Arctic champion: Engineer announced as research chair in marine and coastal environmental engineering
Memorial University's research capacity in areas relevant to the Arctic is expanding.
The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s Dr. Bing Chen has been appointed as the UArctic Chair in Marine and Coastal Environmental Engineering.
UArctic chairs are internationally leading scientists and engineers who act as drivers for academic development in content areas relevant to the Arctic. Positions are selected globally and collaboratively appointed by UArctic and its nominating institutions.
“Our future is very much in the ocean, and on the coast we live with the ocean,” said Lars Kullerud, president of UArctic. “I look forward to having a new UArctic chair who will specifically address wise management and good practical solutions to secure future livelihoods and a healthy coast.”
Targeting two areas
As one of the newest UArctic chairs, Dr. Chen will establish and sustain a world-leading research program dedicated to marine and coastal environmental sustainability and community resilience in the Arctic and other cold regions by targeting two challenging and critical areas over the next five years.
The first area, preventing anad responding to oil/chemical spills, will advance knowledge of the risks and impacts of oil and chemicals released from operational leakages or accidental spills. It will develop green cleanup technologies and effective emergency response methods through the integration of environmental engineering with bio/nano-technologies and artificial intelligence.
The second area, managing and mitigating non-regulated persistent and emerging contaminants, including petroleum hydrocarbons, micro/nano-plastics, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, flame retardants, pesticides and others, will help Arctic communities better understand how to prevent and/or remove them from natural and human environments under climate change.
“I will avail of this great opportunity to be an academic champion for the benefits of Memorial, UArctic and northern communities based on my expertise, experience and global connections,” said Dr. Chen. “I will help strengthen the leading position of Memorial in the field, grow our research and educational collaboration with UArctic and build our partnerships with the broader Arctic community. My chair program will also promote inclusive training of next-generation professionals, knowledge transfer and public awareness, dedicated to the sustainable development under a changing climate.”
Dr. Chen’s research will also seek out scientific contributions and transformative impacts on the understanding and management of the environmental issues caused by the above pollutants under climate change and support Arctic sustainability.
“Memorial is globally recognized as one of the best universities in the world for marine and ocean engineering, and our teams have specialized capacity for northern- and Artic-related research,” said Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research), and Dr. Chen’s nominator. “This is an exciting opportunity for Dr. Chen to work with UArctic members and partners to better understand critical issues facing the Arctic and advance knowledge in key areas. I wish him much success in his research program.”
“Congratulations to Dr. Chen on this well-deserved recognition,” said Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Dr. Chen has made significant breakthroughs in the areas of importance to the UArctic program, including oil spill response, water and wastewater treatment and emerging pollution modelling and remediation, especially for oceans and cold regions. I look forward to the outcomes of Dr. Chen’s research under the UArctic chair program.”
Bing Chen background
Dr. Chen joined Memorial in 2006. He is currently a full professor in civil (environmental) engineering and acting associate dean (graduate studies). He is also director of the Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control Laboratory and former department head (civil engineering).
He serves as founding director of a global network on the Persistent, Emerging and Organic Pollution in the Environment Network and NSERC PEOPLE CREATE program.
A world-renowned researcher in the marine and cold region environmental engineering research, Dr. Chen has extensive expertise, experience and leadership in developing and managing collaborative programs and initiatives at national and international scales. He has (co)-authored more than 460 publications and eight disclosures/patents, and (co)-led more than 50 research projects with a total value of over CDN$23 million. He is a fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and member of the Royal Society of Canada (College).
As a registered professional engineer in Canada, he has extensive practical experience and provides consulting service to government, industry, non-governmental organizations and communities in Canada and worldwide.
Dr. Chen’s UArctic appointment began on Jan. 1.