Industry Open House 2016


Industry partners learn more about the research in Professor Cathy Chin’s lab at Chemical Engineering’s Industry Open House, Feb. 19, 2016. (credit: Kevin Soobrian)

They came seeking solutions: industry partners in fields from plastics to finance gathered at the third annual Industry Open House, hosted by the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.

More than 60 industry and government representatives flocked to the University of Toronto’s Hart House to strengthen existing partnerships or forge new ones. The day-long event kicked off with a personal meet-and-greet breakfast session with faculty, followed by a panel discussion on the topic of translating academic research to commercial success.

In the afternoon, attendees chatted with graduate students and professors about projects ranging from microbial breakdown of bioplastics, to designing better membranes for water treatment facilities.

Dr. Ehsan Behzadfar is a process specialist with Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. Husky has fostered existing research partnerships with the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, but Behzadfar attended the Open House to explore additional opportunities for collaboration.

“My job is to link academia and industry,” said Behzadfar. “I’m here to see if there are any synergies with Chemical Engineering that might solve some of our business challenges.”

Following the poster sessions, attendees had the option to visit more than 16 labs and facilities, including the newly launched and totally unique Ontario Centre for the Characterization of Advanced Materials (OCCAM).

“We place great value in the many partnerships we have with industry, essential to providing input and support of our research, enriching the education of our students and helping us drive made in Canada solutions to global challenges in critical areas like sustainable energy, the environment and health,” said Professor Grant Allen, Chemical Engineering chair. “Today’s event is designed to help us expand and deepen our existing partnerships and develop new ones.”

“We are delighted to see that our Open House has been attracting an increasing number of industry and government representatives year after year,” added Professor Ramin Farnood, associate chair, research for Chemical Engineering. “Our hope is that this event will catalyze new industry partnerships to address challenges facing our industry and our society, and ultimately contribute to our economy.”

To view pictures from the event, click here.

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