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Our Team

Principal Invetigator

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Jinguang Hu

Dr Jinguang Hu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary, Canada. He received Ph.D. degrees from the University of British Columbia, and did his postdoc at the UBC BioProducts Institute (Canada) and Aalto-VTT HYBER center (Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials research), respectively. His current research is supported by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) and focuses on sustainable energy, biomass valorization, bioinspired materials/systems, and photo/bio-catalyst engineering for Energy and Environmental application. He has published over 120 papers including top journals such as Energy & Environmental Science, ACS Catalysis, Advanced Functional Material, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Green Chemistry etc. He is the External Advisory Board member of the Canada Biomass Energy Network, a Research Fellow of GBIC, a recipient of “S.C. Trindade Award”, and an active participator in the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy division and the “China-Canada Joint Centre for BioEnergy”.

Postdoc Fellows


Dr. Heng Zhao received his Ph.D. degree from Wuhan University of Technology majored in Material Science and Engineering in 2019. He is currently a GRI CFREF funded post-doctoral researcher in the department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at University of Calgary under the guidance of Dr. Jinguang Hu, Dr. Md Kibria and Dr. Stephen Larter. His research mainly focuses on the design and synthesis of functional catalysts for sustainable hydrogen and value-added bio-products co-production from biomass photoreforming.

Heng Zhao


Dr. Aiguo Wang  received his BSc degree at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2004 and MSc degree at Tsinghua University in 2007, China. Then he worked as a chemical engineer for 7 years in Key Laboratory of Industrial Separation and Environment Protection in China. He started his PhD programme at University of Calgary in 2015 and focused on the catalytic co-conversion of bio-derived compounds and methane to valuable chemicals. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in Journals, including Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, ACS Catalysis, Energy Conversion ... His current research interest includes biomass valorization via thermo- photo- or electro-catalysis, natural gas utilization, catalyst development, chemical engineering and processing optimization, and non-thermal plasma chemistry, etc.

 Aiguo Wang


Dr. Liquan Jing received his Ph.D. degree from Jiangsu University majored in Environmental Science and Engineering in 2021, China. He focused on photocatalytic wastewater treatment, photocatalytic hydrogen production, and antibacterial fields. He has published over 10 articles (first author) in Journals, including Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Chemical Engineering Journal, Journal of Hazardous Materials, ACS Sustainable Chemistry&Engineering... His current research mainly focuses on the design and synthesis of functional photocatalysts for sustainable hydrogen, conversion of biomass into other high value-added biological products, and methane conversion..

Liquan Jing

Dr. Pawan Kumar completed his Ph.D. in chemical science from the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, India in 2016 under the guidance of Dr. Suman L. Jain. After his Ph.D., he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at RCPTM, Palacky University, Czech Republic, and the University of Alberta, Canada. Dr. Kumar’s research interest is mainly focused on materials synthesis and its application in photocatalysis, catalysis (organic transformation), and energy applications. Dr. Kumar is author/co-author of 60+ journal articles (including JACS, Adv. Mater., Adv. Funct. Mater., Appl. Catal. B, J. Mater. Chem. A, etc.), 3+ book chapters, and 1 patent;

      Pawan Kumar


Guichun Hu joined Dr. Hu’s group in February, 2020 as a visiting scholar. She received her Ph.D. degree from South China University of Technology majored in Pulp and Paper Engineering in 2015. Her research mainly focuses on the design and synthesis of cellulose-based flexible printed electronics.

Guichun Hu



Amir received his B.Sc. degree in Petroleum Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology in 2014 and the M.Sc. degree in Petroleum Reservoirs Engineering from the University of Tehran in 2018. He did his master thesis on thermodynamic modeling of asphaltene precipitation in the presence of metal oxide nanoparticles using cubic plus association equation of state. Amir has been involved in multiple research projects during his academic career and he has co-authored several publications in reputed journals. Also, he received several prestigious national and international awards and scholarships. Amir currently is working on the application of green nanoparticles derived from biomaterials for producing green foams. His research is co-supervised with Dr. Steven Bryant.

Amir Varamesh - Ph.D


Brett graduated with distinction from the University of Calgary in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering specialized in biomedical engineering.  He completed an honour thesis in the University of Calgary’s Pharmaceutical Production Research Facility where he helped to develop bioreactor protocols for the scale-up production of regenerative therapies with a focus on stem cell bioprocessing. His work he won first place at the 2018 Alberta Biomedical Engineering conference for best undergraduate poster presentation. In the Hu group Brett brings his knowledge of stem cell tissue culture to the focus of bacterial cellulose based tissue engineering and biomaterial functionalization. Brett enjoys snowboarding in the winter months and hiking and waterskiing in the summer.

Brett Abraham - Ph.D

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Hamed graduated from Sharif University of Technology in 2020 with a B.Sc. degree in chemical engineering. His research interests include enzyme immobilization, protein engineering, and the application of enzymes in different fields. He has been involved in some research projects during his undergraduate studies, including the co-immobilization of enzymes for environmental applications and the synthesis of antibacterial nanocomposites. Hamed now works under Dr. Hu's supervision in the application of enzymes for the biodesulfurization of sulfur compounds. His co-supervisor in the BDS project is Dr. Li. In his free time, Hamed enjoys mountaineering, hiking, rock climbing, and of course, soccer.

 Hamed Shirvani - M.Sc.


Zhangkang Li is currently a Ph.D. student under Professor Hu’s supervision in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of Calgary. He received his M.S. degree in materials engineering from Jiangnan University in 2019. Before joining Professor Hu's group, he had a seven-month stint at University of Sherbrooke. His research focuses on functional cellulose-based materials and tissue engineering. He likes basketball, football and swimming.

Zhangkang Li  - Ph.D.

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Yingying Fan received a master's degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology in 2021. Her main research interests during her master's degree were the synthesis of nano materials, photocatalytic hydrogen production and degradation of organic pollutants. She has published several  research articles in reputed journals. At present, she is a PhD student in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at  University of Calgary, under the guidance of Dr. Jinguang Hu and Dr. Zhangxing Chen. Her research focuses on designing photocatalytic materials based on TMDs for sustainable hydrogen production.

Yingying Fan - Ph.D


Dhwanil Trivedi - M.Sc.

Dhwanil has completed his Bachelor's in chemical engineering from D.J. Sanghvi College of Engineering, Mumbai. He is currently a master's student at the University of Calgary. Before joining the university, he was a research associate at ICT and Mumbai University where his field of study was heterogeneous catalysis. His current research focus is optimizing the photocatalytic conversion of HMF into various value-added chemicals using different photocatalysts.


Jiu Wang received his B.Sc. degree and M.Sc. degree from Wuhan University of Technology with a major in Materials Science and Engineering in 2017 and 2020, respectively. His M.Sc. project mainly focused on designing highly-efficient photocatalysts for CO2 photoreduction and he had several publications in reputed journals. He is currently a CFREF funded PhD student in the department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at University of Calgary under the supervision of Dr. Jinguang Hu and Dr. Md Kibria. His research mainly focuses on the design and synthesis of functional catalysts for sustainable hydrogen and value-added products from sunlight driven reforming of biomass.

Jiu Wang -​ Ph.D.

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Hui Wang is a PhD student under the guidance of the Dr. Hu. She obtained her MSc degree in Light Industry Technology&Engineering from Tianjin University of Science & Technology in 2021. In this year, she was awarded by China Scholarship Council to pursue her PhD degree. Her MSc project mainly focus on the sustainable preparation of functional Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and its application in stabilizing Pickering emulsion. Currently, her research interest is 3D bioprinting of nanocellulose for tissue engineering

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Xi Cheng - M.Sc.

Xi Cheng obtained his MSc degree in Chemical Engineering and Technology from Qingdao University of Science and Technology in 2020. During his master’s degree, he got some achievements in splitting water to produce hydrogen under visible-light irradiation. Before joining Dr. Hu’s group, Xi worked as a research assistant at Henan University for wastewater degradation by Fenton reaction. Currently, under the supervision of Dr. Hu and Dr. George Shimizu, he is devoting himself to utilizing photo-thermo catalysts to convert biomass into high value-added chemical compounds over metal organic framework. Xi has various hobbies, such as basketball, singing, cooking, and traveling.


Faranak Afsar research focus on developing responsive gels for Enhanced Oil Recovery applications. Prior to joining the department, she completed her B.Sc. and M.Sc., in Chemical Engineering at Shiraz University and Ferdowsi University, respectively. Her M.Sc. project was about the synthesis and fabrication of polymeric membranes for the pervaporation process. Besides being passionate about making new materials in the lab, she likes dogs, baking, traveling around the world, and of course chocolate!

Faranak Afsar - Ph.D.


Hongguang received his MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from the Ocean University of China in 2020. His research interest mainly focused on the synthesizing of the nanomaterials, HER and organic pollutant removal using photocatalysis technology. He has published several research articles in the reputed journals. Also, he received Chinese National Scholarship for Graduate Student in 2019. Prior to joining in the Dr. Hu’s group, he worked as a research assistant in the Shandong Analysis and Test Center and Pilot National Laboratory Currently, He is a MSc student under the guidance of the Dr. Hu and Dr. Kibria and working on the biomass photoreforming using MXene-based photocatalyst.

​Hongguang Zhang- Ph.D


Xinti Yu - M.Sc.

Xinti Yu completed her Bachelor’s degree in electronic information science and technology from Wuhan University of Technology in 2017. Currently, she is a master student at the University of Calgary with the supervision from Dr. Jinguang Hu. She is now working on photocatalyst design and preparation for selective biomass valorization and simultaneous H2 production.

Visiting Scholars

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Dr. Yubo Yan joined Dr. Hu’s group in August 2022, as a visiting scholar. He received his Ph.D. degree from Nanjing University of Science and Technology majoring in Environmental Engineering in 2017. His research interest mainly focuses on the high-value conversion of agricultural and industrial wastes for environmental purposes (eg., water purification, soil remediation).

Yubo Yan


Tayebeh received her M.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering from Shiraz University in 2013. She started her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Shiraz University in 2018. She has worked on biotemplate catalysts for dry reforming of methane during her Ph.D. thesis. Tayebeh has been the editor of “Advances in Catalysis Book Series” in Elsevier. Also, she has several publications in reputed journals and books. Tayebeh has been awarded a Scholarship by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran for Sabbatical Leave at the University of Calgary. She is currently working on the synthesis of photocatalysts for selective oxidation of HMF coupled with H2 evolution.

Tayebeh Roostaei

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Hang Xu joined Dr. Hu’s group in November 2022, as a visiting student. He received his bachelor's degree from Southwest Petroleum University majoring in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering in 2018. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at China University of Petroleum (Beijing). His research mainly focuses on the hydraulic fracturing of unconventional reservoirs, development and evaluation of novel fracturing fluid systems, and the application of nanotechnology in oilfield chemistry.

Hang Xu

Photos Gallery
Lab Alumni Members


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Lab Alumni Members

Shakil Ahmed Shetu - Summer Student 

Hong Zhao - Visiting Scholar

Jia Lee - Pos-doctoral Fellow

Mohd Adnan Khan - Research Associate

Nael Yasri - Research Associate

Qing Wang - Visiting Scholar

Xinxing Wu - Visiting Scholar

Fen Li - Visiting Scholar


Ragesh Prathapan - Pos-doctoral Fellow 

Abdulhameed Al-Ghabkari - Pos-doctoral Fellow

Shengjie Li  - M.Sc. Fellow


Juan Sebastian - Undergrad Student 

Xinyao Liu - M.Sc. Student

Ugochukwu Nwosu  - M.Sc.

Bruna Palma - M.Sc.

Haibo Chang - Visiting Scholar

Xia Du-Visiting Scholar

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