Emerging Leaders in Chemical Engineering

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The organizing committee of the 67th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (CSChE), to be held October 22nd-25th, 2017 in Edmonton, is proud to announce the Emerging Leaders in Chemical Engineering Plenary Session. This prestigious session, a first of its kind at the CSChE meeting, will aim to highlight the vision and leadership of four early career researchers.


Four speakers will be selected to give TED-Talk style presentations in the 67th CSChE conference. The speakers should give a perspective talk of their own research topic, and how it will influence science, engineering, and society at large in Canada and abroad. We will not consider narrow technical presentations; the speakers should present their research area and its impact in a broader perspective.

Selected Participants:

Thomas A. Adams II, McMaster University

Title: What Should We Do With Our Energy? How Chemical Engineers Have Tools to Answer Society's Toughest Problems

Thomas AdamsThomas A. Adams II is a Joseph IP Distinguished Engineering Scholar, Associate Chair (Graduate), and Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University. He completed dual bachelor's degrees at Michigan State University, one in ChemicalEngineering, and the other in Computer Science. He received his PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Chair of the Systems & Control Division of the CSChE and the author of the book Learn Aspen Plusin 24 Hours. His research interests are in sustainable process systems engineering, particularly as it relates to the design, simulation, control, and optimization of integrated energy conversion systems. Key areas of application include polygeneration,power generation, solid oxide fuel cells, carbon dioxide capture and mitigation, gasification, nuclear energy conversion, thermochemical and biological biofuels processing, energy storage systems, semicontinuous distillation, and mobile/modular chemical technologies.


Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin, University of Toronto

Title: Heterogeneous Catalytic Strategies for Sustainable Synthesis of Fuels And Chemicals

Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. She is a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Advanced Catalysis for Sustainable Chemistry (2016). She is a recipient of an Ontario Early Researcher Award (2014) and the Imperial Oil University Research Award (2014) and she also received the Bill Burgess Teacher of the Year Award for Large Classes (2016).?

She joined the University in 2011, after receiving her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a research engineer (2000-2002) and then senior research scientist (2002-2005) with a joint appointment at the Environmental Technology Division and the Interfacial Chemistry and Engineering Group at the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory (EMSL), a national scientific user facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), one of the ten National Research Laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Her research area is heterogeneous catalysis with a specific focus on catalytic conversion technologies in the energy and environment sectors. Examples of her work includes elucidating catalytic events during alkane and alkanol oxidation on Group VIII metal clusters and the synthesis of value-added chemicals and liquid fuels from sustainable feedstocks. Her group studies the dynamics of solid catalyst surfaces and chemical events with kinetic, isotopic, and density functional theory methods and then applies this knowledge to design active site structures that enable new catalytic functions. ??


Prof. Beno?t H. Lessard, University of Ottawa

Title: The Future of Organic Electronics and what it means for Chemical Engineering?

Credit: davidtaylorphotostudio.com

Prof. Lessard was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at University of Ottawa in May 2015. Since then he has established his growing group which focuses on the development of novel materials and their implementation into organic electronic devices, such as ultra-thin light emitting diodes, flexible solar cells and printable sensors. Prof. Lessard has been awarded the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Advanced Polymer Materials and Organic Electronics and the 2015 Charles Polanyi Prize in Chemistry. Prior to joining uOttawa, Prof. Lessard completed an NSERC Banting Fellowship at the University of Toronto studying crystal engineering and organic electronic device fabrication. Prior to that he completed his PhD in polymer reaction engineering at McGill University, where he was awarded the NSERC Alexander gram bell CGS as well as the MSED-LANXESS PhD thesis award in polymer science. Since 2008, Prof. Lessard has published 47 peer review journal articles, 6 patent applications, 1 book chapter and presented his work at over 54 international and national conferences. For more information: www.benoitlessard.ca


Vikramaditya G. Yadav, University of British Columbia

Title:?Medicine-by-Design: Discovery and Development of a Novel Therapy for Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex?

Dr. Vikramaditya G. Yadav Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering & School of Biomedical Engineering The University of British Columbia When he joined the University of Waterloo as an undergraduate student in chemical engineering, Dr. Vikramaditya G. Yadav coveted a career in Alberta's burgeoning petrochemical sector. He even interned at Imperial Oil during his first summer break from university. Then, one fine evening during second year, he stumbled upon a copy of Juan EnrĂ­quez's As the Future Catches You in the library and became instantly captivated with biological engineering. His journey over the past few years has taken him to Sanofi Pasteur, where he worked on designing next-generation vaccine manufacturing processes; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his doctoral degree for a thesis on engineering enzymes and bacteria for synthesis of pharmaceuticals; and later to Harvard University, where he worked on biophysics and biological thermodynamics. Now, as an Assistant Professor at UBC, he leads a wonderful group of researchers working on wide-ranging topics at the interface of biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine and economics. In a short span of 3 years, he has established a world-leading, industrially-connected research laboratory that has attracted over $1 million in research funds, and he is currently working with 4 biotechnology companies in Vancouver to commercialize his research. He also serves on several administrative committees at the University of British Columbia, is the Associate Director of ECOSCOPE, a Vancouver-based entrepreneurship hub for life scientists, and is also the Vice-Chair of the Biotechnology Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada.?