Engineering researcher named Terra Nova Young Innovator
Memorial researcher from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Dr. Bing Chen, has been named the 2014 Terra Nova Young Innovator at a luncheon reception on Dec. 2, 2014, at the Suncor Energy Fluvarium. The award recognizes and supports outstanding faculty members whose research is particularly innovative and has real potential for a significant impact on society.
Dr. Chen, associate professor of in the Department of Civil Engineering and leader of Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control (NRPOP) Lab, will receive a $50,000 award, presented on behalf of Suncor Energy and Memorial University, to develop a novel microbial waste-to-energy cell (MW2e) with the unique capability to simultaneously treat organic waste and generate electricity.
His 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. “It will help me extend my research expertise and interest beyond the boundaries what I would normally not pursue through 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 modeling 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 (GYA), received the Leaders Opportunities Fund Award of Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), twice, and was awarded the National Science and Technology Advance Award (1st Class) of China and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. He is a member of NSERC Research Grant Evaluation Group in Civil, Industrial and Systems Engineering, and serves as senior expert of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), chair of Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) Newfoundland and Labrador Section, and Atlantic director of Canadian Association on Water Quality (CAWQ).