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2010 - Michel Perrier inducted Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineering

MichelPerrierOn June 3, 2010, in Toronto, Professor Michel Perrier, Chemical Engineering Department Head at Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal and co-researcher in our NSERC Chair was amongst the 48 new Fellows into the Canadian Academy of Engineering inducted by President Axel Meisen.

The nomination of Michel Perrier mentions that:

"Through his outstanding contribution to the practice and theory of systems engineering, Professor Perrier has made it possible to push the limits of automatic control applications to chemical and biochemical processes at both laboratory and industrial scales. He also significantly contributed to the ways of teaching engineering to make knowledge integration easier. His ideas on teaching assessment have resulted in the creation of an institutional policy which is now being quoted as an example beyond our borders."

Dr. Meisen commented: “The Academy welcomes the new Fellows, engineers of outstanding calibre, and looks forward to their participation in the Academy’s activities. While the Academy’s recent work has placed considerable emphasis on the subject of energy, its interests are wide ranging. The new Fellows will help shape the Academy’s future directions and contribute to the sustainable development of Canadian society.”

“The Canadian Academy of Engineering is the national institution through which Canada's most distinguished and experienced engineers provide strategic advice on matters of critical importance to Canada. The Academy is an independent, self-governing and non-profit organization established in 1987. Members of the Academy are nominated and elected by their peers to honorary Fellowships, in view of their distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession. Fellows of the Academy are committed to ensuring that Canada’s engineering expertise is applied to the benefit of all Canadians.

The Canadian Academy of Engineering works in close cooperation with other senior academies in Canada and internationally. It is a founding member of the Council of Canadian Academies, along with the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. The Academy works in close collaboration with the other members of the Canadian Engineering Leadership Forum which brings together representatives from Engineers Canada, the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies - Canada, the National Council of Deans of Engineering, and the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students, all working together to ensure a safer, cleaner, healthier and more competitive Canada. The Academy is also a member of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, which includes some 26 similar national bodies around the world.” (Press Release Extract)


On June 3, 2010, in Toronto, Professor Michel Perrier, Chemical Engineering Department Head at Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal and co-researcher in our NSERC Chair was amongst the 48 new Fellows into the Canadian Academy of Engineering inducted by President Axel Meisen.

2010 - Visit at CIMV - France

CIMVOn January 11th 2010, Paul Stuart, Jérémie Cohen and Virginie Chambost visited Michel Delmas, the developer of the CIMV process, in Paris. Paul, Jérémie and Virginie reviewed the details of the process with Michel and discussed future technology development for its commercialization. At the end of the day, CIMV's pilot plant near Reims was visited where our team was able to see the complete process, from mechanical treatment of the feedstock material to the separation units in which value-added products are extracted (lignin, sugar-derived products). The Chair appreciates its relation with CIMV which is one of the emerging promising forest and agricultural biorefinery technologies.





2010 - Paul Stuart invited by AIChE

Paul Stuart has been invited to give a webinar to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) on 11 March, entitled “Biorefinery 101: Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Risks Associated with Implementing the Forest Biorefinery”. 

For more information please seehttp://www.forest-products.org/webinar.html



Intertech Pira 2010 Conference

Paul Stuart and Professor Anne-Marie Tilman (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden) have been invited to lead a short course intended for corporate mill management as well as consultants and suppliers interested to learn more on biorefinery stragegies.  Paul Stuart presentation is entitled “Designing the Sustainable Biorefinery” and the course will be held on Tuesday, February 23rd 2010 during Intertech Pira 2010 Conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

For additional information: http://www.regonline.co.uk/builder/site/tab1.aspx?EventID=745062


Nicolas  Sawaya's Presentation

On Friday, February 12th 2010, the NSERC Environmental Design Engineering Chair in Process Integration at Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal and the Interuniversity research center on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation (CIRRELT) was pleased to host Dr. Nicolas Sawaya, Corporate Strategic Research at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering.  Dr., Sawaya gave a special presentation entitled “Refinery Feedstock Inventory Routing in the Petroleum Industry Downstream

See announcement poster for additional information [.pdf].



Ken Frei's Presentation

On January 15th, our Chair has hosted Ken Frei, MSc. (P2005) who presented on “Engineering Challenges for the Biorefinery”.  Process and environmental engineer at KSH Consultants Ken has 10 years of experience in the pulp, paper and bio-product industries, with a focus on  environmental projects such as water and wastewater treatment plants, sludge management, and effluent flow reduction. Of particular interest, Ken has also been involved in the design and troubleshooting of new treatment facilities, improving environmental performance through in-mill process modifications, and with the expanding domain of bioenergy & biofuels and the forest biorefinery.

In his presentation he talked about the forest biorefinery concept, along with the associated retrofit potential of existing facilities and implementation of a biorefinery as a Greenfield and/or reuse of an existing pulping facility in terms of capital installations. He evoked both options carry benefits and problems that are not always obvious to technology developers and discussed some of the challenges of a biorefinery installation, with particular emphasis on the reuse of a defunct P&P site.



2010 International Networking Days in Slovakia

From January 3rd to the 10th 2010, the Design Chair held its annual retreat in Europe at the mounIND2010tain cottage Bilikova chata, in the highest part of Carpathian mountains, near the city of Poprad in Slovakia. Keynote speakers were invited to discuss interesting topics related to the Forest Biorefinery. 

  • Nilkas Von Weymarn, technology manager at VTT, talked about European Biorefinery Initiatives and an inspiring discussion on European vs American biorefinery differences followed.
  • Andrzej Kraslawski, professor at Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland, gave a wonderful session on creative product design
  • Matty Janssen, project manager in our Chair, conducted a Multi-Criteria Decision Making session (MCDM) on Biorefinery Drivers and Barriers for the implementation of the biorefinery in the forestry sector
  • Jérémie Cohen, MSc student in the Chair, also conducted an MCDM, but this one oriented towards the selection of Ethanol Technology providers. 

Moreover, students from the chair lead sessions and discussions related to various themes on the forest biorefinery, such as product design, retrofit in existing P&P mills, technology risk mitigation, strategic planning and supply chain management.

We also had an opportunity to widen our knowledge from two presentations covering very important and pertinent questions: Earth climate functionality and Future energy markets volatility

An intensive week of exciting work, ski, hiking, sledging and fun in the mountains!



Chair Participation in the CPSE 20th Anniversary

The Centre for Process Systems Engineering  (CPSE), a multi-institutional research centre involving Imperial College London and University College London, and based at the Imperial College London South Kensington campus celebrated its 20th Anniversary on 3rd December 2009.  The Centre is an international research leader in Process Systems Engineering concerned with the management of complexity in uncertain systems, modelled across many time and scale lengths.

Paul Stuart was one of the speakers along with Prof Roger Sargent, Prof Ignacio Grossmann (Carnegie Mellon University), Prof Ana Barbosa (Instituto Superior Técnico), Prof Jay Lee (Georgia Institute of Technology). Professor Stuart being in London to participate as a member in the Jury of Pei Liu’s during his PhD Defence.


Seminar, February 12th

The NSERC Environmental Design Engineering Chair in Process Integration at Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal and the Interuniversity research center on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation (CIRRELT) are pleased to host Dr. Nicolas Sawaya, Corporate Strategic Research at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering.  Dr. Sawaya will be presenting on Friday, February 12th 2010 at 2:00 pm in the GERAD Seminar Room PAA-6516.

The title of the Seminar is Refinery Feedstock Inventory Routing in the Petroleum Industry Downstream.  The presentation will be in English.

Poster of the event


IBC'09 Rocks!

With participants from around the world, the International Biorefinery Conference (IBC’09 http://www.esf.edu/biorefineries/) was held 6-7 October 2009, and was a great success thanks to its superb organization by Professors Tom Amidon and Shijie Liu and their team of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) at State University of New York (SUNY) in Syracuse. Participants from across the globe presented on a wide range of subjects related to state-of-the-art biorefinery research, including no less than 7 presentations from our NSERC Environmental Design Chair team.  As is typically the case, our presentations were unique in that they dealt with design and systems analysis of the biorefinery.IBC'09

NSERC Chairholder Professor Paul Stuart gave his Biorefinery 101 presentation to kick-off the sessions at IBC dealing with the forest biorefinery, focusing on key issues related to biorefining such as risk mitigation, company partnerships, multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) for selecting a strategy, product before process design, and many other topics - giving the audience just enough information to peak their interest; and set the stage for the rest of the Chair team. 

Dr. Matty Janssen described the MCDM methodology for the selection of forest biorefinery product portfolios and the importance of using a market driven approach.  Jose Melendez showed the importance of biomass procurement strategies, as well as the importance of flexibility in feedstocks to secure biomass and lower costs.  Eemeli Hytonen presented his analysis on biorefinery technology selection for the biorefinery, using techno-economic assessments and Monte Carlo simulation.  During dinner a panel discussion was held on “Bridging from Biorefinery Technology to A Commercial Business Success”, one of the highlighted conference events, which was hosted by Professors Tom Amidon and Paul Stuart.  Virginie Chambost presented on the importance of strategic alliances & business partnerships for the successful implementation of a forest biorefinery.  A great colleague of the Chair, Dr. Jacquelyn McNutt, also presented and gave her perspective on biorefinery commercialization issues. On Day 2 of the conference, Hakim Ghezzaz presented his study on debottlenecking of a chemical recovery system using lignin precipitation and Value Prior to Pulping (VPP).  Closing out the conference, Mahasta Ranjbar used LCA methodologies to compare various system choices for ethanol production in a biorefinery setting.

We would like to thank the organizers for an outstanding event, and congratulate the Chair team on a job well done! 

With participants from around the world, the International Biorefinery Conference (IBC’09 http://www.esf.edu/biorefineries/) was held 6-7 October 2009, and was a great success.


The Chair quoted in the Financial Post

Professor Paul Stuart gives commentary and insight into the potential value of the biorefinery to the forestry insight to Canada's Financial Post.

Financial Post article - Forestry's Future: Abitibi under siege


Professor Michel Perrier rewarded the D. G. Fisher 2009

The D. G. Fisher Award is awarded to an individual who has made substantial contributions to the field of systems and control engineering. This CSChE (Chemical Society for Chemical Engineering) award is given in recognition of significant contributions to any, or all, of the areas of theory, practice, and education.  Congratulations to Professor Perrier!


OECD Workshop

On July 23rd and 24th, Virginie Chambost and Matty attended the 'OECD Workshop on Best Practices in Assessing the Environmental and Economic Sustainability of Bio-basd Products', held in Montréal. This workshop aimed at identiying emerging best practices for the evaluation of economic and environmental sustainability of bio-products. A report will be written which discusses the application at an international level of the identified best practices.




FOCAPD Conference

From the 20th to the 22nd of July, Matty Janssen, Eemeli Hytonen and Virginie Chambost attended the 6th World Congress of Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing. Virginie presented the work carried out for the sustainable development of the triticale biorefinery during a panel organized by the CTBI. On July 21st, Matty and Virginie organized a panel entitled ' Joint Ventures for successful exploitation of the biorefinery'. This panel's objective was to continue the discussion on this topic which was initiated during their preceding panel at the 5th World Congress in Chicago, in April last year. This year's all-Canadian panel of technology providers consisted of Jeff Passmore of Iogen, Dino Mili of Enerkem, Randal Goodfellow of Ensyn, and Michael Rushton of Lignol. They presented their strategies and successes regarding joint-venture development for the biorefinery.




CTBI Network's Annual Meeting

Virginie Chambost and Paul Stuart attended the CTBI network's annual meeting. The CTBI is the pan-Canadian research network on the triticale biorefinery, in which the Chair plays an important role regarding sustainable biorefinery design decision making. During this meeting which took place at the end of June 2009, the work of 100 researchers was presented and the global strategic research directions were discussed.



FOCAPD Conference

Virginie Chambost, Matty Janssen, Louis Patrick Dansereau and Paul Stuart attended the FOCAPD conference (Foundations of Computer-Aided Process Design), which was held in Breckenridge (Colorado) in June 2009. During this conference, at which world experts in the field of process systems engineering convened, three posters were presented and a presentation of Behrang Mansoornejad's work on supply chain modeling and optimization was given, and all received positive feedback. Following this conference Virginie and Paul travelled to Vancouver to present the Chair's vision and work on the biorefinery at research centres, the University of British Columbia and a pulp and paper company



CSIRO Meeting

On April 23rd, 2009, Virginie Chambost presented to CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) the progress the Chair has been making concerning the implementation of forest biorefining. After the presentation, Cameron Begley explained CSIRO's major research interests, as well as the planned projects in the field of biorefining in Australia.




APPITA 2009 Conference, Melbourne - Australia appita2009

Virginie Chambost and Paul Stuart celebrate over dinner following the APPITA Pulp and Paper Conference in Melbourne Australia, with dear friend and colleague Professor Gil Garnier [Director - Australasian Pulp and Paper Institute (APPI) at Monash University] and his wife Katheryn.  The sushi was out of this world, as was the conference.  Virginie and Paul made 3 presentations on their biorefinery work at the conference including a keynote, and then made presentations at various companies and research centres.



First Prize at the Cocktail training rewards – March 12, 2009

prixstage2009The team composed of Jérémie Cohen (M.Sc. Student in our Chair), François Desjardins and Julien Grenier (currently finishing their B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering) has been awarded the 1st Prize worth $150 by the organizing committee. Their project was on the design of a biorefinery plant for the production of ethanol and acetic acid (based on a retrofit of black liquor treatment). It was selected from twenty other Ecole Polytechnique projects.





Renewal of NSERC Environmental Design Engineering Chair

The NSERC Environmental Design Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique was the first of its kind established in Canada, and will proudly celebrate its renewal on 2 February, in presence of the partners.  NSERC, Natural Resources Canada representatives, and several industrial partners supporting the Chair will be present.  The second mandate targets the design and evaluation of an exciting new concept called the biorefinery, which has the potential to return innovative forestry companies back to prosperity while at the same time resulting in significant GHG reductions. 

For further information:


The NSERC Environmental Design Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique was the first of its kind established in Canada, and will proudly celebrate its renewal on 2 February.

Chair Internal Networking Days 2009

The Design Chair held its annual retreat 22-24 January 2009, for the first time during the winter season. As well as cross-country skiing and several intense games of broomball, the discussion focused on Key factors for Success (KFS) related to biorefinery implementation by forestry companies.  It can’t get better than this - fun was had by all!

groupet1     groupet2


Virginie Chambost receives the CCQ Prize for Youth Excellence

Virginie Award

Created in 2005 by Carrefour des Communautés du Québec (CCQ), this Prize recognizes the excellence of young people in their field who represent perfect examples of integration, motivation and perseverance.  An amount of $1,500 is granted to the winner. For the second time, a member of the Chair receives this award.  In 2006, the prize was awarded to Ilich Lama Bustinza (nécessaire? when the Royal Bank of Canada was the donator).  Since last year, Ms. Pierrette Wong, Founding President of Italwong Fashion Inc., is the donator, showing her interest for the youth.  During the Gala, Mr. Faris Faris, President of Groupe Almassa International inc. and also President of the 2008 Gala added $1,000 after listening to Virginie's presentation.  Professor Paul Stuart was presenting Virginie to the audience.

The prize was given on Saturday, November 1st 2008 during the 8th Carrefour Presentation of the multi-cultural Medals of Art, Trade & Professions at the Windsor Hotel.  In the picture shown here, Ms Yolande James, Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities giving the plaque to Virginie Chambost.

Previous recipients of the Excellence Prize:

2005: Sami Obaid who has asteroid named after him, Minor Planet (21712) Obaid

2006:  Ilich Lama Bustinza

2007:  Oliver Alexander Cardoso



1st December 2008: “Modification of a Hardwood Pulp Mill into an Integrated Forest Biorefinery” Dr. Peter van Walsum, from University of Maine

Dr. Peter van Walsum is Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Maine, where he leads the Forest Bioproducts Research Initiative biological processing research cluster. Prior to coming to U. Maine, van Walsum was assistant and then associate professor of Environmental Studies at Baylor University, TX, where he served as graduate program director. Van Walsum is a professional chemical engineer and has also worked in process engineering for AMEC Americas and Shell Canada.

Peter holds a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from Dartmouth College, as well as Masters and Bachelor degrees in Chemical Engineering from McGill University and a BA in Geology from Williams College, MA. His current research interests include production of biofuels and bioproducts from renewable resources and integration of bioproduct technology into existing bioresource industries such as dairy, aquaculture and pulp and paper.

Details on the event including abstract of the presentation


2 October 2008: “Functionality-Based Process Design: Shifting from Mass Integration to Property Integration” presented by Dr. Mahmoud El-Halwagi, Texas A&M University.

Mahmoud El-Halwagi is a professor and holder of the McFerrin Professorship at the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. His main research interests involve process integration, sustainable design, and pollution prevention.
Dr. El-Halwagi is the co-author/co-editor of four books and numerous publications. He has served as a consultant to a wide variety of chemical, petrochemical, petroleum, pharmaceutical, forestry products, and metal finishing industries.

Dr. El-Halwagi is the recipient of several awards including the Fluor Distinguished Teaching Award, the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award, the National Science Foundation’s National Young Investigator Award, the Mortar Board Favorite Educator Award, the Birdsong Merit Teaching Award, and the Fred H. Pumphrey Award. Professor El-Halwagi has a B.S. and an M.S. from Cairo University and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, all in chemical engineering.

Details on the event including abstract of the presentation


Paul Stuart nominated member of the Committee on Research Partnerships (CRP).

The members of the Committee on Research Partnerships (CRP) recommend program funding allocations and transfers between program elements within NSERC funding envelope (Strategic Projects; Research Networks, Collaborative Research and Development Grants, Research Partnership Agreements, Industrial Research Chairs, Intellectual Property Management; etc).  The committee also provides advice on and monitors the research partnerships programs referred to it by NSERC and advises it on policy issues and possible mechanisms in support of such research in Canadian universities.

For additional information on the Committee on Research Partnerships: http://www.nserc.gc.ca/about/standing_e.asp


The Chair presents at PRES'08 in Prague


The Chair was in full force in Prague 25-28 August, at the PRES Conference, organizing the sessions on the forestry industry, and making 4 presentations including the biorefinery session keynote. 
Those from the Chair attending and enjoying some traditional Czech cuisine in the picture are Professor Michel Perrier and his wife Chantal, Project Manager Virginie Chambost, PhD students Eemeli Hytonen and Jean-Martin Brault, and Professor Paul Stuart. 






The Chair participates in PASI 2008, Argentina

The 2008 Pan American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) was held in Mar del Plata Argentina over 12-21 August 2008. Our NSERC Design Chair has been privileged to participate in 2008 PASI, as we did the first PASI meeting held in 2005 – also in Argentina.  PASI is a 10-day course offered to PhD LP PASIstudents by faculty from across the Americas, and captures the latest trends in process systems engineering. In his presentation at the course, Paul Stuart elaborated the strategy used by the Chair for applying PSE to help our partners systematically address the forest biorefinery, and as well, he participated in a panel concerning current trends and the future of PSE. 

The photo shows PhD student Louis Patrick Dansereau during his 2-hour run – a daily tradition every afternoon at the course.  He is joined by Moritz von Stosch, a German student doing his PhD at Universidade do Porto in Portugal.  Add stamina to Louis Patrick’s list of achievements that include his NSERC scholarship and significant musical talents!

For more information on PASI as well as the presentation slides, please see http://cepac.cheme.cmu.edu/pasi2008/index.htm.

The Design Community Meets in Halifax

Dalhousie University was the centre of Canadian Design activities in July, as Professor Peter Gregson hosted the NSERC Design Chairs Meeting 24-25 July, which was followed by the 5th Canadian Design Engineering Network (CDEN) Conference 27-29 July (in 2004NSERCDesignChair, the Ecole Polytechnique Design Chair proudly co-hosted the inaugural CDEN Conference with McGill University).  The CDEN Conference is now the acknowledged meeting place for the wider design community across Canada – the program was excellent, and it was great to share stories with colleagues.  For more information on the CDEN Conference, please see https://cden-08.dal.ca/ , and stay tuned for next year’s conference to be hosted by McMaster University!

The photo shows Peter Lawrence (NSERC Design Chair, UBC), Anne Alper (NSERC), and Ron Britton (NSERC Design Chair, U-Manitoba) having a bite to eat and focusing on the Design Chairs meeting.  During the NSERC Design Chairs Meetings held twice per year, the 15 Chairholders from different universities and different engineering departments from across Canada assembled to share best practices in design and describe progress being made at their institutions.



Alexander-Graham-Bell Scholarship awarded to Louis Patrick Dansereau

LPD Louis Patrick Dansereau, one of our PhD students in the NSERC Environmental Design Chair, just has been awarded the prestigious Canada Alexander-Graham-Bell Scholarship (GGS Program).  This scholarship, established in 2003, is awarded through a national competition held by each of the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR).  The GGS scholarship Programme supports exceptional MSc and PhD students, and seeks to ensure a reliable supply of highly qualified personnel to meet the needs of Canada’s knowledge economy.  The candidates are selected based upon the excellence of their academic record, their potential in research, their communication skills, their social awareness, and their leadership potential.  We are already well-aware of all these attributes in Louis-Patrick, and this prestigious award simply confirmed this!

Congratulations Louis Patrick!



Our NSERC Design Chair once again in the news!

Our NSERC Design Chair is once again in the news. Paul Stuart and other experts discuss the biorefinery, and some of the evolutions in thinking concerning whether this will become a reality. The Chair is working hard on developing viable strategies for our partners - read on!

Leid D., "As long as it Burns, it's Gold" , Pulp & Paper Canada, 109:6 (2008), p. 8-13.



Professor Michel Perrier appointed Doctor Honoris Causa at the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons in Belgium.

Professor Michel Perrier has recently been appointed Doctor Honoris Causa at the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons in Belgium.  Four other scientists will also be honoured:  Ms. Claude Haigneré (ESA), MM. Michel Cosnard (INRIA), Lorenzo Fedrizzi  (Udine University) and Timothy John Bedford (Strathclyde University).
The ceremony will be held on Friday September 26, 2008.
The NSERC Environmental Design Engineering Chair warmly congratulates Professor Perrier with this appointment.



The Chair's Expertise on the Biorefinery Sought: "Actions catching up to Words"

Paul Stuart was recently interviewed by Graeme Rodden (Editor) of Pulp and Paper magazine regarding the biorefinery in an article entitled “Actions Catching Up to Words”.  We provided a clear and frank opinion on some of the key biorefinery issues emerging at this point in time.

The Chair opens Appita Conference in New Zealand - Leading-Off with the Forest Biorefinery


    Virginie Chambost and Paul Stuart presented the opening keynoteP_V
    at the 62nd Appita Annual Conference and Exhibition, held in Rotorua (New Zealand) over 20-23 April. The title of the presentation   was “Designing the Forest Biorefinery”, and as well, a presentation
   was made regarding the Canadian context at a special technical stream organized by Appita on carbon trading. 

Appita Technical Programme




Meeting Canmet and NSERC Design Chair - May 2, 2008

Reunion Salle GERAD

On Friday 2 May, our NSERC Design Chair met with the CANMET Energy Technology Centre, Laboratory of Natural Resources Canada - one of the Chair's best partners, and together we are seeking to apply systems engineering techniques for evaluating the biorefinery.  The goal of the meeting was to identify new research vista that we might follow in the future, in addition to our many ongoing activities.  A good time was had by all participants, and some great ideas were identified.  An example of teamwork at its best!



2008 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing

Matty Janssen and Virginie Chambost are organizing a panel during the 2008 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing to be held in Chicago over 27-30 April 2008. The organized session is entitled “Partnerships for Successful Development of the Forest Biorefinery”, in which different potential biorefinery stakeholders (one pulp and paper company and one technology developer) describe their biorefinery business objectives and partnership goals. The panel will be a 90-minute session, involving 3 speakers followed by discussion. Matty Janssen will be the panel Chair, and Virginie Chambost will be one of the presenters. The second presenter will be Doug Freeman of New Page out of Wisconsin Rapids and the third speaker, Kendall Pye from Lignol.

Panel Abstract

Congress Breakout


2008 Forest Products TechnoBusiness Forum: Save the Date, 20-21 May 2008

The Environmental Design Engineering Chair is proud to co-host the CPBIS 2008 Forest Products TechnoBusiness Forum themed “Market Dominance Through Enterprise Transformation” to be held 20-21 May.  The forest biorefinery will be an important focus issue at the conference. 

Brochure (pdf)

Agenda (pdf)

Forum Website

"Market Dominance Through Enterprise Transformation" is the title of an exciting and valuable program being co-hosted by the Center for Paper Business and Industry Studies, North Carolina State University College of Natural Resources, Ecole Polytechnique University P&P Chair, State University of New York Environmental Sciences and Forestry, and University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation.

We are recruiting

We are currently offering an exceptional opportunity for a PDF (Post-Doctoral Fellow) who would execute leading edge product design analyses for the forest biorefinery, working closely with the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (PAPRICAN). The detailed objectives for this opportunity are in the attached pdf file.

We are also currently recruiting graduate students to join our research team, preferably at the PhD level but also the MSc level.  We have a number of positions available for January and May 2008.  Students who join the Chair work closely with an industry partner – developing new systems analysis methodologies employing process integration tools to address critical industry needs. We seek to attract tomorrow’s research and industry leaders.  Fluency in either English or French is mandatory for all applicants.  The Chair offers competitive stipends to all incoming graduate students.


Short course on “Capital Spending on Pulp and Paper Industry” – August 6-8, 2007


genevièveThe Chair team and several special guests have attended a 2 days and a half course on “Capital Spending in the Pulp and Paper Industry”.  The course was organized by the Chair and was given by Dr. Richard, B. Phillips, Professor at the North Carolina State University (NCSU).  The participants showed great interest and their active participation lead to interesting debates.

Dr. Phillips has been an Adjunct Professor of Wood and Paper Science, and Executive-in-Residence at North Carolina State University since January 2006.  In this capacity, he teaches a graduate level course in Paper Industry Management topics, and his research interests concern the application of forest biotechnology and pulp and paper mill technology for the production of biofuels from wood.  Dr. Phillips recently led a multi-client study to develop a technical/financial operating model of repurposing a forest and kraft pulp mill to ethanol production.

Prior to this, Dr. Phillips worked for International Paper for 34 years - 14 as a corporate officer.   His last assignment was Senior Vice-President - Technology, and Project Manager - Brazil Pulp and Paper Mill Development.

Course outline

This course comprises a practical treatment of capital investment basics in the pulp and paper industry, such as those applied by the largest pulp and paper manufacturing company in the world – International Paper. Dr. Phillips teached the material using a hypothetical mill case study (“The Carolina Pulp and Paper Company”) contained on a CD, including the trials and tribulations of start-up and wildly cyclical prices.
In the last day of the course, Dr. Phillips has reflected on pulp and paper industry capital spending practices and the forest biorefinery.


Paul Stuart in Australia

Paul Stuart has been invited by APPI (Australian Pulp & Paper Institute) located at Monash University in Clayton, Australia to give an advanced seminar for process engineers, environment managers and experienced persons.  The seminar is on complex issues involved in integrating water, energy and fibre in pulp and paper manufacturing processes.  Most of the presentations are given by Paul Stuart. He is assisted by Dr Loi Nguyen of the Australian Pulp and Paper Institute (APPI), recognised expert in water management for kraft pulping, and by Dr Andrew Hoadley of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University, a specialist in the relatively new science of pinch analysis.  Alan Eagle, Environment Manager at Australian Paper Maryvale provides an insight into how an operating mill has instituted process integration into its existing operations and its new fibreline which is under construction.

For more information [pdf]

A Chair reunion - in London England!


Chair Meeting Professor Paul Stuart met-up with Martin Laflamme-Mayer (while on exchange with Professor Stratos Pistikopoulos at Imperial College) and Ulrika Wising (Chair Post-Doctoral student now working with BelSim in Belgium, and visiting London) for a fine meal. 






PAPTAC awards Paul Stuart a “Certificate of Appreciation”


The Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTAC) awarded Paul Stuart a “Certificate of Appreciation” in recognition of his outstanding service to the Environment Committee and for his creation of the Forest Biorefinery Session overall benefit to the Canadian industry.  This award was presented at the Awards Ceremony that took place on Thurdsay, February 8th 2007 at the Palais des Congrès.





C. Howard Smith Award conferred to Shahram Navaee-Ardeh


The C. Howard Smith Award 2007 of the Pulp & Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTAC) for Best Paper by a young member has been attributed to Shahram Navaee-Ardeh, one of our Ph.D. Student.  The Price waw given during PAPTAC 93rd Annual Meeting during the week of February 5 to 9, 2007.







Sustainable Biorefineries topical conference at the 2006 AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers)
Annual Meeting, held in San Francisco, CA. November 7-12, 2006

Paul Stuart was invited to the Plenary Session of the AIChE Annual Meeting on Sustainable Biorefineries. 

Details of the Presentation (pdf)

Commodity industries such as forestry are characterized by a low R&D intensity.  Their research activities have transformed from process innovation research to enterprise efficiency research, such as supply chain optimization). Investments in enterprise efficiency naturally “align” to existing products, and thus commodity industries and especially those that are capital intensive can create inertia against a model of “punctuated equilibrium” (where punctual innovations result in new products which add significant value to company performance).  This innovation challenge is obviously complex for industry sectors such as pulp and paper, which especially in recent years, must respond to stock market metrics in the short term.

Centre québécois de valorisation des biotechnologies (CQVB) Round Table:  « Forest Biorefinery : 
A path for the pulp and paper industry? » November 2, 2006

A new initiative between CQVB (Centre Québécois de valorisation de la biomasse) and the NSERC Environmental Design Engineering Chair has been created.  This initiative will address the promotion of new approaches for assessing forest biorefinery potential and optimizing the implementation of biorefinery in pulp and paper sector. To ensure the success of such an important challenge, a panel of experts presented modeling techniques for the technical and commercial facets of the project. The interest was to organize a technological meeting of the minds in order to create a synergy between researchers and industrial experts of the pulp and paper sector.  Bob Eamer and Frank Dottori were among those who gave a presentation at the round table.

Flyer of the Roundtable (pdf French)



The Chair has participated in a number of recent important meetings concerning the forest biorefinery:

  • European Conference on Biorefinery Research
    October 19-20, 2006 in Helsinki, Finland
  • IEA Workshop on Energy Efficiency and CO2 Emision Reductions in the Pulp and Paper Industry:  Focus on Technology Systems
    October 9, 2006 in Paris
  • 2006 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnologies
    July 11, 2006 in Toronto
  • Biotechnology and industrial sustainability, Le Carrefour de la biotechnologie,
    22-23 March 2006, CNRC-NRC


Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering (CSChE) 56th Conference - October 15-18, 2006

The Chair had a significant presence in the Conference with six presentations:

  • Cotter, L., Stuart, P.R., 2006.  «Mechanistic model for nutrient transformations in pulp & paper activated sludge wastewater treatment plants». Comm. 0421.
  • Laflamme-Mayer, M., Stuart, P.R., 2006. «Process-based Approach for Supply Chain Analysis: Application in the Pulp and Paper Industry». Comm. 0419.
  • Brault, J.-M., Comeau, Y., Perrier, M., Stuart, P.R., 2006.  «Hybrid Modelling of a Pulp and Paper Mill Activated Sludge Treatment Plant: Steady-state Results». Comm. 0420.
  • Navarri, P., Stuart, P.R., 2006.  «Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts: A Step-by-Step Approach to Optimize the Carbon Chain Value in the Kraft Pulp and Paper Process». Comm. 0494.
  • Navaee-Ardeh, S., Bertrand, F., Stuart, P.R., 2006.  «Heat and Mass Transfer  Modeling of a Novel Biodrying Process:  Lumped System Approach and Preliminary Results». Comm. 0106.
  • Gaudreault, C., Bisson, J., Samson, R., Stuart, P.R., 2006.  «Assessing Energy Projects at an Integrated Newsprint Mill Using LCA:  Impact of Selected Methodological choices». Comm. 0276.


SNC Lavalin Plant Design Competition

Olivier Dubé, Patrice Farand, Sophie Fournanty, Mylène Fugère, Hugues Anderson Kamga Wambo, Clèmence Leprêtre and Marie-Kinkéla Vilsaint from Ecole Polytechnique won the 2nd Prize in this contest for their project entitled “Projet Biofertile +”. They completed their project in the context of the GCH4131 Course “Design project and impact assessment which is taught by Pr. Paul Stuart.

The Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering organizes the SNC LAVALIN Undergraduate Plant Design Competition for students enrolled in undergraduate chemical engineering programs at Canadian Universities.

All submitted projects were evaluated by a panel of judges drawn from industry, government and universities. The authors of the best three projects were invited to present their projects at the Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference where the judges made their final decision.

2nd Bantrel Forum

The second Bantrel Forum was held on October 18th 2006 in conjunction with the 2006 CSChE Conference at the Delta Hotel and Convention Centre, à Sherbrooke.  The presentation was about “Design-Directed Research”. 

The goal of the second Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering was to share experiences and synthesize best practices on successful design-directed research projects, and spin-off companies evolving through design-directed research activities.  This was followed by break-out sessions where the characteristics of design-directed research were discussed.

CSChE Design Forum Agenda (pdf file English)


North American Mobility Program - Distance Learning Modules in Product and Process Desi

We have been awarded a grant for the development of web-based learning modules through student exchanges between participating organizations.  These modules will allow the improvement of the students' design expertise and will stimulate their intererest in innovation.

Once completed, the set of web-based modules will provide a new paradigm in engineering education and will form the basis for a distance-learning Master's program in Product and Process Design, ideally to be delivered in three languages via a consortium of universities from Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

The participating Universities are:

In Canada:

In Mexico:

In the United States:

  • University of Texas A&M
  • Georgia Institute of Technology


White Papers on Transformative Technologies - Canadian Forest Innovation Council Workshop (CFIC) - April 18-19, 2006 in Quebec City

A special initiative was completed by CFIC to explore transformative technologies for the Pulp and Paper Industry.  The Chair had the opportunity to participate in the development of white papers for this important workshop.  The workshop objectives were the prioritization of products and technologies with the most potential to deliver sector transformation through the maximisation of fibre value. The panel of attendees identified and ranked barriers to realizing the benefits of transfornative technologies in four categories: building and living with wood, pulp and paper products and processes, bio-chemicals and bio-energy.


Collaboration with NCASI

James Palumbo of the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) has agreed to be a member of the defense jury for Lucy Cotter's M.Sc project entitled "Multivariate analysis and steady-state modelling of nutrient mechanisms in activated sludge treatment of pulp and paper wastewater".  Dr. Palumbo is an expert in nutrient mechanism modeling for Pulp & Paper wastewater treatment and his association with the project is highly valued


Lucy Cotter's M.Sc project entitled 'Multivariate analysis and steady-state modelling of nutrient mechanisms in activated sludge treatment of pulp and paper wastewater'.

Collaboration with PEPITe

An agreement has been signed between PEPITe S.A. and our NSERC Chair to work jointly on the F.I.R.S.T. – Enterprises International Programme " Formation et impulsion à la recherche scientifique et technologique pour les entreprises".  PEPITe is a software company in Belgium that offers its customers innovative manufacturing Intelligence solutions that can be used to quickly improve the process or the way it is operated using stored process data.

Data mining thinking and tools will be applied to solve critical problems, such as process variability and energy optimization. The first project aims to provide operators with predictive tools to reduce sheet break occurrences on the paper machine. Sebastien Lafourcade (Ph.D. 2006), is now responsible for the development of PEPITe's Canadian activities.  PEPITe is a company based in Belgium and specialized in data mining for industrial processes.  Sebastien benefits of the partnership concluded between Abitibi Consolidated and École Polytechnique de Montréal.  He manages and executes projects.  He also develops business opportunities, to particularly for techniques related to data mining in the pulp and paper industry.



FQRNT 2006 Merit Award

In addition to being awarded a complementary scholarship from the Department of Chemical Engineering, our Ph.D. Student, Shahram Navaee-Ardeh was awarded a FQRNT merit scholarship.  He was ranked 2 out of 24 top international PhD candidates selected from different universities across the province of Quebec.  The competition was open to all international PhD students in any field. His first paper was published in Drying Technology, one of the best journals in the field and he presented his modeling results on lumped and 1-D modeling in CSChE 2006 conference in Sherbrooke. He is currently supervising the construction of the biodrying reactors that will be used for experimental part of his research.

We own Paperweek!!!

During the 92nd Paptac Annual Meeting (February 6-10, 2006) seven students of the Chair participated in the technical session program by giving presentations on the recent advances in their research. This did not go by unnoticed! Several of their presentations were mentioned and quoted from in the daily reports of the conference.

Paperweek International Reporter [pdf]


Opportunities for Graduate Studies in Process Integration and Process Systems Engineering

Our NSERC Environmental Design Engineering Chair has recently been renewed in the area of Process Integration in the Pulp and Paper Industry. We are currently recruiting graduate students to join our research team, preferably at the PhD level but also the MSc.A. level.

Full details [pdf]

We are currently recruiting graduate students to join our research team, preferably at the PhD level but also the MSc.A. level.

PAPTAC 2006 Conference

Our Chair organized PAPTAC 2006 Conference Session on the Forest Biorefinery [pdf]- February 9th 2006.

Conference Session on the Forest Biorefinery - February 9th 2006.

The Douglas Jones Environmental Award

Erica Salazar, Réjean Samson, Ken Munnoch, and Paul Stuart have been awarded the Douglas Jones Environmental Award for their Paper presented at PAPTAC 91st Conference in February 2005, entitled "Identifying Environmental Improvement Opportunities for Newsprint Production Using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)", D-851-856.


2nd C-DEN Conference, 18-20 July 2005 in Kananaskis, AB

The second CDEN Design Conference whose theme was "From Inspiration to Innovation" took place in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains: Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada, July 18-20, 2005.

Full details [pdf]

The second CDEN Design Conference whose theme was "From Inspiration to Innovation".

First Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering

The NSERC Environmental Design Engineering Chair has organized the first Bantrel Forum on Design in Chemical Engineering (see attached agenda [pdf]), whose goal was to share experiences and synthesize best practices on two themes: Design Throughout the Chemical Engineering Curriculum, and the Chemical Engineering Capstone Design Sequence.

The Opening Keynote Speaker was Dr. Chan Wirasinghe (Chair of the Canadian Design Engineering Network or CDEN). Following this, there were presentations from industry speakers on each of the two themes (Andrew Hart of Bantrel and Paul Szabo of Xerox), followed by short perspectives given by university design educators from across Canada. Finally, those involved in the Forum and invited participants broke-out into four parallel working groups to identify best practices. Conclusions from the break-out sessions were presented to the general audience and then an open discussion was held.


Paul Stuart, nominated as President of the CSChE for 2005-2006

We are pleased to announce that our Chairholder, Paul Stuart, has been nominated as President of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering (CSChE) for 2005-2006. The following announcement was taken from Canadian Chemical News, (May 2005).

Full details [pdf]

Paul Stuart, has been nominated as President of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering (CSChE) for 2005-2006.

Genevieve Roy has been awarded the 2005 Henri Bolker Prize


genevOne of our MSc.A. Students, Geneviève Roy has been awarded the 2005 Henry Bolker Prize in recognition of her excellence in communication and research at the Canadian Pulp and Paper Graduate Students Seminar.   Genevieve's project is entitled " Optimization of a Novel Drying Process Using Forced Aeration through a Porous Biomass Matrix " and was conducted in closed collaboration with a Montreal-based Company, SOCONAG Inc. and Ecole Polytechnique.  The 2nd and 3rd prizes were awarded to students from University of Toronto. This seminar is held each year at Mc Gill University during the PAPTAC Annual Meeting.

Congratulations Geneviève!






One of our M.Sc. Students, Geneviève Roy has been awarded the 2005 Henry Bolker Prize