Emily Cranston Receives NSERC 2021 E.W.R Steacie Memorial Fellowship

UBC Forestry warmly congratulates the Faculty’s Department of Wood Science associate professor Dr. Emily Cranston who is a recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) 2021 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship.

One of six winners this year, Dr. Cranston will receive a research grant of $250,000 over two years. During this period, she will also be temporarily relieved of her teaching and administrative duties in order to allow for a primary focus on research activities.

Dr. Cranston’s Research Focused on Engineering Sustainable Solutions

Emily Cranston, NSERC Fellowship Recipient
Dr. Emily Cranston

Considered a world-leading nanoscientist, Dr. Cranston, who also serves as the President’s Excellence Chair in Forest Bioproducts and an associate professor with the UBC Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, is being recognized for her innovative contributions to the fields of bio-based nanomaterials.

Dr. Cranston and her team are developing new methods to produce, characterize and utilize bio-based nanomaterials, most notably, nanocellulose. Nanocellulose is a material derived from renewable sources, most commonly wood pulp. This tiny technology derived from trees can be used as an environmentally friendly, high-performing and value-added alternative to petrochemical-based materials currently used in many different commercial products and manufacturing processes.

In 2016, Dr. Cranston won the KINGFA Young Investigator’s Award from the American Chemical Society’s Cellulose & Renewable Materials Division. She was also named the 2018 Kavil Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecturer, awarded by the American Chemical Society and the Kavil Foundation.

In 2019, Dr. Cranston joined UBC from McMaster University, where she served as associate professor of chemical engineering and held the Canada Research Chair in Bio-Based Nanomaterials. One year later, she received $240,000 in funding through the federal government’s Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund. The funding was used to purchase an atomic force microscope – the first of its kind in Canada based on its speed, resolution and the range of samples it can measure.

To date, Dr. Cranston has trained nearly 90 students and researchers and has authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications that have been cited almost 8,000 times.

Cranston’s Sustainable Nano Biocomposites Lab

Dr. Cranston’s research group, the Sustainable Nano Biocomposites Lab focuses their attention on engineering sustainable solutions with bio-based nanomaterials derived from nature.  Innovations from this lab are intended for applications in water purification systems, adhesives, energy devices, construction materials and 3D tissue engineering scaffolds for regenerative medicine, to name just a few examples.

Dr. Emily Cranston holding a nanocrystal

About The E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships

Awarded annually, the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships are given to early-stage, academic natural sciences and engineering researchers who are considered leaders in their field. The award honours the memory of Dr. Edgar William Richard Steacie, a chemist and research leader who made major contributions to the development of science in Canada.

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