Janet A. W. Elliott, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Chemical and Materials Engineering Dept


Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Chemical and Materials Engineering Dept
(780) 492-7963
Donadeo Innovation Centre For Engineering
9211-116 St
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5


Area of Study / Keywords

Thermodynamics Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Transport Phenomena - Fluid dynamics/ mass and heat transfer Mathematical and Molecular Modeling Nanomaterials and Nanofabrication Oil Sands Energy Surface Science and Engineering Cryobiology and Cryopreservation


Dr. Elliott currently serves as Associate Editor of the journal Cryobiology, on the Editorial Advisory Boards of The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, B, C, & Letters and of Langmuir, and on the Editorial Board of Advances in Colloid and Interface Science. She has served on scientific committees for international conferences in the areas of cryobiology, surfaces and colloids, and space physical sciences. She has served on grant selection committees for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). She has served as a member of the Physical Sciences Advisory Committee for the Canadian Space Agency, the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, and the Executive Committee of the American Chemical Society Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry. Dr. Elliott has been a Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics.

Dr. Elliott’s research has been recognized nationally and internationally in science and engineering by Fellowship in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2019), Fellowship in the Society for Cryobiology (2018), Fellowship in the Chemical Institute of Canada (2015), the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering Syncrude Canada Innovation Award (2008), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Doctoral Prize (1998), the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers Young Engineer Achievement Award (2001), the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Young Explorer’s Prize (2002) and Time Magazine’s Canadians Who Define the New Frontiers of Science (2002). Dr. Elliott has also received provincial and University awards including the University of Alberta Teaching Unit Award (2004, 2016). As one student put it, “She could convince rocks to study thermodynamics.”


  • Thermodynamics (equilibrium and nonequilibrium (transport))
  • Colloids and Surfaces
  • Cryobiology and Cryopreservation

Broad thermodynamic interests include: fundamental concepts in Gibbsian thermodynamics, mathematics of functions, combining thermodynamics with fluid mechanics, and combining thermodynamic insight with experimental data to develop descriptions of states and processes for a wide range of applications.

Colloidal and surface thermodynamics interests include: drops, bubbles, adsorption, solidification of colloidal suspensions, microfluidic drop concentrating processes, wetting, superhydrophobic surfaces, evaporation, freezing, solidification, nucleation, phase change in confined geometries, curved fluid interfaces, interfacial and membrane transport, capillarity in gravitational fields, thermodynamics of solutions and suspensions, and nanoscale science.

Cryobiology is the effect of extremely low temperatures on biological systems, with a major application being the preservation of cells and tissues for medical transplantation and use in research. Dr. Elliott runs a collaborative, interdisciplinary cryobiology research group. The group’s interests include experimental and computational cryobiology and cryopreservation of many cell and tissue types for medical and biotechnology applications. Their work encompasses fundamental and applied research, from cryobiological thermodynamics and transport through to clinical implementation.


CH E 343 - Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics of non-ideal gases and liquids; vapour-liquid equilibrium, thermodynamics of chemical processes and multicomponent systems. Prerequisite: CH E 243. Corequisite: CME 265.

CH E 625 - Surface and Statistical Thermodynamics

Advanced topics in macroscopic thermodynamics and fundamentals of statistical thermodynamics. Thermodynamics of composite systems including surface thermodynamics and thermodynamics in fields. Introduction to quantum mechanics. Principles of statistical thermodynamics. Construction of partition functions and calculations of basic thermodynamic properties for several fundamental systems. Applications will include properties of ideal gases, ideal solids and adsorbed gases.

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