalysis (e.g. molecular design of new catalyst materials using density functional theory) and process systems (e.g. integration of process design, control and scheduling, multiscale modelling for process systems, modelling and optimization of emerging CO2 capture technologies and energy-related technologies such as Chemical Looping Combustion). Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval’s research has been supported by multiple industrial partners, and federal and provincial government agencies (e.g. CanmetENERGY). His overall research productivity (95 journal articles, 30 full-length conference papers, 3 book chapters, 1 monograph) has allowed him to establish a strong reputation that has been widely recognized nationally and internationally by receiving numerous awards, e.g. NSERC’s Discovery Accelerator Supplement (2018), and multiple invitations to deliver keynotes and plenary talks, e.g. Plenary in Future Directions in Applied Mathematics: 2015 AIChE annual meeting. Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval is Associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering and a member of the Systems and Control division of the Chemical Institute of Canada.

Title: New Frontiers and Challenges in Optimal Process Integration for Enterprise-wide Sustainable Systems


Chemical Engineering in the Community

David T. Lynch, University of Alberta

David Lynch received his Chemical Engineering degree from the University of New Brunswick (1977) followed by a PhD from the University of Alberta (1982) focused on the areas of catalysis and chemical reactor engineering. He is Professor Emeritus (Chemical Engineering) at the University of Alberta following 36 years as a faculty member including 21 years as Dean of Engineering (1994-2015). During his service as Dean, engineering undergraduate and graduate student enrolments doubled and quadrupled, respectively, to a total of over 6,000 students with over 18,000 engineering graduates during that period, over 270 new engineering professors were hired, over 50 Chair positions (endowed, industrial and government funded) were established, and five large, new buildings were constructed for engineering education and research. Over $950 million was raised to support these initiatives.

An active volunteer with the engineering profession, David served on the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) Board of Examiners for 21 years, the APEGA Nominating Committee, and other APEGA committees. He was a member of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) for 11 years, including serving as the Vice-Chair, Chair and Past-Chair during his final 5 years (2002-2007) on the CEAB. Associated with serving as a Director on the Engineers Canada Board since 2016, and currently President of Engineers Canada, David participates in all APEGA Council meetings.

David Lynch has received numerous awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Alberta Centennial Medal, the AC Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the APEGA Centennial Leadership Award, the ASTech Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Alberta Science and Technology Community, and he was named the “Resource Person of the Year” by the Alberta Chamber of Resources. On his final day as Dean of Engineering, June 30, 2015 was proclaimed to be “Dr. David Lynch Day” in Edmonton by Mayor Don Iveson and the University of Alberta established and named the “David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management”.

Title: Diversity in Engineering: Addressing Barriers to Recruitment and Retention of Under-Represented Demographics in Engineering

Sohrab Zendehboudi, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dr. Sohrab Zendehboudi is a faculty member and Equinor (formerly Statoil) Chair in the Department of Process Engineering at Memorial University, NL, Canada. His research interests include Reservoir Engineering, Recovery/Production Methods, Energy & Environment, and Carbon Management. Sohrab has authored or/and coauthored over 100 technical papers, one book chapter, and two books. For more than 10 years, Dr. Zendehboudi has worked as a process engineer, researcher, instructor, supervisor, and professor at various companies/universities in Iran, Kuwait, USA, and Canada. Sohrab holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering (specializing in Transport Phenomena in Porous Media) from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

Title: Energy and environment in Canada: Challenges and future prospects


Entrepreneurial Advancement and Globalization

Mahmoud Mirmehrabi, Solid State Pharma Inc

Dr. Mahmoud Mirmehrabi obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering with research focused on crystallization engineering and molecular understanding of polymorphism. Dr. Mirmehrabi started his first job in 1998 as a Process engineer and later as R&D manager at a biotech company, IMC yeast. Prior to his current job he also collaborated and worked for companies such as Apotex, Wyeth/Pfizer, Iogen and Johnson Matthey. Dr. Mirmehrabi has lived in three countries and 5 states and provinces of US and Canada seeing various cultures and developing network.

Dr. Mirmehrabi is the founder and president of Solid State Pharma in Halifax. He is the author/co-author of more than 70 patents and patent applications and peer-reviewed journal articles. He has also been serving as Expert witness in litigation on solid state aspect of pharmaceuticals.

Title: From Zero to the Global Stage - A Personal Story

Paul Gratzer, Dalhousie University

Dr. Paul Gratzer is an Associate Professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, Canada with cross-appointments in the Departments of Surgery and Process Engineering and Applied Science, and is an Associate Scientist with the Maritime Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR). He is also the Chief Scientific Officer, Co-founder, and inventor of the patented decellularization technology of DeCell Technologies Inc. At present, DeCell is addressing the unmet need of treating chronic foot ulcers in diabetic patients, however, its platform technology can also provide wound healing solutions for other chronic wounds, burn victims, and surgical reconstructions. Dr. Gratzer is also a licensed Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) and holds degrees in Chemical Engineering (B.A.Sc.), Biomaterials Science (M.A.Sc.), and Biomedical Engineering (Ph.D). He has been actively involved in research in soft tissue regeneration for over 23 years and has been honored with several awards for his research and commercialization activities including the Discovery Award for Innovation in 2015 and Best Presenting Company- Early Stage Category at the 2014 Atlantic Venture Forum. In addition to publications in prominent scientific journals, invited book chapters, and invited talks, Dr. Gratzer is an active reviewer for 13 prominent biomedical journals, has been an active member of several scientific societies and has been a member of committees for research funding agencies such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Canadian National Research Chairs.

Title: From the Lab to the Clinic: Commercial Development of a Regenerative Scaffold for Advanced Wound Care


Process Safety Management: PSM is not just for the CPI

Marcello Oliverio, Enbridge Gas Distribution - Award in Process Safety Management

Title: Process Safety Management Award Lecture


Special Algae Session

Patrick McGinn, National Research Council of Canada

Patrick McGinn holds the position of Senior Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and is based in Ketch Harbor, Nova Scotia. Dr. McGinn joined the NRC in 2008 as a Research Officer and was appointed to lead NRC’s Algae Biotechnology team in 2014. Before joining the NRC, Dr. McGinn held post-doctoral positions at Princeton University and Mount Allison University. Dr. McGinn directs applied research bioprospecting the vast diversity of microalgae in a search for strains suited to the production of value-added products and services.  His team has focused on microalgae strain isolation, screening and selection for targeted traits as well as biomass valorization through the extraction and analysis of high-value products. Since 2012, Dr. McGinn and his team have published 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on many aspects of algal biotechnology including wastewater treatment, CO2 conversion, photo-bioreactor development, analysis of biomass proteins, oils, carbohydrates and carotenoids, and algal bio-actives in addition to other topics of interest.

Title: Perspectives on Microalgal Biotechnology from the National Research Council of Canada


Special Session in Honour of Hugo de Lasa

Hugo de Lasa, Western University

Dr. de Lasa is a Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering of the University of Western Ontario. He graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina and in 1971 with a Doctoral degree from the Université de Nancy in France. Hugo de Lasa received in 2004 an Honoris Causa Doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas, Mexico. He is the founding Director of the University of Western Ontario’s Chemical Reactor Engineering Centre (CREC). Since its inception in 1987, this center has received significant financial support and has been collaborating with a diversity of industries and governmental agencies from about 20 countries.

Areas of Expertise: catalysis, photocatalysis, chemical reactors, fluidization

Benito Serrano-Rosales, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Mexico

Title: Photocatalytic Reaction Engineering for the New Era of Green Chemical Processes

Manuel Garcia-Pérez, Washington State University

Dr. Manuel Garcia-Perez is an associate professor for the Biological Systems Engineering department at Washington State University.  He has been working for the last 20 years on projects related with the thermochemical conversion of lignocellulosic materials for the production of bio-fuels and chemicals.  Dr. Garcia-Perez has made contributions to the understanding of thermochemical reactions of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin as well as the characterization and uses of crude bio-oils and biochars.  He is currently working on the development of more selective pyrolysis reactors and on new concepts to refine pyrolysis oils. Dr. Garcia-Perez is also very active on the development and characterization of engineering carbonaceous materials.

Areas of Expertise: Biomass Conversion, Biorefining

Title: Challenges and Progress Made on the Microkinetic Description of Lignin and Cellulose Liquefaction: Application of Group Contribution Methods

Louis Fradette, Polytechnique Montréal

Professor Fradette started at Polytechnique in 2004 after spending almost 10 years in industry first as a process engineer for Petro-Canada and, after completing a PhD, in multiple positions in R&D management. He has held the NSERC-Total research chair in multiphase hydrodynamics at extreme conditions from 2011 to 2016.

At the same time, Louis Fradette joined CO2 Solutions Inc. in 2013, as Chief Technology Officer and senior vice-president of process and engineering. After successful demonstration of CO2 Solutions capture technology at large scale (2015) and the start of a first large scale commercialization project (2016) at Resolute Forest Products in St-Félicien Qc, he has led the Valorisation Carbone Québec project, a unique 30M$ project aiming at the industrial demonstration of CO2 capture and utilization for the production of value-added products. Dr Fradette has worked both in academia and industry over his 25 year career.

Areas of Expertise: CO2 capture, gas hydrates, process design

Title: Valorisation Carbone Québec – A unique CO2 capture and reuse project

Invited Speakers:

Anthony Dixon, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Areas of Expertise: reaction engineering, hydrogen production, transport in porous media

Title: Resolved Particle Fixed-bed CFD for Methanol Oxidation to Formaldehyde

Ajay Dalai, University of Saskatchewan

Areas of Expertise: heterogeneous catalysis, biomass and energy,Ajay.php

Title: A novel approach to produce green diesel fuel via co-processing: Extraction, blending and physicochemical characterization

Trong On Do, Université Laval

Areas of Expertise: photocatalysis, catalyst synthesis, nanoparticles

Title: Nanocomposites as sunlight-driven photocatalysts for air depollution and CO2 to fuels photo-conversion

Nicolas Abatzoglu, Université de Sherbrooke

Areas of Expertise: reactors for thermochemical conversion of organic matter, particulate systems, environment

Title: Scale-up of the NanoF-PoRes Process for the production of NanoFilaments from Polymeric Residues

Jamal Chaouki (Bahman Yari will present on behalf of Professor Jamal Chaouki), Polytechnique Montréal

Areas of Expertise: reaction and reactor design, heat transfer and transport processes

Title: Dehydration of Lithium Dihydrogenphosphate in a Ball-Mill Rotary-Kiln (BAMROK) Reactor

Serge Kaliaguine, Université Laval

Areas of Expertise: catalysts, industrial sorbents, membranes

Title: Mixed Matrix Membranes for gas phase separations

John Grace, The University of British Columbia

Areas of Expertise: fluidization, reactor modelling, scale-up, CO2 capture

Title: Surprising counter-intuitive behaviour of two-phase reactors

Mozahar Hossain, King Fahd University, Saudi Arabia

Areas of Expertise: reaction engineering, catalysis, chemical looping combustion

Title: VOx/Ce-Al2O3 for Oxidative Cracking of n-hexane to olefins

Ajay Ray, Western University

Areas of Expertise: process modeling and optimization, solar photocatalysis, simulated moving bed technology

Title: Enhanced Oxidation of Organic Contaminants by Ferrate: Acid-activated and Silica gel-enhanced Ferrate(VI) Oxidation Processes


Technical Sessions

Healthy and Sustainable Communities

Biomedical Engineering

Brian Amsden, Queen's University

Brian Amsden is the Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering at Queen’s University. His current research interests include the development of biodegradable elastomers, hydrogels, and low viscosity hydrophobic polymers for the local delivery of small molecules, peptides and proteins, and stem cells, and as scaffolds for soft and connective tissue regeneration. He is the Director of the CONNECT! NSERC CREATE Program in Soft Connective Tissue Regeneration Network and a Co-Director of the Human Mobility Research Centre at Queen’s.

Title: Aliphatic polycarbonates: building blocks for new biodegradable biomaterials

Noémie-Manuelle Dorval Courchesne, McGill University

Manuelle Dorval Courchesne is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at McGill University.  She is a member of the Quebec Center for Advanced Materials, the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering & Design, and the McGill Institute for Advanced Materials.  She was trained as a multidisciplinary scientist and engineer and holds a double degree in Biotechnology (Chemical Engineering & Biochemistry) from the University of Ottawa. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2015, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University until 2017. She launched her independent research program at McGill in August 2017. Her research focuses on the development of protein-based materials with novel physical properties, and on the fabrication of functional biologically-derived and bio-inspired devices.  Her group combines synthetic biology, rational protein design, bioengineering, materials science and chemical engineering principles to assemble functional materials in a scalable and sustainable fashion.  With the astonishing customizability of self-assembling proteins, the bio-derived materials that her group produces find applications in variety of fields, including biomedicine, environmental engineering and bio-energy.

Title: Engineering Next-Generation Sensors and Electronics Using Biological Materials

Evelyn KF Yim, University of Waterloo

Evelyn Yim received her Ph.D. in the Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University, and her postdoctoral training at Duke University. Between 2007-2015, Evelyn has been a faculty in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery at the National University of Singapore, and a principal investigator at the Mechanobiology Institute Singapore.   In 2016, Evelyn joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Experienced with nanofabrication technologies and stem cell culture, Evelyn and her group are interested to apply the knowledge of biomaterial-stem cell interaction to direct stem cell differentiation and tissue regeneration for tissue engineering.

Title: Topographical modification of biomaterials for tissue engineering applications



Corinne Hoesli, McGill University

Corinne Hoesli dirige le Laboratoire de bioingénierie des cellules souches à l’Université McGill. Elle s’est jointe au Département de génie chimique en tant que professeur adjoint en août 2014. Ses domaines d’expertise en tant qu’ingénieure biochimique sont le développement de bioprocédés, le criblage à haut débit et l’optimisation de cultures de cellules souches. Elle est la récipiendaire du prix 2014 « Martin Sinacore Outstanding Young Investigator », décerné par Engineering Conferences International et Biogen Idec pour son leadership dans le domaine du génie des bioprocédés. Ses travaux de recherche portent sur la production et la transplantation de cellules thérapeutiques pour traiter le diabète et les maladies cardiovasculaires. Elle a notamment développé de nouvelles méthodes d’encapsulation d’îlots pancréatiques et de modification de surface de biomatériaux vasculaires.

Prof. Corinne Hoesli is the head of the Stem Cell Bioprocessing Laboratory at McGill University. She joined the Department of Chemical Engineering as an Assistant Professor in August 2014. She is a biochemical engineer with expertise in bioprocess development, high throughput screening and stem cell culture optimization. In 2014, she received the Martin Sinacore Outstanding Young Investigator Award conferred by Engineering Conferences International and Biogen Idec in recognition of her leadership in bioprocess engineering. Her research aims to develop bioprocesses to produce and transplant therapeutic cells to treat diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She notably developed new methods to encapsulate pancreatic islets, as well as vascular biomaterials surface modification strategies.

Title: Separating the good from the bad: a cell encapsulation story


Waste Management, Re-Use, and Valorization

Gisele Azimi, University of Toronto

Gisele Azimi is an Associate Professor cross-appointed between the Departments of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto (UofT). She is also a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario. Her research program is aligned well with the “Sustainability” and “Advanced Materials and Manufacturing” research themes. In her research program, she strives for “achieving a sustainable future and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change through”: 1) “advanced recycling” and urban mining of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) utilizing innovative recycling processes based on supercritical fluids; 2) “industrial solid waste reduction” through waste valorization to produce strategic materials like rare earth elements; 3) development of “innovative materials with unique properties” with far-reaching applications in structural and energy materials sectors; and 4) “energy storage” focusing on the development of a new generation of rechargeable batteries made of aluminum. She received her PhD from the department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at UofT in 2010. Before returning to UofT as a faculty in 2014, she completed two postdoctoral appointments at MIT in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. She has received a number of awards including Dean’s Spark Professorship, Early Researcher Award, TMS Light Metals/Extraction & Processing Subject Award – Recycling, and Connaught New Researcher Award.

Title: Urban mining of strategic materials utlizing supercritcal fluid technology

Chunbao (Charles) Xu, Western University - Award in Design and Industrial Practice

Charles Xu is an internationally recognized expert in the field of biorefining technologies (refining forestry/agricultural bio-resources into chemicals/materials). He has made significant contributions in this field, with 190+ peer-reviewed journal papers (receiving over 7000 total citations with an H-index of 45). In particular, Xu has made significant contributions to the Canadian industry, collaborating with over 20 companies, e.g., FPInnovations, Ontario Power Generation, Imperial Oil, Arclin Canada, Archer Daniels Midland, GreenField Ethanol, Newalta/Terrapure Environment, and Trojan Technologies, etc. He was the NSERC/FPInnovations Industrial Research Chair in Forest Biorefinery (2011-2016). His reputation and contributions to translating chemical engineering principles into design and industrial practice can be further witnessed by 20 invention disclosures, among which 10 were issued or filed for PCT/US/Can/Chinese patents, and 4 technologies have been licensed to industrial partners for commercialization and industrial practice. He created a start-up company (Western Maple Bio Resources Inc.) in 2016 with over $ 2 million investment from private and government sources. His contribution to the profession has been recognized nationally/internationally, receiving a number of awards including the Syncrude Canada Innovation Award, He is also a Fellow of Chemical Institute of Canada and Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Title: Valorization of Lignin for Chemicals, Polymers and Composites: Technical Promise and Industrial Feasibility


Water Resources, Water Quality, and Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Rob Jamieson, Dalhousie University

Dr. Rob Jamieson is a Full Professor in the Civil and Resources Engineering Department at Dalhousie University and holds the Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Ecological Engineering. Dr. Jamieson has established an internationally recognized research program in ecological engineering and contaminant hydrology and has been conducting research on the design and performance of municipal water systems in cold and arctic regions for over 15 years. He has served on numerous advisory boards and technical committees, including serving as Chair of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Technical Sub-Committee which has been tasked with developing a new standard for designing lagoon and wetland systems to treat wastewater in northern regions.

Title: Development of Appropriate Technologies and Regulations for Wastewater Management in the Canadian North


Advanced Materials and Innovative Methods

Catalysis and Reaction Engineering

Cathy Chin, University of Toronto

Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. She is a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Advanced Catalysis for Sustainable Chemistry. She is recognized as an Emerging Leader in Chemical Engineering (2017), an award given by the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE), and a recipient of Humboldt Research Fellowship (2018), Ontario Early Researcher Award (2014) and Imperial Oil University Research Award (2014). She also received the Bill Burgess Teacher of the Year Award for Large Classes (2016).

She joined the University in 2011, after receiving her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a research engineer (2000-2002) and then senior research scientist (2002-2005) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), one of the ten National Research Laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Her recent work focuses on elucidating the molecular events during alkane oxidation on Group VIII metal clusters and conversion of oxygenates to value-added chemicals and liquid fuels. Specifically, she applies isotopic, kinetic, and density functional theory methods to study the dynamics of catalyst surfaces and catalytic pathways.

Title: Design of Active Site and its Reaction Environment for Atom Efficient Catalysis

Faïçal Larachi, Université Laval

Prof. Faïçal Larachi research aims at devising micro/multifunctional processes and materials in the areas of (bio-)energy, mineral resources and the environment with an emphasis on upgrading/conversion of unconventional fossil energy/residual biomass, implementing GHG mitigation through CO2 capture/storage and solving aqueous and interfacial chemistry issues in mineral beneficiation. He has co-authored 390+ journal papers, 3 books and 20+ plenary/keynote lectures in international conferences. He served as Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, and as Member of the Editorial or Advisory Boards for the journals Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Chemical Engineering & Processing: Process Intensification, and Indian Chemical Engineer. His research contributions have been recognized in various ways, including the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair endowment, twice-awardee of the NSERC Discovery Acceleration Supplement, and recipient of the 2012 UL Research Summa Award. Prior to joining Laval University as a faculty, he obtained a chemical engineering doctoral degree from Institut National Polytechnique at Université de Lorraine (France), and held a post-doctoral position at École Polytechnique of Montréal. He was visiting scientist with Total (France), the Institut Français du Pétrole (IFPEN) and the Consortium de recherche minérale (COREM) where he spent two sabbatical years.

Title: The behavior of gas-liquid packed-bed reactors on-board floating vessels – Hydrodynamics, mass transfer and chemical reactions

Pedro Pereira Almao, University of Calgary

Professor of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering University of Calgary where he leads the research group on Catalysis and Adsorption for Fuels and Energy since 2003. Directed the Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In Situ Energy. Held the Industrial Research Chair in Catalysis for Bitumen Upgrading. Leader of industrial catalytic development technologies in several areas, from hydro and steam processing for field/in reservoir heavy oil and bio oil upgrading to GHG conversion. Dr. Pereira Almao got his PhD in Chemistry-Heterogeneous Catalysis from L'Universite de Poitiers, France (1979) held a Post Doctorate and latter staff researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, USA. He has published over 190 peer-reviewed papers, dozens of invited international and keynote presentations, has been granted 17 patents on catalysts and catalytic processes.

Title: Catalytic Steam/CO2/CH4 Activation [H, O and C transfer]: A New World of Catalytic Processes

Kevin J. Smith, The University of British Columbia

Kevin J. Smith is Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and member of the Clean Energy Research Center at the University of British Columbia.  He received his Ph.D. from McMaster University, working with the late Professor Bob Anderson, and has >35 years experience in applied catalysis research.  His research is focused on Canada’s energy sector, with current interests in catalytic upgrading of bio-oils and residue oils derived from the Canadian oilsands, and catalysis of CH4 activation and synthesis gas conversion.  He holds three patents and has published widely in these areas.  He received the Canadian Catalysis Lectureship Award in 2012 and is the recipient of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education (2006) and the APEGBC Teaching Award for Excellence in Engineering and Geoscience (2005).  He was elected Fellow of the CIC in 2004 and Fellow of Engineers Canada in 2013. He served as Head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC from 2001 to 2009, is past chair of the Catalysis Division of the CIC and the Canadian Catalysis Foundation.  He is on the Editorial Board of Catalysis Reviews – Science and Engineering and the open access journal Catalysts.

Title: On the synthesis and stability of Mo2C/carbon hydrotreating catalysts


Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

Arun Ramchandran, University of Toronto - Can. J. Chem. Eng. Lectureship Award

Arun Ramachandran, MCIC obtained his Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India, in 2001 and his PhD in chemical engineering in the area of rheology of particulate suspensions from the University of Notre Dame in 2007. He was a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara from 2007–2010.  He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. He directs the Laboratory of Complex Fluids, which works towards the establishment of fundamental knowledge in the fields of complex fluids and transport phenomena, with applications in  a variety of areas related to chemical engineering. The problem areas in his group include the description of mass transfer in sheared suspensions, wetting of surfaces by the drops of emulsion-based coating formulations, breakup and coalescence in water-in-bitumen emulsions, coalescence in yield stress fluids, blocking of blood vessels by clots such as in strokes or pulmonary embolisms, drug delivery, surface wetting by emulsion-based coatings, characterization of green solvents, particle capture using emulsion droplets and retinal re-attachment surgeries. Ramchandran is currently Canada Research Chair in Engineered Soft Materials and Interfaces. He was awarded the North American Mixing Forum Early Career Award in 2013, an Ontario Early Researcher Award in 2014, and the 2014 Bill Burgess Teacher of the year Award by the University of Toronto for teaching large classes.

Title: Microfluidic methods for gaining a mechanistic understanding of the formation of extremely fine water-in-oil emulsions in bitumen froth treatment


Nanotechnology and Functional Materials

Xuehua Zhang, University of Alberta

Professor Xuehua Zhang is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Soft Matter and Interfaces at the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta. She completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and moved from Australia to Canada in September 2017. Her research topics cover micro/Nanobubbles for enhanced oilsands extraction and tailings treatment, dilution-triggered liquid-liquid phase separation in confined spaces, chemical reactions of oil nanodroplets and evaporation and de-wetting dynamics of multicomponent drops. Professor Zhang has published more than 130 research articles. She is an Associate Editor for Soft Matter and for The European Physics Journal E.

Title: Porous supraparticle assembly through self-lubricating evaporating colloidal ouzo drops


Polymers and Composite Materials

Pedram Fatehi, Lakehead University - Hatch Innovation Award

Pedram Fatehi is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Lakehead University, and distinguished professor at Qilu University of Technology in China. A graduate of the Asian Institute of Technology and the University of New Brunswick, he is currently a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) and Industrial Research Chair in Green Chemicals and Processes. Since joining Lakehead University in 2011, Fatehi has successfully established the Green Processes Research Centre, developing an innovative, multidisciplinary research program in chemical engineering, chemistry, environmental engineering, biotechnology and forestry. His wide range of research contributions encompass many aspects of forest biorefinery, biomass conversion, polymer modification, colloid and surface/interface chemistry and wet-end applications of polymers and reagents in papermaking. He is currently collaborating with companies regionally and nationally. He is developing new processes based on his patent pending technologies (6) in collaboration with Resolute Forest Product and FPInnovations.

Fatehi’s research has been published in more than 155 articles in academic journals. His research excellence has been recognized with many awards, such as, the Emerging leader in Chemical Engineering in 2018, RBC Innovation Award in 2016, and the Ontario Centre of Excellence Early Researcher Award in 2014. He has also secured more than $ 7 M in research funds and supervised more than 40 graduate students.

Title: Valorizing lignin via inducing it water soluble: simulation and experimental approaches


Sensors, Actuators and Control

Khushaal Popli, University of Alberta - Award for Best Graduate Student Paper in Can. J. Chem. Eng.

For his paper “Development of a vision‐based online soft sensor for oil sands flotation using support vector regression and its application in the dynamic monitoring of bitumen extraction,” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 2018, 96(7), 1532 by Khushaal Popli, Victor Maries, Artin Afacan, Qi Liu, Vinay Prasad.

Khushaal Popli completed his undergraduate studies in chemical engineering from NITK Surathkal, India in 2012 and received his PhD in process control from University of Alberta in 2017.  During his PhD, his research focused on developing real-time monitoring algorithms of froth flotation processes under the supervision of Vinay Prasad and Qi Liu. He has explored the machine learning and image processing techniques to develop soft-sensors for estimating product quality in real-time. Additionally, first principal modeling was used to understand the dynamic behavior of froth flotation. This work has been tested on various applications including mineral and oil sands flotation. Currently, he is working at Teck Resources Ltd as a Process Control Engineer/Specialist, where he has been developing regulatory and advanced process control frameworks for milling processes.

Title: Development of a vision‐based online soft sensor for oil sands flotation using support vector regression and its application in the dynamic monitoring of bitumen extraction


Industrial Process Analysis and Development

Process and Equipment Design

Céline Vaneeckhaute, Université Laval

Céline Vaneeckhaute obtained a Master (2010) and Bachelor (2008) degree in Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University (Belgium) with a specialization in Environmental Technologies. In 2015, she obtained a double PhD degree: PhD in water engineering at Université Laval (Québec, Canada) and PhD in applied biological sciences at Ghent University. She worked for the Québec City Government as assistant director of the city’s biomethanation project, and also worked as an independent consultant in the field of resource recovery. She is now an assistant professor at the chemical engineering department of Université Laval, where she is the founder and director of the BioEngine research team on green process engineering and biorefineries. She received more than 10 prestigious research awards, such as the Emerging Talent Award in Municipal Infrastructures, the Water Technology Award and the Engineer award. Céline is an active member of the Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance, co-founder of the Québec and Canadian Nutrient Recovery and Reuse Platforms, and takes up leading roles in various international resource recovery projects.

Title: Towards Quality by Design to recover high-quality end-products from waste and wastewater streams


Process Intensification

Arturo Macchi, University of Ottawa

Professor Macchi did his BEng and MASc at Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal and attended the University of British Columbia for his PhD. His research interests are in fundamental and applied multiphase reaction engineering with emphasis on fluidized beds. Some current projects are investigation of the hydrodynamics and transport phenomena in heavy oil hydroprocessors (e.g., LC-FinerSM) for yield improvement, development of continuous multiphase flow micro-reactors for intensifying the synthesis of fine chemical and pharmaceuticals, synthesis of gas hydrates in a slurry bubble column for the transportation of natural gas, and power production with CO2 capture via cyclic carbonation/calcination of lime-based sorbents or reduction/oxidation of metal oxides. Collaborations have been established with academic, government and industrial research institutions.

Title: Development of continuous flow micro-reactors for fast liquid and liquid-liquid reactions


Process Simulation and Optimization

Kamil Khan, McMaster University

Kamil Khan is an assistant professor in McMaster University's Department of Chemical Engineering in Hamilton, Ontario. He received his B.S.E. degree from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in chemical engineering. Before joining McMaster, he was a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of the Argonne National Laboratory. His research focuses on developing efficient numerical methods for optimization of dynamic and nonconvex chemical process models, by applying and extending techniques such as algorithmic differentiation, convex relaxation, nonsmooth analysis, and adjoint sensitivity analysis.

Title: Advances in automatic bounding methods for global process optimization

Christopher Swartz, McMaster University - D.G. Fisher Award


Christopher Swartz is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University, and ArcelorMittal Dofasco Chair in Process Automation and Information Technology. After completing a PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he joined Simulation Sciences Inc. in Fullerton, CA, and served thereafter as a faculty member at the University of Cape Town for 11 years before joining McMaster University in 2000. He was a visiting associate at the California Institute of Technology in 1992 and a senior visiting fellow at Imperial College, London, in 1999. His research focus is on applied optimization in process operations and design, with research thrusts including design for dynamic performance, dynamic real-time optimization, and planning, scheduling and supply chain optimization. Most of his research projects enjoy industrial interaction through the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium of which he has been Director since 2007.

Title: Optimization of Uncertain Dynamic Systems with Application to Process Operation and Design

Special Presentation: Thomas A. Adams II, McMaster University

Title: Maximizing Our Impact: A call for the standardization of techno-economic analyses for sustainable energy systems design research.
Summary: The CSChE is leading the development of a new ISO standard for how eco-technoeconomic analyses are conducted on chemical and energy process systems. All potential stakeholders (researchers, industrial practitioners, public policy experts, etc) who are interested in learning about, using, or developing the standard are especially encouraged to attend.


Systems and Control

Nicolas Hudon, Queen's University

Dr Hudon was appointed at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Queen's University in July 2016.  He holds a B.Ing. (2002) and a M.A.Sc. (2004) in Chemical Engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal.  Following his Ph.D. thesis (2010) in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Queen's University on the topic of nonlinear control and feedback stabilization, he held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) from 2010 to 2012, working on the topic of distributed control of chemical process control, and a Postodoctoral Fellowship at the Universite catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) from 2012 to 2015 where he worked on physical-based representation, estimation, and control of nonlinear thermodynamic systems.  His current research interests focus on developing distributed control and observation strategies for chemical process systems exploiting physics-based decomposition and thermodynamics to nonlinear control systems.  Applications of this research include tokamak reactors, multiphase chemical systems, and integrated processes evolving on different time-scales, in particular sustainable chemical processes under constraints.

Title: Integrating physics and control theory to enable new technologies


Energy and Natural Resources

Carbon Economy

Robin Hughes, National Resources Canada

Robin Hughes earned his PhD at the University of Ottawa in chemical engineering in 2009.  His doctoral work resulted in the first demonstration of two separate carbon dioxide capture technologies; oxy-circulating fluidized bed combustion and calcium looping.  He is presently a research scientist at CanmetENERGY in Ottawa where he leads a team of 20 researchers in developing carbon dioxide capture & utilization technologies, advancing waste gasification and discovering new, low-carbon, methods for heavy oil upgrading. He represents Canada on the International Energy Agency Fluidized Bed Conversion working group.

Title: Carbon Capture and Utilization in Canadian Heating Plants

Md Kibria, University of Calgary

Dr. Kibria is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at University of Calgary, Canada. He received MSc and PhD degrees from McMaster and McGill University, respectively. He worked as Banting Fellow at University of Toronto. He is interested in artificial photosynthesis, nanomaterials, heterogeneous catalysis, system design, techno-economic and life-cycle analysis for sustainable synthesis of renewable fuels and feedstocks, including electro- /photo-catalysis for CO2 conversion and water splitting for sustainable energy and environment. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles in refereed Journals, including Science, Nature Communications, Advanced Materials, Energy and Environmental Science, Journal of American Chemical Society, 2 book-chapters, 5 patents (filed) and over 50 conference presentations in the broad area of Artificial Photosynthesis. Dr. Kibria is a recipient of Academic Gold Medal, Tomlinson Doctoral fellowship from McGill University, Green Talents Award from German Federal Ministry etc.

Title: Artificial Photosynthesis For Sustainable Energy and Environment: Lessons Learned and the Paths Forward


Energy Storage and Conversion

Dominic Groulx, Dalhousie University

Dr. Dominic Groulx was awarded a BSc in Physics (1999) and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (2005), both from l’Université de Sherbrooke before being hired as a professor at Dalhousie University in 2007.  Since 2007, he founded the Lab of Applied Multiphase Thermal Engineering (LAMTE), attracted more than 4 million dollar in funding, graduated more than 25 graduate students, published over 140 research publications (journal and conferences articles, book chapters) and has collaborated with multiple industrial partners, both internationally (Intel, PureTemp, Raytheon, …) and locally (OceanSonics, CTherm, Michelin, …). 

He is the only Canadian researcher part of the group of international experts on PCM from the International Energy Agency (Annex 33, Task 58), is the inaugural chair of the Canadian Heat Transfer Technical Committee, and Canadian representative on both the Assembly of the International Heat Transfer Conference and the International Center on Heat and Mass Transfer.  In the last 3 years, he has been invited to give keynote lectures at the International Heat Transfer Conference, the PCM conference from the IIR and numerous others, in both English and French.

Title: Questions and Efforts Toward the Use of Dimensionless Numbers for PCM-Heat Exchanger Design Rules


Oil and Gas

Hua Song, University of Calgary

Dr. Song is now holding the associate professor position in Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering at University of Calgary. His prior and current work has concentrated on development and characterization of heterogeneous catalyst systems for use in clean energy conversion and emissions control such as heavy oil upgrading, natural gas storage and utilization, CO2 capture and utilization, solid (coal, biomass, and municipal solid wastes) gasification for liquid production, and hazardous pollutants removal in waste water and flue gas after fossil fuel combustion. He has more than 80 refereed publications with high impact factor, more than 20 domestic and international patents, 6 books and book chapters. He has also received multiple internal and external research grants during the past seven years with total funding size over $4 million. His research has been recognized by multiple public media including NPR, UPI, CEP (AICHE), Tcetoday (IChemE), Science Daily, the Columbus Dispatch, the Calgary Herald, and Southern Weekend. Dr. Song has also been invited as the speaker and session chair of various professional meetings held nationally and internationally, and is an editorial board member and expert reviewer for multiple professional magazines with high impact in the field of energy and catalysis such as Nature Communications, Angewandte Chemie, and Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Title: Catalytic Methane Valorization at Mild Conditions through Coupling Effect


Modern Chemical Engineering Education

Graeme W. Norval, University of Toronto

Graeme Norval, Ph.D., P.Eng., is a Professor, Teaching Stream, at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto.  He has been lecturing in process design since 2004. His prior work experience was in the chlor-alkali industry with Pioneer, formerly CIL, where he was a senior research engineer. He is the principal of GWN Chemical Consulting, Inc., and provides technical and engineering support to various chemical manufacturers and repackagers across North America in support of the use of chlorine, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, bleach, and related chemicals.

He has introduced concepts of safety and safety management into the chemical engineering design courses at the University of Toronto. Further, he is actively involved with Minerva Canada in delivering their Summer Institutes, in which the basics of safety and safety management are taught to university professors, in order to boost the teaching of these subjects. Further, he is part of the team that is developing e-modules, which will be freely available to all students in Canada; these will provide the fundamental building blocks of safety education for all students, and will fill the gap between the regular curriculum and the elements that industry desires.

In 2012, he was appointed to the Province of Ontario's Prevention Council, a group which helps set the direction for the Ministry of Labour's prevention activities with the goal of improving workplace health and safety. He is chair of the CAN/CSA Z-767 Process Safety Management technical committee, which published the first national standard for process safety in 2017.

Jeffrey Castrucci, Aqua Bond Inc.

Jeffrey S. Castrucci, Ph.D., EIT, has served the University of Toronto in varied capacities as a lecturer, course coordinator, and content developer since 2015. He previously researched new materials for solar panels as a graduate student at the University of Toronto, where he designed and commissioned a research vacuum system that offered enhanced flexibility and non-standard design trade-offs compared to commercially available systems.

His teaching emphasizes helping students to connect their everyday experiences to engineering theory with a particular focus on safety in engineering design. He is part of a team developing e-learning modules to facilitate consistent, scalable, free safety education delivery to all students in Canada. These modules aim to fill the gap between the current curriculum and the skills and values industry desires. He is active in the engineering safety community including having worked as a content developer for Minerva Safety Management Canada, a not-for-profit safety advocacy group, and volunteering with the Process Safety Management Division of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering.

Jeffrey is also the Process Quality Manager at Aqua Bond Inc., a Toronto based liquid and powder blender, repackager, and chemical manufacturer that serves customers across North America.

Parnian Jadidian, University of Toronto

Parnian Jadidian, M.A.Sc. is a Senior Process Safety Advisor (PSM) at Enbridge Gas Inc. with a passion for using engineering and creative problem solving to keep people safe while keeping businesses profitable. In her current role, Parnian helps to identify and assess process safety risks at facilities and works with a multidisciplinary team to identify and implement continuous improvement strategies to minimize these risks. Prior to joining Enbridge, Parnian acquired six years of experience in risk management consulting, with a focus on identifying and evaluating loss potential at industrial and commercial facilities due to fires, explosions, natural hazards, equipment breakdowns and other operational and management factors.

During her graduate studies, Parnian developed a curriculum-wide framework for introducing and building safety knowledge and competence in students throughout their entire university experience. As the first proof-of-concept of her approach, she collaborated with the Ontario Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) to develop and roll out an e-learning module addressing advanced safety topics that new professionals face as managers and risk evaluators. Parnian is now part of a team that is working to implement this vision by enabling the distribution of e-learning modules to address the gaps between current curriculum and industry best practices. She is also involved in the process safety community through volunteer teaching and awareness workshops in support of the Process Safety Management Division of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering.

Title: E-Learning for Safety Education in Engineering

David Taylor, University of Ottawa

David received his Bachelor of Applied Science Degree from the Engineering Science Department at the University of Toronto in 1981. Upon graduation, he joined a major oil company in Calgary, Alberta, where he worked as a reservoir engineer for four years, three of which were spent in the field of enhanced oil recovery. In 1985, David moved to the Canadian West Coast to pursue graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, where he completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. David’s research there concentrated on mathematical modelling of fluid and solute transport within body tissues.

In 1990, David joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Ottawa and in 2011 assumed the role of Departmental Chair. During his tenure as Chair, he led the design of a framework and set of procedures for the Department’s Graduate Attribute and Continual Improvement Process (GACIP) that became the basis for the Faculty-wide GACIP system. In 2015 David continued his work in engineering accreditation, this time as Vice-Dean, Quality Assurance and Teaching Innovation.

David’s earlier research interests centered on modeling, simulation and optimization. His earlier work centered on biomedical engineering; more recently, David has focused his attention on engineering education and scholarship of teaching and learning.

Title: Structuring an Integrated Faculty/Program/Course Level Graduate Attribute-Curriculum Improvement Process