Award Winners

We are proud to introduce our award winners who will be presenting at the 63rd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference:

CSChE Awards

D.G. Fisher Award: Biao Huang, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta
Process Safety Management Award: Graeme Norval, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto
R.S. Jane Memorial Award: Jesse Zhu, Particle Technology Research Centre, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Western University
Syncrude Canada Innovation Award: Santiago Faucher, Hatch Ltd. and Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster Univesrity

Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Network Awards

Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Award: Flora Ng, Department of Chemical Engineering, Univesrity of Waterloo

Biao Huang

Award Lecture: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 13:00 – 13:40, Fredericton Convention Centre, Barkers Point B

Abstract: Real-time Predictive Inference of Critical Process Variables in the Prescence of Uncertainties

Operation of modern process industries is both a costly and technically complex business. It is of practical interest to investigate novel techniques to improve profitability while diligently maintaining environmental compliance. One of the proven approaches for finding solutions to achieve this objective is to develop innovative strategies for advanced monitoring and control of plant operations. Development and implementation of advanced monitoring and control techniques require real-time measurements of critical process variables. However, on-line acquisition of such variables may involve difficulties due to the inadequacy of measurement techniques or low reliability of measuring devices. To overcome the shortcomings of traditional instrumentation, predictive inferential sensors have been designed to infer critical variables from real-time measurable secondary process variables. Predictive inference has become an emerging technology that has shown great potential in filling in the technological and financial gaps with little or no capital cost required. However, each inferential sensor is unique and there is no universal solution to the predictive inference problems. Hence, the novelty is reflected essentially in the solution strategies developed as each application poses its own challenges. Development of predictive inferential sensors mainly consists of four steps: 1) modeling, 2) prediction, 3) implementation and 4) monitoring. The main challenges are uncertainties involved in the development of predictive inference including uncertainty in data quality, in model parameters, in reference data and in operating conditions. These challenges call for establishment of a rigorous mathematical framework and practical rules.

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Graeme Norval

Award Lecture: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 14:00 – 15:00, Fredericton Convention Centre, Nashwaaksis B

Abstract: Aspects of Changing the Safety Culture in Today's Universities

The university of today is little changed from that of a century ago. Students attend lectures, sitting in rows of chairs rather than on rows of benches. The lecture notes are projected on a screen, and chalkboards are only occasionally used. Technology now allows for lectures to be captured, and posted to a course website along with the lecture notes; students can view the material at any time, rather than attend.

The pressures on universities come in the form of mandated quality programs; programs are expected to define what it is they expect their students to learn, along with having a system of measurement of student learning and a process for review that identifies deficiencies and proposes solutions.

This creates a conflict in engineering programs between the desire to impart knowledge (science) and the need to introduce students to industrially relevant aspects of the profession. This is made more difficult in that there is no generally accepted curriculum model. Further, the requisite industrial knowledge is not widely held within the university world. This paper provides a historical perspective on the issue, reviews the attempts to improve the situation and proposes improvements to address the situation.

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Jesse Zhu

Plenary Lecture: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:30 – 12:00, Fredericton Convention Centre, Pointe Sainte Anne A

Abstract: Fluidization – the Past, the Present and the Future

Next year marks the 90th anniversary for the first industrial application of the fluidization technology. Unlike many traditional unit operations, fluidization appears to continue spinning out new transformations that keeps it afloat in the forefront of the chemical industry. Thanks to the new developments in biotechnology, nano technology, supercritical fluid, energy conversion etc., fluidization has evolved from the basic gas-solid and low velocity "fixed fluidized bed", to more sophisticated high velocity "fast" fluidization, liquid-solid and gas-liquid-solid fluidization, and the fluidization of ultrafine or even nano particles, where more and more new applications have been identified and realized. Advancements in instrumentation and control have also allowed the fluidized bed reactors to operate in a much narrower band of conditions and/or much closer to their boundaries, thereby to maximizing the benefits.

This talk will provide a time-lined history on fluidization and report on some of the newest applications that have attempted in the author's research group, where fluidization technology has been utilized to develop new applications in powder coating, wastewater treatment, pulmonary drug delivery, ion exchange, protein refolding, ginseng processing, some of which have been or are in the process of being commercialized. Perspectives on possible future R&D directions will also be shared. Finally, discussion on the development trace of a new type of fluidized bed, the circulating turbulent fluidized bed reactor, is very likely to lead to a more philosophical comprehension that may be useful for the further advancements of other chemical unit operations and reactors.

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Santiago Faucher

Award Lecture: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 08:40 – 09:20, Fredericton Convention Centre, Nashwaaksis A

Abstract: Macromolecular Re-Engineering, an Alternate Path to Sustainability

Our society abounds with naturally derived materials that once converted into useable form are but utilized once. Such is the case for the polyolefin and polyester we regularly rely on. These materials, produced in large quantities annually, end their life in landfills after single use. Yet these materials have inherent remaining value at their first life’s end; the cost of harvest, purification, and monomer synthesis having been borne by the material’s first use. The re-purposing of waste polymers via de-polymerization and re-polymerization thus offers the macromolecular engineer an advantaged financial platform for product development generally superior to that afforded by oil and bio-based feedstocks. Similarly, the re-engineering of these materials also leads to an advantaged life cycle inventory impact as emissions associated with the front end production of the monomer have been borne by the material’s first application. Practiced examples of this macromolecular re-engineering philosophy will be outlined in this talk. The first centers on the depolymerisation of polyethylene terephthalate and its re-polymerization into polyester suitable for use in coatings. The second focuses on polyolefins and their thermal and catalytic depolymerisation for the production of oils and waxes.

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Flora Ng

Award Lecture: Monday, October 21, 2013 08:00 – 08:40, Fredericton Convention Centre, Marysville A

Abstract: Green Processes for the Production of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals

Green Chemistry and Engineering have taken on prominence in the last decade due to the concern for the green house gases and pollution. Chemical Engineers have an opportunity to play an important role to provide solutions for a sustainable earth. This lecture will focus on some examples of processes developed in my laboratory using the principles of green chemistry and engineering for the production of sustainable fuels and chemicals from biomass derived feedstocks. The application of catalysis and process intensification for the process development will be discussed. These processes include the production of biodiesel and clean glycerol from waste oils and fats using solid catalysts, production of gasoline , jet fuel and diesel via the selective oligomerization of alkenes and the Avada process for the production of ethylacetate directly from ethylene and acetic acid.

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