CREATE ME2 Past Events

Electrochemical Cell Design for Energy and Environmental Applications Webinar

June 30th, 2020

10:00 - 11:00MST

This was the first joint webinar between the NSERC CREATE MEand Waterloo Electrochemical Student Chapter (WatECS). The webinar created to discuss cell design from an electrochemical engineering aspect focusing on the redox flow battery technology for energy storage and the electrochemical water treatment for environmental applications.      

This webinar was delivered by Dr. Edward (Ted) Roberts, Professor and Associate Head (Research), Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Schulich School of engineering at The University of Calgary. Dr. Roberts introduced his research in the area of redox flow batteries for energy storage and water treatment technologies.

The presentation outlined a general approach for electrochemical cell design (including the bipolar stack, and the integration of porous electrodes), and introduced case studies for both water treatment and energy storage systems. Those case studies reflect Dr. Roberts’ experience in electrochemical technology development, including adsorption / electrochemical regeneration, electrocoagulation, and redox flow batteries. Dr. Roberts highlighted cell design and scale-up challenges arising from flow/mass transport and electrical potential distribution. He also introduced some innovative ideas for cell design for water treatment that were discovered and tested by his research groups, using: moving packed bed, oscillating, and flow through electrodes, as well as magnetic field effects. Dr. Roberts concluded his presentation by introducing the use of flow through electrodes to develop membrane free redox flow batteries and enhance performance in zinc electrode system.

Research integrity and academic writing from proposals to publication at the graduate level

May 27th, 2020

10am - 12pm (Virtual Training)

University of Calgary

This event was our first join event with the Student Success Centre. The workshop was  designed to increase students’ awareness of research integrity issues and to present writing strategies to help with developing their research proposal and future publications. 

The pursuit of knowledge in an academic setting requires an atmosphere of trust. Yet, examples of data falsification and fabrication continue to exist. In this session, we talked about what ethical scholarship means during research, writing and publishing your work.

Academic writing is important for graduate students, especially in a research institution like the University of Calgary. At the beginning of the graduate program, supervisors expect graduate students to write an acceptable research proposal and be able to articulate an effective thesis statement to describe their research. This task would prepare the stage for graduate students to write a comprehensive research abstract and prepare them to participate in a conference and write journal publications. Academic writing is not an easy task. Writing is a process. You write to convey your ideas, knowledge and your research findings to an audience, not just to yourself. 

The writing section of this workshop focused on how to improve students' writing skills. It started with common challenges that graduate students experience in their writing. Then, it proposed an effective approach to help students nail down their specific research objective and build an effective thesis/dissertation structure.

The workshop delivered by Ms. Lee-Ann Penaluna and Mr. Alaa D.A. Dabboor from the Student Success Centre at the University of Calgary.

Introduction to Neutron Reflectometry for Electrochemical Applications

March 25th, 2020 - Virtual Training

University of Calgary 09:00 – 13:00

The workshop delivered by one of our postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Udit Shrivastava. This workshop introduced researchers to Neutron Reflectometry (NR) and its application to study interfacial structures encountered in many electrochemical systems. One of the pertinent examples is the electrochemical interface in polymer electrolyte based electrochemical devices, i.e. the catalyst/ionomer interface encountered in fuel cells, gas-fed CO2 electrolyzers, water electrolyzers, and polymer-electrolyte based sensors. NR is a depth profiling technique often utilized to provide information on the material distribution down to few Angstroms in the thickness direction of ultrathin films (~5 nm) and thick films (~ 100 nm). In addition, NR is employed to measure the swelling of thin films under external stimulus such as metal hydride expansion upon absorption of hydrogen. Pertinent to the electrochemistry, NR is one of the few techniques which has been exploited most to study the adsorption and the generation of an entity on the electrochemical surfaces in a non-electrochemical environment or in an in-operando electrochemical cell. Thanks to the non-destructive nature of neutron-material interactions virtually any material can be studied using this technique. The workshop introduced principle and application of NR to the electrochemical systems. 

Hands-On Introduction to the Analysis of X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Spectra using CASA XPS

February 18th, 2020
ENG 224
University of Calgary
09:00 – 13:00

This was the first 2020 technical workshop delivered by one of our former postdoctoral trainees and now assistant professor of chemistry at St Francis Xavier University, Dr. Erwan Bertin. This workshop provided an introduction to the analysis of electrocatalysts (or any other materials for which knowledge of the surface is of the uttermost importance) by X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), specifically focusing on the interpretation of the results using Casa XPS. Even though electrochemical techniques are the most surface sensitive technique available to researchers, they must be combined with another technique to get specific information regarding the oxidation state, eventual electronic effect or the composition of a surface. Unfortunately, very few techniques are able to probe the surface of a catalyst at a level pertinent to a comparison with electrochemical results. XPS is one of these techniques. This workshop introduced fundamental aspects of XPS analysis such as how to (a) select the information to seek while operating the instrument (or to request if the analysis is done elsewhere), (b) use the software, and (c) analyze the data. The attendees examined the key steps of the analyses: calibration, peak identification, deconvolution and quantification of the surface. Dr. Bertin concluded his presentation by highlighting XPS data in published manuscripts to help attendees read and interpret the results.

Making it simple, but significant: How to design an impactful research presentation (3 Minute Thesis)

February 3rd, 2020
ENB 206
University of Calgary
13:00 – 15:00

This interactive workshop aimed at helping trainees learn more about designing an engaging research presentation and preparing for participation in the UCalgary 3 Minute Thesis competition. This workshop targeted graduate students (MSc & PhD) to help them develop skills in translating their research and its impact for non-specialists. The skills are becoming essential for many purposes

• Funding proposals
• Transitioning into employment
• Generating interest in, awareness of and support for academic research
• Communicating with confidence and clarity to diverse audiences

Workshop topics included:
• The importance of understanding who your audience is
• Crafting a presentation that engages your audience and highlights the impact of your research
• Understanding the science behind the fear of presenting
• Designing slides to frame your talk (if time permits)

Invention & Innovation in University Research

November 26th, 2019
The Senate Room – Hotel Alma
University of Calgary
09:00 – 15:30

This workshop discussed how inventions can be protected and the initial steps of commercialization of ideas developed in the University research lab. The workshop was held at the University of Calgary on November 26th, 2019 from 09:00 – 15:30
The overall theme of the workshop is “Invention and Innovation”. The workshop topics:
• University policy and researcher’s rights
• Innovation and industry partnerships
• When to publish and when to protect
• Innovation teams and working with Innovate Calgary
• Patent protection
These topics were presented in the context of clean energy research for the CREATE ME2 program, with relevant examples, although the workshop was useful for researchers working in other fields. The workshop was delivered by Dr. Christopher Chow, from the Research Services Office at the University of Calgary, Dr. Edward Roberts, Professor in the Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, and Director of the CREATE ME2 program, Dr. Jim Wilson, an Innovation Manager from Innovate Calgary, and Dr. William Murphy, a Patent Agent from Hicks IP.

NSERC CREATE ME2 Program in Materials for Electrochemical Energy Solutions


August 29-30, 2019
Venue: Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary

The conference was held from August 29-30, 2019” at the University of Calgary. The theme of the 2nd CREATE ME2 Annual Conference was Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Energy Solutions. The conference was an ideal academic platform for researchers to showcase the latest research and innovation in clean energy technology from the CREATE team and our partners, through oral and poster presentations on August 29th, and an Innovation Fair on August 30th. The conference aimed to contribute to presenting novel research results and bring together leading academic scientists, researchers, and industry partners to exchange and share their experiences about all aspects of clean and renewable energy.
The conference program included presentations on the latest breakthroughs in large scale energy storage, fuel cells and solid state batteries for transport, and electrochemical fuel synthesis including carbon dioxide conversion to fuel. Four outstanding keynote speakers presented from both industry and academia (see below). The Innovation Fair was an exciting opportunity for industry, investors and researchers to learn about the latest emerging innovations in sustainable energy technologies. Researchers displaied their technology and promote its commercial potential.

Francois Blouin, Director Innovation, ATCO Electric
Linking energy technological advances to commercially viable markets.
Dr. Fikile Brushett, Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
High energy low cost redox flow batteries.
Dr. Rajesh Bashyam, Principle Research Scientist, Ballard Power Systems
Development of materials for commercial fuel cells.
Dr. Huyen Dinh, Senior Scientist, US National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Research and development for hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

From an Early Concept to a Viable Product Workshop

The NSERC CREATE ME2 Materials for Electrochemical Energy Solutions & the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking

July 2nd, 2019 

08:30 – 16:30.
This workshop introduced the participants to the basics of early stage concept development, proof-of-concept all the way to building a viable product. The workshop used examples from the area of materials and electrochemical technologies. By completing this workshop, the participants were able to make sound decisions whether the technology they are working in their research will lead to a marketable product. Participants have developed tools to evaluate and communicate the potential benefits their research in the lab can bring to the public. This workshop was delivered by Naser Arda from the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, Ted Roberts, Professor in the Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering and Director of the CREATE ME2 program, and Apoorv Sinha, CEO and Founder of Carbon Upcycling Technologies. The workshop concluded with a panel discussion and Q&A with entrepreneurs who will share their experience with start-up companies commercializing materials and electrochemical technologies.

Sustainability and Techno-Economics Workshop Series

May 23, May 30, June 6, & June 13, 2019
ENG 24
University of Calgary
The series of workshops focused on environmental and economic evaluation of technologies during early stage research. It is important to consider the benefits of the technologies that we are working on throughout the development process. This helps to focus the research on key challenges, accelerating impact and commercialization potential. It is also essential to consider these issues to justify our research in funding proposals, papers, oral examinations, job interviews etc. Researchers are typically focused on important scientific questions, but considering these broader issues at an early stage enables us to target the research on concepts with the greatest potential for innovation and impact. Evaluating the economic, environmental and societal sustainability of technologies associated with early stage research is challenging, as there is usually limited data, and most researchers do not have the tools or skills to undertake the evaluation. In this series of workshops trainees learned how to address these challenges with suitable tools and methods that they can apply in your research. The workshops delivered by Dr. Joule Bergerson, Dr. Sean McCoy, and Mr. Puneet Mannan.

An introduction to Continuum-based Multi-scale Fuel Cell Modeling Using OpenFCST

April 11th, 2019
Legacy Suite\Dining Centre
University of Calgary
09:00 – 16:00

This is the first Modeling workshop delivered by one of our Principal Investigator, Dr. Marc Secanell Gallart. He provided an introduction to continuum-based multi-scale fuel cell modeling using the open-source fuel cell simulation toolbox (OpenFCST), available for download. The morning session focused on some fundamentals on the theory of mass and charge transport, electrochemical reactions, and numerical modeling techniques. The afternoon session included two hands-on demonstrations on how to use OpenFCST to study transport in a fuel cell electrode and on a catalyst layer micro-structure. Dr. Secanell concluded his presentation by answering questions and providing research recommendations and best practices. 

Practical Introduction to Electrochemistry ansd Oxygen Reduction Reaction Measurement

March 7th, 2019
ENG 401 - UofC
09:00 – 12:00

This workshop was our first workshop series delivered by one of our Postdoctoral Fellows, Dr. Erwan Bertin. The workshop was dedicated to provide a quick introduction to applied electrochemistry, with a focus on rotation disk electrode (RDE) measurements for oxygen reduction reaction. It included some fundamentals basis, a presentation of common electrochemical techniques (OCP, CV, CA, RDE) and their key elements. Following these more theoretical aspects, the presentation transition toward how to perform actual measurements. Various methods for the determination of the electrochemical surface area were covered, as this is of the uttermost importance to publish meaningful results. Dr. Bertin concluded his presentation by explaining the proper preparation of the setup (glassware, choice of reactants, preparation of electrodes).

Protecting Your Ideas Invention & Innovation in University Research

December 12th , 2018
The Senate Room\Hotel Alma - UofC
09:00 – 13:30This workshop discussed how inventions can be protected and the initial steps of commercialization of ideas developed in the University research lab.
The overall theme of the workshop was “Protecting Your Ideas”. The workshop discussed the following topics:

  • University policy and researcher’s rights
  • Innovation and industry partnerships
  • When to publish and when to protect
  • Innovation teams and working with Innovate Calgary
  • Patent protection

These topics were presented in the context of the CREATE themes of ‘Materials for Electrochemical Energy Solutions”, with relevant examples.

Analytical Techniques Workshop

November 13, 2018
ICT 116 UofC
The Electrochemical Society & NSERC CREATE ME2 Materials for Electrochemical Energy Solutions invite you to register for the Analytical Techniques Workshop: Theory, Discussions and Lab Demos on AFM, FTIR,SEM, TEM, and XRD.

Energy Conversion and Storage Technologies

NSERC CREATE ME2 Materials for Electrochemical Energy Solutions

2018 Annual Meeting
August 30th, 2018
NSERC CREATE ME2 Annual MeetingThis meeting is the first Annual Meeting of CREATE ME2, and was held at the University of Calgary on August 30, 2018 from 09:00 – 15:00
The overall theme of the Meeting is “Energy Conversion and Storage Technologies”. The meeting was a platform to discuss the four technical themes of NSERC CREATE ME2:

  • Flow batteries for Grid Scale Energy Storage
  • Solid state batteries
  • Low temperature fuel cells
  • Fuel synthesis & CO2 conversion

Environmental Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis

August 22, 2018

The workshop included introductory presentations and discussion of sustainability and life cycle analysis (LCA) in the context of energy storage and conversion. The environmental impacts and trade-offs are typically uncharacterized until the technology is close to commercialization. This can lead to unintended negative economic and environmental consequences when a new technology is deployed.

The workshop particularly focused on an electrochemical energy conversion such as Materials for Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells (SOECs) pathway.

Transformative Talent Internship Session

July 18, 2018

The session offered an introductory to Transformative Talent Internship Program organized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary. This Program benefits ONLY graduate students at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. 

The session reviewed Transformative Talent Internship eligibility, the application process and available funding plus Q&A. Natalie Wilkinson-Houghton – Business Development Specialist Graduate Student Internships\Faculty of Graduate Studies, presented this session and explained how they could grad students benefit from it.

Techno-Economics, Technology Transfer and Commercialization

Part 2: How to build a minimum viable product (MVP) & create a company

May 9, 2018

The workshop provided what constitutes a minimum viable product (MVP), the steps toward building a file-ready prototype, and the components involved in creating a company. The workshop was presented by Peter Zyla from Innovate Calgary.

Techno-Economics, Technology Transfer and Commercialization

Part 1: How to determine the commercial potential of inventions

April 25, 2018

The workshop focused on determining the commercial viability of inventions and ideas using the StrategyzerTM concepts. It also provided an overall view of the economic and regulatory environment of the energy industry. The workshop was presented by Peter Zyla from Innovate Calgary and Mokhtar Tabri, a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary in the Department of Economics. 

Applications of 3D Confocal Raman Microscopy and Correlative Techniques Workshop

April 18, 2018

The workshop introduced applications of 3D confocal raman and correlative techniques, including AFM, SEM and SNOM. Also, it presented a new approach for high speed, high lateral and spectral resolution in raman imaging. A live instrument demonstration was provided. was sponsored by WiTec Corporation (Germany) and it partner Spectra Research Corporation (SRC) in Canada.

'One Canada' Electrochemical Energy Storage Research: Redox Flow Batteries Workshop

February 22, 2018 Alberta Room at the UofC

The workshop provided a forum for academic and industrial peers to exchange experiences, best practices, and ideas related to current emerging issues associated to this emerging energy storage technology. Also, shared knowledge of status, new directions, and challenges of redox flow battery (RFB) technology.

Share knowledge of status, new directions, advantages, and challenges of redox flow battery (RFB) technology,
Place RFB technology into the context of energy storage in Canada and related to international efforts,
Develop a network of researchers and industry/government partners interested in RFB technology
Our keynote speaker is Dr. Vincent L Sprenkle, Chief Engineer – Electrochemical Energy Storage and Conversion – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).