Chemical Engineering

Polymer & Reaction Engineering

The research combines industrial focus with a commitment to understand the underlying research problems from a fundamental physicochemical perspective. Applications range from the design of new polymeric materials for drug delivery, to the development of improved operating and control strategies for large-scale reactors used in polymer production. The complementary research interests provide the opportunity to develop not only leading-edge polymeric materials, but also the associated manufacturing processes for efficient and robust production of those materials.

Examples of current research topics include: experimental and modeling studies of homogeneous and heterogeneous polymerization systems including catalyzed-olefin, free-radical, living-radical, and condensation polymerization reactions; polymeric materials for drug delivery and surgical applications; chemical modification of polymers through the functionalization of commodity polymers (polyolefins); enhancing cure rates of modified vulcanization halogenated elastomers; rheology and processing of polymer blends and composites; and turbulent mixing of gaseous systems.

Facilities within the polymers and reaction engineering field include a variety of bench and pilot scale polymerization reactors (gas-phase polyolefin, solution and emulsion free-radical, living-radical and condensation polymer systems), specialized equipment for studying polymerization kinetics (reaction calorimeter, pulsed-laser polymerization system), polymer processing equipment (twin-screw extruder, Haake internal mixer), rotational and capillary rheometers, a well-equipped polymer characterization laboratory plus two wind tunnels and a gas fired research furnace at the Queen's University Centre for Advanced Combustion Technology.

Meet Joe Glasing, A PhD candidate in the Polymer & Reaction Engineering Group:

Joe Glasing - PhD Candidate Chemical Engineering from Queen's Engineering on Vimeo.

Polymers Research Group

  • Biomaterials for Surgical & Drug Delivery Applications
  • Protein Drug Delivery
  • Diffusion in Hydrogels
  • Polymerization Kinetics & Reaction Engineering
  • Emulsion and Miniemulsion Polymerization
  • Polymerization Kinetics & Reaction Engineering
  • Modelling & Simulation
  • Rheology and plastics processing
  • non-Newtonian fluid mechanics
  • nonlinear viscoelasticity
  • large-amplitude oscillatory shear flow
  • die drool
  • Processing & rheology
  • Polymer blends & composites
  • Polymerization
  • Process Control
  • Modelling, Simulation
  • Applied Statistics
  • Chemical Modification of Polymers
  • Phase Nucleation Kinetics
Tim McKenna
Timothy McKenna
  • Polymer Reaction Engineering: fundamentals; chemical engineering methods applied to polymers; experimentally based modelling of polymerisations.
  • Production of emulsions, miniemulsions and other dispersed phase free radical polymers.
  • Fundamentals of particle growth, heat and mass transfer during olefin polymerisation on supported catalysts
  • Polymer-based hybrids, composites and advanced materials
  • Sensor design for polymerisation reactors

Research Faculty




Research Interests

Brian Amsden


BioSci 1422A
(613) 533-3093

Polymer biomaterials, protein drug delivery, tissue engineering, controlled release, diffusion in gels and polymer solutions

Phil Bates

Professor at RMC

Processing reinforced thermoplastics, joining fibre reinforced thermoplastics

Michael F. Cunningham


Dupuis 315
(613) 533-2782

Polymerization, emulsion, miniemulsion, living radical polymerization, functional polymer particles

Jeffrey Giacomin


Dupuis 314
(613) 533-2768

Rheology and plastics processing; non-Newtonian fluid mechanics; nonlinear viscoelasticity; large-amplitude oscillatory shear flow; die drool

Robin Hutchinson


Dupuis 426
(613) 533-3097

Polymer reaction engineering, polymerization kinetics and mechanisms, modeling and simulation, acrylic resins for automotive coatings

Marianna Kontopoulou

Associate Professor

Dupuis 207
(613) 533-3079

Processing of thermoplastics, rheology, polymer blends, polymer nanocomposites

Kim B. McAuley


Gordon 425
(613) 533-6000 ext 77562

Mathematical modeling, applied statistics, process control, polymer reaction engineering, polyethylene, nylon polymerization, polymer gel dosimetry, fuel cells

Timothy McKenna


University of Lyon

Fundamentals, chemical engineering methods applied to polymers, experimentally based modelling of polymerisations, production of emulsions, miniemulsions and other dispersed phase free radical polymers, fundamentals of particle growth, heat and mass transfer during olefin polymerisation on supported catalysts, polymer-based hybrids, composites and advanced materials, sensor design for polymerisation reactors

Scott Parent

Associate Professor

Dupuis 409
(613) 533-6266

Chemical modification of polymers, free-radical and nucleophilic substitution chemistry, advanced elastomer and polyolefin composites

Ralph A. Whitney

Cross-appointed with the Department of Chemistry