Keynote Lectures

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Dr. Elizabeth Gillies, Western University

Dr. Elizabeth Gillies

Bio: Dr. Elizabeth Gillies is a Professor and Faculty Scholar in the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Western University. Her research focuses on the design, synthesis, and application of functional polymers, in particular for biomedical challenges such as drug delivery and tissue engineering. Her group has developed new approaches for preparing biodegradable poly(ester amide)s, introduced new mechanisms for controlling and triggering the degradation of polymers in specific environments, and has studied assemblies of these materials and their interactions with biological systems. She has been recognized by awards including a 2017 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship from NSERC, a Canada Research Chair in Biomaterials Synthesis, a Fallona Interdisciplinary Science Award, and a Petro Canada Young Innovator Award. Prior to joining Western in 2006, Dr. Gillies obtained a BSc from Queen’s University, Kingston, a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and held a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship at the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology in Bordeaux, France.

Keynote Speaker: Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Frank Gu, University of Waterloo

Dr. Frank Gu

Bio: Prof. Frank Gu is a Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Gu received his Ph.D. from Queen’s University, Canada, where he majored in chemical engineering and was awarded a Canada Graduate Scholarship from Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Following completion of his graduate program, he was awarded an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship to pursue his research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. In July 2008, Dr. Gu joined Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Gu has established a world-class research program in Nanotechnology Engineering, with important advances in medical and life science applications. Leading-edge projects have produced new materials and tools for targeted drug delivery, rapid pathogen detection, and passive water treatment. His research has had tangible impacts on his field and industry, including mucoadhesive nanoparticles that will revolutionize the treatment of Dry Eye Disease, and photocatalytic water treatment technologies that are the core technology of H2nanO, a Canadian startup company. Dr. Gu has authored and co-authored more than 200 journal and conference publications, as well as 25 U.S. and World patent applications.

Keynote Speaker: Nanotechnology


Dr. Kevin J Smith, University of British Columbia

Dr. Kevin J Smith

Bio: Kevin J. Smith is Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and member of the Clean Energy Research Center at the University of British Columbia. He received his Ph.D. from McMaster University, working with the late Professor Bob Anderson and has > 25 years experience in applied catalysis research. His research is focused on the Canadian energy scene, with primary interests in C1-catalysis and upgrading Canadian oilsands. He holds three patents and has published widely in the areas of alcohol synthesis from syngas, methane conversion and the hydroconversion of heavy oils. He received the Canadian Catalysis Lectureship Award in 2012 and is the recipient of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education (2006) and the APEGBC Teaching Award for Excellence in Engineering and Geoscience (2005). He was elected Fellow of the CIC in 2004 and Fellow of Engineers Canada in 2013. He served as Head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC from 2001 to 2009, is past chair of the Catalysis Division of the CIC and is current Chair of the Canadian Catalysis Foundation. He is on the Editorial Board of Catalysis Reviews – Science and Engineering and the open access journal Catalysts.

Keynote Speaker: Honourary Symposium in Recognition of Sieghard E Wanke for Outstanding Contributions in Chemical Reaction Engineering


Dr. Françoise Winnik, Université de Montréal

Dr. Françoise Winnik

Bio: Françoise Winnik was born and educated in France where she earned a Diplome d’Ingénieur chimiste of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse. She obtained her PhD in organic chemistry and photochemistry. After post-doctoral studies in medical genetics, she worked for 12 years as a research scientist in the Xerox Research Center of Canada. She joined McMaster University (Hamilton, ON) in 1993 as an Associate Professor in Chemistry and Physics. Since 2000, she holds a joint position as professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Department of Chemistry of the Université de Montréal. Her expertise encompasses the chemistry of water soluble, amphiphilc, synthetic and natural polymers, their self-assembly in water and their applications in nanomedicine and as delivery vehicles. She was among the first to study the physico-chemical properties of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) “PNIPAM” in water. Her group has pioneered the applications of microcalorimetry, such as Pressure perturbation calorimetry (PPC) and fluorescence techniques to study aqueous polymer solutions. As a tribute to her contributions to Chemistry, she was awarded the 2006 Clara Benson award of the Canadian Institute of Canada. She is Executive Editor of Langmuir, the ACS journal of surface and colloid science.

Keynote Speaker: Colloids and Interfacial Sciences