- BSc (Hons.), University of Calgary
- PhD, University of Waterloo
Research interests focus on protein and biomimetic engineering including separation and purification of enzymes and proteins, use of enzymes in non-conventional media, reactor design for biotransformations in non-conventional media, enzyme immobilization (with emphasis on “designer” sol-gels), immobilized enzyme kinetics, biosensor development, protein thermodynamics and stability and analysis of coupled enzymatic reactions. Research in the area of environmental engineering includes bioremediation of contaminated soils, wastewater and drinking water treatment, development of engineering fundamentals for constructed wetlands (treatment of organic wastes and pathogen removal) and the development of separation processes for treatment of waste effluents.
More recently research in the lab has focused on exploring electrostatic-based separation for the production of protein- and starch- enriched fractions from agricultural flours. This approach offers numerous advantages including retention of native structures of the feed material and sustainability. Research is also being conducted in the area of bioprocess monitoring and applying near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) to systems that can be characterized as non-soluble.
The research in my laboratory is very multidisciplinary with numerous collaborations not only with faculty members in the department of Chemical Engineering, but other departments (Civil Engineering), universities and institutes (University of Toronto; Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNW); National Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (NIGEB)) and the public sector. The same multidisciplinary mix will be found in the researchers and graduate students that work on the described projects.
Significant advances have been made in the use of enzymes in non-conventional media. These advances are ushering in a new age in the application of enzymes to organic syntheses. Our efforts in this area have focused on the development of engineering fundamentals using emerging principles from the life sciences. For example, we have concentrated on the development of suitable support materials (e.g., "designer" sol-gels) for biotransformations in non-conventional media. To understand the phenomena that lead to enzyme inactivation in these systems, we have turned to various thermodynamic approaches to characterize the supports and understand fundamental aspects of protein stability and protein/protein interactions.
The primary focus of the laboratory in this area is in the study of natural organic matter (NOM). We have been active in a variety of areas related to measurement and monitoring of NOM, particularly through the use of fluorescence excitation emission matrices (FEEM) combined with chemometric methods. These approaches are being applied to better understand water treatment processes that involve filtration or biofiltration and to develop strategies to optimize or better control these processes. It is hoped that this research will lead to the development of novel technologies that can be applied in practice or to more insightful modeling/optimization of these processes.
Outstanding Performance Award, University of Waterloo
Sandford Fleming Foundation Faculty of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (twice)
Award of Merit from the Canadian Society for Chemistry
Excellence in Research Award with Dr. C. Barclay from the Research and Technology Branch of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment
University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal
Lionel Cinq Mars Award from the Canadian Botanical Association
Invitation Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Peiris, R.H., Legge, R.L., Moresoli, C. and Budman, H.M. Fluorescence-based Fouling Prediction and Optimization of Membrane Filtration Processes for Drinking Water Treatment. (Filed June 10, 2010 – US Patent Serial #61/344,208)
Rajabzadeh, A.R., Jafari, M. and Legge, R.L. Solvent-free approach for separation of constituent fractions of pulse, grains, oilseeds, and dried fruits. (Provisional US patent filed: Nov. 19, 2013, #61906240)
- Dong, G.R., Kariminia, H.-R., Chen, Z.W.W., Parker, W., Pritzker, M.D. and Legge, R.L. 2017. Enhancement of electricity generation by a microbial fuel cell using a highly active non-precious-metal nitrogen-doped carbon composite catalyst cathode. Energy & Fuels 31(1): 959-967.
- Tabtabaei, S., Vitelli, M., Rajabzadeh, A.R. and Legge, R.L. 2017. Analysis of protein enrichment during single- and multi-stage tribo-electrostatic bioseparation processes for dry fractionation of legume flour. Separation & Purification Technology 176: 48-58.
- Moshtaghioun, S.M., Dadkhah, M., Legge, R.L., Aminzadeh, S., Bahremandjo, K. and Haghbeen, K. 2017. Optimization of simultaneous production of tyrosinase and laccase by Neurospora crassa. Biocat. & Agric. Biotech. (DOI: 10.1080/10242422.2016.1266617)
- Peleato, N.M., Sidhu, B.S., Legge, R.L. and Andrews, R.C. 2017. Investigation of ozone and peroxone impacts on natural organic matter character and biofiltration performances using fluorescence spectroscopy. Chemosphere 172: 225-233.
- Peleato, N.M., Legge, R.L. and Andrews, R.C. 2017. Continuous organic characterization using fluorescence for biological and membrane filter performance monitoring. Journal AWWA 109 (4): 23.
- Peleato, N.M., Legge, R.L. and Andrews, R.C. 2017. Investigation of fluorescence methods for rapid detection of municipal wastewater impact on drinking water sources. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 171: 104-111.
- Chen, F., Peldszus, S., El-Hadidy, A., Legge, R.L., Van Dyke, M.I. and Huck, P.M. 2016. Kinetics of natural organic matter (NOM) removal during drinking water biofiltration using different NOM characterization approaches. Water Research 104: 361-370.
- Tabtabaei, S., Jafari, M., Rajabzadeh, A.R. and Legge, R.L. 2016. Development and optimization of a triboelectrification bioseparation process for dry fractionation of legume flours. Separation and Purification Technology 163: 48-58.
- Jafari, M., Rajabzadeh, A.R., Tabtabaei, S., Marsolais, F. and Legge, R.L. 2016. Physicochemical characterization of a navy bean flour (Phaseolus vulgaris) protein fraction produced using a solvent-free method. Food Chem. 208: 35-41.
- Peleato, N., McKie, M., Taylor-Edmonds, L., Andrews, S.A., Legge, R.L. and Andrews, R.C. 2016. Fluorescence spectroscopy for monitoring reduction of natural organic matter and halogenated furanone precursors by biofiltration. Chemosphere 153: 155-161.
- Haghbeen, K. and Legge, R.L. 2016. A novel class of chromophoric cross-linkers. J. Iran. Chem. Soc. 13(5): 957-965.
- Tabtabaei, S., Jafari, M., Rajabzadeh, A.R. and Legge, R.L. 2016. Solvent-free production of protein-enriched fractions from Navy bean flour using a triboelectification-based approach. J. Food Eng. 174: 21-28.
- Zavatti, V., Budman, H., Legge, R.L. and Tamer, M. 2016. Monitoring of an antigen manufacturing process. Bioprocess & Biosystems Engineering. 39(6): 855-869.
- Ohadi, K., Legge, R.L. and Budman, H. 2015. Intrinsic fluorescence-based at situ soft sensor for monitoring monoclonal antibody aggregation. Biotech. Prog. 31(5): 1423-1432.
- Mirazizi, F., Bahrami, A., Haghbeen, K., Zahiri, H.S., Bakavoli, M., Legge, R.L. 2016. Rapid and direct spectrophotometric method for kinetic studies and routine assay of peroxidase based on aniline diazo substrates. J. Enzyme Inhib. & Med. Chem. 31(6): 1162-1169.
- Hassani, S., Ghasemi, A., Fazli, M., Haghbeen, K. and Legge, R.L. 2015. Cation-assisted adsorption of chlorophenols by nano-xerogels.Can. J. Chem. Eng. 93(12): 2214-2221.
- Meunier, S.M., Rajabzadeh, A.R., Williams, T.G. and Legge, R.L. 2015. Methyl oleate production in a supported sol-gel immobilized lipase packed bed reactor. Energy & Fuels 29:3168-3175.
- Ohadi, K., Legge, R.L. and Budman, H.M. 2015. Development of a soft-sensor based on multi-wavelength fluorescence spectroscopy and a dynamic metabolic model for monitoring mammalian cell cultures. Biotech. Bioeng. 112(1):197-208.
- Rajabzadeh, A.R., Legge, R.L. and Weber, K.P. 2015. Multiphysics modeling of biofilm development, flow dynamics, and wastewater treatment in a subsurface vertical flow constructed wetland mesocosm. Ecol. Eng.74: 102-116.
- Rodriguez-Prado, A., Lennox, W.C., Legge, R.L. and Kuschk, P. 2014. Chromium wastewater reduction kinetics in different types of constructed wetlands. CIM Journal 5(4): 279-286.
- Ohadi, K., Aghamohseni, H., Legge, R.L. and Budman, H.M. 2014. Fluorescence-based soft sensor for at situ monitoring of Chinese hamster ovary cell cultures. Biotech. Bioeng. 111(8): 1577-1586.
- Meunier, S.M., Rajabzadeh, A.R. and Legge, R.L. 2014. Kinetic modeling of the production of methyl oleate by Celite® supported lipase sol-gels. Biochem. Eng. J. 85: 63-70.
- Rodriguez-Prado, A., Lennox, W.C. and Legge, R.L. 2014. Hydraulics of hexavalent chromium reduction in constructed wetland mesocosms. CIM Journal 5(2): 127-134
- Weber, K.P., Petersen, E.J., Bissegger, S., Koch, I., Zhang, J., Reimer, K.J., Rehmann, L., Slawson, R.M., Legge, R.L. and O’Carroll, D.M. 2014. Effect of gold nanoparticles and ciprofloxacin on microbial catabolism: A community-based approach. Environ. Toxicol. & Chem. 33(1): 44-51.
- Chen, F., Peldszus, S., Peiris, R.H., Ruhl, A.S., Mehrez, R., Jekel, M., Legge, R.L. and Huck, P.J. 2014. Pilot-scale investigation of drinking water ultrafiltration membrane fouling rates using advanced data analysis techniques. Wat. Res. 48: 508-518.
- Meunier, S.M. and Legge, R.L. 2013. Study of support materials for sol-gel immobilized lipase. Biocatalysis and Biotransformations 31(4): 190-196.
- Peiris, R., Jaklewicz, M., Moresoli, C., Budman, H. & Legge, R.L. 2013. Characterization of hydraulically reversible and irreversible fouling species in ultrafiltration drinking water treatment systems using fluorescence EEM and LC-OCD measurements. Water Sci. Tech.: Water Supply 13(5): 1220-1227.
- Peiris, R.H., Jaklewicz, M., Budman, H., Legge, R.L., Moresoli, C. 2013. Assessing the role of feed water constituents in irreversible membrane fouling of pilot-scale ultrafiltration drinking water treatment systems. Water Research 47: 3364-3374.
- Weber, K.P. and Legge, R.L. 2013. Comparison of the catabolic activity and catabolic profiles of rhizospheric, gravel-associated and interstitial microbial communities in treatment wetlands. Water Sci. & Tech. 67(4): 886-893.
- Peiris, R.H., Budman, H., Moresoli, C., Legge, R.L. 2013. Fouling control and optimization of a drinking water membrane filtration process with real-time model parameter adaptation using fluorescence and permeate flux measurements. J. Process Control 23: 70-77.
- Cress, N.L., Robinson, M.A., Corner, L., Legge, R.L. and Ricardez-Sandoval, L.A. 2012. Problem-solving and concept integration using a computational tool in first-year undergraduate chemical engineering. Education for Chemical Engineers 7: 133 – 138.
- Peiris, R.H., Ignagni, N., Budman, H., Moresoli, C. and Legge, R.L. 2012. Characterizing natural colloidal/particulate-protein interactions using fluorescence-based techniques and principal component analysis. Talanta 99: 457-463
- Pervisian, A., Parker, W.J. and Legge, R.L. 2012. Combined MBBR-MR for industrial wastewater treatment. Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy 31(2): 288-295
- Peiris, R.H., Budman, H., Moresoli, C., Legge, R.L. 2012. Fluorescence-based fouling prediction and optimization of a membrane filtration process for drinking water treatment. AIChE Journal 58(5): 1475-1486.
- Meunier, S.M. and Legge, R.L. 2012. Evaluation of diatomaceous earth supported lipase sol-gels as a medium for transesterification of biodiesel. J. Mol. Catal. B: Enzymatic 77: 92-97.
- Helt, C.D., Weber, K.P., Legge, R.L. and Slawson, R.M. 2012. Antibiotic resistance profiles of representative bacteria and fecal indicators following ciprofloxacin exposure in lab scale constructed wetlands. Ecol. Eng. 39: 113-112.
- Jahangiri, E., Agharafeie, R., Kaiser H.-J., Tahmasbi, Y., Legge, R.L. & Haghbeen, K. 2012. Medium engineering to enhance mushroom tyrosinase stability. Biochem. Eng. J. 60: 99-105.
- Meunier, S.M., Kariminia, H.-R., Legge, R.L. 2017. Immobilized Enzyme Technology for Biodiesel Production In: Advances in Biofeedstocks and Biofuels, L.K. Singh and G. Chaudhary (Eds.) Scrivener Publishing LLC, Salem, MA, USA. Pp 67 - 106.
- Weber, K.P. and Legge, R.L. 2010. Community Level Physiological Profiling In: Methods in Molecular Biology – Remediation. Ed. Stephen Cummings. Humana Press, New York, NY. pp. 263-281.
- Weber, K.P. and Legge, R.L. 2008. Pathogen Removal in Constructed Wetlands In: Wetlands: Ecology, Conservation and Restoration. Ed. R.E. Russo. Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY. pp. 176-211.
- Scott, D.S. and Legge, R.L. 1999. Oil and Bioplastics. CIGR Handbook of Agricultural Engineering. Vol. V. Energy and Biomass Engineering. Ed. O. Kitani. American Society of Agricultural Engineers. St. Joseph, MI. pp. 297-310