Engineering Excellence Celebration 2015

UBC Engineering hosted another successful Engineering Excellence Celebration 2015 event to honour its own.  The event was held on April 9th at the Four Season’s Hotel in Vancouver, BC.  We are happy to announce that two PPC affiliates received awards at this years celebration.
M. Hafizur Rahman has been working on the Dual Fluidized Bed Gasification Project since 2011, conducting all experiments relating to his PhD in the PPC High Head Lab.  He received the Outstanding Future Alumnus Award.
Dr. Richard Kerekes, former director of the PPC, is a household name both at the Centre and throughout the industry. Dr. Kerekes received the Outstanding Emiriti Award.

Outstanding Future Alumnus Award

M. Hafizur Rahman

M. Hafizur Rahman is a PhD candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) and served as the CHBE Graduate Students Club President in 2013–2014. In his time at UBC, Hafiz has distinguished himself as a dedicated, effective, and exemplary leader through his service to his department, his peers, and the greater university community.

Through his work with the CHBE Graduate Student Club, Hafiz led and participated in a number of initiatives that had a significant and positive impact on the CHBE department and students. Most notable of these initiatives was Hafiz’s founding and organization of the extremely well attended and received Professional Development Speaker Series, at which faculty and industry leaders shared their career stories to help students with career preparation. For his work on this series, the UBC AMS awarded Hafiz their Just Desserts Award in 2013. Hafiz also organized a number of very successful outreach, social, and wellness events to raise CHBE’s profile and to enhance its community and culture. He further contributed to CHBE by co-authoring a report to the Department Head on the program’s strengths and weaknesses, which was incorporated into a larger report to the Faculty and the University. For his leadership in CHBE and his years of dedicated service, the department awarded Hafiz their Graduate Student Leadership Award in 2014.

Hafiz’s work as a Teaching Assistant is regarded as nothing less than exceptional and his efforts were rewarded in 2014 with UBC’s Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, for which he was nominated by faculty within his department. A highly knowledgeable educator, Hafiz has become a role model for his fellow TAs and has set a new standard for success in the role.

Hafiz’s research focus is hydrodynamics and modeling of a dual fluidized bed reactor for biomass steam gasification. As part of his research, he has made substantial progress towards the development of a novel device to monitor solids circulation rates and biomass gasification performance in dual bed systems. His research has the potential to make a significant impact on renewable and sustainable bioenergy systems and contribute specifically to an innovative dual bed technology currently under development at UBC.



Outstanding Emeriti Faculty

Dr. Richard Kerekes

Dr. Richard Kerekes, one of the world’s leading pulp and paper engineers, is Professor Emeritus in UBC’s Chemical and Biological Engineering department, where he has taught since 1978. Although he is now retired, Dr. Kerekes maintains an active presence at UBC, mentoring new faculty, advising successive directors of the UBC Pulp and Paper Centre, assisting with the academic supervision of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and working to maintain and develop vital relationships between UBC and the pulp and paper industry.

Dr. Kerekes’s career with UBC began in 1978 when he joined the Chemical Engineering Department as an Honorary Professor to initiate the landmark collaboration between UBC and the Pulp and Paper Institute of Canada (Paprican), now FPInnovations—a collaboration that has advanced research and education for the pulp and paper industry of BC and Canada. In 1983, Dr. Kerekes was appointed the founding Director of UBC’s Pulp and Paper Centre, which he was instrumental in bringing into being. He served as Director from 1983 to 2005, during which the Centre established its world reputation and became a key resource for the pulp and paper industry that it remains to this day.

Dr. Kerekes’s world-renowned research is widely applied throughout the industry and he is esteemed as one of the foremost international authorities in pulp and paper engineering. He has published breakthrough papers in a number of interdisciplinary fields. Through his substantial research, he has pioneered major advances in fibre suspension rheology, papermaking, and fibre processing.

Industry, academic and collegial regard for Dr. Kerekes and his work is profound. His leadership and mentorship continue to have a significant effect in academia and industry, with many of his former students holding key leadership positions in both. For his significant achievements, outstanding research, and unparalleled service to the pulp and paper community, he has received a distinct number of awards and honours. In 1989, Dr. Kerekes received APEGBC’s Meritorious Achievement Award and, in 1993, he was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He holds two gold medals, the John S. Bates Memorial Gold Medal from the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTAC) and the Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal from the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) of the US—each, the highest honour in its respective association.

View the award category descriptions and full list of award winners’ biographies.

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