The Chemical Engineering Department occupies one wing of the John Hodgins Engineering Building. It contains offices, workshops, laboratories and student study space, serviced research laboratories, and a large-scale unit operations laboratory used for both research projects and undergraduate teaching labs.
An important aspect of our research effort is the extent of the interaction between faculty members both within the department and with other departments. Many graduate students are co-supervised by two professors, equipment is often shared and there are many joint publications and jointly held grants. As well, the department has considerable interaction with various industries and universities all over the world. Companies provide grants, materials, expertise and often are involved in performing experiments that cannot be done at McMaster.
The polymer processing group (Centre for Advanced Polymer Processing and Design, CAPPA-D) has several graphics workstations for their modelling work. In addition, many researchers in the department use personal computers for much of their computing and word processing needs as well as data acquisition. CAPPA-D is involved in the formulation, conversion and characterization of plastics, mathematical modelling of single and twin screw extrusion, coextrusion, thermoforming, rotational molding, film blowing, reactive extrusion, mixing and coating. There are strong groups working in the areas of environmental engineering, biomedical studies, membrane making, turbulence modelling and experimentation, separations, process systems analysis and applied mathematics. The research summaries of the individual faculty members will point out the many interactions, breadth and depth of the research activity within the department.
The Process Control Group has organized the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC) to build on the strength of the software and expertise related to the computer control of chemical processes. MACC promotes and advances process control by bringing together researchers and practitioners for the investigation and application of leading-edge control technology. Specialized equipment utilized by members of the Process Systems group includes a 64 processor server suitable for intensive numerical computation. Commercial and university developed software is used to facilitate research in simulation, control, design, statistical process diagnostics and optimization.
The McMaster Centre for Pulp and Paper Technology (MIPPT) was founded by the department in 1982 and has attracted support from government and industry. MIPPT has extensive facilities for the study of polymerization reactions of industrial interest and receives substantial support from the federal network of excellence grant and support from industry. The modelling of polymer processing operations is done in collaboration with industry in the Centre for Advanced Polymer Processing and Design (CAPPA-D).
McMaster Centre for Pulp and Paper Research
The McMaster Centre for Pulp and Paper Research is a world-class framework for scientists with strengths in colloid and surface science, polymer synthesis and characterization, modelling and transport phenomena to work together on strategic problems.
The McMaster Nuclear Reactor, located adjacent to the Engineering Building provides services for nuclear engineering studies, e.g. gamma ray initiated reactions and radioactive tracers. The Institute for Materials is equipped with excellent instruments for characterizing solids and surfaces that are available for graduate research. Numerous pilot scale reactors are available for polymerization and computer control studies. Some of the excellent research facilities at the McMaster University Hospital are being utilized by the groups doing research in biomedical engineering.