Conference Menu

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Charles Jia, the President of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, will welcome the young professional delegates and open the Young Professionals’ Program.

Paul Smith, the interim Executive Director of the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Vice-President of Xerox Corporation, will be introducing the keynote speaker.

Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications for Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards, is an executive and management consultant with more than 20 years of leadership experience with private and public organizations. Since 2005, Sonya has led, strategized, authored and/or made a significant contribution to successful multi-year funding proposals and initiatives valued at more than $185 million from municipal, provincial, federal and international governments. This includes Area X.O, the futureplex of innovation and collaboration; and the first Pan-Ontario Scale-Up Platform of its kind aimed at accelerating the scaleup and success of more $100 million tech firms in Canada. She also architected and leads Invest Ottawa’s Female Founder and Womxn-Owned Business Strategy, and International Womxn’s Week.

In this keynote, Sonya will be sharing her experiences and expertise on how to get started as an entrepreneur and as a young professional. Her valuable insights will help equip young professionals with the skills and ideas needed to succeed in an interdisciplinary field. The keynote will start off with a 15-minute talk from Sonya followed by a fireside chat, where attendees can ask any questions.

Mental Health is always an important topic, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic as we face a collective series of stressors and challenges. Please join Isabelle Hodak and Theresa Willoughby, two psychotherapists working for UOttawa, for an interactive webinar focusing on taking care of your mental health during the pandemic.

In this webinar, you will learn more about the psychological challenges and reactions that have been amplified in the pandemic, strategies to help support your mental health and when to seek professional help.

Join publishing experts Alex Castro, Wiley Editor, and João Soares, Can. J. Chem. Eng. Editor-in-Chief, for a 360˚ look into the publishing world of scholarly and technical papers. In this workshop, you will learn how to integrate manuscript preparation into your daily routine, how to efficiently prepare a clear and well-organized manuscript, how the review process works, how to expedite your manuscript’s review (and acceptance), and about future trends and developments in scientific publishing. The workshop will conclude with an open discussion session.

The 3-Minute Pitch (3MP) competition follows the spirit of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT)® competition that originated at the University of Queensland. This session is an opportunity for graduate students to showcase the innovation and impact of their research, as well as their innovative chemical engineering business ideas, to a wider audience of the chemical engineering community.

Participants have 3 minutes or less to present their research pitch to a panel of non-specialist judges. The challenge is to present complex technical information in an engaging, accessible, and compelling way.

Click here for more details.

Whether you are still in school, a new grad, or an early-career professional in a transition, you have probably realized that you never stop learning no matter what stage you are at. The focus of this session is to provide young professionals with the insights and resources to continue developing the skills needed in the industry.

The first part of the workshops will be led by the CCEC 2020 student organizers, Dominique Lefebvre and Simon Lalonde, who will share a downloadable document containing resources and project ideas for students to gain further technical knowledge and/or knowledge application experience in the comfort of their home. The session will also include a video tutorial for one of the at-home projects. The second part of the workshop will be led the Community Development Coordinator from the Chemical Institute of Canada, who will highlight what employers look for in a successful candidate and how to sell the skills candidates have but haven’t had a chance to showcase in a job position yet.


Sponsored by the Chemistry Education Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada, this competition is open to both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a chemical engineering program. Participants will be delivering a 10-15 minute non-technical oral presentation with a 2-3 minute question period. In this competition, participants are encouraged to present papers of general interest concerning the following: critical evaluation of their educational experiences, innovative learning/teaching strategies and materials, and other topics that address chemistry or chemical engineering education.

Click here for more details.

Sponsored by the Robert G. Auld Fund, this competition is open to undergraduate students enrolled in a chemical engineering program. Participants will be delivering a 10-minute technical oral presentation with a 2-3 minute question period on any aspect of chemical engineering, including work experience or a design or research project.

Click here for more details.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Networking is already a challenge for many young professionals but when physical distancing is added into the equation, what do you do then? This session will be focused on how to network virtually through LinkedIn, e-mail, and other social media platforms. Learn how to ‘cold-message’ professionals in the field and connect through informational interviews to build your network.

Are you considering going to graduate school for a Master’s or PhD? Bring your burning questions to representatives from the different graduate Chemical Engineering programs across Canada.

Join in a virtual social to connect with other professional across the country.

Companies ranging from breweries to textiles companies had to readapt their production lines to produce hand sanitizer and masks in the fight against COVID-19. Many Canadian companies rose to the challenge to meet the supply and demand of this shift. This panel is focused on the hearing from the professionals who were involved in these decisive changes.

Dr. Zhongxin Zhou, FCIC, is currently Executive Director and the Head of Process Development and Manufacturing at Gilead Alberta, overseeing the activities of organic process research and development, technical operations and laboratory and plant manufacturing for active pharmaceutical ingredients and advanced intermediates. After he obtained his PhD from the Memorial University of Newfoundland and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa, he then joined Raylo Chemicals and then Gilead Alberta, located in Edmonton. He has been at the management posts for more than 20 years and helped Gilead in putting many drugs into the market in various therapeutic areas, including HIV, HCV, oncology and inflammation. He has also pursued and received his MBA from the University of Alberta. He is currently the Vice President of CSC.

Mark Watson, MBA, Founding Brew Father, organic gardener, beekeeper, mushroom forager and maple syrup producer is an entrepreneur who has founded 7 companies and created award winning products such as EcoTraction, a green product that was sold in over 10,000 stores in 20 countries around the world. Mark, an Ottawa native, has extensive senior management and operational experience and currently serves as a Director and Advisor to several organizations.

Wondering what kind of jobs are available in the chemical engineering field? Curious about what a day in the job looks like? Want to know what the pathway to a specific profession is?

Dr. Theodora Alexakis  is currently the VP, Business Development at Terragon Environmental Technologies and has led the development and commercialization of several innovative environmental technologies for over 25 years. Dr. Alexakis earned her Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from McGill University.  Dr. Alexakis began her career at PyroGenesis, where she was responsible for the development of advanced plasma waste destruction systems. In 2005, she joined Terragon where she led the development of the innovative MAGS technology and now leads the Company’s business development activities. Dr. Alexakis has co-authored numerous publications and patents and was also an Adjunct Professor at McGill over a five-year period.

Chadi Badour is a MEng in Environmental with a background in Chemical Engineering. He started his career as a technical and process engineer in the Canadian pulp and paper industry at a 900 BDT/day BCTMP facility in a complex that included specialty cellulose, paperboard, and a wastewater treatment plant. Chadi then pursued the industry as a quality engineer in a closed loop 550 BDT/day corrugated board mill. He has also explored the highly regulated medical field in troubleshooting and polymer extrusion technologies, while gaining depth into the six sigma and 5 gate product development programs. Now, he has finally transitioned into the cannabis industry to combine machine design expertise and cannabinoid chemistry to manage capital projects.

Alneila Garcia is from Venezuela and holds a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s in Materials Science. She arrived in Canada six years ago. Alneila has 14 years of experience in materials quality control, processes and product optimization, and R&D projects. She has held many roles at different companies in different countries, including process engineer, project engineer, laboratory supervisor, and technical supervisor in the aluminum business and hydro power corporation. She loves leading multidisciplinary teams and developing strategies for business, profitability, and health and safety. She is also a member of the Order of Engineers of Quebec, a mother, and sportswoman. Outside of work, she is married and has two awesome kids, volunteers for her daughter’s figure skating club, and teaches Zumba.

Dr. Majid Rasouli received his BSc and MSc in Chemical Engineering from Tehran Polytechnic. He pursued his PhD and a Postdoc in Chemical Engineering from Polytechnique Montreal working on granular material flow dynamics and lithium ion batteries. In 2017, Majid joined DuPont at Kingston Technology Centre as a Research Scientist. He is currently acting as Project Team Manager for capital projects and Manufacturing & Technology Lead for production of a critical monomer for Kalrez®. Majid is also involved in Business Development, Process Development and Site Operational Excellence strategy setting activities.

Join us in the second career panel of the day to learn about alternative and entrepreneurial careers with a degree in chemical engineering!

Vanessa Van Aert graduated with honours from UBC in 2017. Vanessa has taken a “work hard, play hard” approach to life. She has industry experience in the pulp and paper sector, and after graduating performed research on Energy Reduction in Mechanical Pulping. As a 2018 Venture for Canada Fellow, Vanessa was introduced to entrepreneurship and business operations in the start-up world. She has worked as an English instructor overseas, and as a Math and Science teacher in Quesnel, BC. In-between these endeavors, she travelled to over 30 countries on $40/day. Most recently, Vanessa started Reach Academics, an online tutoring business for high school STEM subjects, which she owns and operates out of Halifax, NS.

Eduardo Garcia Hubner is an Equity Research Associate at National Bank Financials covering multiple companies in the healthcare, biotech, and cannabis sectors. Prior to National Bank, Eduardo accumulated more than five years of engineering experience, initially as Process Engineer at PDVSA Engineering and Construction in Venezuela, and subsequently, in the development and commercialization of new technologies for hydrocarbon processing in Canada. Eduardo holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela, a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Business Administration from Ivey Business School.

While the 2008 Recession and COVID-19 Recession aren’t quite the same, students are graduating into a challenging job market. For this career panel, we’ve invited professionals who graduated during the 2008 Recession to share their wisdom and experience job hunting during a difficult time.

Amanda Defela, PEng, is a graduate from the Biotechnology program at the University of Ottawa in 2016. Amanda has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. She joined Hatch after graduation and has since been working in consulting engineering as a process engineer in the hydrometallurgy group. Amanda has been involved in projects with scopes ranging from preliminary studies to detailed engineering in the fields of TiO2, rare earth elements, and lithium extraction. Both at work and outside of it, Amanda particularly enjoys mentoring young graduates and plays an active role in promoting science and engineering. If not working, Amanda is likely making a mess in her kitchen, working on her round kick, or teaching her puppy a new trick.

Dr. Patrick Littlejohn is an experienced engineering professional with a history of developing and implementing innovative water treatment solutions in the mining sector. He has provided senior experience to industrial, government and First Nations clients for a wide variety of issues related to mine water, including treatment development and design, water quality predictions, water management planning, regulatory engagement, and First Nations independent technical review. He completed a bachelors and masters of metallurgical engineering at University of British Columbia and a doctorate in chemical engineering at University of Queensland.

Claudia Wu earned her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto in 2008. She started her career at Procter & Gamble in operations and project management. Since moving to Vancouver in 2011, she has held project and program management roles at larger companies such as Intel, TELUS, and Aritzia as well as at tech start-ups. She’s currently the VP Operations at FORM Athletica, a sports technology company behind the world’s first augmented reality swim goggles. As the VP Operations, she is responsible for supply chain, finance, customer service, and HR functions, and specializes in operations and project management.

Take part in the Graduate Student Poster Competition and win cash prizes. Graduate students should register to participate in the competition when submitting their abstracts by checking the box to have their poster judged.

See more details here.

The Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE) offers the CSChE Plant Design Competition for students enrolled in undergraduate chemical engineering programs at Canadian universities.

Click here for more details.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Are you considering going to graduate school for a Master’s or PhD? Bring your burning questions to representatives from the different graduate Chemical Engineering programs across Canada.

Join in a virtual social to connect with other professional across the country.

The Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE) offers the CSChE Plant Design Competition for students enrolled in undergraduate chemical engineering programs at Canadian universities.

Click here for more details.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Competition results will be announced. Come support your peers and friends in their achievements. Following the student award announcements, we’ll be hosting a virtual trivia night!

More details to come.