People

Cathy Chin

Principal Investigator

Professor Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin

Contact information: cathy dot 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

2021 to date Professor University of Toronto
2016 – 2021 Associate Professor University of Toronto
2011 – 2016 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

Graduate Students

Guangming Cai

PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2019 to date
MSc in Chemical Technology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, 2019
BSc in Pharmaceutical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China, 2016

From my experience, I know that catalytic reactions are particularly important and they often conform to certain catalytic reaction kinetics, which directly or indirectly determine the reaction directions. Right now, my research focuses on chemical conversion for drop in liquid fuel (OME) and exploration of mechanism with kinetic means.

William Broomhead

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2019 to date
BChE in Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, USA, 2019
BS in Chemistry, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, USA, 2019

The oxidative dehydrogenation of methanol to dimethoxymethane is an important step in the synthesis of biofuels from renewable feedstocks. In my research, I focus on selecting and characterizing catalysts to perform this reaction with high selectivity and conversion at moderate temperatures. I have previously researched liquid-phase nanoparticle and polymer surface modification. During my free time, I enjoy playing board games with friends.

Junfeng Guo

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sep 2019 to date
MSc in Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2019
BSc in Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2014

My research involves the solid acid catalyzed synthesis of polyoxymethylene dimethyl ether from methanol derived from sustainable feedstocks. Where I study the kinetics and structure effects of the catalysts on this reaction, as well as possible deactivation mechanisms. My past research experience has been focused on designing experimental systems for the selective oxidation of methane at high pressures inspired by DFT studies.

Chengqian Wu

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sep 2020 to date
MASc in Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, 2019
BEng in Chemical Engineering, Central South University, China, 2017

My interest in catalytic science was initially inspired by my past research on developing a catalytic oxidation process that aims at addressing the arsenic contamination issue commonly encountered in the recovery of metal values from ores. Before joining the University of Toronto, I studied the reaction pathway of a carbon catalyzed arsenic oxidation process and have worked on validating the whole process by scaling up from batch tests to mini-pilot conditions in an engineered continuous setup. Currently, my PhD research involves the study of the reaction network and certain catalytic processes that can promote the production of polyoxymethylene dimethyl ethers (OME) from methanol.

Qiuyu (Sara) Shi

PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sep 2021 to date
MASc in Chemical Engineering (Nanotechnology), University of Waterloo, Waterloo, 2021
BSc in Materials and Nanosciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, 2019
BEng in Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology, Beijing Jiaotong University, China, 2019

Due to my strong interest in energy-related research areas, I worked on heterojunction solar cells and aqueous rechargeable batteries during my undergraduate and master studies. My PhD research focuses on oxidative dehydrogenation of ethane on metal oxides, an innovative and efficient method for ethylene production due to its high ethane conversion and relatively low reaction temperature compared to conventional steam cracking. In my free time, I enjoy playing badminton, rock climbing and traveling.

Lili Zhang

PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sep 2021 to date
MSc in Chemical Engineering, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, China, 2018
BSc in Chemical Engineering, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, China, 2015

My current research focuses on the chemical looping oxidative dehydrogenation of methanol to formaldehyde, where I study the evolvement of the redox catalyst and kinetics of this reaction. My past research involves the synthesis and modification of zeolite catalysts for methanol to propylene reactions.

Abel Tetteh Sika-Nartey

PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Sept 2021 to date
MSc in Chemistry, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, 2021
BSc in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 2015

My previous research was geared towards a novel synthesis method of catalytic metal hydroxide nanostructures for low temperature aerobic oxidation of alkylarenes via activation of C(sp3)-H bonds. In-situ spectroscopic methods/techniques were utilized to probe these materials and the catalytic reaction mechanisms. My current study focusses on employing kinetic and mechanistic studies to investigate solvent effects on catalytic C-O bond cleavage in heterogeneous catalytic reactions. A fundamental and molecular scale understanding of this catalytic process, among others, can address current global issues of climate change and sustainable energy production.

Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows

Jaekyoung Lee (2020-2021)
Haiting Cai (2020)
Guang Miao (2020)
Junnan Shangguan (2019)
Alyssa Hensley (2018-2019)
Wenyao Chen (2018-2019)
Weifeng Tu (2014-2015, 2016)
Yifei Yang (2015-2016)
Dae-Woon Jeong (2015)

PhD Students

Haoyu Nie (2015-2020)
Haiting Cai (2014-2020)
Petar Lachkov (2012-2018)
Junnan Shangguan (2013-2018)
Fan Lin (2011-2016)

Masters Students

Zhenwei Wu (2016-2020)
Roham Dorakhan (2018-2020)
Sara Eskandarifar (2013-2015)

MEng Students

Siwei Liu (2012-2013)

Visiting Scholars

Anlan Hong (2020-2021)
Rui Yao (2017-2019)
Zhishan Li (2018-2019)
Zhuole Lu (2018-2019)
Abisola Adeyemo (2018)
Leander Morgenstern (2018)
Zhao Li (2018)
Haojie Geng (2016-2017)
Niklas Pfriem (2016-2017)
Alessandro Quarantotto (2015-2017)
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

Lilly Yu (2016-2017)
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

Anthony Ozguler (2020)
Yinrui Xu (2020)
Megan Ty (2019)
Samantha Kim (2018)
Yu Huang (2018)
Julia Lu (2017)
Jose de Jesus Montaño (2017)
Rudan Zheng (2017)
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)