The transition to a sustainable modern society in a global economy relies on systems for the efficient interconversion of chemical and electrical energy. Electrochemical energy systems for power generation and storage, including fuel cells and electrolyzers, batteries and supercapacitors are designed in our laboratories. Leveraging nanotechnology for advanced materials synthesis and characterization, and with the help of modern computer simulation and modeling tools, our researchers develop and test new electrochemical devices for sensing and energy, optimize their function and investigate their large-scale application.
Biotechnology & Biomedical Engineering
Biotechnology involves the manipulation of living materials or chemicals derived from living materials for industrial, agricultural, medical, environmental and other technological applications. Researchers in our labs use living organisms as industrial factories, utilizing microorganisms to produce biofuels and other valuable products. Combining principles of biology with chemical and materials engineering, biomedical engineering research in our labs supports the development of medical devices, diagnostics, and therapeutics (eg. drugs, vaccines, and other biological products).
Process Systems Engineering
Process Systems Engineering leverages a broad spectrum of mathematical modeling, data analysis and computational tools, to solve complex engineering problems in a virtual environment. It allows researchers to design more sustainable, profitable, and cost-effective processes and to gain process insights that are difficult or impossible to obtain in a laboratory setting. Process Systems Engineering thus provides indispensable support to all research themes pursued in our laboratories.
Nanotechnology for Advanced Materials
Advanced materials are engineered to have dramatically improved functionalities. They can be smart polymers, often derived from sustainable sources, that respond to external stimuli such as heat, light, electric and magnetic fields etc. They can be smart polymers that are easily recycled to support a circular economy and reduce environmental impacts. They can be high-performance membranes for selective separations, or they can be thin films and other 2D materials for a multitude of applications. These are only a few examples of many advanced materials discovered in our laboratories, the synthesis and characterization of which are made possible by advances in nanotechnology.
Soft Matter & Polymer Engineering
Soft matter refers to organic materials (e.g., foams, emulsions, gels, liquid crystals, polymer networks, and colloids) possessing a complex structure and exhibiting behaviour between that of solids and fluids. These materials find numerous applications in sensing, drug delivery, medical robotics and more. Using experiments and computations, researchers study the fundamental physics underpinning the macroscopic behaviour of these materials. They also explore their use in advanced manufacturing technologies (e.g.,3D printing), as well as mainstream industrial processing (e.g., pipeline flow of emulsions).
Sustainable Reaction Engineering
Sustainable reaction engineering focuses on designing and optimizing industrially relevant chemical reactions to minimize environmental harm and promote sustainability. Researchers focus on CO2 capture and conversion into valuable chemicals and renewable fuels. Sustainable reaction engineering develops processes that reduce energy consumption and waste production.