Prospective Students

SOCAAR labOur reputation as a research powerhouse and a collaborative and caring community enables us and challenge you to reach your full potential by providing opportunities for growth through various academic and non-academic programs. Develop your professional skills and build a solid foundation for successful and rewarding careers.

Discover the value of a graduate degree in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry from the University of Toronto - and the impact our students and alumni have on the world around us.

Together with internationally-renowned professors, our graduate students are shaping the future in energy, environment, health, and foundational topics.


The Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry offer both research and professional degree options:

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Welcome Guide for Graduate Students

Research Themes

Research in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry impacts foundational principles that tackle major challenges to human health, environmental stewardship, and renewable energy. Through inter- and intra-departmental collaborations and the wide range of expertise of our researchers, our ground-breaking work addresses key issues concerning the sustainability of our society.

Alumni Spotlight

Grisha DialaniGrisha Dialani (ChemE MEng 2T1)

Emphasis: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovation and Technology in Engineering (ELITE)

MEng Project Supervisor: Levente Diosady

Project Title: Synthesis of Food Grade Microcapsules for Iron Fortification of Tea

Advice would you give incoming graduate students: 

Align the most in demand skills in the market with your interests and select courses accordingly.

Try to gain professional experience in the Canadian job market while pursuing your degree, especially if you are an international student.

Where are they now: Quality Engineer at Boston Scientific

Alumni Spotlight

Patrick Diep (ChemE PhD 2T3)

Supervisors: Alexander Yakunin & Radhakrishnan Mahadevan

When Diep was a child, he used to keep a drawer full of rocks he dug up at the park. This early interest in the earth persisted into his PhD studies, where his thesis explored the ways biology could be engineered to recover metals from wastewater, both sustainably and economically.

“Many mines use hydrometallurgy to extract metals from pulverized rocks, and this process creates the hazardous materials we see in tailing ponds,” he says.

“The used process waters that sit atop these ponds contain dissolved metals too dilute to economically purify and too concentrated to release directly into the environment.”

During his PhD studies, Diep founded and led the Canadian Synthetic Biology Education Research Group, a non-profit dedicated to conducting research to find best practices for teaching synthetic biology to virtual classrooms comprised of undergraduate and high school students from all backgrounds.

Diep also co-founded a startup called Lyrata Inc., along with fellow U of T student Adnan Sharif (Cellular and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry) and the support of The Entrepreneurship Hatchery. The company develops engineered soil for hydroponics.

“A PhD, non-profit and startup at the same time is not something I would recommend anyone do for a long period, but the lessons I learned are innumerable,” he says.

Diep has moved on from this work, and since January he has been living in California’s Bay Area, where he works as a postdoctoral scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“I am designing variants of the ground-breaking protein called lanmodulin that has the ability to separate light and heavy rare Earth elements from every major transition metal you find in rocks,” he says.

“With access to more automation and fabrication technologies, and a new skillset for immobilizing proteins to solid matrices, I am very excited for what the future version of me is going to bring.”

Alumni Spotlight

Isita AggarwalIshita Aggarwal (ChemE MEng 2T2)

Emphasis: Engineering and Globalization (Global) & Sustainable Energy

MEng Project Supervisor: Timothy Bender

Project Title: Sustainability for Organic Solar Cell Production

Advice would you give incoming graduate students: 

Enjoy your time while pursuing your MEng degree. U of T has so much to offer so try to utilize as many resources as you can like enhancing your writing, power point skills, and attending networking sessions.

Where are they now: Research Analyst at S & P Global

Alumni Spotlight

Jessica Ngai
Jessica Ngai (ChemE PhD 2T3)

Supervisor: Warren Chan

Collaborative Specialization: Biomedical Engineering

Describe your research: We looked at how delivering cancer drugs in lipid nanoparticles affected the cell population within the tumour.

What was your favourite part of completing your degree at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry?

All the great and diverse people you get to meet. Being in the heart of Toronto and having access to all the scientific and cultural aspects Toronto and U of T have to offer made it an enjoyable experience.

What are your career goals?

I was fortunate enough to start my career in Amgen in San Francisco right off the bat, which aligned really well with my career goals of working in industry and contributing towards medicine that will improve the lives of patients.

What advice would you give incoming graduate students?

Take time to understand your project, why you’re doing it, the experiments you’ve chosen – every step of the way. There will be lots of failed attempts, but always try to learn something from it. And don’t forget to celebrate the small wins!

Alumni Spotlight

Eric Donders, PhDEric Donders (ChemE PhD 2T3)

Supervisor: Molly Shoichet

Collaborative Specialization: Biomedical Engineering

Describe your research: Some drugs aggregate together to form small particles instead of dissolving into individual molecules. These particles are too large to cross cellular membranes, which can limit drug efficacy if its target is inside cells. In my research, I developed a strategy to increase the delivery of these drug particles into cells.

What was your favourite part of completing your degree at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry?

I am grateful for the opportunities I had to work with so many brilliant and dedicated scientists at U of T and beyond.

What are your career goals?

I was keen to move into the biotech industry for more opportunities to collaborate and work on translational research. Fortunately, I found a formulation scientist position here in Toronto that I enjoy a lot.

What advice would you give incoming graduate students?

"Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law."

Science is full of unexpected delays and dead ends, so don't get discouraged when things don't go as expected. Try not to focus too much on the results; you will be happier if you learn to enjoy the process.

Alumni Spotlight

Sourojeet Chakraborty (ChemE PhD 2T3)

Supervisor: Arun Ramchandran

Describe your research: My research involved studying the behaviour of two complex fluids - emulsions and suspensions, and how their flow hydrodynamics change upon encountering a confinement.

In particular, I studied emulsion wetting, and identified key regimes the draining drop goes through. Through experiments and thermodynamic arguments, I also proved that classical wetting theory fails to explain emulsion wetting, and needs to be revamped. Finally, I successfully derived a set of macro transport equations to simulate the flow of concentrated suspensions across a Hele-Shaw (rectangular) geometry, commonly encountered in the microfluidics sector.

While my research topics were very fundamental, it has tremendous applications across several interdisciplinary industries such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, oil sands, paints, consumer goods, etc., which overwhelmingly produce emulsion-based products.

What was your favourite part of completing your degree at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry?

Teaching undergraduates at the University of Toronto will definitely remain one of my best memories. I also actively took on some departmental leadership roles, and I was pleasantly surprised (and very happy) to be named one of the recipients of the 2023 Student Life Catalyst Awards.

Most notably, being a Junior Fellow at Massey College was a transformational experience for me. I met some extremely talented individuals, who helped me recognize different perspectives to approach my research.

What are your career goals?

I'm excited to start a postdoc with Prof. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, in Earth Sciences, at the University of Toronto. I'll be using my background of fluid mechanics and transport phenomena to solve contaminant degradation/transport underneath the Earth's subsurface.

Long term, I wish to be part of meaningful global roles involving an intersectionality of academia, industry, and leadership. I definitely want to give back to Canada, and also, make some substantial impact on this world.

What advice would you give incoming graduate students?

Choose your advisor wisely, someone who is knowledgeable and can support you. A Ph.D. isn't an easy journey, and you'll need your advisor's support, encouragement, and feedback at times.

P.S. I reached out to my advisor's Ph.D. and postdoc advisors, before I accepted this position. Do not hesitate to obtain more information about the person you'll likely spend the next 5-6 years of your professional life with.

Alumni Spotlight

AzadehAzadeh Vatandoust (ChemE PhD 2T3)

Supervisor: Levente Diosady

Describe your research: Micronutrient deficiency is a global health problem affecting 2-billion people worldwide. My research focused on developing two different cost-effective technologies to reduce micronutrient deficiencies through fortifying iodized salt with zinc and iron. As part of my research, I also studied different coating materials and formulations to ensure that the added micronutrients are well-encapsulated, enabling them to remain stable during storage and delivery. I considered the potential interactions between the micronutrients and salt impurities that could result in lower bioavailability and alter the organoleptic characteristics of food.

What was your favourite part of completing your degree at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry?

One of the things I loved about my time at U of T was the opportunity to learn from incredible, innovative thinkers from all over the country. Whether it was my advisor, committee professors, or instructors, their knowledge and insights were truly inspiring. And let me tell you, those Lectures at the Leading Edge talks were an absolute blast! They were so eye-opening and thought-provoking. Overall, it was an amazing experience that I'll always cherish.

What are your career goals?

My professor and one of my committee members were part of the CGEN (Center for Global Engineering) here at U of T. As a result, I became heavily involved in the center and familiarized myself with the research being conducted and their vision. This sparked a strong interest in me. I am passionate about continuing my career in research, focusing on addressing the challenges faced by the world's most vulnerable populations.

What advice would you give incoming graduate students?

I like to emphasize the importance of balancing work and personal life. Graduate studies can be intense and demanding, so taking care of yourself and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial.