Explore materials science research

New concrete blends, nanomaterials, new polymers, macrocells, biomaterials, improved aluminum manufacturing processes: materials science is an exciting field that draws on the ingenuity of chemical and materials engineering researchers who are characterizing and synthesizing molecules in order to assemble them and create composite materials with specific properties for industrial and medical applications. Our professors in chemical and civil engineering test new materials, alloys, and structures by performing physiochemical and mechanical tests to optimize performance and lifespan.

The faces of materials science research

Below is a summary of the main research areas explored by our materials science researchers. Each one includes a brief profile of the work carried out by one of our faculty members.

Aluminum production

Researchers working on aluminum are looking for ways to increase energy efficiency in processing and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions during production and searching for ways to use waste and recycled materials. They are also working to increase quality and improve the performance of alloys produced by secondary and tertiary processing and to develop new materials and transformation processes.

Houshang Darvishi-Alamdari, professeur au Département de génie des mines, de la métallurgie et des matériaux

Houshang Darvishi-Alamdari, professor, Department of Mineral, Metallurgical, and Materials Engineering

Director of the Aluminum Research Centre (REGAL)

Professor Darvishi-Alamdari has close ties with the Aluminum Research Centre (REGAL), where he is responsible for research on waste management and the quality of raw materials. He works to improve manufacturing techniques and specifications for carbon anodes in order to improve the electrical efficiency and chemical reactivity of carbon electrodes.

Innovative materials and products

The search for better-performing materials has led to Composite materials are composed of at least two immiscible components, a reinforcement and a matrix, which have complementary properties. Examples include carbon fibre, reinforced concrete, and pressed wood., which are less dense than metals and have a much longer lifespan. Their mechanical properties make them the materials of the future, but scientists are striving to overcome obstacles such as high production costs and limitations on recyclability.

Luca Sorelli, professeur au Département de génie civil et de génie des eaux

Luca Sorelli, professor, Department of Civil and Water Engineering

Member of the Research Centre on Concrete Infrastructure (CRIB)

Luca Sorelli studies the microstructural and physicochemical properties of new materials in his lab L(CM)2M. It is the only lab in the province of Québec that can identify the micro and nano structures of composites and combine that information with statistics drawn from Nanoindentation is a mechanical technique for characterizing materials that is used on thin films and micro-objects. and chemical tests carried out in a controlled environment.

Synthetic and natural macromolecules

A number of researchers are involved in characterizing naturally occurring macromolecules (e.g., silk and proteins) using spectroscopic methods such as infrared and magnetic resonance. Some scientists are designing custom biofilms, while others are working on synthesizing and characterizing new polymers. Still more are studying the possibility of using cellulose in composite materials to help the plastics industry manufacture greener materials.

Jean-François Morin, professeur au Département de chimie

Jean-François Morin, professor, Department of Chemistry

Directeur de la division matériaux de l'Institut de chimie du Canada

Professor Morin is synthesizing and optically and electrochemically characterizing new π-conjugated materials, including semiconductors and polymers, have optical and electronic properties that are useful in microelectronics and energy production. based on polycyclic aromatic compounds to develop organic semiconductors for use in electronic applications, including field effect transistors and plastic solar cells.

Sustainable infrastructure management

This field of research, which is a subdiscipline of civil engineering, involves modelling and predicting the behaviour of civil engineering structures. Researchers examine a variety of factors (mechanical, thermal, hydraulic, soil, and structural) related to complex actions such as soil movement caused by thermal or hydric strain.

What I like about the Faculty of Sciences and Engineering is that it’s like a big family—everyone respects one another and collaboration is encouraged. Despite the fact that, whether we like it or not, many of us are in competition with one another, people always come first.

Jean-Rémi Pouliot, Ph.D. student in Chemistry supervised by Department of Chemistry Professor Mario Leclerc

Biomedical engineering

Gaétan Laroche, professeur au Département de génie des mines, de la métallurgie et des matériaux

Gaétan Laroche, professor, Department of Mineral, Metallurgical, and Materials Engineering

Director of the Centre for Advanced Material Research (CERMA)

Professor Laroche’s work deals with interactions between cells and the surfaces of materials and the development of biological applications for these interactions. In particular, he is working on modifying the surfaces of vascular and orthopedic biomedical materials to ensure biocompatibility. He is renowned for his contributions regarding the use of gaseous A plasma is an ionized gas containing free electrons that are not attached to an atom or molecule. Plasma is highly conductive due to the mobility of its charged particles. in modifying surfaces.


Geomaterials are situated at the crossroads of earth sciences, environmental science, physics, and chemistry. There are two types: natural geomaterials (rocks, soil, etc.) and artificial geomaterials (concrete, glass, ceramics, etc.). Research in the field has gained fresh impetus recently, with scientists examining the properties of geomaterials, including the structure-property relationship and conditions of formation and evolution, conducting experiments using high temperatures and various pressure levels, and investigating the specific properties of mineral surfaces.

Benoit Fournier, professeur au Département de géologie et de génie géologique

Benoit Fournier, professor, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering

Director of the Research Centre on Concrete Infrastructures (CRIB)

Professor Fournier specializes in several aspects of An aggregate is an inert material like sand, gravel, or crushed stone that is used as a ingredient in mortars or concretes. technology. For example, he investigates recycling and sustainable development with regard to cement additives, industrial waste, and aggregates, in addition to the durability of concrete, which includes alkali-aggregate reactions.

Fluid dynamics

Fluid dynamics precisely describes the movement of fluid particles (liquids and gases) in relation to the forces involved, such as velocity, viscosity, density, pressure, and temperature. Fluid dynamics and its subdisciplines such as hydraulics and hydrodynamics have many applications, notably in weather forecasting and aeronautics. They also play an important role in industrial applications such as pulp and paper, water treatment plants, and naval architecture.

Seyed-Mohammad Taghavi, professeur au Département de génie chimique

Seyed-Mohammad Taghavi, associate professor, Department of Chemical Engineering

Member of the Aluminum Research Centre (REGAL) and the Centre for Advanced Materials Research (CERMA)

In his laboratory Professor Taghavi studies the behaviour of complex fluids using modelling and analytical and experimental techniques to solve industrial problems. One of his research projects aims to better understand the flow process of cement and mud, two non-Newtonian fluids used in Cementing is the process of pumping cement along a casing to displace mud produced during drilling. operations when geothermal wells are drilled. This research will generate critical knowledge in the field of fluid displacement.


Anna Ritcey, professeure au Département de chimie

Anna Ritcey, professor, Department of Chemistry

Member of the Centre for Advanced Materials Research (CERMA) and Centre québécois sur les matériaux fonctionnels (CQMF)

Professor Ritcey’s research involves synthesizing and characterizing functional luminescent, magnetic, and metallic nanoparticles. She develops methods for nanoparticle synthesis and self-assembly in order to create new molecular and nanomaterial structures at various hierarchical levels. Properties of materials made from nanoparticles depend not only on the nature of the constituent particles, but also the way they are organized.

I think passion is paramount for a university professor. Nothing meaningful can be accomplished without the inner drive to get things done.

Serge Kaliaguine, professor, Department of Chemical Engineering specializing in industrial catalysts and catalytic processes