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On March 6, 2020, Professor Manjusri Misra and 25 other industry collaborators attended the Improve Life Challenge 2020: Hack the Farm in a Climate of Change event hosted by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the Ontario Agricultural College, and the Arrell Food Institute. The Improve Life Challenge is a one-day immersive experience where interdisciplinary student teams will work with community partners to tackle problems and come up with possible solutions. At the end of the day student teams will present their solution in a pitch-style competition. The theme for this year’s Improve Life Challenge was Hack the Farm in a Climate of Change, which focused on challenges facing the agriculture and food sector including aging demographics, advancements in technology, and pressure for sustainable practices.Several community partners took part in the event to team up with students and provide a problem statement based on real challenges facing their industry. Teams then worked with their community partner to investigate, collaborate, and develop unique solutions to address them.Community partners included:Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural AffairsBeef Farmers of OntarioMaple Lodge FarmsConestoga MeatsThe Co-operatorsHighline MushroomsHolland Marsh Growers’ AssociationOCP GroupWellington Brewery For more information regarding the event, please click HERE......

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On March 5, 2020, the BDDC and Professor Amar Mohanty was featured in a special CBC news article discussing bioplastics. The article highlights how plastics are an integral part of our lives, but they also pose some big environmental problems.They generate a lot of waste, most of which isn't recycled. A recent study from Environment and Climate Change Canada found that even in our country, only nine per cent of plastics are recycled — the rest is either incinerated, landfilled or ends up in the environment, where it can harm wildlife such as whales, turtles or seabirds. Those are some of the reasons the federal government plans to ban many single-use plastics by 2021. "Bio-based bioplastics typically generate fewer carbon emissions over their life cycle compared to traditional plastics. That's because growing plants suck in and store carbon, which is released later if the bioplastics are burned or decomposed. "You're not adding extra carbon dioxide to the atmosphere," said Amar Mohanty, distinguished research chair in sustainable biomaterials at the University of Guelph, who has been developing and researching bioplastic and biobased materials for more than 30 years."To continue reading and find more information about bioplastics, please click HERE......

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Professor Amar Mohanty has been appointed as the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) Distinguished Research Chair in Sustainable Biomaterials effective February 1, 2020. Among professor Mohanty's many honours, he also received a 2018 Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BioEnvironmental Polymer Society in 2015. He is also editor-in-chief of Sustainable Composites, Composites Part C -Open Access; an ELSEVIER journal.For more information regarding his award, please click HERE.Photo of Dr. Amar Mohanty......

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On February 7th, 2020, Dr. Sarah Overington, Deputy Director of the Engineering and Life Sciences Division, Research Grants at NSERC visited the BDDC. Sarah leads a team of people who provide strategic advice, coordination and analysis for Discovery Grants and other NSERC programs, with a strong focus on integrating equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout program design and delivery. Sarah joined NSERC in 2011, and she has worked with a range of disciplines and programs, including Subatomic Physics, Climate Change and Atmospheric Research, Discovery Frontiers, and the Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering. Undergraduate researcher Thomas Balint giving an overview of equipment in the BDDC.Prof. Misra giving a tour of the BDDC to Dr. Sarah Overington.From left to right:Milka Popov, Dr. Boon Peng Chang, Dr. Arvind Gupta, Dr. Drupitha MP, Dr. Sarah Overington, Prof. Manjusri Misra, Thomas Balint, Kjeld Meereboer, Dr. Mohamed Abdelwahab,  and Ethan Watt......

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On January 31st 2020, Stan Cho, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance visited the BDDC. The BDDC was introduced by the Dean of CEPS, Professor Mary Wells, accompanied by Daniel Atlin, Mellissa McDonald, and David Mullock. An overview and tour of the BDDC was given by Professor Amar Mohanty and Professor Manjusri Misra.More information about MPP Stan Cho and his role in Parliament can be found here: https://www.stanchompp.ca/stan.MPP Stan Cho and his colleagues are being welcomed and introduced to the BDDC by Prof. Mary Wells. Prof. Misra giving MPP Stan Cho a tour of the facility. Prof. Mohanty showing MPP Stan Cho some of the equipment in the BDDC. From left to right:Thomas Balint, Benjamin Maldonado, Dr. Boon Peng Chang, Dr. Drupitha MP, Iftekhar Chowdhury, Prof. Manjusri Misra, MPP Stan Cho, Daniel Atlin, Prof. Amar Mohanty, and Mellissa McDonalddd...

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On December 17th, 2019, both professors Amar Mohanty and Manjusri Misra attended the AAFC Guelph Research and Guelph-Wellington's Our Food Future Regional Research Users Meeting.The event is an opportunity for participants to learn about research at the AAFC-Guelph Research and Development Centre, increase awareness of the Guelph-Wellington Our Food Future Initiative, and identify opportunities for knowledge transfer and research collaboration.It featured presentations from national, regional, and local stakeholders engaged in Food Loss and Waste initiatives, and provided an opportunity for focused exploration of key issues and opportunities in addressing Food Loss and Waste throughout the agri-food value chain......

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On December 10th 2019, Professors Namita Choudhury and Naba Dutta from the Chemical & Environmental Engineering Department at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia led a seminar at the BDDC. The professors held a presentation and discussion surrounding nanostructured polymeric materials, including their current research in the development of advanced structured nano-materials. After the seminar the professors were given tour of the facilities, provided by current researchers at the BDDC. From Left: Manjusri Misra, Namita Choudhury, Naba Dutta, and Amar Mohanty. Members of the BDDC who attended the seminar. The tour of the facilities given by BDDC researchers.   ...

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Made from coffee bean waste from McDonald's Corporation, bio-composite materials developed and tested at the University of Guelph's Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre will be used for the first time to create vehicle parts made by Ford Motor Co. Text taken from University of Guelph's News, the article was published on December 9, 2019. Click HERE for the original news post. (https://news.uoguelph.ca/2019/12/bio-composite-materials-developed-at-u-of-g-to-be-used-in-ford-vehicle-parts/) "You could call it “coffee to go.”Made from coffee bean waste from McDonald’s Corp., bio-composite materials developed and tested at the University of Guelph will be used for the first time to create vehicle parts made by Ford Motor Co.Following initial development and two years’ worth of process and product testing by researchers in U of G’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC) and at Ford, the automaker will use waste coffee bean skins from McDonald’s roasting facilities to make lighter and more sustainable headlight housings for its Lincoln Continental.“This technology is an excellent example of implementing innovative ideas developed here at the University of Guelph to find green alternatives to petroleum-based products, benefiting the environment, the economy and consumers,” said Prof. Amar Mohanty, director of the U of G centre.Currently, about 1.2 million pounds of coffee bean skins, called coffee chaff, are thrown away, strewn in fields or burned every week in North America. The material will now be used as a bio-based alternative for plastic car parts made by Ford.Atul Bali, CEO of Competitive Green Technologies (CGT) based in Leamington, Ont., and a technology licence partner with the University, said the parts are nearly 20 per cent lighter, meaning greater fuel efficiency for drivers, and could yield significant energy savings during production.The technology was developed and patented by BDDC researchers, who study ways to make bio-composite alternatives to petroleum-based products, including car parts and other consumer goods.The BDDC works with Competitive Green Technologies, which makes bio-composite resin using coffee waste from McDonald’s. The resin is used to mould headlight housings manufactured by Varroc Lighting Systems, near Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters.“We are the exclusive licencees for the University of Guelph to make this formulation,” said Bali. Working with U of G, the company began testing resins two years ago. After numerous trials, he said, “three months ago, we managed to meet all the performance requirements. It was a labour of love and determination.”Prof. Manjusri Misra, who is cross-appointed between the School of Engineering and the Department of Plant Agriculture, said, “It has been a true collaborative effort to bring this innovation to fruition.”Added Mohanty, who also holds a cross-appointment between plant agriculture and engineering, said, “Now the BDDC will be involved in refining bio-composites for other planned vehicle parts.”In 2015, the BDDC team and CGT developed the world’s first fully compostable coffee pod along with Toronto-based coffee roaster Club Coffee.".  Other news information can be found at the following links: Ford Media Center: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2019/12/04/ford-mcdonalds-collaboration-convert-coffee-bean-waste-into-car-parts.htmlAutomotive News Canada: https://canada.autonews.com/technology/canadian-research-allows-ford-use-mcdonalds-coffee-chaff-headlights   ...

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HQP presented their work at the Fourth Annual ORF-RE07 Meeting in Toronto. The focus of this meeting is to provide updates on the research related to "Clean manufacturing and nano-engineering of sustainable materials".From left to right: Michael Snowdon, Mohamed Abdelwahab, and Tara Allohverdi.HQP presented their work at the Fourth Annual ORF-RE07 Meeting in Toronto. The focus of this meeting is to provide updates on the research related to "Clean manufacturing and nano-engineering of sustainable materials".From left to right: Michael Snowdon, Mohamed Abdelwahab, and Tara Allohverdi....

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