January Society News
Engineering solutions to globe’s biggest challenges
(1) Choon Jim Lim, MCIC, receives the Bantrel Award in Design and Industrial Practice from Robert Legros, MCIC, now past-president of CSChE. (2) Students competed for top poster.(3) Molly Shoichet, MCIC, speaks at the CIC Chair’s event, which featured a panel discussion on Women in Engineering.
There is nothing like throwing down the gauntlet at the start of a conference to grab delegates’ attention. And that’s what Amit Chakma, president of the University of Western Ontario (UWO) did at the 61st Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference held last Oct. 23–26 in London, Ont. A chemical engineering professor, Chakma challenged delegates to think about “who does our sector serve — industry or humanity?” Solutions to the world’s massive water, energy and food challenges must incorporate chemical engineering innovation with broader societal aspirations, meshing industrial and humanitarian concerns, Chakma says. Chakma’s call to the 1,131 attendees to balance ethics with innovation was echoed in many of the plenary sessions. Delegates also heard about the latest research in nearly 600 lectures. They were also able to view it up close, with 120 outstanding posters being presented.
Plenary lecturer David T. Fung, MCIC, CEO of ACDEG Group, tied innovation to commercialization. Fung, whose company has interests in forest products, biomass energy, clean technologies, agri-food, chemicals and marine equipment, admonished Canadians to embrace collaborative enterprises and seize international business opportunities. Despite our top notch universities and well-managed companies, we are “horrible” when it comes to successful commercialization, Fung says. Canadian expertise could become one of the country’s greatest exports. “We do not need to stay home,” Fung says. “We don’t need to worry about where to apply our innovation. We just need to go there.”
In keeping with the conference theme of Industry, Innovation, and Internationalization, two unique industrial symposia were convened. The first, Globalization and the Chemical Industry, used panel discussions to explore ways in which chemical engineering innovation can help solve large global challenges, such as energy and water supply. The second, Chemical Industry: Trend, Need, Lead featured talks from industry leaders who have successfully navigated the perilous path to commercialization in areas as diverse as water treatment, nanotechnology, antibody production and green chemistry. The CIC Chair’s Event, Women in Engineering: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, featured a lecture by Ilse Treurnicht, the CEO of MaRS Discovery District, followed by a panel discussion featuring top Canadian women chemical engineers. One of the concerns of bright young scientists is finding a place to launch their career. To this end, the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology (CSCT) hosted an Eastern Student Symposium for chemical and chemical engineering technologists to discover first-hand how to make inroads into the corporate world following graduation. Student delegates in engineering were given the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities outside the conference, thanks to the Student Organizing Committee of UWO, which arranged tours to Sarnia’s Ontario Power Generation Lambton Generation Station and CF Industries, Labatt Breweries and UWO’s chemical engineering laboratories.
Programming for undergraduates and graduates culminated in the student banquet, where the Student Chapters’ Merit Awards were given out. Equally grand was the Conference and Awards Banquet, which saw a plethora of awards handed out to outstanding chemical engineering researchers, industry leaders and organizations. Photos from all events are available at www.csche2011.ca.
This year’s 62nd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference is set for Oct. 14–17 at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver.
Students wrap water experiments
As part of the annual National Chemistry Week, Canadian students took part in IUPAC’s Global Water Experiment commemorating the 2011 International Year of Chemistry. The aim was to have students around the world explore one of Earth’s most critical resources — water. Schools from across Canada tested different water sources for pH, salinity and purification. They also experimented with distillation methods. The salinity experiment gave students the opportunity to use either a homemade or commercial meter to measure the conductivity of water samples to learn about salts and determine concentrations of salts in solutions. Using household materials, students built a water filtration unit and identified the efficiency of different filtration materials. As follow up, they carried out treatment of the water. To explore alternative ways of purifying water, students used a solar still to learn about the distillation process and the states of matter. The activity also provided students with the opportunity to design and build their own efficient stills. Contributing their results to a global database, students could compare water conditions in their areas to different locations around the world.
For more information, go to http://water.chemistry2011.org/web/iyc/experiments. Further Canadian experiments will take place as part of National Chemistry Week 2012.
Hall of Fame for Senator
Senator Kelvin Ogilvie, FCIC, has been inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame. The honour was bestowed last Nov. 18 at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. The distinction, a central part of the Innovation Canada exhibition at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, recognizes individuals whose outstanding scientific or technological achievements impact the lives of Canadians. Ogilvie is the past president and vice-chancellor of Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. An award-winning, international expert in biotechnology, bioorganic chemistry and genetic engineering, Ogilvie’s scientific accomplishments include the invention of the ‘gene machine,’ an automated process for the manufacture of DNA, as well as development of the powerful infection-fighting drug Ganciclovir. Ogilvie, who was admitted to the Order of Canada in 1991, was appointed to the Senate in 2009. Currently, he chairs the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology and is a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and Chair of Research Canada’s Health Research Caucus.
Nuclear chemist honoured
Nuclear chemist Donald Wiles, FCIC, a 50-year member of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC), was conferred an honorary degree by Carleton University at fall convocation last Nov. 12. Wiles is a longtime Carleton faculty member who has written extensively on nuclear fission, corrosion and hot atom chemistry. His expertise has been called upon by such noted institutions as the National Research Council and the Federal Environmental Assessment Review Panel.
March 29, 2012
SCI/CIC Seminar and Awards Dinner
April 29‒May 2, 2012
World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing
May 26‒30, 2012
95th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition
October 14‒17, 2012
62nd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference
August 18‒23, 2013
9th World Congress of Chemical Engineerings (WCCE9)
Seoul, South Korea
Walter Harris, HFCIC, died Oct. 20, 2011, age 96, in Edmonton, Alta.
Peter Susel, MCIC, died July 15, 2011, age 62, in Mississauga, Ont.
James G. Fogo, MCIC, died Aug. 4, 2011, age 82, in Ottawa, Ont.
Full obituaries received by ACCN can be seen at www.accn.ca/inmemoriam.
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