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As a high school student, Sarah Vandaiyar (Class of 2009) enjoyed her chemistry and math classes and thought a degree in Chemical Engineering was a great mix of those two disciplines.

To this day, Vandaiyar continues to reap the benefits of her decision to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. She feels that her experience as an undergraduate student in the Department of Chemical Engineering prepared her for professional life.

A team of researchers from the University of Waterloo is working on a project to reduce CO2 emissions. They are designing new materials that can minimize energy consumption while transforming CO2 into valuable chemicals. The project is specifically focused on captured CO2 from power plants, as well as from the iron, steel, and cement industries.

The research project is led by Professor Luis Ricardez-Sandoval, Canada Research Chair in Multiscale Modelling and Process Systems (Tier II). Two other professors from the Department of Chemical Engineering, University Research Chair, Professor Aiping Yu and Professor David Simakov, will utilize their expertise in advanced materials to contribute to the project.

The third Sustainable Future Perspectives' discussion was held in November and hosted by the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) and the Department of Chemical Engineering. The November event centered on how research and training at the University of Waterloo can contribute to several vital areas in the circular economy. These areas include recycling battery materials, researching new materials to create better batteries, and developing proactive solutions to mitigate delays in setting up new mines.

Professor Mark Matsen is set to receive the Polymer Physics Group Founders’ Prize. Only 11 scholars have been awarded this prize since its inception in 2001. Matsen, who holds a joint position as a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is being honoured for his remarkable work on molecular self-assembly in polymeric systems involving block copolymers.

In October, the Department of Chemical Engineering hosted a seminar presented by Professor Greg Stephanopoulos, a pioneer in the field of metabolic engineering. His seminar titled, “Can biotechnology deliver cost-effective liquid fuels from renewable feedstocks?” focused on his groundbreaking research in engineering microbes for sustainable biofuel reproduction.

Professor Yverick Rangom is leading an interdisciplinary University of Waterloo team that is competing in the Battery Workforce Challenge. This challenge is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Stellantis and is managed by Argonne National Laboratory.

Where can one measure the positive effect that a university has on its students? The answer lies in the successful careers of our alumni. The University of Waterloo and the Faculty of Engineering recognize the importance of honouring the connection between the past and the present through continued engagement with alumni. This helps maintain a strong sense of uninterrupted community and fosters enduring relationships.

Professor Aiping Yu was recently inducted as a new member of the 2023 class of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) College. Yu was recognized for her significant contributions to groundbreaking research in the field of chemical engineering. Yu has expertise in working with nanomaterials such as graphene, MXene, MOF and more.