News and Events

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 2022.

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. Cox 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 Ph.D. 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

Prof. Peter Tremaine’s research honoured at University of Guelph

“Nearly $150 million is directed to the University of Guelph every year for research. And although support for cutting-edge technology and modern facilities are imperative for helping research advance and excellence, it’s the people – the researchers themselves – who are central to every achievement.  That was the message delivered Friday night by members of the university’s senior administrative team – President Franco Vaccarino, among them – to some of the university’s highest research achievers. They assembled in the Summerlee Science Complex to be recognized for their many contributions to Guelph’s standing as one of Canada’s most research-intensive universities.”

Read more at Guelph Today.

President Vaccarino with Prof. Tremaine

Funding partner receives University of Guelph 2017 National Co-op Employer of the Year Award

Ph.D. student Jacy Conrad presents the University of Guelph 2017 National Co-op Employer of the Year Award to Dr. Ian Muir and Dr. Craig Stuart of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories at a ceremony in March 2018. Jacy nominated Canadian Nuclear Laboratories for this award after spending a year one co-op placement there from September 2016 to August 2017, where she worked on iron deposition under irradiation. This co-op opportunity was funded by the Candu Owner’s Group.

2017 Co-op award ceremony
Left to right: Jacy Conrad, Steve McGee, Craig Stuart, Ian Muir.

Congratulations to Chris Alcorn!

We are very pleased to announce that Christopher Alcorn successfully defended his Ph.D. defense today on “A Quantitative Raman and Density Functional Theory Investigation of Uranyl Sulfate Complexation and Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation under Hydrothermal Conditions.”

Congratulations Chris! 🙂

Alcorn PhD defence
Left to right: Adrian Schwan, Scott Hopkins, David Shoesmith, Christopher Alcorn, Peter Tremaine, Marcel Schlaf