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Research

Boxin Zhao - Chemical Engineering prefessorThe spirit of Waterloo's chemical engineering research is both collaborative and interdisciplinary. Our faculty members hold cross appointments in Biology, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Earth Sciences, Environmental Studies and Physics.

With more than 200 graduate students and 39 faculty members, our research covers all the major areas of chemical engineering - from core areas, such as; polymers, reaction engineering and process systems engineering, to emerging areas, such as; fuel cell research, tissue engineering and nanotechnology.

Our research strengths include:

  • Biochemical engineering, tissue engineering and industrial biotechnology
  • Chemical kinetics, catalysis and reactor design, energy conversion and fuel cells
  • Colloid and surface science, interfacial engineering
  • Electrochemical process research and modeling
  • Environmental and pollution control
  • Flow in porous media and enhanced oil recovery
  • Mathematical analysis, statistics and control (process systems)
  • Nanotechnology
  • Polymer reaction engineering, polymer processing and rheology
  • Separation Processes
  • Transport phenomena

Over the years we have developed an extensive network of industrial connections. The Institute for Polymer Research, for example, has the highest density of polymer reaction engineering researchers internationally in a single group - a distinction that helped earn the institute a global reputation for research initiatives in a wide variety of companies.

The Cell Factory Bioprocessing Research Network is a multi-university research network funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and industrial partners. CellNet's research aims to develop biological cells as miniature factories for new and improved bio-manufacturing strategies.

Our recently updated laboratories, including a shared analytical instrumentation laboratory, provide the latest equipment. There are dedicated facilities and software for computational work as well, including access to Canada's largest supercomputing cluster.

In our labs, student and visitor safety is considered to be of prime importance. All researchers are required to complete online safety training from the University of Waterloo Safety Office. In addition, all researchers must read the Chemical Engineering Safety Manual and write a report addressing the safety aspects of their research project. The report is submitted to the Departmental Safety Manager, Ralph Dickhout, prior to working in any of our laboratories.