CHBE Seminar May 9 – Michael Tam

Time & Date:
1:00PM May 9, 2022

Location: CHBE Room 102



Nanotechnology is anticipated to be the next technological wave that will drive many of the innovations in science and engineering. In this discipline, there is a renewed impetus to develop nanomaterials from renewable sources due to the negative impact of using raw materials from traditional carbon sources, such as crude oil. New opportunities in the use of sustainable and renewable materials for various advanced engineering applications exist, and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) offer a new route to product development and formulations in many industrial sectors. Various functionalization strategies on the surface of CNC, such as with amphiphilic polymers, inorganic and metallic nanoparticles are being developed and exploited. The talk will focus on the strategies of CNC functionalization in imparting attractive properties critical for their applications. I will illustrate several innovations derived from the transformation of sustainable nanomaterials into platforms that address some of the market requirements and challenges. Some examples of the applications include wastewater treatment, anti-microbial system, conductive inks & fillers, agriculture, and water harvesting.


MICHAEL KC TAM obtained his B.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Monash University, Australia in 1982 and 1991 respectively. He spent 18 months on a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University Canada, and subsequently taught at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for 15 years. In June 2007 he joined the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo as a tenured full professor, and holds the position of University Research Chair in the field of functional colloids and sustainable nanomaterials. He is an active member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. His research interests are in colloids, self-assembly systems, polymer-surfactant interactions, and drug delivery systems. He has published more than 350 journal articles in various fields of polymer science and engineering. His total citation exceeds 22,250 and his H-index is 75. He is also an associate editor of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.