Valerie Ward

Assistant Professor

Contact InformationValerie Ward

Phone: 519-888-4567 x38625
Location: E6 4016


Biography Summary

Valerie Ward is an assistant professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo. Her research encompasses on the development of novel bioprocesses for applications in bioresource engineering and biorefining. Her primary focus is the use of microalgae, metabolic engineering, and ionic liquid based separations in biological systems. Professor Ward has made significant contributions to the development of direct catalysis of wet biomass to biodiesel using ionic liquids and the metabolic engineering of microorganisms for isoprenoid production.

Research Interests

  • Biochemical engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Microalgae biotechnology
  • Microalgae cultivation
  • Isoprenoid biosynthesis
  • Ionic liquid bases bioprocesses
  • Ionic liquid based bioseparations
  • Metabolic engineering of isoprenoids


  • 2018, Post-doctoral Fellowship, Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2016, Doctorate, Chemical Engineering, Western University
  • 2012, Master of Applied Science, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • 2009, Bachelor of Science (BSc), Biology, University of Waterloo


  • BME 285 - Engineering Biology
    • Taught in 2020
  • CHE 102 - Chemistry for Engineers
    • Taught in 2018, 2020
  • CHE 161 - Engineering Biology
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021
  • CHE 663 - Bioseparations
    • Taught in 2021
  • CHE 765 - Res Tpcs in Biochemical Eng.
    • Taught in 2020
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Ward, V.; Munch, G.; Cecik, N.; Rehmann, L. (2017) Direct conversion of the oleaginous yeast Rhodospordium diobovatum to biodiesel using the ionic liquid [C2mim][EtSO4]. ACS Sustainable Chem Eng: 5(6), 5562-5570. (Accepted in 2017)
  • Orr, V*; Luque*; L; Chen, S; Westerhof, R; Oudenhoven, S; van Rossum, G; Kersten, S; Berruti, F; Rehmann, L (2016) Lipid accumulation from pinewood pyrolysates by Rhodosporidium diobavotum and Chlorella vulgaris for biodiesel production. Bioresource Technol:214, 660-669. (Accepted in 2016)
  • Orr, V*; Gao, K*; Rehmann, L (2016) Butanol fermentation from microalgae derived carbohydrates after ionic liquid extraction. Bioresource Technol:206, 77-85. (Accepted in 2016)
  • Orr, V; Plechkova, N.V; Seddon, K.R; Rehmann, L (2016) Disruption and wet extraction of the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris using room-temperature ionic liquids. ACS Sustainable Chem Eng: 4(2) 591-600. (Accepted in 2016)
  • Orr, V, Rehmann, L (2016) Improvement of the Nile Red fluorescence assay for determination of total lipid content in microalgae independent of chlorophyll content. J Appl Phycol:28, 2181-2189. (Accepted in 2016)

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