Eric W. Lees

Assistant Professor

Office: CHBE 413


Research Summary

Electrochemical engineering, Electrochemical synthesis, Continuum modelling, Reactor design, Transport phenomena, Electrochemical separations, CO2 capture and conversion


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2024, Postdoctoral Fellow

University of British Columbia, 2022, Ph.D.

University of Alberta, 2018, B.Sc.

Research interests + projects

The overarching goal of our research program is to combine experiments with continuum modelling and techno-economic/life cycle assessments to design new materials, devices, and processes. We leverage the chemical engineering toolbox to understand the function of critical materials in emerging technologies that address climate-related challenges.

Continuum and techno-economic/life cycle assessment modelling

Our group develops multi-scale, physics-based models that correlate the chemical and physical properties of materials to the performance of clean energy technologies. These models are coupled with techno-economic and life-cycle assessments to bridge performance outcomes at the laboratory- and field pilot-scales.

Electrochemical reactions and separations

Our group is interested in developing electrochemical separation processes for climate-related applications including CO2 capture, rare-earth metal extraction, and environmental pollutant remediation. The lab fabricates, tests, and characterizes materials (e.g., electrodes and ion-exchange membranes) to inform model development and design efficient electrochemical separation processes.

Atmospheric water harvesting

We are interested in developing multi-physics models for atmospheric water harvesting devices to address water insecurity in arid, landlocked regions of the planet. The goal is to develop rigorous models that couple adsorption, heat and mass transfer phenomena to co-design materials and devices that enable inexpensive atmospheric water harvesting.

Awards and honours

NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2022
Killam Doctoral Scholarship, 2020

Scholarly and professional activities + affiliations

Full publications list

Selected publications + presentations

Lees, E. W., Mowbray, B. A. W., Parlane, F. G. L., Berlinguette, C. P. “Gas diffusion electrodes and membranes for CO2 reduction electrolysers”, Nat. Rev. Mater. 7, 55–64, 2022.

Li, T., Lees, E. W., Goldman, M., Salvatore, D. A., Weekes, D. M., Berlinguette, C. P. “Electrolytic Conversion of Bicarbonate into CO in a Flow Cell”, Joule, 3 (6), 1487–1497, 2019.

Lees, E. W., Bui, J. C., Song, D., Weber, A. Z., Berlinguette, C. P. “Continuum Model to Define the Chemistry and Mass Transfer in a Bicarbonate Electrolyzer” ACS Energy Lett. 7 (2), 834–842, 2022.

Lees, E. W., Goldman, M., Fink, A. G., Dvorak, D. J., Salvatore, D. A., Zhang, Z., Loo, N. W. X.,
Berlinguette, C. P. “Electrodes Designed for Converting Bicarbonate into CO”, ACS Energy Lett. 5 (7), 2165–2173, 2020.

Bui, J. C., Lees, E. W., Pant, L. M., Zenyuk, I. V., Bell, A. T., Weber, A. Z. “Continuum Modeling of Porous Electrodes for Electrochemical Synthesis”, Chem Rev. 122 (12), 11022–11084, 2022.