People

Cathy Chin

Principal Investigator

Professor Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin

Contact information: cathy.chin AT utoronto DOT ca

Education

PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2011
MS in Chemical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman, 2000

Professional Experience

May 2011 to date Assistant Professor University of Toronto
Aug 2005 – Apr 2011 Research Assistant University of California, Berkeley
Apr 2000 – July 2005 Research Engineer/Senior Research Scientist Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Biography

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

Le Yang

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto, November 2016 to date
ClairePostdoc Fellow, Tianjin University, China, 2015 – 2016
PhD in Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, China, 2014
Visiting Scholar, University of Michigan, 2012-2014
BSc in Chemical Engineering and Technology, East China University of Science and Technology, China, 2009
My research is focused on biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals. For my PhD research, I explored the C-O bond cleavage of a lignin model compound – guaiacol, aiming to understand the reaction pathways in specific systems. During my research in University of Michigan, I focused on the hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae to produce biofuels.

Graduate Students

Fan Lin

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2011 to date
MS in Material Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, 2011
BS in Material Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, 2008

After five years of experience in developing catalytic materials for diesel exhaust emission control at Tsinghua University, I have decided to pursue my PhD with a specific interest in understanding chemical kinetics on catalyst surfaces. Currently, my research focuses on zeolite catalysts for producing fuels and chemicals from biomass. Besides research, my greatest interest is in sports, ranging from ball games to swimming and skating, while movies and traveling are also what I enjoy in my spare time.

Petar Lachkov

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2012 to date
BSc in Chemical Engineering, University of Calgary, Canada, 2012

My research is focused on catalytic CO and C3H6 oxidation reactions. Currently I am studying CO oxidation on transition metal catalysts to understand the parameters which determine the rate dependencies and catalytic activities. I also studied C3H6 combustion (to CO and CO2) and epoxidation (to C3H6O) to understand the kinetic pathways in order to design novel materials which inhibit the undesired combustion pathway while promoting selective C3H6O synthesis. My hobbies include soccer, tennis, skiing, and reading.


 

Junnan Shangguan

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2013 to date

My research focused on hydrogenation of oxygenates from bio-oil in aqueous phase over transition metal cluster. The objective is to understand the molecular evolution route and design a well-defined catalyst structure that enable the re-assembly of all the effective energy carrier in the bio-oil and transform them into a sustainable liquid fuel.


 
 

Haiting Cai

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2014 to date
MASc in Organic Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, 2014
BSc in Chemistry, Zhejiang Normal University, 2011

With my previous experience on studying palladium-catalyzed C-H bond activation and halopalladation, I have developed a strong desire to study the dynamics of heterogeneous catalytic reactions. My current research is on supported transition metal sulphide catalyzed hydrodenitrogenation. We need to interpret the rate of each elementary step and find out the rate-determining step. I like dancing, hiking, playing guitar and tasting food in my spare time.

Haoyu Nie

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2015 to date
BSc in Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science & Technology, China, 2015

As more I have been involved in scientific research close-knitted with catalytic reactions, the more I have realized the importance of kinetics of heterogeneous catalysis. Currently, my research is focused on investigating the influence of transition metal sulfide structures on the hydrogenation activities as well as clarifying surface kinetic pathways of cleaving the C-N bond and C-S bond.

Alessandro Quarantotto

MASc Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Jan 2016 to date
MSc in Chemical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, 2015
BSc in Chemical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, 2013

Research interest: Heterogeneous catalysis, HDS
My BS and MS degrees research was focused on the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. For the BS thesis I studied the iron catalysts activation, whereas for my MS I focused on Co-based catalysts design. For my MASc research I am focusing on the HDS process. In particular I am now concentrating on the microscopic scale of the process, studying the influence of the active phase crystals on the reaction and the hydrogen activation pathways.
Hobbies: basketball, motorcycling, traveling, sailing, cinematography, sports in general.

Zhenwei Wu

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2016 to date
BS in Chemistry, Peking University, China, 2015

In my undergraduate study, I first became interested in molecular catalysis, a branch of chemistry that helps to reveal the mechanism of chemical reactions at the molecular level. Now, my research is on gas phase catalytic hydrogenation reactions. While a mature technology, there is still has a lot to be understood, especially about the mechanism and periodic reactivity trends. My hobbies are skiing and swimming.

Visiting Scholars

Haojie Geng

PhD Candidate in Power Engineering, Chongqing University, Sept 2015 to date
Visiting Scholar in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2016 to date

My research focuses on surface reaction of methane over transition metals. The objective is to discover the effect and trends (Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, etc.) of several key metallic properties on methane reactions, as well as to show the similarities between various kinetic pathways of methane reactions (oxidation, reforming with water, reforming with CO2, decomposition, etc.) on transition metals.

Niklas Pfriem

Master’s Thesis, University of Toronto, Oct 2016 to date
MSc in Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Munich, 2015 to date
BSc in Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Munich, 2011 – 2015

My research in Munich was focused on alkylation of biomass compounds with selectively hydrogenated carboxylic acids, as well as the oligomerization of butene. At the University of Toronto, I study the hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of biomass compounds, to detect the reaction mechanism and the kinetics.

Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows

Weifeng Tu (2014-2015, 2016)
Yifei Yang (2015-2016)
Dae-Woon Jeong (2015)

Masters Students

Sara Eskandarifar (2013-2015)

MEng Students

Siwei Liu (2012-2013)

Visiting Scholars

Stephanie Gschöderer (2015)
Ehsan Shafia (2014)
Lansana Souane (2014)
Weifeng Tu (2011-2013)
Jing Ma (2012-2013)
Linus Schulz (2013)
Jun Li (2012-2013)
Peng Cheng Wang (2012-2013)

4th Year Thesis Students

Manyi Zhao (2015-2016)
Yinan Xu (2015-2016)
Hyun Kim (2013-2014)
Jay Lin (2013-2014)
Marty Tzolov (2012-2013)
Atif Vaniyambadi (2012-2013)
Peter Zhao (2011-2012)
Kai Ling Phon (2011-2012)

Summer Students

Gabriel Negrelli Garcia (2016)
Ziyu Bao (2016)
Chen Fan (2015)
Yinan Xu (2013, 2014, 2015)
Jieyu Wu (2014)
Odo Wang (2014)
Manyi Zhao (2014)
Carlos Filho (2013)
Artur Franco Silva Alves (2013)
Rafael Heilbuth (2013)
Andre Schadeck (2013)
Atif Vaniyambadi (2013)
Ee Fang Wong (2013)
Han-Yue Fu (2012)
Hui-Huang Hoe (2012)
Jay Lin (2012)