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REF NO.: 85

SUBJECT: Engineering and applied science researcher named Terra Nova Young Innovator

DATE: Dec. 2

A Memorial researcher from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has been named the 2014 Terra Nova Young Innovator.

The award recognizes and supports outstanding faculty members whose research is particularly innovative and has real potential for a significant impact on society.

Dr. Bing Chen, associate professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and head, Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control Laboratory, will receive a $50,000 award presented on behalf of Suncor Energy and Memorial University to develop a novel microbial waste-to-energy cell with the unique capability to simultaneously treat organic waste and generate electricity.

Dr. Chen proposed research will develop a new, highly porous and electrical conductive material leading to a transformative means for integrating wastewater treatment energy and resource recovery. His research is meant to provide an inventive solution to the challenge of treating wastewater, which contains high oil contents, in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way.

 “The award presents a very unique and valuable opportunity and allows me to realize my bold but promising research idea.” said Dr. Chen during the award ceremony at the Suncor Energy Fluvarium Dec. 2.  “It will help me extend my research expertise and interest beyond the boundaries of conventional funding mechanisms.”

“I’m very honoured – it is one of the most significant awards you can receive for this type of research, and I am also very happy to see the recognition of my research innovation and potential.” 

Dr. Chen specializes in research related to water and wastewater treatment, oil spill responses and cleanup in harsh environments, marine pollution modelling and mitigation, waste management, environmental nanobiotechnology, water resources management and climate change.

“Suncor and the Terra Nova partners are pleased to support this research because it applies specialized knowledge and processes to areas unrelated to the traditional research focus,” said Brent Janke, vice-president, East Coast Canada for Suncor. “Dr. Chen’s proposed research addresses challenges that will have a significant impact on advancing wastewater treatment such as the removal of oil and other contaminants.”

“Memorial is committed to providing promising young researchers with opportunities to explore novel ideas and concepts that will greatly impact our future,” said Dr. Ray Gosine, vice-president (research), pro tempore, Memorial University.             

“Memorial greatly appreciates the continued support from Suncor in making these opportunities a reality. Innovative research impacts us all, and it requires unique vision and skills from talented researchers, which Memorial and Suncor Energy Inc. are proud to support.”

Dr. Chen has been published in more than 230 academic publications since 2000 and has conducted more than 40 research projects since joining the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University in 2006. He was selected to the Global Young Academy, received the Leaders Opportunities Fund Award of Canada Foundation for Innovation twice and was awarded the National Science and Technology Advance Award (First Class) of China and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Post-doctoral Fellowship Award. He is a member of the NSERC Research Grant Evaluation Group in Civil, Industrial and Systems Engineering, and serves as senior expert of United Nations Development Program, chair of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador Section, and Atlantic director of Canadian Association on Water Quality.

About Suncor Energy

Suncor Energy is Canada's leading integrated energy company. Suncor's operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. A member of Dow Jones Sustainability, FTSE4Good and CDP indexes, Suncor is working to responsibly develop petroleum resources while also growing a renewable energy portfolio. Suncor is listed on the UN Global Compact 100 stock index and the Corporate Knights' Global 100. Suncor's common shares (symbol: SU) are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

 Suncor Energy operates the Terra Nova development, which is located offshore St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Terra Nova covertures are: Suncor Energy (37.675 per cent), ExxonMobil (19 per cent), Statoil (15 per cent), Husky Energy (13 per cent), Murphy Oil (10.475 per cent), Mosbacher Operating (3.85 per cent), and Chevron Canada (1per cent). Suncor Energy is the operator of the Terra Nova project.

 For more information about Suncor Energy visit our web site at suncor.com, follow us on Twitter @SuncorEnergy, read our blog, OSQAR or come and See what Yes can do.

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For more information, please contact Krista Davidson, communications co-ordinator, Office of the Vice-President (Research), Memorial University, at kdavidson@mun.ca or 709-864-4073.

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