Current Lab Members

Meet Ning Yan’s Group:
Graduates
Heyu Chen (Ph.D)
Nicole Tratnik (Ph.D)
Shrestha Roy Goswami (Ph.D)
Sam Massoudi (Masters)
Visiting Students
Feng Liu (Ph.D)
Liu Liu (Ph.D)
Post Doctorates and Research Associates
Dr. Nicolas Tanguy
Dr. Sandeep Sudhakaran Nair
Dr. Sen Wang
Dr. Pitchaimari Gnanasekar
Visiting Scholars
Dr. Zhong Sun
Dr. Licheng Li

Graduate Students

Heyu Chen (Ph.D)
Office: ES 2013 Email: heyu.chen@mail.utoronto.ca
Production of value-added green chemical products from tree barks

Heyu Chen joined Professor Yan’s group in September 2014 as a PhD student. He received his Bachelor and Master’s degree at Beijing Forestry University. Now his research focuses on the production of value-added green chemical products from tree barks. The use of natural renewable resources has attracted increasing worldwide attention as the environmental crisis and its associated socio-ecological burden are becoming a great concern. Bark, a nonfood-related biomass material available in large quantities, is a promising raw material. In addition to conducting his scientific works, Heyu likes playing badminton, hiking, and reading in his spare time.

Application of lignin-containing nanocellulose fibrils in pMDI wood adhesives for drastically improved gap-filling properties with robust bondline

Shrestha Roy Goswami (Ph.D)
Office: ES 2016 Email: shrestha.roygoswami@mail.utoronto.ca
Starch-based wood adhesives

Shrestha completed her B. Tech in Biotechnology (2014) and MSc in Bioresource Engineering (2016). She joined Prof. Ning’s group in September 2016 as a Ph.D. student. Her research focus is on the synthesis of starch maleates in ionic liquids. Ionic liquids (ILs) are a class of green solvents which can dissolve and catalyze derivatization reactions of biopolymers without additional catalysts. The developed starch maleates are highly functionalized and have thermoplastic applications.

Nicole Tratnik(Ph.D)
Office: ES 2029 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.

Sam Massoudi (Masters)
Office: ES 2009 Email: sam.massoudi@mail.utoronto.ca
Fluorine-free and environmentally benign food packaging that possess both Oleophobic and Hydrophobic properties with adequate durability

Sam has obtained his Master of Engineering from the University of Birmingham, UK. Since his graduation, he has been involved in diverse professional positions, namely research engineer, project engineer and data analyst in Iran, UK and Canada. He joined Professor Yan’s Lab in September 2019 as a Master of Advanced Science student to pursue his passion for research and development of sustainable and eco-friendly materials. His research is focused on the development of Fluorine-free and environmentally benign food packaging that possess both Oleophobic and Hydrophobic properties with adequate durability. In his spare time, Sam likes playing sports (skiing, tennis, ping pong, swimming), socializing and exploring the never-ending food and drink scene of Toronto.    


Visiting Students

Feng Liu (Ph.D)
Office: ES 2009 Email: nefufeng.liu@mail.utoronto.ca
Biomimetic Synthesis and Durability Research of Superamphiphobic Biomass Materials

Feng Liu joined Professor Yan’s group in April 2019 as a joint PhD student. He obtained his Master degree and still is a PhD candidate at the Northeast Forestry University, China. Now his research focuses on the fabrication of superamphipobic biomass materials, especially its improvement of stability and durability. The aim of this research not only the fabrication of superamphiphobic surface on the biomass materials, but also the stability and durability of as-prepared superamphiphobic surface have a much better improvement. In his spare time, Feng likes traveling, reading, and cooking.

Liu Liu (Ph.D)
Office: ES 4017 Email: shely.liu@mail.utoronto.ca
Study of Intelligent Response and Structural Design of Nanocellulose Materials

Liu Liu joined Professor Yan’s group in October 2019 as a joint Ph.D student. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2016 and then becoming a Ph.D candidate at Central South University of Forestry and Technology in China. She has focused on the research of preparation and utilization of wood nanocellulose, such as temperature sensitive nanocellulose hydrogels. Her current project is about the confined self-assembly of cellulose nanocrystals and aims at obtaining functional materials with controllable structure. During her leisure time, Liu likes novels, movies, and broadcasts. 


Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates and Assistants

Dr. Nicolas Tanguy
Office: ES 2016 Email: nicolas.tanguy@mail.utoronto.ca
Development of semiconductive nanostructures for energy storage and sensing applications.

Nicolas studied his Ph.D. under Professor Ning Yan supervision from January 2014 to March 2019. His Ph.D. focused on the design of wireless sensors for monitoring ammonia gas. His specialties include the synthesis of polyaniline, polyaniline nanocomposites, reduced graphene oxide and doped reduced graphene oxide. Nicolas is currently continuing his Ph.D. work as a Post-Doctoral Fellow as well as exploring the potential of polyaniline/graphene/nanocellulose nanocomposites as part “green-electronics” for energy storage applications. Nicolas’ hobbies include running, cooking and travelling.

Dr. Sandeep Sudhakaran Nair
Office: ES 2009 Email: sandeep.sudhakarannair@utoronto.ca
Bio-based advanced nanostructures

Dr. Nair completed his PhD in Advanced Materials Research from the University of Tennessee, USA in 2012. He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow for two years at the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia. During this time, he also worked as a visiting scientist in the USDA’s Forest Products Lab, Fiber and Chemical Sciences Research unit in Madison, Wisconsin. His current research focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of biomass derived polymers for high performance applications.

Dr. Sen Wang
Email: chemsen.wang@utoronto.ca
Development of functional polysaccharide materials

Dr. Wang completed his PhD degree from Wuhan University, China in 2017. He then joined Prof. Ning Yan’s group as postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto. His current research focuses on the development of novel functional materials from natural polysaccharide polymers like cellulose, starch, agarose etc.. Dr. Wang is an amateur photographer and explorer.

Phytoglycogen, a Dendrimer-like Biopolymer as Florescent Sensor for Silver Ions in Aqueous Solution

Dr. Pitchaimari Gnanasekar
Office : ES4017 Email: mari.ganasekar@utoronto.ca
Phone: +1 (637) 741-4366
Synthesize of Bio Based Flame Retardant Epoxy Adhesives and Polyurethane Resins.

Dr. G. Pitchaimari received his Bachelor (2007) and Master (2009) degrees in Chemistry from ANJA College Sivakasi, (Affiliated to MK University), Tamilnadu, India. He completed his PhD degree (2015) from the Department of Polymer Technology, KCET, Virudhunagar (Affiliated to Anna University Chennai) under the guidance of Prof. C. T. Vijayakumar. In early 2015 to 2018, he worked as a Research Scientist to the synthesize of different type of bio based phenolic and epoxy adhesive resins, TWC group, Rajsha Chemicals Pvt Ltd. Vadodara, Gujarat, India. Later in April 2018, he joined Prof. Yan’s group as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. His present research focuses on synthesize of bio-based flame retardant wood adhesives and Polyurethane resins. Dr. Mari’s hobbies include cooking, travelling and music


Bio Based Phosphorus Containing Flame Retardant Wood Adhesive resin

Visiting Scholars

Zhong Sun
Email: zhong.sun@utoronto.ca
Design of novel heteropolyacids catalyst in target catalytic transformation of saccharides

Zhong Sun joined Professor Yan’s group in May 2019 as a visiting scholar. She obtained her PhD degree at the Northeast Normal University, China. She works in the Northeast Electric Power University in JiLin now. Now he research focuses on Design of novel heteropolyacids catalyst in target catalytic transformation of saccharides. In her spare time, Zhong likes traveling and hiking.

Licheng Li
Email: licheng.li@utoronto.ca
The relationship between surface properties of materials and their reaction/adsorption behaviors


Licheng Li joined Professor Yan’s group in Oct 2019 as a visiting scholar. He obtained his PhD degree at the Nanjing Tech University, China. He was an associate professor in the Nanjing Forestry University in Nanjing now. His research was focused on the relationship between surface properties of materials and their reaction/adsorption behaviors. In his spare time, he likes traveling and playing basketball.