News & Updates

New ChemE grads and Mastercard Foundation Scholars keen to give back to their communities

July 11, 2022

The final cohort of Mastercard Foundation Scholars graduated from the University of Toronto this spring – the culmination of their journey from Sub-Saharan Africa to Canada. Nearly a decade ago, U of T was among the first Canadian universities to partner with the Mastercard Foundation to offer talented students from the region an opportunity to study in… Read more »

Reverse engineering the heart: U of T Engineering team creates bioartificial left ventricle

July 8, 2022

U of T Engineering researchers have grown a small-scale model of a human left heart ventricle in the lab. The bioartificial tissue construct is made with living heart cells and beats strongly enough to pump fluid inside a bioreactor.  In the human heart, the left ventricle is the one that pumps freshly oxygenated blood into… Read more »

Postdoctoral research investigates how pollutants from cooking food affect our health and our environment

July 7, 2022

While exhaust from vehicles and industrial processes are among the most recognized sources of air pollutants, another activity specific to humans also contributes to this issue – cooking. Cooking protein-rich food with oil and heat initiates a complex series of chemical processes that result in the creation of nitrogen-containing chemical compounds, releasing pollutants to both… Read more »

Recovering rare earths using algal biofilms

July 5, 2022

Rare earths are a critical resource that are used in a wide range of applications like computers, electric car batteries, windmill turbines, and other green-energy technologies. In spite of the name, they’re not actually that rare. However, they are found at low concentrations and are difficult to separate from one another. To deal with this,… Read more »

Wood biochar – a low-cost, high-performance alternative to advanced nanoporous carbon materials

July 5, 2022

On June 7, Wood Biochar Monolith-Based Approach to Increasing the Volumetric Energy Density of Supercapacitor, an article by Professors Charles Jia and Don Kirk, was published in ACS Publications – a high-impact interdisciplinary journal reporting on energy research. Energy storage technologies are central to the economy’s electrification and renewable energy utilization and crucial to tackle… Read more »

Five U of T Engineering projects have received GESeed support

July 5, 2022

Five U of T Engineering projects have received support from the Global Engineering Seed (GESeed) program in its first round. Among this group are Professor Jeff Brook (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, ChemE), along with Professors Greg Evans (ChemE, ISTEP), Arthur Chan (ChemE) and Jeffrey Siegel (CivMin) who are working with Fort McKay First Nation Sustainability Department, AUG Signals Ltd., on… Read more »

Using renewable biopolymers (lignin) for dewatering biosludge

July 5, 2022

Hamed Ghazisaidi (ChemE PhD student) and Vincent Wang (ChemE 2T1 + PEY Co-op, incoming MASc), supervised by Professors Grant Allen and Honghi Tran, as well as Senior Research Associate Dr. Torsten Meyer, are looking for alternative chemicals or additives that can replace petroleum-derived products in wastewater treatment systems with more sustainable and environmentally friendly chemicals.​… Read more »

Traffic-related pollution in Toronto: Prof. Jeff Brook featured in The Narwhal

June 27, 2022

Professor Jeff Brook has studied traffic-related air pollution for over 20 years and is now the principal investigator on a team developing interactive tools that allow users to combine air pollution modelled on a map with socioeconomic data from the census. This story is part of Toronto’s Climate Right Now, a collaboration with The Local about vulnerability and… Read more »

Curbside dining: SOCAAR featured in The Toronto Star

June 27, 2022

With curbside patios out in full force along Toronto city streets, Professor Greg Evans says that the air quality pros outweigh the cons when it comes to outdoor dining. Read the full story by The Toronto Star titled ‘How unhealthy is it to eat in a curbside patio next to traffic? Most CaféTO diners can… Read more »

Recovering nickel from mining waste

June 21, 2022

The mining industry in northern Ontario, particularly in Sudbury, has been the economic backbone of this region. As the mining operations generate profits, they also produce large amounts of waste in the form of pyrrhotite tailings, which has become an environmental burden. Under the supervision of Professor Vlad Papangelakis, Heping (Leonardo) Shen (ChemE PhD student)… Read more »

Grads to Watch 2022

June 14, 2022

With the University’s Convocation ceremony on June 16, 2022 U of T Engineering students mark the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Having enriched the U of T Engineering community as undergraduate and graduate students, they will join our vibrant, global network of Skule™ alumni, where they will continue to address pressing… Read more »

Teaching legacy of the two Bills

June 14, 2022

The very first issue of Interfaces* back in Spring 2003, ran a story about the “two Bills,” Bill Graydon (ChemE 4T2, MASc 4T5) and Bill Burgess (ChemE 3T9). The story highlighted their love for teaching. Snippets are presented here: The two Bills first met in 1954 in the basement of Wallberg. They felt an instant… Read more »

Wood-derived prototype could lead to self-powered biosensors

June 3, 2022

Wood-derived materials can be used to harvest electrical energy from everyday movements such as walking, according to a new study from researchers at U of T Engineering and the University of Waterloo. In a paper recently published in Nano Energy, the team demonstrated the use of lignocellulosic nanofibrils, derived from tree bark, in a prototype self-powered device… Read more »

Water capture and recycling using Forward Osmosis and Freeze Crystallization

June 2, 2022

Water scarcity has been a growing issue, including in developed countries. The lack of treatment methods for concentrated effluent in the mining and metals manufacturing industry is one of the contributors to the problem. Under the supervision of Professor Vlad Papangelakis, ChemE PhD students Noel Devaere and Runlin Yuan are focusing on water separation and… Read more »

Alumna creating new & innovative 3D prints using glass flakes

May 26, 2022

Umema Khan (ChemE MASc 2021), a Materials Print Engineer at Markforged, applies the knowledge she’s gained during her grad studies to continue to create new and innovative 3D printing material formulations with additional kinds of 3D printing technologies. Under the supervision of Dr. Mark Kortschot, Khan investigated new and innovative 3D printing materials. In her… Read more »

Collaborative research will improve outcomes for retinal-detachment surgeries

May 19, 2022

Retinal detachment (RD) is a serious medical condition in which vision in an eye is partially or fully lost because of the separation of the retina from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). ChemE Professor Arun Ramchandran and Dr. Rajeev Muni, Vice Chair in the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences at U of T and… Read more »

Research on liquid film stability reveals mechanism behind destabilization on solid surfaces

May 11, 2022

For his research project titled “A New Perspective on the Stability of Liquid Films on Solid Surfaces”, Suraj Borkar (ChemE PhD student), under the guidance of Professor Arun Ramchandran, set out to better understand the cause of destabilization of films of hydrophobic liquids (for example oil) sandwiched between a liquid medium (like water) and a… Read more »

Good news from the Multidisciplinary Laboratory for Innovative Catalytic Science

May 6, 2022

Professor Cathy Chin and her team from the Multidisciplinary Laboratory for Innovative Catalytic Science have several reasons to celebrate! On May 23, 2022, William Broomhead (ChemE PhD student) will deliver a lecture at the 27th North American Catalysis Society Meeting in New York City. Broomhead’s talk will discuss the green-catalytic processes and systems for the… Read more »

Innovative research on understanding stress relaxation behaviour

May 4, 2022

Short glass and carbon fibres are added to polymers, such as epoxy, to provide stiffness and strength. As the fibres are elastic, they behave like metal springs, but the polymers are viscoelastic, meaning that they undergo creep and stress relaxation. When elastic fibres are added to viscoelastic polymers, the fibres seem to strangely alter the… Read more »

UTCV declared winners of the 2022 Northeast Regional Chem-E-Car Competition!

May 2, 2022

  On Saturday, April 30, the University of Toronto Chemical Vehicles (UTCV) student group competed in the 2022 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Northeast Regional Chem-E-Car Competition. For the first time, UTCV won first place, beating the reigning champion teams from Clarkson University and Cornell University! “The competition distance was 20.00 m, and our car… Read more »

U of T Engineering professors and staff honoured for excellence

April 27, 2022

Fourteen U of T Engineering faculty members and staff, including ChemE’s very own Jennifer Hsu (Jen) and Professor Grant Allen, have been honoured for their outstanding contributions to the Faculty with teaching, research and administrative staff awards. These awards recognize exceptional faculty and staff members for their leadership, citizenship, innovation and contributions to the Faculty’s… Read more »

UTCV competing in AIChE Chem-E-Car Competition on April 30!

April 27, 2022

On Saturday, April 30, the University of Toronto Chemical Vehicles (UTCV) student group will be competing in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Chem-E-Car Competition. This competition draws in multidisciplinary design teams from across North America and allows them to exhibit their cars powered by chemical energy sources. The competition will run from 9AM… Read more »

Recovering a crucial and non-renewable resource from wastewater

April 26, 2022

Phosphorous (P) is a critical component of biological processes. Yet, its over-enrichment in water bodies, known as eutrophication, can have detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems. As a non-renewable resource with no known alternatives, it is important to recover P from wastewater. Sara Abu-Obaid (PhD candidate), supervised by Professor Ramin Farnood and Adjunct Professor Shahram Tabe,… Read more »

U of T Engineering researchers use machine learning to enhance environmental monitoring of microplastics

April 21, 2022

Microplastics exist all around us — in the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe. But before researchers can understand the real impact of these particles, they need faster and more effective ways to quantify what is there.   Professors Elodie Passeport (CivMin, ChemE) and Joshua Taylor (ECE) are leveraging machine… Read more »

Research by teaching-stream faculty transforming engineering education

April 20, 2022

Over the last 10 years, many universities across Canada have started to hire teaching-stream professors. There is often a misconception that this ‘new breed’ of professors focuses solely on teaching at the expense of research. The three teaching-stream faculty members within the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry (ChemE) dispel this stereotype. Professor Jennifer… Read more »

From biogas to vaccines, U of T students collaborate across time zones through ‘Global Classrooms’ initiative

April 14, 2022

Under the supervision of Ariel Chan and Graeme Norval, U of T Engineering students have been collaborating virtually with students at Nigeria’s Covenant University to share updates on their joint mission: building a low-cost biogas generator for remote communities in Africa’s most populous country. This project immerses the students in a real-world engineering challenge within a Global Classrooms setting, where… Read more »

Improving the energy efficiency of pulp and paper mills

April 12, 2022

Pulp and paper mills are often plagued with sodium salt scaling in their high solid evaporators. Research in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry is looking to improve the energy efficiency of mills, and in the best case, reduce the potential downtime associated with the removal of scales through more intensive means. A… Read more »

Now hiring! Faculty opportunity in the field of Artificial Intelligence for Materials and Molecular Discovery

April 11, 2022

Date Posted: 04/11/2022 Closing Date: 05/16/2022, 11:59PM ET Req ID: 23579 Job Category: Faculty – Tenure Stream (continuing) Faculty/Division: Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering Department: Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry Campus: St. George (Downtown Toronto) Description: The Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto invites… Read more »

Investigating the fate of phosphorus in the chemical recovery cycle of kraft pulp mills

April 7, 2022

Maryam Mousavi (ChemE PhD student) supervised by Professor Niko DeMartini is working on the fate of phosphorus in the chemical recovery cycle of kraft pulp mills. As mills tighten water cycles and look to replace fossil fuel with biomass fuels, the buildup of non-process elements (NPEs), especially phosphorus, is a significant concern for the industry…. Read more »

Healthier cities – Professor Jeff Brook at TEDxUofT

April 5, 2022

CANUE Scientific Director Dr. Jeff Brook presented at TEDxUofT: Momentum to discuss how making cities more sustainable can bring public health benefits. He also showed a sneak peek of a new tool that will enable Canadians to see how well their built environment supports their health. View his TEDx talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDOklHvbdmQ  

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