Current Lab Members

Meet Ning Yan’s Group:
Graduates
Nicole Tratnik (Ph.D)
Troy Su (Masters)
Kabirat Bello (Ph.D)
Mohammad Mahaninia (Ph.D)
Zhuoya Wang (Ph.D)
Visiting Students
Pandeng Li (Ph.D)
Huihui Wang (Ph.D)
Barak Halpern (Ph.D)
Post Doctorates and Research Associates
Dr. Araz Rajabi
Dr. Cheng Hao
Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

Nicole Tratnik(Ph.D)
Office: ES 2015 Email: nicole.tratnik@mail.utoronto.ca
Synthesis of Bio-based Formaldehyde Free Wood Adhesive from Starch

Nicole received her Bachelors in Honors Chemistry at the University of Waterloo while completing co-op terms at Crosslink Technologies and the Woodbridge Group in Toronto, Canada, Krka pharmaceutical company in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, and the Radiation Lab at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA. She joined Professor Ning Yan’s group in September 2016 as a Master of Science in Forestry Student focusing on the synthesis of a bio-based formaldehyde free wood adhesive made from starch and has since transferred into her PhD. Nicole is also part of the Forestry Graduate Students’ Association and enjoys organizing the woodsports team, playing ultimate frisbee, going out with friends, and backpacking.

Troy Su (Masters)

Troy received his BASc in Engineering Physics with a specialization in Materials Science from Queen’s University in 2020. He began his MASc under the co-supervision of Professors Patrick Lee and Ning Yan in 2021. His research focus lies in the development of a bio-based and biodegradable alternative to flexible packaging made from polylactic acid reinforced with cellulose fibers. The composite will then be processed through a micro-/nano-layered co-extrusion assembly to create a multi-layered structure containing micro-sized layers in order to quantify the effects of fibril alignment and confined crystallization on the mechanical and barrier properties of the composite.

Kabirat Bello (Ph.D)

Office: ES 2016 Email: kabirat.bello@mail.utoronto.ca
Development of Bio-based Insulating Polyurethane Foams for Construction Applications

Kabirat received her Bachelor’s degree in Wood Products Engineering from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2012 and Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Nigeria in 2017. She joined Prof. Ning Yan’s group in May 2021 and would focus on developing novel bio-based insulating Polyurethane foams for construction applications using Lignin containing cellulose nanofibrils (LCNF).  She enjoys cooking, planning events and movies.

Mohammad Mahaninia (Ph.D)

Mohammad completed his BSc in Chemistry (2008) and obtained two MSc degrees in applied and physical chemistry from Tehran Polytechnic (2010) and University of Saskatchewan (2014). He started his PhD study at department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry under supervision of Prof. Yan in 2021. His research focuses on the synthesis of bio-based polymers. These types of polymers are anticipated to have considerable applications in many fields (e.g., environmental science, 3-D printing) due to their tunable and recyclable properties.

Zhuoya Wang (Ph.D)

Visiting Students

Pandeng Li (Ph.D)

Pandeng Li received his Bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the Henan University of Chinese Medicine in 2017 and began a master’s degree candidate in microbiology at the College of Life Science and Technology, HUST. In 2018, he began a Joint Master and Ph.D. program. He joined Prof. Yan’s group in Dec. 2021 as a visiting Ph.D. student. His study mainly focused on the bio-manufacturing of natural fiber and the preparation of fiber-reinforced composites.

Huihui Wang (Ph.D)

I’m Huihui Wang, born in Henan Province, China. I obtained the Bachelor’s degree in July 2016 from Henan Polytechnic University and joined Huazhong University of Science and Technology in September 2016 as a Master and transferred to Ph.D. in September 2018. During my postgraduate studies, I have been focused on the efficient and green manufacturing of natural fibers. I joined Prof. Ning Yan’s group in July 2022 and would focus on developing multifunctional natural fiber fabrics. I like walking by the lake and staying at home to watch movies in my free time.

Barak Halpern (Ph.D)


Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates and Assistants

Dr. Araz Rajabi

Dr. Cheng Hao

Cheng received his Bachelors in Polymer Materials and Science from Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China(2016), master’s degree in Materials Science from Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA (2018), and Ph.D.’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA (2022, supervision: Prof. Jinwen Zhang). He joined Prof. Yan’s group in September 2022 as a post-doctoral fellow. His research interests are developing flame retardants from lignin, developing lignin-based vitrimer materials/composites, and chemical recycling of industrial waste fiber-reinforced composites. Cheng likes playing video games, playing soccer, basketball and watching sports games.

Undergraduate Students