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Hungary Recognizes Prof. Levente Diosady

officer's crossThe President of Hungary awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Hungary to Professor Levente Diosady in recognition of his contributions to the teaching and preservation of Hungarian culture and his outstanding career in science. The Officer's Cross is Hungary's highest civilian honour. The award was presented at a private reception by the Justice Minister of Hungary.


March 20, 2015

Volume 32, Issue 10

In this issue:

Research Office
Chem Eng Events


Research Office


Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) Funding Programs Info Session for FASE

The Ontario Genomics Institute is a not-for-profit funded by the federal and provincial governments with a mandate to bring funding to help promote the application of life sciences in different sectors in Ontario, particularly in energy, environment, agriculture/food, mining, forestry, water, bio-products and health.

OGI is hosting an info session targeted at U of T Engineering PIs on March 26, 2015 at 9:00 am in BA1210 to share with you opportunities for research funding through their programs, such as the Genomics Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) and the Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition (LSARP) in Natural Resources and the Environment. Several OGI reps will be in attendance to answer questions and talk to you individually after the presentation. Refreshments will be served.

To RSVP, email elaine.footman@utoronto.ca by March 24, 2015.

9:05 am - Introduction - Sonya Brijbassi, U of T Innovations & Partnerships Office
9:10 am - Ontario Genomics Institute overview - Elaine Corbett, OGI
10:00 am - Mix-and-mingle with OGI representatives

Ontario Brain Institute - 2015 Entrepreneurs Competition

The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) is offering an innovative Entrepreneurs Program to fund and support entrepreneurial scientists engaged in neuroscience-related commercialization opportunities.

The program will provide $50,000 (per individual) in financial support to up to 10 post-graduates to focus full-time, over a one year period, on commercialization activities related to their project. The OBI Entrepreneur will also be assigned industry based mentors, and a dedicated point of contact at the OBI for professional and personal support throughout the year, as well as preparation for follow-on funding.

The program aims to drive the emergence of entrepreneurial spirit in Ontario’s budding neuroscience cluster with the ultimate goals of: expanding the pool of neuroscience entrepreneurs and management talent in Ontario; and establishing a greater number of successful and innovative neuroscience companies that will create a positive economic impact in the province.

To apply to this program,  click here.

The closing date for the application is on April 10, 2015.

For any questions about the application or program, please contact the Ontario Brain Institute at eei@braininstitute.ca

Interdisciplinary Research into ‘Indoor Ecosystems'

A GTA-based Consulting Engineering group hopes to partner with academic researchers on the development/promotion of ‘indoor ecosystems’ – thriving efficiently in a normal indoor environment (i.e. not a greenhouse, but a typical home or office). The aim is to provide all the health benefits of a ‘green wall,’ but also include a limited agricultural component in a mostly self-sustaining (low-effort) setting. The hope is that by providing a tangible link to the natural world in an urban (or conversely, remote but harsh) environment, this would also yield emotional/psychological benefits, as well as an inexpensive incremental source of nutrition.

Prototype systems have already been set up.  Specific research needs at present include:

  • Optimizing fruiting plants by meeting nutrient parameters in an indoor ecosystem
  • Vegetable Nutrient density: comparing soil-based to hydroponics and aquaponics
  • Mineralization of waste – conversion of solid waste materials to liquid/soluble forms
  • Mimicking a freshwater food web in an artificial setting
  • Optimizing system bio-diversity in freshwater, marine, semi-aquatic & terrestrial  system components
  • Thresholds for improving indoor environmental conditions (humidity, air quality, etc.)
  • Short-term/long-term health benefits to humans in the system (physical/psychological)

Applications of the project include:

  • Psychological welfare for shut-ins
  • Limited food production (e.g. far north)
  • Education (schools)
  • Hobby (residential)
  • Tangible examples of sustainability and social responsibility (business)

The sponsor hopes that this will appeal to an interdisciplinary cross-section of researchers in various streams. Initial studies could be short-term projects, with follow-on research as indicated. IPO will connect interested researchers with the sponsoring company. Please advise of interest by March 24, 2015 with a brief summary of your area of interest. Please reply to: industry.connects@utoronto.ca


Direct and up-close views of plant cell walls show a leading role for lignin-modifying enzymes on ensuing xylanases
Jeremic, D.; Goacher, R.E; Yan, R.; Karunakaran, C.; Master, E.R.
Biotechnology for Biofuels 2014, 7(1), art. no. 176.

Process for the synthesis of symmetric and unsymmetric oxygen bridged dimers of boron subphthalocyanines (μ-oxo-(BsubPc)2s)
Dang, J.D.; Fulford, M.V.;  Kamino, B.A.; Paton, A.S.; Bender, T.P.
Dalton Transactions 2015, 44 (9) pp. 4280-4288.

Pressure adaptation is linked to thermal adaptation in salt-saturated marine habitats
Alcaide, M.; Stogios, P.J.; Lafraya, A.; Tchigvintsev, A.; Flick, R., Bargiela, R.; Chernikova, T.N.; Reva, O.N.; Hai, T.; Leggewie, C.C.; Katzke, N.; La Cono, V.;  Matesanz, R.; Jebbar, M., Jaeger, K.-E.; Yakimov, M.M.; Yakunin, A.F.; Golyshin, P.N.; Golyshina, O.V.; Savchenko, A.; Ferrer, M.
Environmental Microbiology 2015, 17 (2) pp. 332-345.




Persian New Year Lunch

CEGSA would like to invite you to its Persian New Year Lunch on March 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm in the grad common room (WB 247). Norooz, meaning 'New Day,' is the name of the Iranian/Persian New Year. In the Iranian calendar, it marks the first day of spring and beginning of the year.

The cost is $5 per person or $4 with the use of NON-DISPOSABLE plates and cutlery. What a sustainable deal!

Acting Chair

Professor Charles Jia will be Acting Chair on March 25, 2015.

Harry's Spring Run-Off 5K/8K

The Chemical Engineering Leadership Working Group is planning to run the Harry's Spring Run-Off 5k/8k as a team on April 5, 2015 in High Park. The group is hoping to get grad students, faculty and staff involved. The run raises money for the fight against prostate cancer, the most common cancer among Canadian men. More info about the run can be found here.

If you are interested in joining the team, there is a $50 registration fee that will get you a nice t-shirt, bag, and a souvenir item (last year it was a hat). Right now, we plan to have a 5k team and, if enough people want it, an 8k team. If you're interested, please sign-up by 9am on Monday, March 23.


Chem Eng Events

Click here for the Chem Eng Calendar


March 25, 2015 - LLE, Dr. Ponisseril Somasundaran, Columbia University, Next Generation Sustainable Surface Active Agents, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm, WB116

March 27, 2015 - 30th Annual Chemical Engineering Dinner, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Chestnut Street Residence

April 1, 2015 - LLE, Dr. Yu-Ling Cheng, University of Toronto, Technologies for global development and global health, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm, WB116

May 30, 2015 - Spring Reunion Chemical Engineering Lunch & Tour, 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Wallberg Building

June 15, 2015 - Spring Convocation


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CHEM ENG NEWS is a weekly summary of news, events and opportunities for students, faculty and staff of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. If you have questions or comments, please contact: external.chemeng@utoronto.ca. Catch up on missed issues by visiting our archive.

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