Sustainable materials

The study of materials and their uses is essential to building a more sustainable society. By understanding the behaviour of materials and their properties, researchers at Polytechnique Montréal have contributed to scientific advances that have allowed industry to reduce its carbon footprint in its production and processes. Our professors’ research has made an impact on the transport sector, biomedical technologies, and in the production of energy and consumer goods, among others.

Research projects for future students

Professors at Polytechnique are seeking motived students at the master’s and doctorate level to join their research teams to carry out projects. As the field of materials spans a wide variety of applications, researchers work in different engineering departments and collaborate with various companies.  Projects include mass production of an increasing number of sustainable products, secure and sustainable packaging, the move toward electrified transport, the cooling of power electronics systems and the production of high-performance and recyclable metals, among others.

Presented here are some examples of projects. Don't hesitate to contact the professors  leading the projects after verifying that you meet the admission requirements for graduate studies.  

If you are interested in a project in another field of expertise, consult the directory to learn about all the fields of expertise at Polytechnique Montreal as well as the research projects offered to graduate students.

Removal of impurities from metals to facilitate their use and release

Lead Professor: Jean-Philippe Harvey
Department: Chemical Engineering

Jean-Philippe HarveyThe raw material used in metal production contains an increasing number of impurities. Companies must therefore adjust their processes to find new approaches to ensure the quality and sustainability of end products. In this context, Professor Jean-Philippe Harvey is conducting research aimed at developing new methods to treat lower-quality raw material and to remove impurities to produce metals, and ultimately, alloys that are more efficient and recyclable.

Among the projects Professor Harvey's team is working on is the development of software that allows companies to predict the behaviour of materials more effectively by simulating various alloy compositions, for example, using computers. His research team also carries out projects on the security of thermal processes and the corrosion of materials used in electrified transport.

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Understanding the properties and structure of material to diversify applications

Lead Professor: Nick Virgilio
Department: Chemical Engineering

Nick VirgilioStudying the behaviour of materials is essential for the development of more efficient and sustainable processes and materials. Professor Nick Virgilio is working to design materials with very precise and detailed properties that can be used in fields as diverse as (bio)chemical processes, the biomedical sector, transportation, aerospace and power electronics.  

For example, Professor Virgilio's team is working on the development of a gelling material to treat brain cancer, as well as light, resistant polymer materials for the manufacture of a lunar vehicle. At the same time, he is also working on innovative materials containing tiny metal particles, or nanoparticles, to develop greener chemical processes, and on new cooling techniques for power electronics systems based on micro-structured liquids.

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Harnessing the electrical and magnetic properties of materials in a variety of applications

Lead Professor: Frédéric Sirois
Department: Electrical Engineering

Frédéric SiroisThe electrical and magnetic properties of materials are used in a wide range of applications, including industrial processes, the production and transmission of electricity, electric propulsion, and the biomedical sector. An issue common to these areas of application is the lack of knowledge about the behaviour of the materials themselves, as well as a lack of computational tools to predict the behaviour of a device to optimize its performance.

Professor Frédéric Sirois conducts several dynamic and innovative research projects to address the challenges presented by this lack of knowledge and adequate tools in the behaviour of materials. For example, in the area of electrification of air transport, he is working with manufacturers of aeronautical equipment to develop advanced material characterization and digital simulation tools to help certify new products more quickly.

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Reducing the carbon footprint in producing goods for mass consumption

Lead Professor: Louis Laberge Lebel
Department: Mechanical Engineering

Louis Laberge LebelProducing sustainable, plant-based materials for the manufacture of cars, aircraft, sports equipment, and other consumer goods is one of the objectives of research being conducted by Professor Louis Laberge Lebel. He is working with several companies to develop new manufacturing processes by incorporating lighter, more resistant and environmentally responsible materials.

Through his research, Professor Laberge Lebel can propose to his industrial partners low-cost, high-performance manufacturing methods that incorporate bio-composites. The use of these methods in the automotive industry, for example, would allow manufacturers to design lighter cars that consume less fuel with less harmful emissions for the environment. The production of more sustainable, efficient and solid textile products is another area of Professor Laberge Lebel’s research interests.

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Designing more sustainable, flexible and secure packaging

Lead Professor: Abdellah Ajji
Department: Chemical Engineering

Abdellah AjjiPackaging is part of our daily lives and presents many challenges in terms of its impact on the environment and on consumer safety. In this context, Professor Abdellah Ajji is conducting research aimed at designing packaging that is more efficient and less harmful to the environment.

For example, some of his projects focus on antibacterial and antioxidant properties of packaging to ensure the quality and sustainability of packaged products, as well as the reduction of waste by reducing the amount of material used and recyclability.

Professor Ajji's team is also working on the design of fibre and nanofibre structures for biomedical applications, including cancer treatment, as well as the development of gas and water filtration applications to prevent the spread of pathogens.

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Finding a research supervisor

You do not need to choose a research supervisor before you submit your application. However, it is preferable to undertake the process as soon as possible, because a professor (your future research supervisor) must endorse your application in order for you to be admitted. To learn how to seek out the support of a professor; please refer to the section Study Supervision in the Admission section. 

To reach a Recruitment Service Advisor

Prospective students advisors from the Recruitment Service are available to answer your questions. Don’t hesitate to contact them! Polytechnique no longer holds secrets for them!

Phone: 514-340-4928