NSERC/Cenovus/Alberta Innovates Associate Industrial Chair Program in Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering

Canada is a leading energy-producing country, and its energy sector plays a critical role in its economy. The production, conversion, and use of energy has environmental impacts including increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, fresh water consumption, and land use disturbances. Canada’s large energy sector must deal with these issues. The focus of the research program is to identify pathways to low carbon energy systems based on cost, life cycle environmental impacts, and resource availability.


While there has been considerable research on the development of technologies for the production, conversion, and use of energy, relatively little has been done at the systems level to understand and evaluate the relationship between energy and the environment. The Industrial Research Chair program is aimed at assessing technologies of energy production, conversion, and use at the systems level, along with associated environmental impacts through development of fundamental science based models. This aims at developing Canada’s fundamental research capacity in the area of assessment of energy pathways.


This research program will train researchers who can contribute to the Canadian workforce and will help in contributing towards Canada’s effort in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Publications, Activities, and Awards

  • Life cycle analysis of bitumen transportation to refineries by rail and pipeline
  • A review and analysis of the models used to assess the market penetration of energy technologies with a focus on quantity-based models
  • A techno-economic assessment of renewable diesel and gasoline production from aspen hardwood
  • A techno-economic comparison of centralized and distributed mobile pyrolysis systems for the production of bio-oil from hardwood
  • Ali Talaei was awarded Alan Wharmby Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering for the year 2017-18
  • Ammonia production from black liquor gasification and co-gasification with pulp and waste sludges: A techno-economic assessment
  • Assessing the potential to generate heat and electricity from the wastes produced in Alberta industrial heartlands
  • Assessing the potential to generate heat and electricity in an integrated waste-to-value added facility in Alberta
  • Assessment of energy demand-based greenhouse gas mitigation options for the mining sector
  • Assessment of natural gas supply chains from Canada to Europe
  • Comparative techno-economic analysis of bio-coal production through dry and wet torrefaction of biomass feedstocks
  • Developing a framework for natural gas transmission GHG life cycle assessments
  • Development of a techno-economically optimized framework for assessment of decentralized production of bio-oil
  • Development of long-term energy efficiency improvement and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation options for the cement industry
  • Energy efficiency improvement opportunities and associated greenhouse gas abatement costs for the residential sector
  • How to model a complex national energy system? Developing an integrated energy systems framework for long-term energy and emissions analysis
  • How will Canada’s GHG emissions change by 2050? A disaggregated analysis of past and future GHG emissions using bottom-up energy modelling and Sankey diagrams
  • Identification of best energy efficiency opportunities in Alberta’s petroleum refining sector
  • Life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) of oxymethylene ether as a diesel additive produced from forest biomass
  • Long-term energy efficiency improvement and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation in the cement industry: A case study of Canada
  • Mapping Canadian energy flow from primary fuel to end use
  • Market penetration modeling of bitumen extraction technologies into Alberta's oil sands industry
  • Options for conversion of by-products of pulp and paper mills in Western Canada
  • Production of renewable diesel from woody biomass and agricultural residue: a techno-economic analysis comparative study
  • Quantifying uncertainty in life cycle assessments of transportation fuels
  • Techno-economic analysis of ammonia production from black liquor gasification and co-gasification with pulp and waste sludges
  • Techno-economic analysis of carbon capture of flue gases from coal and natural gas using amine separation
  • Techno-economic and life cycle assessments of the natural gas supply chain from production sites in Canada to north and southwest Europe
  • The development of a framework for the assessment of energy demand-based greenhouse gas mitigation options and cost curves for the mining sector
  • The development of a framework for the assessment of energy demand-based greenhouse gas mitigation options for the agriculture sector
  • The development of a techno-economic model for the extraction, transportation, upgrading, and shipping of Canadian oil sands products to the Asia-Pacific region
  • The development of an integrated model for the assessment of water and GHG footprints for the power generation sector
  • The development of framework for the assessment of long-term energy efficiency options and associated greenhouse gas emissions mitigation in the chemical sector
  • Uncertainty in life cycle GHG emissions of biofuels due to coproduct utilization
  • Well-to-tank (WTT) energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the vapor solvent oil sands extraction process
  • Which crudes have the lowest GHG emission intensity? A discussion on perspective