News and Events

Co-op position available January 2024

Co-op Position in Experimental Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of Hydrothermal Systems

Department of Chemistry, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

The Hydrothermal Research Group at the University of Guelph is seeking applications for a co-op student to conduct experimental research on the structure and stability of aqueous species in high-temperature aqueous solutions using state-of-the-art pressure-vessel and spectroscopic techniques, in areas of basic research related to the development of technologies to meet Canada’s net zero emission goals by the Canadian nuclear energy sector. This is a 4-month or 8-month work term, beginning in January 2024.

The successful candidate will work alongside the lead Research Associate to measure the equilibrium solubility of metal oxides with sulfur species in high temperature aqueous solutions encountered in nuclear reactor steam generators. They will characterize reaction solids using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and powder X-Ray diffraction (PXRD) techniques to identify novel solid phases that form; conduct elemental analysis of the solutions by prepping samples for submission to inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES); and perform thermodynamic modeling of the solid equilibrium phase.

The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Be in 2nd year or higher of BSc program in Chemistry, Biological & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, or Chemical Physics
  • Have completed CHEM*2400 (preferred) or CHEM*2480
  • Minimum average of 75% across all degree required courses
  • Completion of CHEM*2820 (preferred) or CHEM*2880 is an asset.

This position will include training and the operation of high-pressure vessels. A strong adherence to strict safety rules and policies is mandatory. The successful candidate will be expected to bring strong sense of safety culture and responsibility to the position.

If you are interested in applying for this position please email a resume, a cover letter, and a copy of your unofficial transcript to Professor Peter Tremaine ( and Dr. Maryanne Stones ( with the subject line “W23 Tremaine Co-op Position”.

The hourly wage will be based on qualifications and departmental norms for this level of position.

At the University of Guelph, fostering a culture of an inclusion is an institutional imperative. We welcome and encourage applications from groups that are traditionally underrepresented and are committed to providing a workplace that is respectful and equitable. We recognize that diversity is essential to both academic and social progress, and we will strive to reduce barriers to employment opportunities in our research group. If you require any accommodations with your application process, please email

Posting Date: September 11, 2023

Closing Date: November 30, 2023

Note: This job ad will close if a successful candidate is hired before the above closing date.

2023 Technical Advisory Committees Joint Meeting

Department of Chemistry, University of Guelph

A joint meeting of the Technical Advisory Committees for two research programs funded by the University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering and other industrial partners was held on Campus at the University of Guelph on May 10, 2023.

Professor Peter Tremaine holds the UNENE Research Chair in High Temperature Aqueous Chemistry, established in 2016 as the NSERC/UNENE Senior Industrial Research Chair of the same title. The Chair is funded by NSERC, UNENE, The CANDU Owners Group (COG), the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

Professor Khash Ghandi holds a recently awarded UNENE University Collaboration Project grant entitled ‘Negative Muons for the Canadian Nuclear Industry’

Congratulations to Maryanne Stones!

Maryanne was awarded 2nd place in the the “U of G Through the Lens photo contest” under the Faculty/Staff category. She provided a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of a new nickel sulfate phase formed under high-temperature aqueous conditions. This crystal was grown for a project relating to corrosion chemistry in nuclear reactors.

Rest of the contest photos can be viewed here U of G Through the Lens photo contest – Gallery 2022 | Office of Research (


M.Sc. / Ph.D. Opportunities in Hydrothermal Chemistry

The Hydrothermal Chemistry Group at the University of Guelph is currently accepting applications for both M.Sc. and Ph.D. positions in 2023.

Our graduate student research is aimed at understanding the behaviour of electrolytes and organic species in high temperature water. Projects include applied research on nuclear reactor chemistry in support of Canada’s low-carbon emission strategy, and fundamental studies on aqueous solutions under extreme conditions. Topics include:

  • Fundamental science of water, electrolytes, and organic solutes under extreme conditions (high temperatures and pressures),
  • Chemistry and materials of CANDU reactors and advanced nuclear reactor designs,
  • Chemistry associated with the geological storage of nuclear spent fuel.

Applicants must have a strong background in physical chemistry, analytical chemistry or chemical physics with a solid record of academic performance (generally A- / first class or equivalent). Students with strong backgrounds in experimental geochemistry or chemical engineering may also be considered.  Please also ensure you meet University of Guelph requirements on ESL certification where applicable.

The University of Guelph is located in scenic Southern Ontario, in close proximity to Toronto and Pearson airport. In addition to a competitive stipend, all students receive health coverage and the university’s extended health plan. To learn more about our group, please visit our site at

For inquiries, or to apply for these positions, please contact Dr. Sasidharanpillai at Please, no phone calls.

Peter & Karin Tremaine found the “Tremaine Visiting Speaker Fund for Women in Science”

“Students and faculty at the University of Guelph will have access to some of the world’s brightest scientific women scholars and policy makers, thanks to a generous gift that will establish the Tremaine Visiting Speaker Fund for Women in Science.

The gift will allow U of G to bring women in scientific leadership roles to campus to speak and participate in research or outreach activities once per year for five years, rotated annually among the Departments of Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics, and the School of Computer Science.

“U of G in many ways is a very successful university for attracting women students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Peter Tremaine, professor in the Department of Chemistry and NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair in High-Temperature Aqueous Chemistry.

“But there’s still a long way to go in increasing the representation of women in STEM. Our success in this area makes the University an ideal host for innovative programs like this speaker series.”

The inaugural event, being planned by the Department of Chemistry, will take place in fall 2021 or winter 2022, depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

Peter and Karin Tremaine co-established the fund and said they were motivated by personal experiences with talented women who faced challenges when pursuing careers in scientific disciplines.

“Historically, men have been able to point to a teacher or mentor that really motivated them, someone who they saw themselves in,” said Karin. “I have an IT degree and there wasn’t a woman who filled that role for me in my undergraduate program because there were so few women in my discipline. These speakers will hopefully be able to provide that leadership for women in STEM programming.”

Visiting speakers are intended to bring experience relevant to women in STEM and could include women scientists pursuing cutting-edge research; researchers or professors who have pushed the boundaries for women in science; or experts in public policy that removes barriers for women pursuing higher education and careers in STEM.”

More details in the University of Guelph press release here:

Congratulations to Samantha Binkley!

We are very pleased to announce that Sam Binkley successfully defended her M.Sc. thesis today on “Standard Partial Molar Heat Capacities and Volumes of Aqueous N,N-Dimethylethanolamine and 3-Methoxypropanolamine from 283 to 393 K, and Thermodynamic Functions for Their Ionization Equilibria to 598 K and 20 MPa”.

Congratulations Sam! 🙂

Congratulations to Jane Ferguson!

We are very pleased to announce that Jane Ferguson successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis today on “Aqueous Boric Acid Chemistry under Pressurized Water Reactor Coolant Conditions by AC Conductivity”.

Congratulations Jane!

Jane Ferguson defence
Left to right: Scott Hopkins, Donald Palmer, Jane Ferguson, Peter Tremaine, Aicheng Chen