Industrial Chemistry and Engineering Conference

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Industry representatives, academic researchers and students attended the first annual, one-day Industrial Chemistry and Engineering Conference this past Nov. 2 in Toronto. Held at the International Plaza Hotel, the meeting offered delegates the chance to learn...

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Maritime local section battles­ chemophobia

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Last October was a busy month for Matthew Lukeman, chemistry professor at Acadia University, who championed the Chemical Institute of Canada’s Maritime Local Section’s inaugural “CIC Chemistry Bus.” Inspired by the CIC Edmonton Local Section’s “Café CIC,”...

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CIC advocacy initiatives

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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As part of its ongoing advocacy initiatives, the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) submits an annual Brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA). CIC, through executive director Roland Andersson, also maintains an active membership...

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Grapevine

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John R. Grace, FCIC, professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia and former Canada Research Chair in Clean Energy Processes presented the Interamerican Confederation of Chemical Engineering (CIIQ/IACChE) James Y. Oldshue Lecture this past November in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jim Oldshue was a leader and...

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Chemists captivate Canadian kids with nifty experiments

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From public demonstrations and lectures to themed breakfasts, chemists from coast-to-coast let loose their limitless passion for the field during last October’s National Chemistry Week (NCW). At Edmonton’s TELUS World of Science Centre, hundreds of children and adults decimated NCW coordinator Ian Phillip’s 12 kilogram supply of white glue, which they transformed into silly putty....

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CSChE Student Award winners announced at Calgary banquet

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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The 2015 CSChE Student Awards were presented during the 65th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference’s CSChE Student Awards Banquet, held Oct. 5, 2015 in Calgary. Award winners included: SNC-Lavalin Plant Design Competition: 1st place Lakehead University; 2nd place McGill University; 3rd place Ryerson University. Robert G. Auld Student Paper Competition: 1st place Spenser Imbrogno, McMaster University;...

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Lethbridge students creep out kids with spooky science

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Costume-clad volunteers at the 5th annual Lethbridge Spooky Science Weekend inspired a passion for science to young students during three sold-out events last Oct. 25-26. Three hundred children had the opportunity to participate in 10, hands-on, Halloween-themed activities. They created Stomp Rockets, volcanoes, articulated hands and non-Newtonian fluids, perused displays of spooky critters — both...

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Kuwait University celebrates a decade­ of accreditation

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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A site visit team from the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC), including John McIntosh, FCIC, of the University of Windsor and Russell Boyd, FCIC, of Dalhousie University toured the chemistry department of Kuwait University last year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of accredited status from CSC for its programs as well as to renew that...

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Green Death

BIOCHEMISTRY

Blond, bubbly and blessed with an irresistible Aussie accent, Shari Forbes understands why people might not see her as someone who would spend her time scattering dead bodies around a field to see what happens to them. By the same token, she might not be how you picture the holder of the Canada Research Chair...

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Risky Business

PETROCHEMISTRY

In the run-up to the May 2013 provincial election in British Columbia, Premier Christy Clark announced an optimistic new economic plan. One of the major planks in her platform was the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia. Clark called it “the opportunity of a lifetime,” one that would make it possible to sell...

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McMaster U’s facilities earn Health Canada approval

STANDARD TESTING

The old adage, “The job’s not finished ‘til the paperwork’s done,” is turned on its head when it comes to a Health Canada Drug Establishment License (DEL), where no job starts until the paperwork is done. Health Canada requires anything that might serve as medical treatment — whether it is a pharmaceutical drug or device...

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Beryllium-aluminum alloy shoots for the stars

MATERIALS SCIENCE

IBC Advanced Alloys (IBC), a small firm based in Vancouver, has spent nearly a decade capturing the attention and business of customers building some of the world’s most sophisticated aerospace technology. The list includes industry giants like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing. Since last June the company has received...

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Bridging the generation gap

POLICY PUNDIT

NSERC president Mario Pinto presents a new vision­ for innovation and R&D in Canada. The president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC), Mario Pinto, notes proudly that he is a “fourth-generation chemist.” In 1896 his great-grandfather emigrated to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from the Portuguese colony of Goa and established the country’s first...

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Scepticism helps mitigate workplace accidents

REGULATION

Industrial accidents continue to plague workers in Canada.  From 2011 to 2013, there was an average of 250 deaths per year in two key combined categories: mining, quarrying and oil wells and manufacturing, according to Canada’s National Work Injury/Disease Statistics Program. Most fatal accidents are preceded by obvious warning signs. These include “urgent” maintenance left...

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Drug patents are vital but can be subject to abuse

INTELLECTUAL MATTERS

As I have written in the past, a patent does not grant the right for an inventor to sell or make something. A common misconception is that once an inventor obtains a patent, he or she may exploit their invention. For example, if an inventor discovers a new and inventive use for an already patented...

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Then and Now

HISTORY

It is curious to think that we can thank 30 million-year-old unicellular algae-like creatures called diatoms for the appealing appearance of such modern consumer goods as cooking oil, liquid soap, beer and wine. Fossilized diatoms are what make up diatomaceous earth, an abundant, soft, sedimentary rock rich in biogenic silica, derived from diatom cell walls....

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The King of Synthesis

CLASS DISTINCTION

University of British Columbia Okanagan undergraduate Jeff Kerkovius wants to create molecules that change the world.  Jeff Kerkovius of Kelowna, BC had an especially precocious predilection for chemistry. At age eight he asked his grandparents for a special Christmas gift: baking soda and vinegar, “so I could mix them together.” His grandparents indulged the request and Kerkovius...

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Capricious cancer targets victims indiscriminately

CHEMFUSION

Why do some people contract cancer and others not? Some cancers are genetic but the vast majority occur when something goes awry in the normal process of cell division, usually due to damage to DNA caused by exposure to some form of radiation or certain chemicals. But the devil is in the details and the...

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