Natalia Semagina

Natalia Semagina obtained her undergraduate degree in biotechnology and PhD degree in chemical kinetics and catalysis from the Tver State Technical University in Russia. After several years of service as a senior lecturer and researcher at the same university, she worked as a research associate in the group of catalytic reaction engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).

In 2008 she joined the University of Alberta, where she now holds a position of Professor at the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. Natalia also serves as a Vice-Chair of Catalysis Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada and an Associate Director of the Institute for Oil Sands Innovation.

Jing Shen, Postdoctoral Fellow

Jing obtained her B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Alberta.

Her research projects involve the synthesis of heterogeneous catalysts and precise control over the nanostructures. The applications are ring opening, hydrodesulphurization, wet methane combustion, methane and CO2 reforming, photoreduction of CO2, and water electrolysis.

Jing loves doing experiments in the lab. She also loves Tim Horton’s coffee.

Somaye Nasr, Ph.D. student

Somaye obtained her B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Isfahan University in Iran and her M.Sc in Chemical Engineering from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After working for 2 years in the industry she started her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering.

The primary focus of her research is catalyst development for wet methane combustion.

Amir Rouhi, Ph.D. student

Amir obtained his B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering at the Isfahan University of Technology (IUT) and his M.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering (Catalyst and Reaction Engineering) at the University of Tehran (UT). His research interests include heterogeneous catalysis and nano-structured materials (synthesis, characterization and application), design of experiments, reaction engineering, reactor design and environmentally benign processes.

Amir’s Ph.D. project at the University of Alberta aims to develop efficient catalysts based on Earth-abundant metals for hydrotreating operations.

Luis Padilla Urbina, Ph.D. student

Luis has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi in Mexico. He received his M.Sc. in Mining Engineering in 2016 at the Metallurgy Institute, also from the UASLP, where he worked as assistant researcher in the experimental testing and computational analysis of wastewater treatment processes by electrochemical methods. He started his Ph.D. program in 2017 and will focus his research on the fabrication, testing and design optimization of low Pt loading unitized regenerative fuel cells. The project is carried out in collaboration with Prof.  Marc Secanell.



Himanshi Dhawan, Ph.D. student

Himanshi received her B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering in 2018 from University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, India where she worked as an undergraduate researcher in the field of Microbial Fuel Cells. Her current research focuses on developing Ir based catalysts for Oxygen Evolution Reaction within the framework of Future Energy System – Grids and Storage. This project is carried out in collaboration with Prof.  Marc Secanell.


Roshni Sajiv Kumar, Ph.D. student

Roshni obtained her B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from SRM University, India and her M.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the National University of Singapore, where she worked as a student research assistant in Drug Delivery Technologies. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, after completing a year of work at GlobalFoundries, Singapore.

The primary focus of her research is on methane emission mitigation. This project is carried out in collaboration with Prof. Robert E. Hayes.

Roshni is an avid lover of music and enjoys performing at concerts in organizations based in Edmonton.