University of Calgary

Clean energy for a sustainable world

UToday HomeNovember 14, 2012

By Jennifer Sowa

A chemical engineer at the Schulich School of Engineering, Josephine Hill is dedicated to developing clean and efficient energy sources. She is the Canada Research Chair in Hydrogen and Catalysis, and her research has led to significant breakthroughs in the areas of fuel cells, hydrotreating, and gasification – a thermal and/or catalytic process that converts solid materials into gaseous fuels.

“There is no one technology that will solve all future energy issues. A variety of technologies, including fuel cells and gasification, specific to different applications, are required,” says Hill, who presents Nov. 23 as part of the Eyes High on Research public lecture series sponsored by the advisor to the president on women’s issues. “Technologies that work with our current oil and gas infrastructure will be adopted first, and those that consider a full lifecycle analysis will have the greatest impact.”

The impact of Hill’s work is far-reaching. Her research focuses on catalysts, which are substances that affect the rate or direction of chemical reactions and are used in more than 85 per cent of all industrial processes.

“The most fun part of my job is discussing research results with students, postdoctoral fellows, and collaborators,” she says.

When she’s not teaching or conducting research, Hill is a strong advocate for women in science and engineering. In addition to many awards related to her research, Hill received the 2008 Minerva Mentoring Award from the Alberta Women’s Science Network and the Women in Engineering and Geoscience Champion Award at the 2012 Summit Awards sponsored by the Association of Professional Engineering and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).

Featuring the work of members from eight faculties, the Eyes High on Research public lecture series foregrounds the diversity of research and scholarship that is contributing to the Eyes High vision. Hill will present at noon on Friday, Nov. 23 in Social Science room 1153. Register here.