Current Members

Postdoctoral fellow

dr. lin li

Lin Li completed his Bachelor degree (2011) in Metallurgy Engineering from Taiyuan University of Technology and  Master’s degree (2014) in Hydrometallurgy from Central South University in China. In 2015, he joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group at Queen’s University and earned his Ph.D. supervised by Dr. Ahmad Ghahreman in November 2018. Now he works as a Postdoctoral fellow at the same group since January 2019. Lin has accumulated a wealth of experience in electrochemistry and hydrometallurgy from previous research projects. His current research focuses on pyrrhotite and sulphide minerals oxidation as well as the electrochemical studies of sulphide minerals dissolution. 

Awards and scholarships:
  • Best Teaching Assistant, 2018
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 program. He qualified National Eligibility Test conducted by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, India in 2012. He was awarded his Ph. D. under the supervision of Prof. Bina Gupta by Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India, in 2018. He was awarded 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 the separation, purification and recovery of 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 sulphate solutions and gold ore bio-oxidation.


Farzaneh Sadri

Farzaneh obtained her BSc and MSc degrees from Sharif University of Technology and University of Tehran, in the field of Materials Science and Engineering, Extractive Metallurgy. In September 2015, she joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University, working on the impurity removal stage of hydrometallurgical treatment of REE. She earned her PhD in August 2020 and immediately started working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the same group. Her research focuses on gold thiosulfate leaching process. Her main area of interest is hydrometallurgical processing of materials, with knowledge in pyrometallurgy, chemistry, extractive metallurgy, mineral processing and environment.

Awards and scholarships:

  • Best Teaching Assistant, 2020
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) for International Students, 2018
  • Best Teaching Assistant, 2018
  • Runner-up in Seminar Presentations, 2018


PhD Students

fariborz faraji

Fariborz got his Bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering (extractive metallurgy) from Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) and got his Master’s degree in the same major from University of Tehran. He ranked first during both his M.Sc. and B.Sc. and won a thesis support award from Iran Elite National Foundation for his M.Sc. Fariborz is experienced in many fields of extractive metallurgy including bioleaching, organic acid leaching, solvent extraction, kinetics and thermodynamics and has also served research assistant in Extraction, Synthesis, and Recycling (ExSyR) laboratory at University of Tehran. He is interested in hydrometallurgical approaches of metals recovery and recycling from both primary and secondary resources and has done so many projects in this field. The outcome of all these activities is his publications and presentations in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

Awards and scholarships:
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship, 2018 – 2022, $40,000 annually
masih soleymani naeini

Masih was admitted as a B.Sc. student in Materials Science and Engineering department at Sharif University of Technology in 2010 and after working on some projects including Ag-Pd coating by electrodeposition and corrosion inhibitors, he graduated in 2014. Being one of the top students in the bachelor’s program of Materials Science and Engineering, Masih was awarded admission to M.Sc. program of Corrosion and Protection of Materials in 2014, where he worked on the synthesis of the biocompatible composite coating as his M.Sc. thesis. Masih graduated his MSc in 2017, and then joined the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group at Queen’s University in September 2018. His PhD project is focused on the stability of non-toxic solutions for gold extraction with high efficiency.  Watching movies, hanging out with friends, biking and volleyball are Masih’s favorite activities.

sugyeong lee

Sugyeong (Sue) received her Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Energy Resources Engineering at Seoul National University (SNU), and her Master’s degree from the Department of Energy System Engineering at the same university. Sue was in the mineral processing lab and mainly worked on the hydrometallurgical processes. During her Master’s program, she spent two months at the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Lab at Queen’s University as a visiting student, and now she is back to do her PhD in the group. Her PhD research will focus on extracting gold from sulfidic ores with thiosulfate leaching process.

omid marzoughi

Omid obtained his BSc and MSc degrees from Sharif University of Technology, in the field of Materials Science and Engineering, Extractive Metallurgy. He worked on the extraction of various metals as his bachelor and master’s projects and in Sept. 2018, joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University. His research will focus on developing an economic and efficient method to recycle different resins. His main area of interest is pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical processing of materials, with a background in chemistry, extractive metallurgy, and mineral processing.

james mcneice

James graduated from the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University with a BASc in mining engineering and a MASc hydrometallurgy in 2016 and 2018, respectively. After his mining engineering degree, James become interested in metallurgical processing during his thesis on alternative sulfur sources for the SART process. His Master’s research was primarily focused on cerium oxidation and separation in rare earth element processing. James also has experience in rare earth solvent extraction, mineral economics, and is avidly interested in the sustainable development of hydrometallurgical processes with minimal environmental impact. He returned to Queen’s in 2018 to pursue a PhD in Bio-hydrometallurgical leaching of refractory sulfide ores. When not in the lab or office James can likely be found on a dock at the cottage, boating, skiing, scuba diving, or working in his garage.

Awards & Scholarships:
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), 2018
  • Mel Williamson Fellowship, 2018
  • Paul D.D. Chick Memorial Scholarship, 2017
  • Alan Bauer Memorial Prize in Mining Engineering, 2016
atefeh azizitorghabeh

Atefeh completed her bachelor and master of Materials Engineering at The University of Tehran. Atefeh’s Master’s thesis was focused on Selective Solvent Extraction of zinc and iron from waste liquor. From her MSc studies, Atefeh has published 4 papers and conference papers. In January 2019, Atefeh joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University, working on the gold extraction via biomining processes. Atefeh’s main research interest is hydrometallurgical processing of materials, organic chemistry and extractive metallurgy.



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


guillermo alvial-hein

Guillermo is a Metallurgical engineer from the University of Concepcion (Chile). During his bachelor’s degree, he worked on his undergraduate thesis project in the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group at the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University, focusing on the catalytic effect of activated carbon on copper sulphide leaching. His research interests are focused on finding a better condition for hydrometallurgical processes considering the chemistry, flowsheets design, and the economic point of view behind the processes. He joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment group in May 2019 as an M.A.Sc Student and his research is going to be focused on sulphide bioxidation at neutral pH.

Awards & Scholarships:
  • Ernest Peters Masters Award (Hydrometallurgy Section) for 2020

MSc Students

uchitta vashist

Uchitta joined the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group in May 2018 as a Master’s of Applied Sciences candidate. Uchitta is currently working on the Study of Gold-Thiosulphate leaching process. She’s received her Bachelors in Engineering in Chemical Engineering degree from Thapar University in India and Master’s of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University. Before coming to Queen’s in Sept 2017 for her M.Eng, Uchitta served India’s largest Petrochemical and Refining company, Reliance Corporation Ltd. for a year as a Graduate Engineer Trainee in the commissioning of Refinery off-gas cracker plant (ROGC).
During her time as a Bachelor’s as well as Master’s student, Uchitta kept myself consistently involved in student societies and clubs. Presently, Uchitta serves as the Social Media and Marketing Manager of Science to Business Network (S2BN), Kingston Chapter. Also, she enjoys dancing and has been a Choreographer in the Queen’s Indian Student Association (QISA).


jung lee

Jung joined the Hydrometallurgy group as an NSERC URSA student in the summer of 2018. He finished his undergraduate degree from Queen’s University and he started his master in May 2019. For his undergraduate thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Ghahreman, he started his work on lithium extraction from chloride-based natural brine and will continue this work as a graduate student. Jung’s new project is studying sulphide bioxidation at alkaline pH.

Undergraduate Research Assistant Students

Sara Ghafouri Varzaneh

Sara is a second year Mathematics and Business Administration Double Degree student at University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. She will be spending her winter co-op an Undergraduate Research Assistant working on Mineral Economics. She will be studying the broad economic environment in which the mining industry operates, and helps provide a framework to assist in the financial evaluation and optimisation of a mineral project.


Brendan Hubert

Brendan is joining the Hydrometallurgy group after completing his third year as a biochemical engineering student attending Queen’s University. He is the recipient of the NSERC USRA award and will be joining the team to spend the summer working with bio-team. Brendan grew up in Ottawa where he would spend most of his free time in the summers at his cottage wakeboarding or on the ski hills snowboarding in the winter. He is the team captain of the Queen’s Biomedical Innovation Team (QBiT) where he manages and leads an interdisciplinary undergraduate team comprised of 70 students in the design of innovative biomedical devices to improve the lives of others.



 Former Group Members and Alumni

  1. Caitlyn McKinley (MSc student 2015 to 2017). Currently, a graduate student in OT program at Queen’s University.
  2. Rebecca Radzinski (MSc student 2014 to 2016). Currently a Metallurgist at Algoma Steel.
  3. Said Karimi (visiting PhD student): currently PhD 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 (PhD 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 (PhD 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 PhD Student from University of Tehran Dec 2018-May 2019). Current Position: PhD student at 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: PhD student at University of Toronto