Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering

Conference Opening & Plenary Lecture

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Dr. Mark Verbrugge will open the conference with his plenary lecture “Trends in Vehicle Electrification and High-energy Battery Materials.

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Mark Verbrugge, General Motors Research & Development Center, MI, USA

Dr. Mark Verbrugge, General Motors Research & Development Center, MI, USA

Bio: Mark Verbrugge is the Director of GM’s Chemical and Materials Systems Laboratory, which maintains global research programs—enabled by the disciplines of chemistry, physics, and materials science—and targets the advanced development of structural subsystems, energy storage and conversion devices, and various technologies associated with fuels, lubricants, and emissions.

Mark is a Board Member of the United States Automotive Materials Partnership LLC and the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC. Mark has received a number of GM internal awards as well as external awards including the Norman Hackerman Young Author Award and the Energy Technology Award from the Electrochemical Society, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Council for Automotive Research. Mark is a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Abstract: Trends in Vehicle Electrification and High-energy Battery Materials

Vehicle electrification is a primary theme in personal transportation. The degree of increased electrification ranges from 12 V start-stop systems to pure battery electric vehicles. In this talk, we highlight the drivers for these trends and current vehicle products. We shall discuss recent technical work associated with the estimation of lithium ion cell life, commensurate with high-energy batteries. Of particular note is the emergence of core-shell structures, which allow electrode designers to (a) place high capacity materials within the core of active particles, and (b) select protective shell materials to stabilize such systems. This arrangement leads to a central question: under what conditions are the protective (outer shell) materials compromised? In our attempts to answer this question, we develop approaches to understand how thermodynamics, lithium diffusion, side reactions including lithium consumption and solvent reduction, and particle fracture influence cell life.

Robert B. Magee, The Woodbridge Group, Mississauga

Robert B. Magee, The Woodbridge Group, Mississauga

Bio: Robert B. Magee is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Woodbridge Group, a Canadian owned multinational manufacturing company with 60 facilities in 17 countries. He is a graduate of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute and the University of Waterloo, and holds a Bachelors Degree of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering.

Bob is a member of several boards including the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council, the McMaster University Dean’s Advisory Board, the University of Waterloo’s Advisory Board, and The WB Family Foundation Board. He was the founding Director of the Yves Landry Foundation and is also a Director of Exco Technologies Limited.

Abstract: The Automobile’s Sustainability Challenge is Today!

Several years ago many experts in the world believed that fossil fuel consumption had finally outpaced new discovery rates. The pumping of the earth’s last barrel was now predicted to happen, and soon. Ironically the fear created was not that we would soon be walking to work, but instead the more immediate problem which was how much we would have to pay for the declining inventory.

Nevertheless the financial fear did cause leadership to lead and demand innovation.

Our favourite rolling cluster of technology “the car�? was an easy target. The resulting global legislation has put in motion the greatest challenge the industry has ever faced. The challenge is not in the next century, it’s today. Clearly Science and Engineering innovation will be challenged like never before. The car will leap to new and different materials, less emissions, less friction in new propulsion. As suppliers, we need to deliver the shift or face obsolescence ourselves due to the technology shift.

The presentation will describe the automotive industry challenges and the impact on suppliers and their technology resources. Please join us for some insight on how a global company intends to survive the automotive challenge despite the demands of our day jobs. It can only be accomplished through innovative resources that must engage and partner with all outside innovation sources especially educational institutions, academia and most importantly, their product, and our future employees. Graduates employees have an opportunity to connect our companies to tomorrow’s developing technology. Our academia has the responsibility to prepare them for our challenges.

Carrie Majeske, Ford Motor Company, MI, USA

Robert B. Magee, The Woodbridge Group, Mississauga

Bio: Carrie Majeske is Director of Global Sustainability Integration at Ford Motor Company. She is responsible for identifying emerging trends in Sustainability, translating them to company-specific objectives and strategies, and working with functional organizations to drive them into the functional and regional/global operations. Carrie oversees publication of Ford Motor Company’s annual Corporate Sustainability Report as well as Social Sustainability initiatives. Carrie is also responsible for Product Sustainability: product plans and strategies for Sustainable Materials, Product CO2, Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainable Mobility. She held a range of engineering, program management and planning/strategy positions within Ford during her 29 year tenure with the Company. Carrie earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1984 and a Masters in Business Administration in 1992, both from the University of Michigan. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan.

Abstract: Ford Sustainability: Successes, Challenges and Next Steps

Ford Motor Company produces and sells cars and trucks globally, and has emerged from the recent economic downturn with a product led transformation, including brand attributes of Quality, Green, Safe, Smart. Carrie Majeske, Associate Director of Global Sustainability Integration will provide an overview of Ford Sustainability Strategies, including: approach to Climate Change, Sustainable Materials, Social Sustainability, Facilities Sustainability and Supply Chain Sustainability. She will outline underlying basis for the various strategies, discuss the successful outcomes to date, identify new and emerging challenges, and suggest where new or updated strategies are required to keep Ford in a Leadership position. Many of Ford’s strategies and initiatives drive the need for innovations in chemistry, or are enabled by those innovations. Canadian industry and research institutions will continue to be important partners in identifying challenges and developing solutions.

Prof. Dionisios G. Vlachos, University of Delaware, DE, USA

Prof. Dionisios G. Vlachos, University of Delaware, DE, USA

Bio: Dr. Vlachos is a Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He is currently the director of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation. His main research thrust is multiscale modeling and simulation along with their application to catalysis and portable microchemical devices for power generation, reforming of renewables and alternative fuels, catalyst informatics, detailed and reduced kinetic model development, microreactors (along with thermal coupling of exothermic and endothermic processes), and process intensification.

Abstract: Modern Catalytic Technologies for Converting Biomass to Renewable Fuels and Chemicals

In this talk, an overview of modern catalytic-based technologies will be presented that may overcome challenges of traditional methods in converting biomass to renewable fuels and chemicals. Cross-cutting technologies, including hierarchical multiscale materials and models will be introduced. We will then discuss modern technologies that rely on biomass degradation to simple derivatives, such as sugars, followed by a number of reactions, such as Lewis and Brønsted acid catalyst driven isomerization and dehydration to convert sugars to valuable intermediate furans. Diels-Alders and dehydration chemistry will be outlined for the production of renewable aromatics, such as para-xylene. Hydrodeoxygenation of biomass will also be discussed as an effective means to remove oxygen and produce certain platform chemicals. We will discuss how enabling technologies provide insights into novel catalyst selection to facilitate these complex transformations.

Prof. David P. Wilkinson, University of British Columbia

Prof. David P. Wilkinson, University of British Columbia

Bio: Professor David P. Wilkinson is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He previously held the position of Director of the UBC Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). In addition, he maintained a joint appointment with the National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation for several years where he was a Principal Research Officer and a senior advisor. He received his B.A.Sc. Degree in Chemical Engineering from UBC in 1978 and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Ottawa in 1987 where his graduate work was done with Professor Brian Conway.

Professor Wilkinson has over 20 years of industrial experience in the areas of fuel cells and advanced lithium batteries. Prior to his university appointment in 2004 he was the Director, and then Vice President of Research at Ballard Power Systems Inc., involved with the research, development and application of fuel cell technology. Prior to joining Ballard in 1990 he was the group leader for chemistry and electrochemistry at Moli Energy and part of the team that developed the world’s first commercial rechargeable lithium AA battery. Professor Wilkinson has received a number of awards for his work including the R.A. McLachlan Award, the highest award for professional engineering in British Columbia, the Electrochemical Society Battery Division Technology Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Association, and the Grove Medal award for contributions to fuel cell technology. He is also a fellow of several organizations including the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Chemical Institute of Canada. Professor Wilkinson’s main research interests are in electrochemical and photochemical devices and processes to create clean and sustainable energy and water. He has over 75 patents and more than 150 publications covering innovative research in these fields.

Abstract: Growth of Electrochemical Engineering in a Clean Sustainable Energy Future

Electrochemical technologies provide the promise of being one of the important long-term solutions to energy and resource sustainability while minimizing environmental footprint. Electrochemical systems provide a direct link between the “Chemical Economy and the “Electricity Economy and they are not limited by the Carnot cycle. Significant opportunities exist today for the use of electrochemical materials and technologies in different applications including transportation, grid management, energy storage and conversion, and treatment of water. Advancement of materials and associated engineering design continues to significantly improve electrochemical technology and close existing technical and economic gaps. In many cases these advantageous electrochemical systems are already competitive on an economic and functional basis with incumbent technologies but often face other implementation challenges. This talk will cover some key aspects of electrochemical technology and commercialization in a clean sustainable energy future. A view will also be provided on potential future research and development directions using some examples from our research.