Associate Professor of Teaching
CHBE 439

Research Summary

Laboratory Education, Problem-Based Learning, Interdisciplinary Education, Bioprocessing, Industrial Microbiology, Microalgal Biotechnology, Sustainable Engineering


University of Ottawa, 2015, Ph.D.
University of Ottawa, 2009, B.A.Sc.
University of Ottawa, 2009, B.Sc., Honours

Research interests + projects

My current focus is in engineering pedagogy and curriculum development, with a particular interest in problem-based learning, laboratory instruction, sustainability education, and interdisciplinary education. The challenges we face as a society, and as a species, are complex and multi-faceted. Engineers must be able to tackle them in creative ways, and be comfortable working on collaborative open interdisciplinary projects. The training of engineers must include these skills.

To this end, I aim to create developmental opportunities for students, and actively support a number of undergraduate design teams, student projects, student competitions, and special research projects. I am a steadfast advocate of science and engineering literacy, and am also involved in a number of STEM outreach initiatives.

My technical background is in bioprocessing and industrial microbiology, with a focus on the development of novel expression platforms for the production of industrially-relevant recombinant products.

Awards and honours

UBC Killam Teaching Award , 2021
2019 Ron Britton Engineering Education Vanguard Award , 2019
Chemical and Biological Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 , 2021

Selected publications + presentations

Ghaemi, RV. and Potvin, G. Experimenting with Labs: Practical and Pedagogical Considerations for the Integration of Problem-Based Lab Instruction in Chemical Engineering. Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. 99; 10, (2021)

Verrett, J. Curriculum Renewal for Better Design-Related Student Outcomes in Second-Year Chemical and Biological Engineering. Paper 154. Proceedings of the 2021 Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA)

Vaez Ghaemi, R, and Potvin, G. Hands-on Education Without the Hands-on? An Approach to Online Delivery of a Senior Lab Course in Chemical Engineering While Maintaining Key Learning Outcomes. Paper 14.  Proceedings of the 2021 Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA).

Ghaemi, RV, and Potvin, G. Students’ Perspective: Does Problem-Based Learning Increase Ownership of One’s Education?. Paper 26. Proceedings of the 2020 Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA)

Pringle, J, and Potvin, G. International Engineering Student Motivation to Develop Communication Skills: a Case for an Integrated Training Approach. Paper 21632.  Proceedings of the 2018 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)–30704