UBC graduate researchers showcase projects at PACWest 2017

Six of UBC’s graduate, doctoral and post-doc researchers in Chemical and Mechanical Engineering presented their original studies and results of their projects at the UBC Student Session in Whistler on Friday, June 9. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler was the stunning venue of this annual conference organised and hosted by PACWest.

Team of researchers, professors and staff at UBC’s Pulp and Paper Centre.

Inaugural slide at the UBC Students Session featured the names of the 6 presenters.

Dr. Heather Trajano, Assistant Professor at UBC’s Department of Chemical and Mechanical Engineering, chaired the UBC Student Session session. Heather introduced each presenter and moderated the session and question time.

The six presenters and their topics were:

Moisture Content Measurement in Paper Drying Using a Novel Technique
Amir Farzad Forughi, Sheldon Green, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boris Stoeber, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia

Amir Farzad Forughi graduated with a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, where his research focused on experimental optofluidics. He is currently a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at UBC and researches flow visualization, porous media and experimental thermofluids.





Hydroxyethyl lignin derivatives for bioplastics
Liyang Liu, L. N. Sathsiksunoh, M. Cho, S. Chowdury and Scott Renneckar, University of British Columbia

Li-Yang Liu is a PhD student of Wood Science at UBC. His research interests lie in the area of lignin, ranging from the characterization to the valorization of lignin. His research focus is specifically on a green way to convert lignin into homogeneous structure in preparation of bioplastics, such as foams, coating and polyester.





Effect of refining of NBSK mixed with Hardwood on tensile development in PFI mill refiner
Sudipta Mitra, D. Mark Martinez, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; James A. Olson, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia

Sudipta graduated with a Master degree in Pulp and Paper Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India through his thesis from a scholarship at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany for his work on “Evaluation of changes in fibre morphology owing to high power ultrasound treatment of fibre suspension“. His PhD at the UBC extends researching ultrasound refining of fibre suspensions and the effect of fibre morphology on mixing and refining of mixtures of softwood and hardwoods.



Processing of pulp and paper mill waste to obtain hemicellulose and enhance the properties of NBSK pulp
Varun Rangu, Xue Feng Chang, Rodger P. Beatson, Chemical and Environmental Technology, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby; Heather L. Trajano, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia

Varun’s research in the Master of Engineering program at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC progresses from a background of operations in oil refineries in India and a bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering. His research interest is biorefining.



Numerical Investigation of Cone Angle Effect on Hydrocyclone Flow Field Characteristics
Ehsan Zaman, James Olson, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Mark Martinez, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Ehsan is a PhD Candidate at the Mechanical Engineering department at UBC. His main research area is computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in hydrocyclones. Other research areas of interest to him are turbulence and multiphase flows. Currently, he is investigating the hydro-dynamics of the hydrocyclone flow field in an attempt to provide insight into its complex flow field. Additionally, he is studying the effect of design parameters- including cone angle- on the hydrocyclone flow hydrodynamics.




A bio-refinery scheme to fractionate bamboo into high-grade dissolving pulp and ethanol
Zhaoyang Yuan
, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia; Yangbing Wen, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, China; Rodger Beatson, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia; Chemical and Environmental Technology, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby

Zhaoyang Yuan recently completed his Ph.D. at Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering of University of British Columbia. His PhD work focused on understanding silica and hemicellulose removal from bamboo for the production of kraft pulp or dissolving pulp.  He is currently working with Prof. Rodger Beatson on reducing energy in mechanical pulping with chemical treatment.



Together with their presentations, four researchers submitted their original research papers at PACWEST 2017 to be judged by a panel. Dr. Zhaoyang Yuan was awarded the “Best Student Paper” at the packed dinner gala at the end of the conference.

Zhaoyang Yuan, Varun Rangu, Sudipta Mitra and Ehsan Zaman also presented their research papers at the conference.