Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringWestern Engineering

Recent News

2017 Capstone Design & Competition

Please join us in congratulating all teams for their successful presentations in Sarnia on Friday, March 24th. Winners and runner-ups are highlighted below:


Winners: Austin Cameron, Tyler Deighton, Ariel Porat & Matt Tucci, "Oxydehydrogenation of Propane"
Runners-up: Mai Abdou, Caitlin Cornejo, Eyad Farid, Ahmad Hammed & Azeen Moradipour, "Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis for the Production of Liquid Fuels (Natural Gas)"

Specialty Chemicals:

Winners: Christopher Cooke, Janine Elliot, Jordan Persad & Athina Wilson, "Acetic Anhydride Production, Acetic Acid Process"
Runners-up: Ashley Copeland, Andrea Hall, Kamila Mukherjee & Tara Tabatabai, "Production of Ti02"

Green & Biochemical Processes:

Winners: Kharis Evoy, Brendan Gallagher, Mark Robertson & Aaron Switzer, "Production of ASA (Aspirin)"
Runners-up: Farah El-Rashidi, Daniel Koerber, Kathleen McAllister & Shane O'Halloran, "Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis for the Production of Liquid Fuels (Biomass)"

Congratulations again to all participants in this year's Capstone Competition!

2017 Florence Bucke Science Prize Winner: Dr. Elizabeth Gillies

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Gillies for receiving the 2017 Florence Bucke Science Prize from Western Science.

The Florence Bucke Science Prize is awarded annually to a faculty member from any of the Faculty of Science Departments who is 45 years of age or less, and is based on an assessment of the quality and importance of their research. The prize consists of a certificate, a $2000 award and public lecture which will be schedule in the week of April 17, 2017.

March 30th, 2017: Dr. Bhavik R. Bakshi Distinguished Lecture

Biography: Bhavik R. Bakshi is the Richard M. Morrow Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Professor of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, India. His research is motivated by the need for an engineering that not only enhances human well-being and is societally acceptable, but also respects ecological limits and prevents unintended harm. To meet this challenge, his work is developing systematic and scientifically rigorous methods for understanding the interaction between technology and the environment and for developing products and processes that contribute to sustainable development. This includes methods for analyzing the life cycle of existing and emerging technologies, and for synthesizing synergistic networks of technological and ecological systems. His research integrates across disciplines such as ecosystem ecology, environmental economics, energy policy, applied statistics, and process systems engineering. His contributions across these disciplines include over 150 articles, over 120 invited talks, user-friendly software for life cycle assessment, editorial board memberships of several multidisciplinary journals, and short courses taught at institutions in countries such as the US, Canada, China and India. His work has been recognized through awards from the U.S. National Science Foundation (CAREER award), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (Research Excellence in Sustainable Engineering), and several journals and conferences. Prof. Bakshi received his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Bombay, MS in Chemical Engineering Practice and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a minor in Technology and Environmental Policy through courses and research conducted at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Innovation and Sustainability by Seeking Synergies with Nature
Sustainability of all human activities requires goods and services from nature. However, most disciplines, including engineering, have ignored or greatly undervalued the critical role of nature. This disconnect between human activities and ecosystems is the root cause behind degradation and depletion of ecosystem goods such as water and fertile soil, and services such as climate regulation and pollination, resulting in the unsustainability of many human activities. For engineering to contribute to sustainable development, its paradigm needs to shift from taking nature for granted to learning from and respecting nature. This talk will describe efforts toward such a paradigm shift by developing a sustainable engineering that explicitly includes ecosystems in its decision boundary and develops synergistic networks of technological and ecological systems at multiple scales. Application of this techno-ecological synergy framework to the design of manufacturing processes, agricultural landscapes and buildings demonstrates the potential of such thinking to develop innovative solutions that can be economically and environmentally superior to solutions from conventional techno-centric methods. Technical, policy and societal opportunities and obstacles for the success of this paradigm shift will also be discussed.

Elizabeth Gillies NSERC Research award

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Elizabeth Gillies on receiving one of the major NSERC’s Research award, E. W. R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship. The Fellowship is awarded to enhance the career development of outstanding and highly promising university faculty who are earning a strong international reputation for original research. The Steacie Fellowship is held for a two-year period while the fellow receives a research grant of $250,000 over two years.

See NSERC website for her achievements:

Congratulations again to Beth for this great distinction!

Congratulations to Brandon Chaffay!

Brandon, supervised by Dr. Kibret Mequanint, successfully defended his MESc examination entitled, "Effect of L-absorbic acid and all-trans retinoic acid on human coronary artery smooth muscle cells" on Friday, January 6th, 2017. From everyone in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering department, congratulations again to Brandon!