Posts Categorized: Honours & Awards 2013

Alum Places First in Prestigious Medical Competition

Mohan Pandit (ChemE 0T1) recently participated in the Ivey International Centre for Health and Innovation Competition and finished in first place. He and his partner won $50,000 to take their project to the next level. Read more.

ChemE Prof Receives CIM Fellowship

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Fellowship recognizes members who have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the mining, metallurgical or petroleum industries.

ChemE Professor Vladimiros Papangelakis became a CIM Fellow this year. Born in Athens, Greece, Papangelakis obtained a Diploma in Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in 1983. In 1986 and 1991 he completed Master’s and PhD (Honours) degrees in Hydrometallurgy at McGill University. In 1991, he joined the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry at U of T initially as an Assistant Professor and he advanced to the rank of Professor in 2002. From 2002 to 2003 he was named the John Patrick Sheridan Chair in Chemical Minerals Processing. His teaching interests are in the area of thermodynamics and aqueous process chemistry whereas his research interests are in sustainable hydrometallurgical process development. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario.

He has worked on the mathematical modelling of the pressure oxidation process for refractory gold materials; laterite pressure leach chemistry; scale abatement in reactors; development of acid and redox sensors for high temperature processes; hydrometallurgical treatment of wastes; and REE extraction. Papangelakis is the author of over 130 research papers in technical journals and conference proceedings, has one Patent, and has supervised over 50 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

He is a member of the Hydrometallurgy Section of MetSoc since 1996 and a member of the Board of Directors of MetSoc from 2004 to 2006 and the Executive since 2010. He has served as MetSoc President from 2012 to 2013. He has participated in numerous organizing committees for MetSoc and Hydrometallurgy Section conferences, as well as short courses offered in Canada and abroad. He is also a Director of Chemical Engineering Research Consultants Ltd. (CERCL). He is the recipient of the Sherritt Hydrometallurgy Award the Diran Basmadjian Teacher of the Year Award.

ChemE Alum Receives Order of Canada

William Breukelman (ChemE 5T5), chair of Business Arts and co-founder of Imax, was recently named an officer of the Order of Canada in recognition for his entrepreneurship as head of these pioneering imaging companies.

Breukelman joins Barry French (ChemE 5T5) who became an officer of the Order of Canada in 2007. French was part of the three person team that performed calculations on slide rules, which aided in the safe return of Apollo 13.

Students Discovery Award

Sofia Lemak, supervised by Professor A.F. Yakunin, is ChemE’s first MASc student to receive the Students Discovery Award (SDA). Alex Dumitrache, supervised by Professor Grant Allen, is ChemE’s first PhD student to receive the award.

This new Departmental award encourages publications by graduate students. If you’re a ChemE graduate student, you might qualify as well!


To qualify for the award, a student should have successfully defended his/her MASc or PhD thesis at the Departmental Oral within two or five years respectively. The student should have authored/co-authored at least one first-authored paper per year in the program at the time of the Departmental Oral.

Eligible papers for a specific program (MASc or PhD) must be prepared based on work done while in the same program. Papers from one’s MASc thesis but published/submitted during one’s PhD program are not eligible for a PhD-SDA.

The qualified papers normally include ones that have been published, accepted and submitted for publication in refereed journals at the time of the Departmental Oral. Students with fewer papers but having high impact contributions (publications and patents et al.) are also encouraged to apply. The oral examination committee evaluates the application and makes recommendation to the Chair of the Department for the final approval.


  • Non-first-authored papers are counted as 0.5 of first-authored papers.
  • The value of a SDA is $1,500 for MASc students and $3,000 for PhD students.
  • Winners will also receive a certificate.

Application Procedures

The candidate submits a list of publications and an impact statement (one-page) to the examination committee at the time of the Departmental Oral.

Evaluation and Recommendation

Both are conducted by the Departmental Oral examination committee.


All approvals are made by the Chair of the Department.

Gold Medal for iGEM Team at U of T

U of T student group takes home gold medal from the North American iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition.

Fourth-year ChemE student and team member Michael Yu described the year-long research towards the competition as a real-life learning curve. To learn more about the gold medal project, click here.

ChemE Prof Named a 2013 Hotshot Prof

Every year the Globe and Mail’s Canandian University Report names one professor from each Canadian university as a Hotshot Prof. This year, that honour for U of T goes to ChemE Professor Yu-Ling Cheng.

Professor Cheng recently led a research team (including students) from the Faculty of Applied Science & Enginereing to win a $2.2 million grant from the Gates Foundation to design a waterless toilet for use in developing countries. Professor Cheng is also the director of the Centre for Global Engineering.

ChemE Members Win ISE Poster Contest

The Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering’s Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) held its Advisory Board Meeting and ISE Poster Session on Friday, October 11.

The ISE Poster Session was an excellent opportunity for board members and researchers alike to learn about one another’s research interests. Over 30 posters were presented on a wide array of research topics. ISE asked the Industry Advisory Board to submit their choices for the most outstanding contributions.

After tabulating their choices, two awards of $1000 each were awarded. The project, Algal Biofilm Growth Parameters and Reactor Systems for the Production of Biofuels and Biochemicals, received one of the awards. ChemE Professor (and Chair) Grant Allen and PhD Candidate Peter J. Schnurr are two members of this research group.

ChemE Students Recognized at CSChE Conference

During the 63rd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference in Fredericton:

  • Devika Jain (ChemE 1T5) won First Place for the Robert G. Auld Student Competition;
  • Bo Zhang (ChemE 1T3 + PEY) won the CSChE Local Section Scholarship; and
  • U of T’s CSChE Student Chapter won the Student Chapter Merit Award

ChemE Prof Receives Humboldt Fellowship

In September 2013, the Max Planck Institute Magdeburg welcomed ChemE ProfessorRadhakrishnan Mahadevan as a Humboldt Fellow.

Professor Mahadevan’s research lies in mathematical modeling of metabolic and regulatory networks and engineering biological systems for applications in metabolic engineering. He will be working with Dr. Steffen Klamt’s group at the Max Planck Institute to develop theoretical methods for the analysis and redesign of metabolic networks.

Through the Humboldt Fellowship, there is potential to form a long-lasting cooperation between the University of Toronto and the Max Planck Institute, as Professor Mahadevan’s research activities relates to many different groups studying organic systems at the Max Planck Institute.

Two ChemE Alumni Recognized with Arbor Awards

The University of Toronto has honoured two alumni from the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry with Arbor Awards. The awards recognize outstanding voluntary service to the university.

“On behalf of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to our many alumni and friends who offer their time and expertise to benefit our students and support our Faculty,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “We value their tremendous contributions and take great pride in the recognition they have received through the Arbor Awards.”

The following alumni were recognized at the annual ceremony:

Alan Bowler (ChemE 5T3)
Bowler has been a class leader for six decades and has helped to plan the Class of ’53 annual gatherings and five-year reunions, as well as getting the Skule Lunch & Learn newsletter out on time.

Gerard Charles Frost (ChemE 5T1)
Frost has passed his skills and in-depth knowledge on to younger students through his volunteer work with the Faculty. In the last two years, he has guided and instructed first-year students in their Engineering Strategies & Practice coursework and mentored students interested in pursuing a career in water technology.

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