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 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 sulfate solutions and gold ore bio-oxidation.

Farzaneh Sadri

Farzaneh obtained her BSc and MSc degrees from the Sharif University of Technology and the 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 Ph.D. in August 2020 and immediately started working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the same group. Her research focuses on the 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

     

Rajashekhar Marthi

Raja got his B.Tech degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Raipur, India. After finishing his B.Tech, Raja moved to the U.S. in 2016 and obtained his M.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah. He worked on selective extraction of lithium from the Great Salt Lake brines using ion sieve adsorbents. He decided to continue his research under the guidance of Dr. York Smith and earned his Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah. Raja’s research interests are in sustainable process metallurgy, urban mining, and extraction of critical metals such as lithium and rare earth metals from low-grade resources. Raja joined Hydrometallurgy & Environment group as a postdoc fellow in June 2021. He will be working on pyrrhotite and sulfide mineral oxidation and will also be conducting electrochemical studies of sulfide minerals. Apart from his research work, Raja loves to play chess and go out on hikes. 

Ph.D. 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 the 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 as a research assistant in the Extraction, Synthesis, and Recycling (ExSyR) laboratory at the 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:
  • MetSoc 2021 Student Doctoral Scholarship Award
  • Gordon Bell Fellowship-2021
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship, 2018 – 2022, $40,000 annually
masih soleymani naeini

Masih was admitted as a B.Sc. student in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the 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 the 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 with his MSc in 2017, and then joined the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group at Queen’s University in September 2018. His Ph.D. 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 favourite activities.

Awards and scholarships:
  • Gordon Bell Fellowship-2021

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 Ph.D. in the group. Her Ph.D. research will focus on extracting gold from sulfidic ores with the thiosulfate leaching process.

omid marzoughi

Omid obtained his BSc and MSc degrees from the 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’s 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 becomes 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 Ph.D. 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:
  • Paul D.D. Chick Memorial Scholarship, 2021
  • 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’s and master’s of Materials Engineering at the University of Tehran. Her Master’s thesis was focused on the Selective Solvent Extraction of metals from waste liquor.  Atefeh has published 5 papers. In January 2019, Atefeh has joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University, She is now working on gold extraction via biomining processes. 

Awards and scholarships:
  • The Pickles Family Scholarship-2021

JINSONG  XIA

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 to synthesize graphene and activated carbon from biomass carbon and apply 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.

 

Ahamed Ashiq Abdul Rahiman

Ahamed Ashiq obtained his BSc in Chemical Engineering in 2014, from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia, and his Masters of Science in Environmental Sciences in 2020, from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. His main background lies in material science, surface chemistry for environmental applications, and remediation of contaminants that are of emerging concern. He also worked in the Oil and Gas sector as a Service Engineer for providing technical expertise in purification catalysts with a wide range of representation in Saudi Arabia’s markets. He worked closely with Prof. Meththika Vithanage, a renowned scientist in the field of Biochar Research and Groundwater Quality, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. In April 2021, he joined the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group for his Ph.D. on the safe extraction of precious metals from sulphate solutions using solvent extractions and bio-oxidation strategies. After experiencing both the energy and the environmental remediation sector, he based his current interest on investigating novel methods to extract precious elements from both primary and secondary sources without posing any environmental risks and bringing value-added products to the markets. He enjoys spending time outdoors, travelling and try out different culinary delights.

MSc Students

jung lee

Jung joined the Hydrometallurgy group as an NSERC URSA student in the summer of 2018. He finished his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University and he started his master’s 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 sulfide oxidation at alkaline pH.

 

Stephen Stokreef

Stephen graduated in Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University in the spring of 2019. In January 2021, Stephen has returned to Queen’s to begin his Master’s as part of the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining. Stephen’s research is focused on modelling the carbon sequestration potential of ultramafic mine tailings based upon experimental results.

Abtin Rasouli

 Abtin Rasouli, graduated from the University of Tehran in the year 2019. He got his Bachelor’s degree at the university in the field of Materials Science and Metallurgy Engineering. His thesis project entitled “A Comparative Study of Effective Factors on Copper Anode Passivation in the Process of Copper Refining Electrolysis” was carried out in the field of Hydrometallurgy. The project was supported by “National Iranian Copper Industries Co.” (NICICO). He has joined Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University in January 2021. 

 

DENIZ BOZKURT

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 YILDIZ


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.

 

Michael Traversy

Michael graduated in chemistry from Carleton University in the summer of 2020, with a degree focus in nanotechnology and materials science. Michael’s thesis investigated methods in computational and wet chemistry towards improved synthesis protocols for aptamers detecting metal ions and small molecules. In September 2021, he joined the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining. Michael is interested in rare earths, and exploring the overlap between mineral processing and nanotechnology. He will focus on the recovery of rare earth elements under the supervision of Dr. Ghahreman.

Undergraduate Research Assistant Students

 

Julia Twinney

Julia is entering her third year as a mining engineering student with a specialization in mineral processing and the environment at Queen’s University. She is excited to be joining the Hydrometallurgy & Environment group this summer as an NSERC undergraduate student research assistant. Julia is originally from Calgary, Alberta and spends most of her free time outdoors!

 

 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)