Five ChemE students awarded Hatch/FASE Graduate Scholarship

Five ChemE MASc and PhD candidates have received the 2021 Hatch/FASE Graduate Scholarship sponsored by Hatch Inc. and the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. The scholarship was created to fund the research and training of world-class researchers and engineers studying the recovery and application of sustainably derived energy.

This year, five ChemE graduate students were selected for the award, receiving $10,000 to apply to their leading-edge energy research. The award is renewable, conditional on performance, for a cumulative period of up to three years.

Meet the 2021 ChemE recipients:

Nina-Francesca Farac (ChemE PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Professor Timothy Bender

Nina’s research focuses on the development of new carbon-based materials that can transform sunlight into electricity for more efficient organic solar cells (OSCs). Nina is leveraging small molecule chemistry to design and synthesize a niche class of hybrid organic molecules with emerging properties such as broadened absorption of the solar spectrum. This broadened absorption ideally increases solar energy capture, which can enhance OSC performance and bring this solar technology closer to commercialization.


Touraj Ghaznavi (ChemE PhD Candidate)

Supervisor: Professor Roger Newman

Touraj is a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering working under the supervision of Prof. Roger C. Newman, NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair (IRC). Through his research, Touraj aims to develop a strategic expertise in molten salt corrosion, with the ultimate intention of contributing to the implementation of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology in Canada. His research lays emphasis on electrochemistry of high temperature molten salts and understanding industrial alloy behaviour in these media, leading to insights relevant to structural materials performance in Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) – one prototype of Generation IV (Gen IV) advanced nuclear power plants, and Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants.

""Kyle Nova (ChemE MASc 2T1)

Supervisor: Professor Timothy Bender

Kyle is completing his MASc under the supervision of Prof. Tim Bender. He uses low-energy materials in combination with novel layer architectures to improve the power efficiency and long-term stability of organic solar cells. His goal is to improve the energy return on investment of organic solar devices, thus making them more competitive at commercial scale and more widely adopted as alternative energy sources.


Adam Tetreault (ChemE PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Professor Timothy Bender

Adam works with organic solar cells that incorporate small molecule boron subphthalocyanine acceptors that absorb strongly and have short synthetic pathways. Kyle also focuses on outdoor stability and scalability of the devices because he believes those are some of the most important aspects of a solar cell that are often ignored.

Erica Wang (ChemE PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Professor Gisele Azimi

Energy storage systems employing aluminum (Al) are receiving considerable attention due to the desirable properties of Al including high natural abundance, low cost, high gravimetric/volumetric capacity, and ease of handling in ambient environment. Erica’s research focuses on the development of a high-performance Al-ion battery through fundamental investigation on redox mechanism and electrode materials design. The knowledge to be gained throughout this research is expected to pave the road towards achieving an Al-ion battery that is stable, safe, and cost effective, realizing Al-ion battery as a viable option for large scale energy storage applications.