Posts By: Branden Wesseling

Lisa Jack Joins ChemE as TA Administrator & Undergraduate Assistant

The Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry is pleased to welcome Lisa Jack as our new TA Administrator & Undergraduate Assistant in the Undergraduate Office. Lisa comes to the Department from the Faculty of Music, where she has worked in a variety of roles including TA Coordinator, Experiential Learning Coordinator, and Graduate Admissions Support. Lisa’s background is in public education and music, and she holds a MA of Music from the University of Toronto. She is the conductor of Flute Street, a chamber ensemble based in Toronto. Lisa also has a deep interest in mental wellness and is currently pursuing a MA in Psychology. We are thrilled to have Lisa taking on this important role with the Department to help solidify the operation of our Undergraduate Office.

Welcome to the Chemmunity, Lisa!



Lisa Jack (she/her), TA Administrator & Undergraduate Assistant
Room: WB216B

2020-2021 FASE Graduate Scholarships & Awards – Winter 2021

Eligibility to Apply:
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are eligible for each award to which you are applying by reading the requirements within each award description. Ineligible or incomplete applications will not be considered.

To apply, applicants must:

  1. Complete the FASE Graduate Scholarships & Awards Application.
  2. Submit all additional required documentation for each of the awards for which you are applying (detailed in the award descriptions.)
  3. Ensure that letters of reference are sent directly from your referees to the ChemE Graduate Office by March 15.

Please submit your applications to by March 15 to Pauline Martini, ChemE Graduate Administrator,


If you have additional questions please contact David Duong, Engineering Graduate Affairs Officer,

Prof. Graeme Norval presents on teaching safety in engineering education at CRAIM AGM in Montreal

From left to right: Pierre Drolet, Vice-President, Industrial management Systems, Air Liquide, Professor Graeme Norval,
Robert Reiss, directeur du comité technique, CRAIM,
Dimitri Tsingakis (Président) Association Industrielle de l’Est de Montréal.

On January 30, 2020, Professor Graeme Norval gave an invited talk at the CRAIM (Conseil Pour la Reduction des Accidents Industriel Majeur) Annual General Meeting in Montreal. He presented on teaching safety in engineering education and discussed the link between safety, professionalism and engineering ethics. He demonstrated where these practices could be added as well as the e-learning products available to instructors.

OCCAM partner Hitachi High-Technologies Canada (HHTC) receives Corporate Academic Citizen Award at fourth annual U of T Engineering Partners’ Reception

More than 150 industry and community leaders, government partners and faculty members gathered Nov. 13, 2019 at the Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the U of T Engineering Partners’ Reception.  

Now in its fourth year, the event celebrated the Faculty’s longstanding ties with over 400 industry partners across its six multidisciplinary innovation clusters. In the past year alone, the Faculty launched new strategic partnerships with Canadian and international partners, totalling more than $25 million.  

The reception featured a keynote address by Gillian Hadfield, director of the University of Toronto’s new Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society. The evening also marked the official launch of the U of T Engineering Expertise Finder — an online platform that enables current and prospective partners to search and connect with Faculty researchers whose expertise matches the industry challenge they hope to solve. 

 “Through continuous knowledge sharing with our research partners, we are able to bring innovative ideas to market, enhance existing systems and technologies, and generate experiential learning opportunities for our students,” says Ramin Farnood (ChemE), Vice-Dean, Research.  

“Many of our undergraduate and graduate students are hired by our research partners, which is a testament to the strength and immense value of these partnerships.” 

Corporate Academic Citizen Award — Hitachi High-Technologies Canada (HHTC) 

Nearly 30 years ago, Professor Doug Perovic (MSE) and the then CEO of HHTC, established a research partnership around the study of electron microscopy (EM), which enabled the creation of the Ontario Centre for the Characterisation of Advanced Materials (OCCAM). In 2019, the partnership is still going strong.

“HHTC has made profound contributions to leading-edge research and training at the University of Toronto,” says Peter Brodersen, senior research associate, OCCAM. “These contributions have been vital to propelling research across the Faculty and supporting institutional research and training goals.” 

Over the years, HHTC has worked closely with researchers from across the Faculty including professors Yu Sun (MIE), Elizabeth Edwards (ChemE) and Jane Howe (MSE, ChemE). 

Before joining U of T Engineering as a faculty member, Howe spent several years working at HHTC. “In my experience as both an employee and research partner, it is clear HHTC is a company that values its rich collaborative history with the University,” says Howe. “This is evident in the success and breadth of its research projects.”  

ChemE Future Leaders: Fletcher Han (ChemE 2T0 + PEY)

Fletcher Han (ChemE 2T0 + PEY) is a “third-culture kid”, which is a person who has grown up in a culture other than their parents’ and the country on their passport.

“Although I am originally from a small town in New Zealand, I’ve traveled and lived on opposite ends of the world. Of all places, I consider the Netherlands my home,” says Fletcher. “And as a result, I’ve been fortunate to have numerous enlightening experiences and opportunities.”

One thing that stands out at U of T is just how many opportunities exist – something Fletcher took full advantage of: he was appointed Chair of the Association of Leadership in Chemical Engineering; he was a member of Engineers Without Borders Community Group and competed on the Engineering Basketball Team. Fletcher is also an executive member of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineers (CSChE). Last year he was elected Mentorship Director, and he continues to contribute to CSChE as Events Director even during his PEY placement.

After his first year at U of T, Fletcher traveled to Egypt where he provided medical aid at a local hospital, an experience which included diagnosing and suturing patients and assisting in the delivery of newborn babies.

The following summer, he was hired as an undergraduate researcher in U of T’s Pulp & Paper Centre. With little knowledge about the industry, Fletcher had to quickly learn everything he could by reading papers and networking with world-renowned professors. By the end, he had conducted over 300 experiments, presenting his findings on increasing electrostatic precipitator performance by 10% to industry professionals.

Today, Fletcher is a Trade Floor Technology Consult at Scotiabank through U of T’s PEY program. There, he provides immediate support to over 500 traders across Canada and around the world, as well as designing in-house web tools to facilitate trade floor operations.

What are you great at?

I am a hardworking, motivated and proactive learner. If I don’t know something, I learn it, and if can’t do something, I practice it. I’ve learned how to run successful events, suture open wounds in high pressure situations, and gather meaningful research data. More recently, I have taught myself five programming languages. Chemical engineering students often struggle with programming, which is why I knew I had to develop this skill. With this newfound ability, I now develop and implement various financial web tools for traders in 15 different countries.

What is something you’re working on getting better at?

I wanted to be honest here and avoid clichés like my weakness is “perfectionism” or “working too hard”. What I struggle with most is self-reflection. In order to improve, I have attended numerous leadership workshops. I have learned that after each achievement or failure, I should list out the key turning points and follow up with my peers for feedback. With this information, I ask myself, “how can I be better next time?” Although these are small steps, my efforts have proven meaningful. I have been appointed group lead on various design teams and have been elected as an executive member in three different student councils. Moreover, I have received three scholarships highlighting my efforts in becoming a better leader. I am not perfect, but I am doing everything I can to be the best version of myself.

What industry would you like to work in and why?

Although my current placement is the financial industry, I hope to explore a career in energy. Today, finding an alternative to fossil fuels is of utmost importance. On several service trips to Thailand, I had the humbling experience of being invited into the homes of Burmese refugees. It was difficult to comprehend the way they lived: the poverty; the lack of available utilities; the children’s working hours just to make ends meet. However, what would significantly change their lives is the access to running water, heating and light in their homes. Developing an environmentally-friendly, cost effective and portable fuel cell could change the lives of millions, which is exactly why I strive to contribute to this industry.

Why should a company hire you?

I am highly self-motivated and love working both independently and collaboratively. I take pride in meeting deadlines and in the quality of my work. I’ve achieved success balancing academics, work, athletics and other extracurricular activities. My experiences growing up have kept me humble, and I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to live around the world, helping people in communities who are less fortunate than I. I may not necessarily be the best candidate for every job, but I know I can do anything I put my mind to.

Interested in hiring a Professional Experience Year Co-op student? Click the link to learn more about U of T’s PEY Co-op program.

Connect with Fletcher and thousands of other U of T Engineering students, alums, faculty, and staff by signing up for U of T Engineering CONNECT.

Reconciliation through engineering: Researchers and Indigenous communities collaborate to improve infrastructure and food security across Canada

Researchers at the Centre for Global Engineering (CGEN) are collaborating with Indigenous communities to address pressing infrastructure challenges facing geographically disparate communities across Canada.

CGEN’s Reconciliation Through Engineering Initiative (RTEI) will identify six projects that aim to improve access to clean drinking water, food security, housing, health care, transportation and communication systems from a multi-disciplinary and holistic perspective.

Since December, CGEN’s approach has been to first listen, learn and gather perspectives before defining any projects, says RTEI program lead Sonia Molodecky and research associate Shakya Sur.

“Our first step was to meet with Indigenous elders, youth, men and women to really understand — first and foremost — how we may approach a collaborative research relationship founded on respect and reciprocity,” says Molodecky. “We recognize that there are 10,000-plus years of knowledge and expertise that Indigenous Peoples have about their communities, relationships with the natural environment, and the interconnection and interdependence of all things. There is a lot we can learn. We are embarking on a co-learning journey.”

Two projects are in their early stages of development: one in northern Ontario and the high Arctic will focus on optimizing transportation routes to ensure timely delivery of food and supplies to communities. This work will have a multidisciplinary team of researchers, including professors Chris Beck (MIE), Chi-Guhn Lee (MIE), Shoshanna Saxe (CivMin), Tracey Galloway (Anthropology) and Michael Widener (Geography).

The second project will focus on developing a framework for designing building ventilation, envelope and integration of landscape-design features to mitigate mold, a significant concern for many Indigenous communities in Canada, says Sur.

“This work will lead to producing a set of housing guidelines that will inform the building of safer and healthier homes in the long term,” he says. “In addition to focusing on ventilation and building envelope design, the project will utilize landscape-design principles and an understanding of the relationship of the house to natural environment, to augment the overall performance of the house, as well as strengthen the residents’ connection to the land. Ultimately, this will contribute towards the long-term sustainability of the overall research outcomes.”  This project will involve professors Marianne Touchie (CivMin), Bomani Khemet (Architecture) and Liat Margolis (Architecture).

On June 17 and 18, CGEN co-sponsored the First Annual Innovation Station Event in Lac Seul First Nation, where they met with Indigenous leaders representing 21 communities serviced by the Sioux Lookout area, in order to understand their needs and priorities and identify future partnerships. Among those present were former Chief Clifford Bull, Special Advisor on Indigenous affairs to the Ontario government, Doug Lawrance, Mayor of Sioux Lookout as well as a number of local industry and service providers.

Researchers in attendance included, professors Arthur Chan (ChemE), Jennifer Drake (CivMin), Jeffrey Siegel (CivMin), as well as Galloway and Bonnie McElhinny (Anthropology). Faculty members presented on their research expertise and learned about the communities’ challenges to better pinpoint potential areas for collaboration.

Also joining them was Elder Whabagoon, who stepped on the soil of her home community of Lac Seul First Nation for the first time since being taken away almost 59 years ago during the ‘Sixties Scoop’. Elder Whabagoon presented an initiative she co-created in partnership with University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design (FALD) and First Nations House (FNH) and the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA), called Nikibii Dawadinna Giigwag. This program works with Indigenous youth to re-connect their spirit with the land through the design of green infrastructure, architecture and land-based teachings.

“It was a very emotional experience coming home. My heart and feet felt grounded for the first time. My heart is full and I am so very grateful for the opportunity. I am very hopeful for the work going forward with my community and see real change being possible through this initiative” said Whabagoon.

Over the next twelve months, Molodecky and Sur will finalize the six research projects, secure further funding to support community participation, and host workshops at the university to give U of T Engineering students an opportunity to learn about the challenges facing Indigenous communities as well as the robust knowledge systems that they are using to address these challenges.

“We’re looking at the full picture. This is an opportunity for us to do things in a much more sustainable way, and the right way, thinking about many generations down the road,” says Sur. “The way to do that is to involve the youth — in our community and in Indigenous communities — so we can carry this effort forward, past the duration of the projects themselves.”

Graduate Attributes

What are Graduate Attributes?

As part of the Washington Accord, every accredited engineering institution in Canada and every other signatory country must demonstrate that the graduates of their programs possess the attributes described under the following headings:

Download the Graduate Attributes poster: U of T Engineering Graduate Attributes


What is Accreditation and why is it important?

From Engineers Canada:

  • Engineers Canada accredits Canadian undergraduate programs in engineering. Students who successfully receive a degree from an accredited engineering program meet the academic requirements needed to become licensed with Canada’s engineering regulators.
  • Accredited engineering programs bring multiple benefits for both students and regulators:
    • Regular accreditation of programs fosters the continual improvement of education
    • Accreditation ensures that programs are meeting the high standards necessary for licensure
    • Degrees from accredited programs are accepted by engineering regulators nationwide and are also recognized by our international partners.

© 2022 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering