Gisele’s Bio

About Dr. Gisele Azimi

Gisele is an Assistant Professor joint-appointed between the Departments of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto.

She is an expert in the fields of electrochemistry, thermodynamics, hydrometallurgy, supercritical fluids, and advanced materials design.

Her research is focused on three areas: 1) Extraction and recycling of strategic materials ranging from iron and steel to lithium to rare earth elements and platinum group metals; 2) Development of a next generation of rechargeable batteries; and 3) Developments of advanced materials with controlled properties.

Gisele has published several journal and refereed conference publications and she continues to present her research in national and international conferences. She is also a co-inventor in six patents applications and one awarded patent.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Her research (sponsored by Vale) involved chemical modelling and experimental investigation of hydrometallurgical systems with a focus on base metals extraction and scale mitigation. She also contributed to a research project on the “solubility equilibria in simulated CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium reactor) steam generator crevice environments”, sponsored by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). During her Ph.D. program, she had close collaboration with the sponsors, such as OLI systems, CANMET, Vale (Inco), and AECL.

After receiving her Ph.D., she completed her first post-doctoral appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research, sponsored by American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), involved the advancement of a breakthrough technology, molten oxide electrolysis (MOE), as a carbon-free process to extract iron from its ore for steelmaking.

Before joining the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor in 2014, Gisele completed her second postdoctoral appointment in the Mechanical Engineering Department (Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity) at MIT. Her research was focused on development of advanced materials with controlled properties (e.g., hydrophobicity and scale resistance) that could significantly enhance the efficiency of a wide range of industries from energy storage to power and solar to desalination.

Gisele was the lead researcher in the development of a new class of ceramics comprising rare earth oxides that demonstrate hydrophobicity (non-wetting properties). This was quite a revolutionary discovery, because almost all commercially available non-wetting materials are polymeric, which deteriorate under harsh industrial conditions. But the newly developed materials are ceramics and they can sustain harsh environments. Therefore, they can be used as coatings in boilers and condensers to improve the efficacy of power plants. The results of this research were published in Nature Materials in 2013.

She was also the lead researcher of a study on the development of scale resistant surfaces. Such surfaces could benefit various industries ranging from power plants to desalination to hydrometallurgical plants by increasing their efficiency and lowering their maintenance costs for scale removal. Here are the links (1) and (2) to the publications from this research.

EDUCATION  

University of Toronto 
Doctor of Philosophy, Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
Dissertation: “Evaluating the potential of scaling due to calcium compounds in hydrometallurgical processes”

Sharif University of Technology 
Master of Applied Science, Chemical Engineering
Dissertation: “Correlation of activity and osmotic coefficients of aqueous electrolyte solutions utilizing MSA-based models”

Sharif University of Technology
 Bachelor of Applied Science, Chemical Engineering (with a minor in Applied Chemistry)

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

University of Toronto (2014 – present) Assistant Professor
 Departments of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (2011 – 2014) Postdoctoral Associate 
Department of Mechanical Engineering (LMP), PI: Professor Kripa K. Varanasi

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (2010 – 2011) Postdoctoral Associate 
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, PI: Professor Donald R. Sadoway

Namvaran Engineering & Management Company (2002 – 2005) Process Engineer
 Involved in the basic and detailed design of several oil and gas projects including liquid ethylene transportation network, oil field development basic design, off-site and interconnection design, and recovery of associated natural gas plant.

HONOURS AND AWARDS 

  • 2016 TMS Light Metals/Extraction & Processing Subject Award – Recycling (2017)
  • Gordon Ritcey Outstanding Award, CIM (2009)
  • TATP Teaching Excellence Award, University of Toronto (2008)
  • CIM MetSoc Hydrometallurgy Award, University of Toronto (2008)
  • Tyrell Fellowship Excellence Award, University of Toronto (2007)
  • Wallberg Research Fellowship, University of Toronto (2006)