Currently Chair Professor of Ford Motor Canada in Sustainable Materials and Director of the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing, and former Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Sain specializes in advanced bionanotechnology, functional renewable energy materials and CO2 capture and utilization for chemicals and plastics, lightweight and functional carbon materials and nature-inspired advanced devices at the the University of Toronto’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. He is a fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry, U.K., and a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
Researchers – Faculty
Chul B. Park
Dr. Chul B. Park is currently a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto and is also the founder and Director of the Microcellular Plastics Manufacturing Laboratory within that department. He obtained his M.Sc. degree from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology , Korea and received his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Jan K. Spelt
Jan K. Spelt joined the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in 1988. His research interests are in surface science, the mechanics of materials, and the mechanics of manufacturing processes. He received his B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto and an M.E. degree from Caltech.
My research interests are composite materials from renewable resources with a focus on
- Composite processing technologies
- Relationship between micro structure and mechanical behavior
- Composites long term properties
Mark T. Kortschot is a Professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. He obtained his B.A.Sc. (1984) and M.A.Sc. (1985) degrees in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, specializing in mechanics and materials science. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1989.
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Professor Yan specializes in forest-based biomaterials science and composites, bio-based adhesives and adhesion, digital printing, and surface sciences of paper. Currently, her research group is focused on developing novel environmentally-friendly green bio-based composites, producing green chemicals using renewable forestry biomass as feedstock, and next generation high valued paper based products.
Post Doctoral Fellows
Javad Sameni received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in chemistry from Azad University of Tehran, Iran in 1993. After graduating he joined Azad University in Iran and later on University of Technology MARA in Malaysia. In 2011, he started his Ph.D. program in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto, and he completed his Ph.D. degree programs in 2015. As a chemist and an entrepreneur, he is interested in developing biobased material for value added products, and replacing petroleum-based materials with bio-based materials. Dr. Sameni has successfully developed and commercialized a bio-based binder “BIOBINDER” which imparts both adhesion and water resistance properties to cellulosic fibres.
Ahmed J. Sobh
Ahmed began his career at Siemens VDO in a world class manufacturing facility working for a six-sigma certified quality team leader. He gained valuable knowledge of the plastic injection molding process and learned to manage the challenges with product quality for high volume manufacturing.
In 2007, Ahmed accepted a position at Ford Motor Company as a product validation engineer. During his time with Ford Motor Company he managed to successfully complete his Master of Applied Science Degree and publish his work on exhaust gas recirculation cooler fouling in diesel engine powertrains.
In 2010, Ahmed shifted his focus to product development. He gained extensive knowledge in the powertrain development and testing process. He developed expertise in exhaust emissions aftertreatment devices, engine calibration, combustion analysis, noise vibration and harshness testing and other powertrain development essentials.
In 2014, Ahmed joined a collaborative effort with the team at the University of Toronto’s Centre of Biocomposite and Biomaterial Processing, where he is currently dedicated to the development of new, lightweight, sustainable powertrain components for the automotive industry. His current projects are in the specific area of resin transfer molding manufacturing with recycled carbon fiber preforms.
Antimo Graziano is a Ph.D. candidate at Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, under the supervision of Prof. Mohini Sain and Dr. Shaffiq Jaffer. He focuses on analyzing the thermodynamic properties of polymers and natural fibers, aiming at developing sustainable and innovative green composites. Prior to this, he completed his Bachelor’s (2011) and Master’s (2013) in chemical engineering, at University of Naples, Italy.
Bo Sun joined CBBP as a postdoctoral fellow in 2017, and is now admitted into the Ph.D. program at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. He completed his successive B.Sc-M.Sc-PhD program (Chemical Engineering) and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow (Food Science) at Tianjin University of Science & Technology, China from 2005 to 2017. In the years 2012-2014 and 2016, he went to Limerick Pulp and Paper Centre, University of New Brunswick, Canada as a visiting PhD and postdoctoral fellow under the financial support of Tianjin International Training Program. During that period, he interned as a process engineer at Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd. from 2013 to 2014. His research contributions at the University of Toronto include cellulose modification, foam quality testing and bio-compounds and edible ingredients synthesis.
Maria Semeniuk is a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto under the co-supervision of Professor Sain and Professor Lu. She previously received her B.Sc. (Hons) in 2016 from the University of Toronto, and she has worked at CBBP as a research assistant.
Masoud Akhshik is a Ph.D. student in Prof. Sain’s group. He has a B.Sc. in agronomy and plant breeding, M.Sc. in biotechnology, and a Ph.D. in nanobiotechnology. This is his second Ph.D. and he is enjoying his new program. He has also graduated from Ontario high performance computing summer school. He is in love with whatever that is green! His current research is on the environmental aspects of biocomposites, which is in collaboration with the Ford Essex Engine plant, Powertrain Engineering Research & Development Centre (PERDC) in Dr. Jimi Tjong’s group. If you need to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nazmus Saadat is a current Ph.D. student at the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials processing (CBBP), University of Toronto, under the supervision of Prof. Mohini Sain. His research area includes Conductive Carbon Polymer Composite for fuel cell applications in the renewable energy sector. Nazmus has a background in Chemical Engineering (B.Sc.) and Environmental Science (M.Env.Sc.) and working experience in operations and product development for various chemical industries such as acrylic adhesive, ammonia fertilizer, etc. During his M.Sc. at the University of Toronto, he developed a sustainable and environment-friendly Wood Preservative For Engineering Wood Products (CLT) funded by NSERC and NEWBuildS. He also worked on several industrial projects at CBBP such as high-performance composites with recycle carbon fiber and development of cost-effective bulk molding compound (BMC) for Bipolar plate of PEMFC.
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nazmus-saadat-54414120/
Otavio Augusto Titton Dias
Otavio Dias is a Ph.D. candidate under the supervision of Prof. Mohini Sain at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Toronto. In 2013, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Federal Santa Catarina University (UFSC), Brazil. In 2014, he began his Master’s studies focused on lignin-based plastics materials at the Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Brazil. Currently, his Ph.D. research is on the investigation of surface thermodynamics of nanocellulose.
Ranran Jian is a visiting Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, under the supervision of Prof. Mohini Sain. Ranran came from Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT). His previous projects were focused on flow characteristics and heat transfer enhancement mechanism in polymer plasticizing process. Ranran’s visiting Ph.D. project is focused on microcellular physical foaming technology of polymer. During his research career, he has two books published, and 28 patents for invention.
Shaghayegh Armioun is a Ph.D. student at the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing under Professor Sain’s supervision. The focus of her research is on the production, optimization, and utilization of hybrid natural fibre reinforced biocomposites for the automotive industry. She has B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from University of Tehran in Iran, M.Sc. in Energy and Material Recovery-Sustainable Technology Engineering from University of Boras in Sweden, and M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from University of Toronto. During her M.A.Sc., she was involved in a collaborative research project between University of Toronto and National Water Research Institute (NWRI) at Environment Canada (EC) on the application of ultrasound as a pretreatment for UV disinfection of wastewater. She also worked as a research assistant at the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE)-Applied Chromatography section where she investigated the removal of pharmaceuticals and pesticides in source and drinking water. She worked as a vice president of external relations of WEAO (Water Environment Association of Ontario – U of T student chapter), and also faculty ambassador of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) during her M.A.Sc. program.
Note: Currently on maternity leave
Dr. Sossina Gezahegn earned her PhD from the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Her PhD studies centred on both the chemistry and the materials science and engineering aspects of biocarbon (biochar) manufacturing and applications. Dr. Gezahegn’s research utilized the biocarbon manufacturing method “pyrolysis” in targeting carbon negative processes as well as manufacturing nanographitic and conductive biocarbons to produce lightweight, conductive, and electromagnetic interference shielding biocomposites. Dr. Gezahegn also explored the environmental applications of pyrolyzed biochar, with a focus on liming capacity and seed responses. Her research compared the chemical and physical characteristics of hundreds of biochar samples, prepared at a range of temperatures and pyrolysis holding times, in the context of soil amelioration and identifying sources of potential toxicity. Prior to her studies at the University of Toronto, Dr. Gezahegn earned a BSc in Applied Chemistry and Biology and MSc in Molecular Science at Ryerson University. Dr. Gezahegn’s other interests include cooking, travel, dancing and horseback riding.
Robert Jeng received his Ph.D. in Fungal taxonomy from the University of Toronto, Botany, 1977. Before then he received his M.Sc. in “Electron microscopic study on fungal development” from the University of Toronto, Botany, 1971. He studied in Chung-Hsin University, Taiwan for his B.Sc. in Plant pathology and graduated in 1964. His research contributions at the University of Toronto and includes Fungal Taxonomy (Ascomycetes), Protein Isolation & Purification (IEF, SDS-PAGE, 2-D electrophoresis, PDVF transblot, Western Blot and Immuno-detection), DNA Technology (PCR, Genomic DNA and cDNA library construction, DNA sequencing, Southern and Northern Hybridization, gene isolation, DIG-probe labelling, oligonucleotide primer design, PCGENE software DNA analysis), Fungal genomic and proteomic analysis, and Bio-polymer modification by micro-organisms.
Samir K. Konar
Samir K. Konar received his Ph.D. degree in synthetic organic chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India in 1981. He has contributed over 31 years of his applied organic chemistry research to the University of Toronto. He spent his first 7 years on pesticide research (with Professor D.N. Roy of the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto) and the next 20 years on biodiesel technology (with Professor David G.B. Boocock of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto). Biodiesel technology has already been implemented by Biox Corporation in the biodiesel plant in Hamilton, Ontario. Since November, 2009, he has been working as a senior research associate with Professor Mohini Sain of Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto on various research projects such as, synthesis of polyol from plant oil, preparation of PVC free foams, and thermally stable nanocomposites.
Former Members and Visitors
Dr. Amir Hossein Behravesh has been a collaborative researcher at CBBP since 2014. His specialty is manufacturing and processing of plastic materials and their composites. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto in 1998. Since then he has been a faculty member of Mechanical Engineering Dept. at Tarbiat Modares University (TMU), Tehran, Iran, where he has taught courses and supervised and graduated several Master’s and PhD students in the area. He has produced many publications and conducted several industrially related projects. At CBBP, his research focus is on developing high performance thermoplastic composites from reclaimed carbon fibers.
Birat KC graduated in 2011 from the University of Toronto with a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Biomaterial Science and Global Health. As a part of his 4th year thesis (supported by Ontario Centre for Excellence ‘OCE’), he studied the effects of thermal modification on mechanical and physical properties of industrial waste-filled plastic composites. During his Bachelor’s, he also worked at the “Wood Chemistry Lab” and “Center for Biomaterials and Biocomposite processing (CBBP)”. He was involved in various projects such as development of adhesives from secondary paper-mill sludge and biocomposite manufacturing and characterization. In 2011, he joined the group as a Master’s student. He began working on biomaterial database development and Moldflow® simulations on various automotive parts using biocomposites. During this period, he also interned at Ford PERDC (Windsor, ON) and Crest Mold Technologies (Windsor, ON) which enhanced his understanding of current product development challenges with the sustainable materials. In 2012, he was transferred into a Ph.D. program. Since then, he has been focusing on applying computer-aided design and engineering (CAD & CAE) techniques to optimize the material-based design challenges. In 2013, he was a recipient of “MITACS Accelerate” internship program and “Canada-Brazil Joint-research” award. It was an excellent opportunity for him to work closely with the Ford Motor Company (in Brazil and Canada) and join their research activities in developing sustainable materials. Besides his research, he enjoys travelling around the world, going on a hike & bike, cooking, and playing various sports, mainly soccer, volleyball and table tennis. Birat KC graduated with his Ph.D. in 2018.
Bruno Sena Maia
Bruno joined the CBBP team in September, 2015. He majored in B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering at University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil, and completed his Specialization in Vehicle Subsystems at Maua Institute of Technology. He is also Six Sigma Green Belt Certified. He has a background in automotive product development and management, vehicle testing and R&D for Powertrain Installations and worked for Ford Motor Company Brazil as an engineering team member for two global brand vehicle projects, having integrated contacts with the global Ford teams and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers in the US, Germany, China and India. During his period at Ford, Bruno was an essential part of the Focus car program launching team as a powertrain lead at Ford Argentina manufacturing plan. He achieved successful results in the project involving plastic lightweight by leading a global product R&D for Fuel Systems, and contributed to global specification review and release as an expert member. As far as his volunteering experience is concerned, he worked as a member of the national organization and expert committee of the SAE Mini-Baja Brazil competition for 2 years.
Hamideh Hajiha, graduated with her Ph.D. in biocomposites from the University of Toronto. She has received a B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto in chemical engineering and applied sciences. For her Master’s project she had to learn multivariate data analysis, SIMCAP. During her previous internships, she had worked on evaporation and crystallization at Georgia Tech, USA, and surface modification of natural fibres at Unicamp, Brazil.
John J. Balatinecz
John Balatinecz was born in Hungary, where he began his academic career. He earned his undergraduate degree in forestry from the University of B.C. in 1959. Subsequently, he obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Washington in 1963, and Ph.D. in wood science from the University of Toronto in 1966. He served as a professor of Wood Science and Forest Products at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto from 1966 to 1998. John passed away in 2017.
Jimi S.Y. Tjong
Dr. Jimi Tjong is the Technical Leader and Manager of the Powertrain Engineering, Research and Development Centre (PERDC). It is a result-oriented organization capable of providing services ranging from the definition of the problem to the actual design, testing, verification and finally the implementation of solutions or measures. The Centre is currently the hub for Engineering, Research and Development that involved Canadian Universities, Government Laboratories, Canadian automotive parts and equipment suppliers.
Dr. Mallika Das
Dr. Mallika Das joined CBBP in summer of 2017, and manages CBBP operations, labs, project budgets, financial and technical reporting, strategic communications and outreach functions with internal and external stakeholders, events and other administrative duties. Prior to joining CBBP, Mallika had cross-disciplinary expertise in varied roles in the research, start up and innovation space in Toronto in diverse sectors. Dr. Das is experienced in business development, stakeholder engagement, collaborative innovation, public-private partnerships, strategy, operations, project management, communications and outreach and start ups. Mallika holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto in the rational design, synthesis, characterization and testing of smart Drug Delivery Systems (DDS) for cancer cell targeting, and graduated with seven first-author papers in peer-reviewed international journals. She is also coauthor on a book on the Commercialization of Nanomedicine published by Elsevier.
Nasim Ramezani is currently a Ph.D. student in the University of Toronto. She works in the Centre for Biomaterials and Biocomposites Processing. Nasim graduated from University of Waterloo. Her previous projects were focused on production of biomaterials (biopolymer, nanofiber and biofuel) from different substrates by biochemical processes. Nasim’s Ph.D. project is focused on purification of complex polymer by biochemical methods.
Numaira Obaid is a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto under the co-supervision of Professor Sain and Professor Kortschot. Prior to joining CBBP for her doctoral studies, she received her B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering (Honours) from the University of Waterloo.
Note: Currently on maternity leave
Dr. Omar Faruk works at Powertrain Engineering Research & Development Centre of Ford Motor Company, Canada. He is also acting as an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing, University of Toronto, Canada. He achieved his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Kassel, Germany and was previously Visiting Research Associate at Michigan State University, USA. He has more than 85 publications to his credits including 12 book chapters which have been published in different international journals and conferences. He also edited 3 books, titled “Lightweight and Sustainable Materials for Automotive Applications”, “Biofiber Reinforcement in Composite Materials” and “Lignin in Polymer Composites” published by CRC press, Woodhead Publishing Ltd. and Elsevier Ltd., respectively. In addition, he is an invited reviewer for 72 international reputed journals, government research proposals, and book proposals.
Dr. Cooper is a Wood Scientist (B.Sc.F Toronto, M.Sc. Wood Science Oregon State U. and Ph.D. Wood Science U of Toronto) with more than 25 years research, teaching and consulting experience in wood deterioration and wood protection working with the Canadian Forest Products Laboratory in Vancouver (now FORINTEK), Iroquois Chemicals Ltd., the University of New Brunswick and the University of Toronto.
Robenson Cherizol graduated in Chemical Engineering in 2006 at the Universidad de Oriente of Santiago of Cuba (2006). He obtained his Master’s degree at the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2011 at Universite Laval of Quebec (2011), Canada. February 2011, he integrated the research group of Professor Mohini Sain at the Centre for Biomaterials and Biocomposites Processing of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto and also enrolled for his Ph.D. at the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Toronto. His doctorate research is realizing in collaboration with Ford Motors Company, which offered him to develop all his thesis research at the Industry and allow him to broaden his professional horizons.
Shiang Law is one of the senior researchers in the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing. He has worked on natural fibre plastic composite project for past 20 odd years. He is familiar with most of the plastic processing machinery and mechanical testing equipment. Shiang Law’s current research project scopes the development of hybrid biocomposites using organic and inorganic fibres with renewable bioplastics.
Suhara Panthapulakkal has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and she also holds a Ph.D. in Polymer Engineering from the Cochin University of Science and Technology, India. After completing her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Applied Chemistry from the University of Calicut, she completed another Master’s in Polymer Technology from the Cochin University of Science and Technology, India. She has been with the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing (CBBP) since its inception. She has more than 3 peer reviewed publications to her credits in various international journals and several publications in conference proceedings. She is one of the inventors of the cellulosic microfiber processing technology for the development of high performance materials which has already been implemented by Greencore Composites. Her research interests include bio-fibers, bio-polymers, bio-composites, polymer composites, nanofibers and composites, hybrid composites, polymer blends, process and product development. Since July 2013, she has been working as the Project Manager of the NSERC Automotive Partnership Canada Project for developing high-end bio-composites for automotive applications.
Vida Poursorkhabi Sharifabad
Vida Poursorkhabi received her B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, and M.Sc. in Polymer Engineering from Tarbiat Modares University, Iran. She joined Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC) at University of Guelph in 2011 where she studied lignin materials and characterization, electrospinning of lignin (and biopolymers), and production of lignin-based carbon fibers and received her PhD in Engineering. Dr. Poursorkhabi joined Center for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing (CBBP), U of Toronto, in July 2016. She has experience of working with chemical industries as well as automotive industry specifically for producing interior car parts. Her research interests include polymer spinning, polymer characterization, nanotechnology, and advanced functional polymers for energy storage/conversion devices.