Canadian chemical community mourns death of Khaled Belkacemi in Québec shooting

Winter 2017

Khaled Belkacemi was one of six victims killed in a senseless attack
at 
the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec mosque on Jan. 29.
Photo credit: Universit
é Laval

February 1, 2017

Khaled Belkacemi, a highly respected professor in the Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences at Université Laval in Québec City, and a member of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE), was one of six victims killed in a shooting at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec mosque on Jan. 29. Another 19 people were injured.

“We are all shocked by the tragedy in Québec City and our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the victims and to the survivors for their recovery,” said Chemical Institute of Canada Chair Andrew Hyrmak.  “The loss of Prof. Belkacemi will be felt by all in the chemical engineering community and especially with his friends and colleagues at Université Laval.”

Belkacemi’s research focused on the use of heterogeneous catalysis in food chemistry and in the conversion of biomass and food waste. He earned a M.Sc. in chemical engineering from Université de Sherbrooke in 1986 and a PhD from there in 1990. Belkacemi also earned a PhD in chemical engineering from the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education in 1995.

CSChE President Uttandaraman Sundararaj said: “I was extremely sad when I heard the news of the shooting and then stricken to learn that chemical engineer Prof. Belkacemi was a victim. There is so much sorrow in Canada with these senseless shootings and it is so important for us at CSChE to lend support to those affected by the killings. Our prayers are with his family and we ask for God to comfort them and see them through this difficult time,” Sundararaj said.

Belkacemi was a long-time contributor to the Canadian Journal for Chemical Engineering. “The Canadian chemical engineering community is saddened by the loss of Prof. Belkacemi,” said João B. P. Soares, the journal’s Editor-in-Chief. “Khaled was an outstanding academic in the area of green chemistry and functional foods. He was a strong supporter of the Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering which published many of his articles. The CJCE is proud to have had Khaled as a regular author and I am sure that we will continue to benefit from his scientific contributions for years to come.”

Belkacemi’s many friends and colleagues at the CSChE and CIC mourn this tragic and senseless loss of a great scientist.