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.
• Academic Achievement Award, American Water Works Association
• 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
- Biochemical Engineering
- Protein And Biomimetic Engineering
- Enzyme Immobilization
- Applied Enzymology
- Water Treatment
- Wastewater Treatment
- Electrostatic Bioseparation
- 1983, Doctorate, Biology, University of Waterloo
- 1979, Bachelor's, First Class Honors, Plant Biology, University of Calgary
- CHE 161 - Engineering Biology
- CHE 725 - Research Topics in Analysis of Chemical Processes
- CHE 102 - Chemistry for Engineers
- Peleato, N.M., Legge, R.L., Andrews, R.C., Neural networks for dimensionality reduction of fluorescence spectra and prediction of drinking water disinfection by-products, Water Research, 136, 2018, 84 - 94
- Moshtaghioun, Seyed Mohammad and Dadkhah, Maryam and Bahremandjo, Kamran and Haghbeen, Kamahldin and Aminzadeh, Saeed and Legge, Raymond L, Optimization of simultaneous production of tyrosinase and laccase by Neurospora crassa, Biocatalysis and Biotransformation, 35(1), 2017, 1 - 10
- Peleato, Nicolás M and Sidhu, Balsher Singh and Legge, Raymond L and Andrews, Robert C, Investigation of ozone and peroxone impacts on natural organic matter character and biofiltration performance using fluorescence spectroscopy, Chemosphere, 172, 2017, 225 - 233
- Tabtabaei, Solmaz and Vitelli, Michael and Rajabzadeh, Amin Reza and Legge, Raymond L, Analysis of protein enrichment during single-and multi-stage tribo-electrostatic bioseparation processes for dry fractionation of legume flour, Separation and Purification Technology, 176, 2017, 48 - 58
- Peleato, Nicolas M and Legge, Raymond L and Andrews, Robert C, Investigation of fluorescence methods for rapid detection of municipal wastewater impact on drinking water sources, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 171, 2017, 104 - 111
- Peleato, Nicolas M and Legge, Raymond L and Andrews, Robert C, Characterization of UF foulants and fouling mechanisms when applying low in-line coagulant pre-treatment, Water research, 126, 2017, 1 - 11