Current Members

Visiting Professor

Dr. siamak motahari

Siamak graduated from Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Dept. at Queen’s University in 1998. He has been a faculty member of Chemical Engineering Dept. at University of Tehran in Iran since 2003. His research focuses on the fabrication and utilization of aerogel materials for energy saving and environmental applications including absorption of several types of contaminants such as heavy metals and oil spills from water resources, absorption of electromagnetic waves using modified carbon aerogels and development of heat insulator paints.

Visiting Senior Researcher

Kyungsun Song

Kyungsun Song has been participating in several research projects in KIGAM (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) as a principal researcher.  She has expertise in the areas of treatment of heavy metal pollutants and various carbonation processes.  Her research collaboration in the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group includes the studies on arsenic oxidation and immobilization using activated carbon for mining and metals industry.

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Rina Kim

Rina Kim

Rina Joined the group in June 2016. Rina has earned her Ph.D., M.Sc. and B.Sc. all from the Seoul National University, one of the top universities in Korea.  Rina brings to our group extensive experience in the rare earth elements metallurgy, uranium leaching, recycling of valuable materials from home appliances, and purification of mine tailings. She has published several journal and conference papers on those topics.

Rina’s research goal at Queen’s University is to develop a better understanding of the oxygen role in the gold leaching processes in cyanide and also thiosulfate solutions.

Dr. jingxiu wang

Jingxiu joined the Hydrometallurgy & Environment Group at Queen’s University in June 2018. She obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Engineering from University of Wollongong and her Master of Biochemical Engineering from China University of Petroleum (Beijing). Jingxiu has extensive experience in the extractive metallurgy, especially in the recycling of metallurgical wastes. She has been involved in many hydrometallurgical projects relevant to organic acid leaching, bioleaching, and bioremediation of contaminated soils. Jingxiu’s research will mainly focus on gold bio-hydrometallurgy.

 
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.

PhD Students

Farzaneh Sadri

She 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. She worked on the extraction of rare earth elements (REE) as her master’s thesis and in Sept. 2015, 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. The goal of her project is to make lime and limestone viable options to be used instead of other expensive reagents for removing impurities from REE leaching solutions, by means of decreasing or ideally diminishing the coprecipitation of REE with precipitated gypsum. Her main area of interest is hydrometallurgical processing of materials, with knowledge in pyrometallurgy, chemistry, extractive metallurgy and mineral processing.

Awards and scholarships:
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) for International Students, 2018
  • Best Teaching Assistant, 2018
  • Runner-up in Seminar Presentations, 2018
Fei meng

Fei is currently a visiting PhD student (founded by China Scholarship Council) from Chongqing University in China for 2 years. In 2015, he got promoted to a PhD program in the department of Material Science and Engineering at Chongqing University, where he entered as an MSc student in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Metallurgy Engineering from Chongqing University of Technology.

 
alexandru catalin sonoc

Alexandru graduated from the University of Toronto in 2006 with a Bachelor’s in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. In his 4th year thesis, he investigated the feed requirements for a strain of anaerobic bacteria used in groundwater remediation. In 2013, he graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with a Master’s degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. In his thesis, he investigated the kinetics of decomposition of siloxanes on gamma alumina. The application of this work is the purification of biogas so that it can be safely used as a fuel source. Since 2013 he is pursuing a PhD at Queen’s University. He is co-supervised by Jacob Jeswiet, in mechanical engineering, and by Ahmad Ghahreman. He is developing a process to recycle lithium ion batteries. The goal is to achieve a process that not only achieves a high recovery of transition metals but also a high recovery of battery grade lithium, with minimal energy usage. In 2015, Alexandru was a summer scholar of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and spent the summer at Kansai University, Japan investigating the use of cation exchange membranes in the separation and recovery of metals from leached lithium ion battery cathodes. Aside from his academic work, Alexandru enjoys singing in choirs, playing rugby and volleyball. He also serves currently on the Senate of Queen’s University.

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.

MSc Students

Chengqian (Charles) Wu

Charles is an M. Sc. student in the Hydrometallurgy and Environment group at Queen’s University. Originally from China, Charles has visited the hydrometallurgy lab at Queen’s University during summer 2016 as a MITACS Globalink Research Assistant, and rejoined this amazing group, which conducts cutting-edge research aiming to extract metals from refractory resources at lower costs and to eliminate environmental effects of mining process, after received a bachelor’s degree in Minerals Engineering from Central South University in 2017.

Charles is focusing on developing novel methods for arsenic immobilization and removal from mineral processing streams and wastewaters. His research is more based on chemistry and electrochemistry sides to thoroughly understand the mechanism of the arsenic oxidation process and study the kinetics of the reactions so as to promote the adaptabilities for industry application. In his leisure time, Charles enjoys a bunch of things to do outdoors: jogging, hiking, cycling, skiing, and kayaking.

Awards and scholarships:
  • Mitacs Globalink Graduate Fellowship, 2017
  • Ernest Peters Master’s award, 2018
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).

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.

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.

Visiting Undergraduate Students

uttam sinha

Uttam is an undergraduate student going into his final year at the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) Dhanbad, India and currently, is pursuing B.Tech in Mineral Engineering. Uttam recently was awarded Mitacs Globalink Research Internship (MITACS Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant) at Queen’s University and is working in the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group as a Summer Research Assistant. Uttam is an enthusiastic learner and passionate researcher, and planning to gather as much Knowledge as he can in the field of hydrometallurgy. Besides his academic part, Uttam is a professional Roller Skater and loves dancing, solving Rubik’s cube, IQ games, and Sudoku.

ashrita samal

Ashrita is currently pursuing B.Tech in Chemical Engineering in NIT Rourkela and going to be in the final year of her undergraduate studies in July 2019. Ashrita was a recipient of the Globalink Research Internship (Mitacs Globalink Summer Research Program 2019) and has joined the Hydrometallurgy and Environment Group during the summer 2019. Aside her academic life, Ashrita enjoys reading stories, watching TV Series, and playing badminton.

andrew borschneck

Andrew is joining the Hydrometallurgy group coming out of his second year as a mineral processing student attending Queen’s University. He is the recipient of the NSERC USRA award and will be spending the summer working with bio-team researching Bio-Hydrometallurgical leaching of refractory sulfide ores while building industry skills. Andrew grew up in Kingston being surrounded by the Queen’s Engineering Culture and when not working he can be found at his cottage, biking or travelling. He was a member of the 2017-2018 Men’s Varsity Volleyball Team winning an OUA silver medal.

 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).