Engineering professor receives Terra Nova Young Innovator Award
Dr. Bing Chen, an associate professor of civil engineering and leader of the Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control (NRPOP) laboratory in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is a 2014 recipient of the Terra Nova Young Innovator Award.
Dr. Chen received the award for his research on organic waste – one of the major sources leading to diverse environmental pollution. Even with its treatment challenges and expenses, waste biomass is an inexpensive and relatively abundant source of electrons for microbes capable of producing electrical current. Dr. Chen’s research will develop a novel microbial waste-to-energy cell (MW2e) with the unique capability of treating wastewater and capturing biomass energy simultaneously.
“We will develop a new, promising MOF-nanoelectrodes arrays (MOF-Sina) which can not only provide substantially high surface area and porosity for more microbial colonization and bioelectrical reactions, but possess high conductivity to enhance electron transfer,” explained Dr. Chen. “Compared to traditional treatment-focused, energy-intensive technologies, the technology we’re developing would offer an innovative, effective, potentially profitable and transformative solution for integrated wastewater treatment and energy recovery.”
The research that Dr. Chen and his team are doing will be a breakthrough in developing promising technologies and advancing knowledge in the relevant fields. It will also have high impact and potential application in many industrial fields such as environmental, energy, nanomaterial, electronics, chemical and medicine.
Dr. Chen is thrilled to receive this award and recognition.
“The awards presents a very unique and valuable opportunity which can help me realize my bold, but promising, research idea,” he said. “It will help me extend my research expertise and interest beyond the boundaries of what I would normally not peruse through conventional funding mechanisms.”
The Terra Nova Young Innovator Award recognizes and supports outstanding young faculty members whose research is particularly innovative and whose specific research proposal has real potential for a significant impact on society. The award builds on the legacy of the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Awards and reflects a shared commitment by Suncor Energy Inc. and Memorial University to enable exceptional young faculty to be adventurous in their research, to explore novel ideas and to be creative in the way they investigate important research issues.