Keynote Lectures

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Dr. Heather Dettman, Natural Resources Canada

Dr. Heather Dettman

Bio: Dr. Heather Dettman has been a research scientist with Natural Resources Canada for 27 years. During this time she has developed expertise in the characterization of heavy oil and oil sands bitumen, and has applied this knowledge to specific research topics including refinery corrosion, petroleum upgrading and refining, refinery process upsets, bioprocessing, and diesel fuel analysis. Most recently, Dr. Dettman and her group at CanmetENERGY have developed oil spill test facilities and are studying the behavior of crude oils including diluted bitumen products when spilled in water environments under Canadian climatic conditions.

Keynote Speaker: Environmental Engineering and Waste Management / Oil Spill Recovery


Prof. Greg Evans, University of Toronto

Bio: Prof. Greg Evans is the Director of the Collaborative Program in Engineering Education, a 3M national Teaching Fellow, and a  member of the University of Toronto President’s Teaching Academy.   He has been learning and teaching Chemical Engineering for several decades in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. His contributions to teaching have been recognised through the 2015 Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Award, the 2014 Allan Blizzard Award for collaborative teaching, the 2013 Northrop Frye Award for integrating research and teaching, the 2010 Engineers Canada Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education.  Greg is also the Director of the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research whose research on air pollution been recognised both nationally and internationally.

Keynote Speaker: Chemical Engineering Education


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. Martin Gräbner, Air-Liquide GmbH, Germany

Dr. Martin Gräbner

Bio: Dr. Martin Gräbner is an Air Liquide recognized International Expert for gasification at the Research and Technology Center of Air Liquide in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. Receiving scholarships from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and from the German National Academic Foundation, he has studied energy process engineering at the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany, and the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

While obtaining his doctoral degree from the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany, he spent several years working as team leader of the gasifier development group at the Institute of Energy Process Engineering and Chemical Engineering in Freiberg.

Keynote Speaker: Chemical Engineering Fundamentals


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


Prof. Faïçal Larachi, Université Laval

Prof. Faïçal Larachi

Bio: Prof. Faïçal Larachi's research aims at devising micro/multifunctional processes and materials in the areas of (bio-)energy, mineral resources and the environment with an emphasis on upgrading/conversion of unconventional fossil energy/residual biomass, implementing GHG mitigation through CO2 capture/storage and solving aqueous and interfacial chemistry issues in mineral beneficiation. He has co-authored 350+ journal papers, 3 books and 20+ plenary/keynote lectures in international conferences. He served as Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, and as Member of the Editorial or Advisory Boards for the journals Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Chemical Engineering & Processing: Process Intensification, and Indian Chemical Engineer. His research contributions have been recognized in various ways, including the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair endowment, twice-awardee of the NSERC Discovery Acceleration Supplement, recipient of the 2012 UL Research Summa Award, and he has been selected twice as a “Carbon Capture Sequestration” Leader in Canada by the Carbon Capture Journal. Prior to joining Université Laval's faculty, he obtained a chemical engineering doctoral degree from Institut National Polytechnique at Université de Lorraine (France), and held a post-doctoral position at École Polytechnique de Montréal. He was visiting scientist with Total (France), Institut Français du Pétrole (IFPEN) and Consortium de recherche minérale (COREM) where he spent two sabbatical years.

Keynote Speaker: Reaction Engineering and Catalysis


Dr. Andreas Richter, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany

Dr. Andreas Richter

Bio: Dr. Andreas Richter is the head of the research group “CFD-Modeling of High-Temperature Processes” at the Institute of Energy Process Engineering and Chemical Engineering, TU Bergakademie Freiberg. The research of his group covers the modeling of high-temperature processes on all length scales, from the chemically reacting particles to the complete reactor. The development of models and strategies for the simulation of high-temperature reactors comprises fixed-bed, fluidized-bed, and entrained-flow systems in metallurgy and chemical engineering. Fundamental research on subsystems is taken into account for the development of advanced sub-models. These sub-models are integrated in the reactor models for an improved simulation of fluid-solid systems. Based on this advanced modeling, optimization strategies are applied for a rapidly accelerated adaption of existing technologies and the development of new technologies. Dr. Richter studied mechanical engineering at the Dresden University of Technology, and finished his PhD in Dresden in the field of aero-acoustical simulations. He has authored and co-authored more than 80 journal and conference publications.

Keynote Speaker: Chemical Engineering Fundamentals


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