TEW Speakers 2016
Talk Energy Week BioFuelNet Speakers
École internationale de Montreal, QC (presentations in French)
Feb 22, 8:15 am-12:30 pm & 2:00 pm -3:10 pm
Francois Zasieczny est un étudiant au doctorat en génie chimique à l’école Polytechnique dont le sujet de recherche vise à développer un outil aidant à la conversion des usines de pâtes et papiers en bioraffineries forestières. Ayant toujours eu un intérêt pour l’environnement, il a obtenu un diplôme en génie des procédés à l’Université de Technologie de Compiègne, en France, en vue de travailler dans un domaine en lien avec les biocarburants. Une session d’étude au Danemark lui a permis de traiter plus en profondeur les défis en lien avec le développement durable, qui est l’une des causes qui lui tient à cœur.
Currently conducting his research on the viability of third generation (algal) biofuels at McGill University, Pierre-Laurent hopes to pursue a career where venture capital and the energy industry meet. Having also graduated from McGill with a Bachelors of Commerce – Economics, he’s had the time to get involved with campus politics and Divest McGill, become the Vice President of the McGill Energy Association (4 years), the Conservationists (2 years) and McGill Students for Enactus (1 year), whilst continuing to work with Save the Children.
Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, Toronto, ON
Feb 23, 12:45 pm
Jon Albert Obnamia
Jon is a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto doing research on the environmental impacts of conventional fossil fuels and biofuels. Jon’s research has been influenced by his affinity for math and chemistry since high school, for which he chose to get into the undergraduate chemical engineering program at U of T after high school. He became interested in research work after reading about biofuels, how they can mitigate climate change, and how chemical engineers are contributing in that field. After undergrad, Jon chose to do research work through a Master’s degree program in chemical engineering where he studied a process bottleneck in biofuel production. Specifically, he researched on optimizing the enzyme process that break down wood and waste biomass into simple sugars like glucose, which are then converted to biofuels and other bioproducts. Now, Jon is doing research by studying the environmental impacts of all the processes involved in biofuel production and making sure that biofuels that are used in vehicles have much lower environmental impacts than the fossil fuels being replaced.
In his spare time, Jon likes to participate in social, recreational, and professional student organizations at U of T, practice his archery skills, and play computer games.
Walter Murray Collegiate Institute, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Feb 23, 8:45 am
Charley Sprenger attended the University of Saskatchewan to acquire her Bachelors of Biological Engineering; following which, she has now begun a Masters program in the same field. Her research involves her with the BioFuelNet organization as an HQP studying the Densification of Municipal Solid Waste as a Feedstock for Biofuels Production under her supervisor, Dr. Lope Tabil. She originally comes from rural Manitoba and is excited about being a part of the vast biofuels research industry as a means of approaching our global energy concerns.
Halifax West High School, Halifax, NS
Feb 24, 10:10 am
Emily is originally from Truro, Nova Scotia and completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences at the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture in Truro. She is now a second year Master’s student in the Applied Science program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia under the guidance of Dr. Kevin Vessey. Emily’s thesis research entails the investigation of a new purpose-grown biofuel species (Arundo donax) in Nova Scotia and any subsequent changes in growth after growth-promoter (microorganisms and supplement) treatment.
St Anne’s Catholic High School, Clinton, ON
Feb 24, 9:00 am
Brent Coleman is a M.Sc. Candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto, as well as a Research Associate at the University of Guelph in the School of Environmental Sciences. Brent’s research examines factors influencing short-rotation willow leaf nutrition and the subsequent impacts on nutrient cycling in biomass systems.
Sisler High school, Winnipeg, MB
Feb 25th, 9:00 am
Dawit Beyene comes from Ethiopia, the second most populous nation in Africa, rich in diverse culture. His passion for biofuels was ignited while he was studying his MSc in Biotechnology. Dawit worked on biological pre-treatment of lignocellulose for ethanol production for his thesis and developed expertise in biochemical conversion technologies for cellulosic ethanol production. Currently, Dawit is pursuing his PhD study in Food Science and Bioresource Technology at the University of Alberta. He is a Graduate Research Assistant investigating biochemical processes for the co-production of ethanol and cellulose nanocrystals to improve the sustainability of the biofuel industry. So far, he has generated promising results and is actively communicating his findings at different conferences. Dawit is also engaged in extracurricular activities with leadership responsibilities in associations and volunteer work in his community. Previously, he has served as a Graduate Assistant and Lecturer for over 4 years in the Department of Biology, Hawassa University in his home country.
Lord Shaughnessy High School, Calgary, AB
Feb 25th, 10:00 am
Dr. Jing (Janet) Dai
Janet Dai was born on April 19, 1985 (Tianjin, China). She did her undergraduate study at Beijing Forestry University (2008, Beijing, China), majoring in Wood Science and Engineering. She pursued her graduate studies in the USA right after my graduation where she earned both her MS. in Forest Products (2010) and Ph.D in Natural Resource Sciences (2014) from the University of Idaho (Moscow, ID, USA). Currently, Janet am a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Biorefining Conversions and Fermentation Laboratory at University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB, Canada). Her research project is on the co-production of ethanol and cellulose nanocrystals, which is funded by BiofuelNet Canada. Janet have been involved in many different projects including biosynthesis of bioplastics from various waste and renewable feedstocks (i.e. dairy manure, biodiesel waste, woody biomass) using pure or mixed microbial cultures (activated sludge), biological wastewater treatment, lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment, real-time monitoring of a bioprocess using Near Infrared Spectroscopy, anaerobic fermentation for volatile fatty acids production, and polymer characterization. Janet is an interdisciplinary scientist in biochemical conversion processes, analytical chemistry, polymers and statistics.
Gonzaga High School, St. John’s, NL
Feb 22nd, 2pm; Feb 23rd, 8:55 am- 12:05 pm & 2:00 pm
Anke Krutof received her B. Sc. in process engineering and her M. Sc. in chemical engineering from Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, Germany. After visiting Memorial University at the end of her master’s thesis, Anke came back to St. John’s to continue her education in the field of renewable fuels. She is now in her second year doing a PhD in Oil and Gas Engineering. Her research is focused on the production and optimization of liquid fuel from wood. Next to her studies she is engaged with Women in Science and Engineering (WISE NL GSS) and the graduate student’s union financial committee. Anke is passionate about everything related to bicycling. So, if you choose to engage Anke in a conversation about biking in the great outdoors be prepared to find yourself in the closest bike store buying their newest model.