Two UBC Engineering faculty members elected to Royal Society of Canada

Head shots of Dr. Emily Cranston and Dr. Jian Liu
Dr. Emily Cranston and Dr. Jian Liu are two new Members of the Royal Society of Canada.

September 12, 2023: Since this article was published, Dr. Emily Cranston was announced the winner of the Royal Society of Canada's 2023 Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry.

Dr. Emily Cranston, a professor in chemical and biological engineering and wood science, and Dr. Jian Liu, an associate professor and mechanical engineering expert at the UBC Okanagan School of Engineering, are joining the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) as two of its newest Members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

They are among 10 UBC faculty members elected to the RSC this year.

The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists is Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership.

Citations courtesy of the Royal Society of Canada

Prof. Emily D. Cranston

Chemical and Biological Engineering & Wood Science, UBC Vancouver campus

Emily D. Cranston is a professor and UBC President’s Excellence Chair in Forest Bioproducts at the University of British Columbia. She is a world-leading nanoscientist. Her research is expanding the use of nanocellulose, derived from sustainable bio-based resources like wood pulp, in technologies that offer environmentally-friendly alternatives to petrochemical-based materials and plastics. Cranston is highly cited, highly funded, and has won prestigious awards typically reserved for late career scientists.

“We are not just replacing plastics — designing functional new materials from natural resources will also contribute to improved health, through developments in food, cosmetics, biomedical and pharmaceutical products,” said Cranston. “This research is particularly important for Canada — we have a lot of trees and with nanocellulose, you only need a tiny amount to enhance existing materials or create entirely new ones.”

Prof. Jian Liu

School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan campus

Jian Liu is an associate professor at UBC and an internationally renowned emerging leader in energy storage technologies. He has made original contributions to developing transformative interface engineering, materials, and chemistry for lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, and next-generation batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage. He works closely with industry, community, and government to translate fundamental research into made-in-Canada battery technology for the clean energy transition.

The College of New Scholars, Scientist and Artists recognizes individuals who have begun demonstrating leading scholarly, research or artistic excellence within 15 years of having completed their post-doctoral program or its equivalent. Members of the College are elected for a period of seven years.

They will be welcomed into the RSC on November 16 at the Celebration of Excellence and Engagement.

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