The Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry is pleased to welcome two new faculty members, Dr. Gisele Azimi and Dr. Elodie Passeport, who joined the department as Assistant Professors on August 1, 2014.
Dr. Gisele Azimi is an expert in hydrometallurgy, electrochemical processes and advanced materials, and holds a joint appointment between the Departments of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering.
Dr. Azimi will head the Laboratory for Strategic Materials where she will pursue multidisciplinary research on rare earth elements. These compounds have become essential components in the production of advanced electronics and other technologies, but their extraction and processing are challenging, inefficient and expensive. Other research areas will include techniques to separate sulphur from mineral processing waste streams to reduce environmental impact, and also the development of new advanced materials with controlled properties for use in solar energy generation, desalination and other sectors.
This collaborative work will complement the Department’s research in hydrometallurgy and advanced materials, and our newly established Ontario Centre for Characterization of Advanced Materials (OCCAM).
Before joining our Department, Dr. Azimi completed postdoctoral appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Professors Kripa Varanasi in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Donald Sadoway in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering. Her work focused on molten oxide electrolysis and advanced materials. She received her B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. from Sharif University of Technology (Iran) in 2000 and 2002, respectively, and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2010, where she worked with Professor Vladimiros Papangelakis in the field of hydrometallurgy.
Dr. Azimi has published 17 journal papers and refereed conference papers, and has presented her research internationally at 20 conferences. She is also co-inventor in 5 patent applications in the US and has received awards for teaching and research excellence, including the Helmholtz Award of the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam.
Dr. Elodie Passeport brings a multidisciplinary background in hydrology, chemical engineering and environmental engineering to her research on pollutants in natural and engineered aquatic systems. She is jointly appointed to the Departments of Civil Engineering and Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry.
Dr. Passeport’s work is focused on the fate of emerging chemical contaminants in watersheds and the development of remediation technologies for their removal – a particularly urgent issue in Canada, where 89% of drinking water comes from surface water sources. Her work also involves ecological engineering practices, which include constructed wetlands and bioretention cells for contaminant treatment. She has expertise in the use of compound-specific stable isotope analysis, an important analytical tool for understanding the fate of contaminants in the environment. Her work is an excellent complement to the Department’s research on bioremediation and the development of sustainable and environmentally sound technologies.
Dr. Passeport holds a Ph.D. in Water Sciences from the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (irstea) and AgroParisTech (France), where she worked with Dr. Julien Tournebize and Professor Yves Coquet. Her thesis on the use of an artificial wetland to remove pesticides garnered her the Best Ph.D. Thesis Award from the French Group on Pesticides (Groupe Français des Pesticides). She received her M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering in 2006 from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (France), and a second M.Sc. from the Department of Continental Environments and Hydrosciences at AgroParisTech (France) in 2007. More recently, she completed postdoctoral fellowships in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley with Professor Norman Terry and in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto with Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar. She has published 15 peer-reviewed articles and presented at many international conferences.