Best of Macros 2017: João B. P. Soares

João B. P. Soares is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB, Canada). He holds a Campus Alberta Innovates Program (CAIP) Chair in Interfacial Polymer Engineering for Oil Sands Processing, and a Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Advanced Polymer Reaction Engineering. In his assignment as CAIP Chair, Professor Soares is trying to solve one of the most pressing environmental problems associated with oil sand processing: the elimination of tailing ponds with novel polymer flocculants. Under his Canada Research Chair, he concentrates on advancing technology for polyolefin production and characterization. Before joining the University of Alberta in July 2013, João Soares was a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON, Canada) for 18 years. He worked as a research and development engineer for Pronor, COPENE, and Polibrasil (Brazil) before joining the University of Waterloo. Professor Soares is a member of the Executive Advisory Board of Wiley–VCH Macromolecular journals and responsible for the coordination of Macromolecular Reaction Engineering.

His article “Estimation of Apparent Kinetic Constants of Individual Site Types for the Polymerization of Ethylene and α-olefins with Ziegler–Natta Catalysts” in Macromolecular Reaction Engineering has been selected for this years Best of Macros.

Ask the Author

What other topics are you working on at the moment? After more than 10 years working on polyolefin reaction engineering and characterization, I have recently started also working on water-soluble polymer flocculants specifically designed for the remediation of tailing ponds resulting from oil sands extraction. The oil sands industry is a vital sector of the Canadian economy, and I am thrilled to be part of this activity.

What is your favorite activity outside of the lab? I am an avid reader in several topics not related to polymers, but in addition to that one of my passions is landscape photography.

What are the main challenges in the broad area of your research? Despite the wide use of polyolefins in modern society, we still do not know how to quantify the fundamental behaviour of traditional olefin polymerization catalysts, such as Ziegler–Natta and Phillips catalysts. We hope the approach we propose in this article is one step towards a better quantitative description of these catalyst systems.

How was your experience in publishing with Wiley-VCH? I have been publishing papers with Wiley–VCH since the very beginning of my career. Two of my earliest papers, resulting from my Ph.D. thesis, were published in Macromolecular Theory and Simulation in 1996, and since then I do not believe a single year has passed without me publishing one or more papers in the Wiley-VCH Macromolecular journals.

The best advice I have ever been given is“Joe, good thing you are becoming a professor because you are clearly not able to do anything else!”, given by my Ph.D. thesis supervisor, Professor Archie Hamielec, as I struggled to put together a conference poster presentation.

Estimation of Apparent Kinetic Constants of Individual Site Types for the Polymerization of Ethylene and α-olefins with Ziegler–Natta Catalysts
Keran Chen, Saeid Mehdiabadi, Boping Liu, João B. P. Soares*
Macromol. React. Eng. 2016, DOI: 10.1002/mren.201600003

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