Dr. Joe R. Zhao Elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering

The Canadian Academy of Engineering has announced the election of Dr. Joe R. Zhao, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (FCAE) among the new Fellows for 2020. His citation reads:

Dr. Joe R. Zhao is an exceptionally creative engineer with outstanding contributions in innovation, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing. His inventions have addressed some key issues in wastewater treatment and energy conservation. As an entrepreneur, he founded and for over 20 years has led a private-sector laboratory which has provided high-end employment for Canadian engineers and established Canada’s leadership in several technologies in fields of critical importance to society. As an engineering leader, he created and guided several successful manufacturing enterprises in Canada and abroad to make his inventions widely available.


About Dr. Joe R. Zhao

Dr. Zhao is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC, and Chief Scientist and CEO of Tri-Y Environmental Research Institute, a company he founded and has led since 1998 focused on invention and commercialization of new technologies. As lead scientist, Dr. Zhao has made pioneering contributions to pulp and paper technology, environmental protection, and energy conservation. His major accomplishments include chemical control agents for contaminants in papermaking, high efficiency flocculants, and novel high-speed bioreactors for wastewater treatment, which are now in mass production. More recently, he developed a novel Temperature Control Material (TCM) for releasing and absorbing heat to conserve energy in buildings, and a fibre-based High Resistance Panel (HRP) for building insulation. These developments, based on forest materials, are now entering large-scale commercial production.

Dr. Zhao obtained his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the South China University of Technology (SCUT). He holds the distinction of receiving the first Ph.D. in pulp and paper engineering in China. Upon graduation in 1987 he joined the faculty as a professor at SCUT specializing in pulp and paper engineering. After further studies in the UK at the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), Dr. Zhao came to UBC in 1989 for postdoctoral studies under Professor Richard J. Kerekes and further research in papermaking topics in the UBC Pulp and Paper Centre. After working in a paper chemical company as a technical manager, he founded the company which he leads to this day.

In addition to his Adjunct Professorship at UBC, Dr. Zhao is a Distinguished Professor and Honorary Chair of the State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Engineering of SCUT; Adjunct Professor, Pulp and Paper Chemical Engineering, Guangxi University China; Distinguished Professor, State Key Laboratory of Biobased Materials and Papermaking, Qilu University of Technology, China, and Adjunct Professor, Architecture, Civil Engineering & Environment at Ningbo University, China.

Dr. Zhao is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry UK (FRSC), Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada, Institution of Engineering and Technology (UK), and International Academy of Wood Science. He is member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia and a Chartered Chemist of The Royal Society of Chemistry (UK).