Current Members

Postdoctoral fellow

Dr. harshit mahandra

Dr. Harshit Mahandra graduated from the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University, India, in 2009, and obtained his Master of Chemistry from the Gurukula Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, India, in 2011. He got the first position in the University in his Master’s program. He qualified for the National Eligibility Test conducted by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, India in 2012. He was awarded his Ph. D. under the supervision of Prof. Bina Gupta by the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India, in 2018. He was awarded the Young Scientist Award by Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology, India for his research. After working at the Teerthanker Mahaveer University, India, in May 2019, he joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen’s University. His main research interest is in separating, purifying, and recovering metals such as nickel, cobalt, zinc, cadmium, manganese, lithium, molybdenum, and vanadium by solvent extraction. His research will mainly focus on the separation of metals from sulfate solutions and gold ore bio-oxidation.

Ph.D. Students


Jinsong got his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Hainan University in 2015 and 2018, respectively. His master’s research was synthesizing graphene and activated carbon from biomass carbon and applying the materials in a supercapacitor. In September 2019, Jinsong joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University for his Ph.D. study, his research will focus on the application of nanomaterials in hydrometallurgy.

Awards and scholarships:

  • Best Teaching Assistant, 2021
  • Runner-up in Seminar Presentations, 2021
guillermo alvial-hein


Guillermo has a  B.S degree in  Metallurgical Engineering (2018) from The University of Concepcion (Chile). In 2019, he started MASc in the Hydrometallurgical and Environmental group at Queen’s University and was promoted to doctoral studies after completing one year as a master’s student. He is currently a Ph.D. student and his research is focused on the biological oxidation of sulphide ores

Awards & Scholarships:

  • Ernest Peters Masters Award (Hydrometallurgy Section) for 2020
Sujin Chae

Sujin Chae got her BSc and MSc degrees in energy and resources engineering from Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU). Her master’s thesis was Cu leaching from speiss with various oxidants. She worked at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) as a student researcher for about a year and experience in rare earth leaching. In May 2021, Sujin joined Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University. Her Ph.D. project is gold thiosulfate leaching.


Tianyu Zhao

Tianyu Zhao received his bachelor’s degree in metallurgy engineering from Jiangxi University of Science and Technology and a Master’s degree in the same major from Central South University in China. His master’s project is the extraction of lithium from waste lithium-ion batteries. In 2019, he started his Ph.D. study at Central South University. Tianyu joined Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen s University in 2021 as a visiting Ph.D. student, he is now working on extracting lithium from lithium ore and waste lithium-ion batteries.


MSc Students


Deniz got her Bachelor’s degree in Mineral Processing Engineering from Istanbul Technical University and graduated with an honour degree in 2019. For her undergraduate thesis, she worked on the removal of alunite from ceramic clays by using the flotation method. In May 2021, Deniz has joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University as a MASc student. She will focus on the recovery of rare earth elements under the supervision of Dr Ghahreman.



Ilkay graduated from Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in 2019. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in field of Mining Engineering. He worked on Rock Mechanics, Ventilation, Flotation, Mineral Processing labs in ITU Mining Department during his undergraduate period. He has completed his final thesis about Quartzite Crushing and Screening Plant Performance Analysis. After a year of job experience, Ilkay has joined Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group in the Robert M Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University as an MASc student in May 2021. Ilkay will focus on Recovery of Rare Earth Elements on his master’s degree.



 Former Group Members and Alumni

    1. Caitlyn McKinley (MSc student 2015 to 2017). Currently, a graduate student in the OT program at Queen’s University.
    2. Rebecca Radzinski (MSc student 2014 to 2016). Currently a Metallurgist at Algoma Steel.
    3. Said Karimi (visiting Ph.D. student): currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Tehran.
    4. Thomas Mills (Undergraduate Research Assistant 2016-2017). Currently with a mining company in Canada.
    5. Dr. Amir Nazari (PDF, 2015 to 2016).
    6. Dr. Esmaeil Jorjani (visiting scholar – 2015 to 2016)
    7. Chengqian (Charles) Wu (MITACS undergraduate research assistant from Central South University, China, summer 2016).
    8. Ian Bergeron (NSERC USRA summer research student, summer 2016)
    9. Vincent El Ghoubarira (Visiting undergraduate student from the American University of Beirut, summer 2016).
    10. Dr. Min Tian (Post-doctoral Research Assistant) – Current Position: Fire Assay Specialist at Kingston Process Metallurgy (KPM).
    11. Matt Hepburn (Undergraduate Research Assistant 2015-2016)
    12. Raquel F. Tiago (MITACS undergraduate student from Brazil) – Current Position: 4th-year undergrad student.
    13. Caitlyn McKinley (NSERC USR Undergraduate Research Assistant 2014-2015) – Current Position: MSc student in our group.
    14. Jennifer Tylor (Undergraduate Research Assistant 2014-2015).
    15. Catalina Polanco Palacios (Visiting Undergraduate Student from Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile) – Current position: MSc candidate at Universidad Católica de Chile.
    16. Moleti Motlhagodi (BASc Chemical engineering at Queen’s) – Current position: Mineral Processing Intern at Vale Mining Company (2015-2016).
    17. Tom Parr (BASc Chemical engineering at Queen’s).
    18. Alexander Cushing (Ph.D. Mining Engineering – Mineral Processing at Queen’s 2014-2017). Current position: Metallurgist at SGS Lakefield (2018-present).
    19. Samantha Danko 
    20. Kayden Kaller (BASc Engineering Chemistry at Queen’s 2013-2018). Current position: Process Engineer at Kingston Process Metallurgy Inc.
    21. Rachel Watts (BASc Mining Engineering-Mineral Processing at Queen’s 2013-2018). Current Position: Engineer at Freeport McMoran.
    22. Zhi (Carrie) Yang (Visiting undergraduate student from Northwestern Polytechnical University of China July 2017-Sep 2017). Current Position: Master student at Rice University.
    23. Kyle Lister (Part-time research assistant Oct 2017-April 2018). Current Position: Master student in Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University.
    24. Broden Cecic (Volunteer Undergraduate Student Summer 2018). Current Position: Bachelor student in Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University.
    25. Johannes Zenner (MITACS Master Student from RWTH Aachen University of Germany May 2018-Aug 2018). Current position: Master Student at RWTH Aachen University of Germany.
    26. Dr. Fazlolah (Fazel) Jahromi (PhD student 2014 to 2018). Current Position: Metallurgist at HATCH company.
    27. Aritra Acherjee (Summer undergraduate student 2018). Current Position: Undergraduate student at Queen’s University.
    28. Dr. Denver Cowan (Ph.D. student 2014 to 2018). Current Position: Metallurgist at SGS, Lakefield.
    29. Gui Liu (Visiting Master student Fall 2018). Current Position: Master student in Metallurgy Engineering at Central South University (CSU).
    30. Somayeh Dashti (Visiting Ph.D. Student from University of Tehran Dec 2018-May 2019). Current Position: Ph.D. student at the University of Tehran.
    31. Shirin Shafiei Zadeh (lab technician – Nov 2017 to June 2019).
    32. Dr. Rina Kim (Postdoctoral fellow June 2016 to June 2019). Current Position: Senior Researcher, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), Daejeon, Korea
    33. Uttam Sinha: MITACS Golbalink student from India. Summer 2019.
    34. Ashrita Samal: MITACS Golbalink student from India. Summer 2019.
    35. Prof. Siamak Motahari: Visiting Professor from University of Tehran, 2018-2019.
    36. Fei Meng: China scholarship council (CSC) visiting student, Oct 2017 to Sept 2019
    37. Kyungsun Song: Visiting Senior Researcher from Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), Daejeon, Korea (Jan 2019 to Dec. 2019).
    38. Carter Senis (Undergraduate research assistant)
    39. Andrew Borschneck (Undergraduate research assistant)
    40. Dr. Alexandru Catalin Sonoc (PhD student 2013 to 2020)
    41. Dr. Jingxiu Wang (PDF 2018-2020)
    42. Chengqian (Charles) Wu (Master student 2017-2020). Current position: Ph.D. student at University of Toronto
    43. Uchitta vashist (Master student 2018-2020). Current Position: Metallurgist at Kingston Process Metallurgy.
    44. Sara Ghafouri Varzaneh (undergraduate research assistant 2020). Current position: Business student at the school of Waterloo.
    45. Lin Li (Postdoctoral fellow 2018- 2021). Current Position: Hydrometallurgy Researcher at National Research Council (NRC), Ottawa, Canada
    46. Susanna Zhang (Undergraduate research assistant 2020-2021). Current Position: BBA in Montreal
    47. Brendan Hubert (Undergraduate research assistant 2020-2021)
    48. Damian Chodyna (Undergraduate research assistant 2020-2021)
    49. Jung Lee (Master student 2020-2022). Current Position: Metallurgist with SGS Lakefield
    50. Rajashekhar Marthi (PDF 2022). Current Position: PDF position in the US
    51. Farzaneh Sadri (Ph.D. 2021, PDF 2022). Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Alberta.
    52. Fariborz Faraji (Ph.D. 2022): Current Position, Metallurgist at CTRI in Rouyn-Noranda.
    53. Masih Soleymani (Ph.D. 2022)
    54. Sugyeong Lee (Ph.D. 2022): Current Position, Metallurgist at SGS.
    55. Julia Twinney (NSERC USRA 2021-2022): Metallurgical Engineer Intern, Freeport McMoRan
    56. Omid Marzoughi (Ph.D. 2022)
    57. James McNeice (Ph.D. 2022): Current Position, Hydrometallurgist at Kingston Process Metallurgy 
    58. Atefeh Azizi (Ph.D. 2022): Current Position, Senior SX engineer at Ascend Elements
    59. Stephen Stokreef (M.Sc. 2023): Current Position, Metallurgist at Canada Nickel Corp.
    60. Abtin Rasouli (M.Sc. 2023)
    61. Michael Traversy (M.Sc 2023): Current Position, Metallurgist at