Visit to Alberta and Toronto with International Exchange Fund

am a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Chester and was awarded the UKCCSRC ECR International Exchange Fund Call 4 to visit the University of Alberta, Canada in June. This fund gave me the opportunity of meeting Dr Amit Kumar, which I only knew by his research reputation and vast experience on Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering. Returning to Canada is always very enjoyable since it brings back good memories of those good years as a master’s student at Toronto. The University of Alberta is based in Edmonton (Alberta’s capital city). Edmonton is a major centre for the oil and gas industry, called the ‘Oil Capital of Canada’ in the 1940s. The city also hosts one of the largest malls in North America ‘West Edmonton Mall’.

I was impressed by the parkland found all over the city, especially next to the North Saskatchewan River that divides the city. The Faculty of Engineering is located in the North Campus, and based in an impressive new building called ‘Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering’ (shown in the photo above). I spent two weeks in the Department of Mechanical Engineering on the 10th floor.

The aim of my visit was to learn about their models developed for the production of hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel (HDRD). When planning my fund application, I proposed to Dr Kumar to extend his work by integrating a carbon capture technology to their process and analysing the benefits of such integration. We had very interesting discussions and agreed to continue collaborating on a journal publication. Results of our work should be available shortly.


This trip exceeded my expectations, and I would like to thank Dr Amit Kumar and Rachel Schofield for their warm welcoming, Dr Adetoyese Oyedun and Madhumita Patel for their time spent explaining me their models, and Dr Md. Ahiduzzaman and Dr Abayomi Olufemi for sharing ideas and interesting talks. In addition to the professional benefits of meeting researchers from Alberta, I had the opportunity to spend time with very friendly people, and hopefully continue working together in future projects.

On my travel back to the UK, I had a timetable change by the airline and spent one day in Toronto, where I had the flight connection. I took this as an opportunity to contact my master’s supervisor Prof Greg Evans, who invited me to give a seminar to his aerosols research group at the University of Toronto. I gave a talk titled ‘Britain’s Path towards Carbon Capture & Storage’. This was a lovely way to end my time in Canada and meet again my former supervisors and teachers Greg Evans, Rana Sodhi, Chuck Mims and Charles Jia.


Finally, I would like to thank the UKCCSRC for making possible this trip to the University of Alberta by providing the UKCCSRC ECR International Exchange Fund.

C. Font Palma