In the News Archive (2017)

With co-curricular records, universities say grades aren’t everything December 8, 2017 - Volunteering, student government and sports teach useful skills. Now, students can prove it with the co-curricular record (CCR). Last year, about 9,000 students (about 10 per cent of undergraduates at U of T’s three campuses) were registered for the CCR—double the participation level four years ago. With expanding demand, the university has approved a fivefold... Read more »
Remembering victims of the Montreal Massacre: Commemorating the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women December 6, 2017 - Every year on Dec. 6, people across the country remember the victims of École Polytechnique shooting and raise awareness about gender-based violence. At U of T, events are taking place across all three campuses for the National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women. Elizabeth White (ChemE 1T7+PEY) and a group of engineering... Read more »
$5.7M GAPP funding for Professor Mahadevan and team December 5, 2017 - Professor Krishna Mahadevan’s group will receive $5.7M from the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) – Round 8. The funds will support a project entitled, Genomics Driven Engineering of Hosts for Bio-Nylon. Currently, nylon is made from petroleum. While the process works well, it is not as environmentally friendly as many would like. There is strong... Read more »
Advice to first-year students December 5, 2017 - Maclean’s recently asked students, academics and business leaders — including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario’s first Chief Scientist Molly Shoichet (ChemE, IBBME) — for advice to help future first-year students. Read what they had to say.
U of T Engineering Holiday Gift Guide 2017 November 29, 2017 - A build-it-yourself robot kit, a revolutionary pressure cooker and a first-of-its-kind universal hex key are just a few of the items — all designed by U of T Engineering alumni and students — that we feel should be on everyone’s holiday shopping list. Click here for 12 U of T Engineering-approved gift ideas!
Molly Shoichet named Ontario’s first Chief Scientist November 17, 2017 - University Professor Molly Shoichet (ChemE, IBBME) has been appointed Ontario’s Chief Scientist. “[Shoichet] is one of the top biomedical scientists in the country, with in-depth knowledge of Ontario’s research community,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “As Chief Scientist, she will help us continue a proud tradition of science and research... Read more »
Solar fuel breakthroughs from U of T November 16, 2017 - Making fuel out of polluted air, using it to power industry, and then taking the emissions from that industry back out of the air to create more fuel – it sounds too good to be true. But while there are a few hurdles to clear, a team led by University of Toronto’s Geoffrey Ozin of the... Read more »
Research2Reality spotlights Alison McGuigan November 16, 2017 - Research2Reality recently interviewed Professor Alison McGugian. Her take away message was, “don’t be afraid to collaborate!” See what else she had to say.
BioZone Research leads to $100,000 start-up investment from Ontario Genomics November 2, 2017 - Ontario Genomics announced its investment in Ardra Inc. via its Pre-Commercial Business Development Fund earlier this week. Ardra, which developed out of postdoctoral research in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry under the supervision of Professor Krishna Mahadevan, is a specialty chemicals company focused on the production of natural ingredients for the cosmetics and flavour and... Read more »
Natural fibres: New yeast strains could turn plant waste into fabrics October 26, 2017 - Nylon — used in everything from clothing to car parts to toothbrush bristles — is derived from oil, a nonrenewable fossil fuel. A team of researchers from U of T Engineering is working on a way to make the same chemical from a renewable source: plants. “Nylon is a copolymer made from two monomers: one is... Read more »
Canada’s Top School by Reputation 2018: University of Toronto October 11, 2017 - This morning Maclean’s named the University of Toronto Canada’s Top School by Reputation for 2018. With almost 90,000 students, 14,000 faculty and a network of almost 600,000 alumni, the University of Toronto is often described as a “city within a city.” Students from across the globe are drawn to the school’s 700-plus undergrad and almost... Read more »
Lumber donation arrives in Houston, Texas from White River Forest Products October 5, 2017 - Frank Dottori (ChemE 6T3), CEO of White River Forest Products (WRFP), spurred his team to mobilize and send to Houston over $20,000 worth of 8 foot 2×4 lumber to help rebuild Habitat for Humanity homes after historic flooding. Read the full story published on
New partnership to develop rechargeable aluminum-ion battery October 2, 2017 - Professor Gisele Azimi from U of T’s departments of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering has received $210,000 in funding from Potent Group Inc. The funds will help support a collaborative-research project with Potent Group Inc. entitled, Development of a new generation of rechargeable batteries based on aluminum ion for energy... Read more »
On a mission of compassion October 2, 2017 - The recipient of a Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship, Deborah Emilia Solomon wants to devote her engineering career “to the service of others.” Read full story by Carol Toller and published in the autumn 2017 issue of U of T Magazine.
October 2017 cover of Nature Materials September 29, 2017 - This week, Professor Milica Radisic and team’s project entitled, Flexible shape-memory scaffold for minimally invasive delivery of functional tissues, made the cover of the journal Nature Materials. Despite great progress in engineering functional tissues for organ repair, including the heart, an invasive surgical approach is still required for their implantation. Professor Radisic’s team is mending... Read more »
Young alumna participates in I-7/G-7 September 26, 2017 - This week in Torino, Italy, Angela Tran Kingyens (ChemE MASc 0T7, PhD 1T2) was part of the I-7, a small delegation of five other Canadians who advised the G-7 on innovation policy. This was the first year non-government people were invited to weigh in on topics related to innovation. Angela’s work centered around how artificial... Read more »
Running is awesome. But is air pollution ruining the high? September 26, 2017 - In a recent article published by the Toronto Star regarding the adverse effects of outdoor activities on smoggy days, two students from the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research were photographed testing air quality at Sugar Beach in Toronto. Click here to read the story and view the photo.
Elements of bio-mining: Engineering collaboration aims to turn mine waste into valuable metals September 22, 2017 - An industry-academic collaboration – led by Professors Vlad Papangelakis and Elizabeth Edwards – is studying the use of microorganisms to treat mine waste in tailings ponds. The project hopes to extract valuable metals that could offset the cost of processing. Read full story.
Better bioprocessing: Meet Professor Nikolai DeMartini September 15, 2017 - From pulp and paper to biofuels, many industries are based on turning renewable biomass — trees, plants, food waste — into energy and green materials. But even though the primary feedstock of these industries is organic matter, inorganic contaminants such as salts and metals are commonly found in the fields and forests where these feedstocks... Read more »
Gisele Azimi partners up to transform steel industry September 14, 2017 - Professor Gisele Azimi from U of T’s departments of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering has received $750,000 in funding from Tenova Goodfellow, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Collaborative Research and Development Grant and the Ontario Centres of Excellence Voucher for Innovation and Productivity II Grant. The... Read more »
Scaling up safely: Meet Professor Ariel Chan September 14, 2017 - Whether they are producing medicines, plastics or fuels, chemical plants around the must be designed and operated in a way that is efficient, effective and most importantly, safe. Professor Ariel Chan (ChemE) is an expert in scaling up chemical manufacturing processes — from making millilitres in the lab to tonnes in the chemical plant —... Read more »
Building the ‘bark biorefinery’: Meet Professor Ning Yan September 5, 2017 - With 347 million hectares of forest land — about 9 per cent of the world’s total — Canada is a leader in forest products, from softwood lumber to newsprint. But many parts of the tree, such as bark, aren’t currently used for any product; they are either burned for energy or discarded. Professor Ning Yan... Read more »
BioZone PIs awarded two ORF-RE 8 grants August 15, 2017 - BioZone PIs are leading two Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence (ORF-RE) round 8 applications. Each project is worth $12M over 5 years with a $4M contribution from the Ministry of Research and Innovation. Read more here.
Mining microbes could unlock wealth, clean tailings August 15, 2017 - With luck, ingenuity and some scientific know-how, Sudbury’s tailings ponds could become a new source nickel, copper and zinc. Researchers from Laurentian University, the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia met at a symposium to discuss biomining research. “The topic of discussion is developing technologies that aim to remediate waste and effluent... Read more »
Injectable tissue patch could help repair damaged organs August 15, 2017 - A team of U of T Engineering researchers is mending broken hearts with an expanding tissue bandage a little smaller than a postage stamp. Repairing heart tissue destroyed by a heart attack or medical condition with regenerative cells or tissues usually requires invasive open-heart surgery. But now biomedical engineering Professor Milica Radisic (IBBME, ChemE, Toronto... Read more »
The best place to treat type 1 diabetes might be just under your skin August 14, 2017 - A group of U of T researchers have demonstrated that the space under our skin might be an optimal location to treat type 1 diabetes (T1D). The new study, led by researchers in the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), involved transplanting healthy pancreatic cells under the skin to produce insulin for blood glucose... Read more »
Tissue engineering pioneer Michael Sefton to lead Medicine by Design as executive director June 28, 2017 - Engineering professor Michael Sefton has been appointed executive director of Medicine by Design, a University of Toronto initiative that is accelerating discoveries in regenerative medicine research to improve treatments for conditions such as heart failure, diabetes and stroke. Sefton, a pioneer in tissue engineering and biomaterials, takes over from Peter Zandstra, who is stepping down... Read more »
Ontario researchers to study dust for carcinogens after Fort McMurray fire June 15, 2017 - A group of Ontario researchers, led by ChemE Professor Arthur Chan, is travelling to Fort McMurray, Alta., next month to study dust left in homes from the forest fire that ravaged the city last year. The team’s work is among several studies that are being conducted on the health effects of the ferocious blaze that... Read more »
Graeme Norval talks safe chemical transportation with CBC June 13, 2017 - For the first time, Londoners are getting a glimpse into the dangerous goods passing through the city almost daily on the country’s two major railways. A list of the top ten hazardous materials shipped through the municipality on Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) trains was provided by the companies to the City of London... Read more »
U of T Engineering researchers search for toxins in the aftermath of Fort McMurray wildfire June 9, 2017 - This summer, postdoctoral researcher Lukas Kohl (ChemE) and undergraduate student Cynthia Jing (Year 2 EngSci) will be vacuuming strangers’ homes in northern Alberta. But they’re not necessarily there to clean — they are looking for evidence of long-term human health impacts arising from last summer’s devastating wildfire. That fire, which raged through northern Alberta one... Read more »
Molly Shoichet featured on CBC Radio’s Ideas June 9, 2017 - Once a year the Canada Council Killam Prize is bestowed on five of Canada’s top academics in five different fields. Paul Kennedy, host of CBC Radio’s Ideas, interviews this year’s winners and finds out what inspires them to break new ground. Among the winners is ChemE prof. Molly Shoichet, who talks about how ‘eureka’ moments evolve and... Read more »
Designing the engineer of 2050: ChemE prof co-chairs Canadian Engineering Education Association conference May 31, 2017 - Leading engineering educators will converge  at U of T Engineering from June 4–7 for a major national conference organized around a single urgent question: How can we prepare the next generation of engineering leaders to address critical challenges that will face society 30 years in the future? “We wanted to move people outside of their normal comfort... Read more »
U of T Engineering welcomes four global Pearson scholars May 30, 2017 - Deborah Emilia Solomon (Year 1 ChemE) came home one day to find a bulging envelope from the University of Toronto. Inside she found confirmation she had received one of the inaugural Pearson scholarships, a new prestigious and competitive U of T award for undergraduate international students. “I was overjoyed. I just started crying,” she said. “I was going... Read more »
Preparing the next generation of engineering leaders to grow Africa’s megacities sustainably May 30, 2017 - Today, seven of the world’s 100 largest cities are in Africa. But by 2050, population models predict that this will rise to 21, and eventually reach 40 by the end of the century. By then, Africa will be home to five of the world’s ten largest cities, each with more than 50 million residents. Members... Read more »
One small step for man, one giant leap for these U of T Engineering students May 25, 2017 - University of Toronto engineering students, including ChemE fourth-year students Haroon Dawood, Stephanie Gaglione, Jason Martins and Madhusan Perera, recently completed a project that was out of this world. With help from their supervisor Professor Cathy Chin (ChemE), and advisors at NASA, the undergraduate students came up with a way to make organic products like food,... Read more »
Two ChemE students among U of T’s grads to watch May 24, 2017 - This year’s 14 “Grads to Watch” embody the spirit of U of T Engineering. Among the Grads to watch are  Stephanie Gaglione (ChemE 1T6+PEY) and Jason Martins (ChemE 1T6 +PEY). Gaglione has completed internships in vaccine and drug development at Sanofi Pasteur and in business at Procter and Gamble, and spent a year on exchange... Read more »
ChemE Alumna elected chair of U of T’s Governing Council May 24, 2017 - U of T Engineering alumna Claire Kennedy (ChemE 8T9) has been elected chair of the University of Toronto’s Governing Council, which oversees the academic, business and student affairs of the University. Her term as chair begins July 1, 2017. She succeeds the current chair, Shirley Hoy. Read more here.
Molly Shoichet talks about regenerating brain cells May 8, 2017 - Prof. Molly Shoichet (ChemE), recently delivered a talk at the StemCONN Symnposium in Connecticut. The talk was titled “Can We Really Regenerate the Brain?” The discovery of adult neural stem cells has opened the door to what was once thought impossible – regenerating brain cells in ways that could prove useful in treatment of spinal... Read more »
High school student wins Sanofi Biogenius Challenge for 3D tumour research at U of T Engineering May 1, 2017 - Jody Mou, a Grade 12 student at University of Toronto Schools, has designed a system to rapidly manufacture 3D tumour models used to study cancer in the lab. The innovation earned her first place in the Greater Toronto region for the Sanofi Biogeneius Canada (SBC)competition. Mou’s project was conducted in the lab of Professor Alison... Read more »
Call for nominations: 2017 Student Life Catalyst Awards May 1, 2017 - The Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry is now accepting nominations for the Student Life Catalyst Awards, sponsored by the Department’s faculty and staff. These awards seek to recognize deserving undergraduate and graduate students who are convocating for their significant contributions to the student life experience at the Department. Such contributions include undertaking formal... Read more »
Grand opening of Rorschach Brewing Company April 28, 2017 - Rorschach Brewing Company is Toronto’s newest craft brewery, which officially opened its doors on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Founded by three ChemE graduates from the Class of 1T0 – Matthew Reiner, Christopher Ristevski and Mohan Pandit – Rorschach is the culmination of years of home-brewing, traveling, and exploring countless craft breweries and beer gardens. The... Read more »
Supermileage Team aims to retake top spot at Shell Eco-Marathon Americas April 27, 2017 - The University of Toronto’s Supermileage Team is hoping to retake the top spot at the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas (SEMA) competition, having snagged a silver medal last year. The team, composed of U of T Engineering students, has been working around the clock to design and build two hyper-efficient vehicles to race in two categories: gasoline... Read more »
Battling infectious diseases with 3-D structures April 26, 2017 - CHICAGO – An international team of scientists led by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has determined the 3-D atomic structure of more than 1,000 proteins that are potential drug and vaccine targets to combat some of the world’s most dangerous emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. These experimentally determined structures have been deposited into the... Read more »
TTC subway is 10 times more polluted than outside April 26, 2017 - The air quality on TTC platforms and trains is comparable to a typical day in Beijing, says Professor Greg Evans. Waiting for a train in Toronto exposes you to three times the pollution found on Montreal’s Metro and five times the pollution found on Vancouver’s SkyTrain. Read full story.
Chris Yip to head international partnerships at U of T April 13, 2017 - Professor Christopher Yip, Director of the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), has been appointed as U of T’s first Associate Vice-President of International Partnerships, effective the start of July 2017. Read more.
Wildfires in Fort McMurray not forgotten March 31, 2017 - Almost a year after the worst natural disaster in Canada’s history, the residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta, are continuing to rebuild their lives, and come to grips with the physical, mental and environmental impacts of the wildfires and evacuation. As part of its commitment to help in the long-term recovery of residents of Fort McMurray... Read more »
International research group finds link between late-night dinners and breast cancer March 24, 2017 - Women who eat rice or noodles after 10pm are more at risk of developing breast cancer. The risk increases by half if food is consumed after 10pm at least once a week for more than a year, compared to those women who never snack late at night. That is what an international research group found... Read more »
ChemE Alum leads Hydrogenics to Deal for 2.4 MW Power-to-Gas Plant March 22, 2017 - Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Wind to Gas Südermarsch GmbH & Co. KG in Germany to deliver a 2.4 megawatt PEM Power-to-Gas system for hydrogen production. “This 2.4 megawatt facility will greatly help reduce emissions through... Read more »
The invisible clean-up crew: Engineering microbial cultures to destroy pollutants February 21, 2017 - U of T engineering professor Elizabeth Edwards is internationally recognized for using biotechnology to clean up industrial solvents in soil and groundwater. Her technique earned her the prestigious Killam Prize in 2016 and has already been used to restore more than 500 sites around the world. One way to decontaminate industrial sites involves digging up... Read more »
ChemE team invents double-fortified salt to improve nutrition for 24 million in Uttar Pradesh February 15, 2017 - Double-fortified salt (DFS) is now being distributed to 4.6 million families — representing more than 24 million people — in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The product, developed at U of T Engineering, provides a simple, effective way to add iron in the diets of people who don’t currently get enough. “We’re very excited... Read more »

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