PhD, Analytical Chemistry, Swansea UK
MSc, Analytical Chemistry, Guelph, Canada
BSc, Chemistry, Southampton, UK
Lipids, analytical chemistry, oleochemicals and biobased materials.
See Lipid Chemistry Group Research for full list of Dr. Curtis' publications
The Curtis research group (Lipid Chemistry Group, LCG) specialises in two interrelated areas:
(1) The conversion of lipids into oleochemicals and biobased materials:
With a strong focus on the fats and oils that are abundantly produced on the Canadian prairies, we have developed chemical routes to convert natural oils into oleochemicals. Recently, we made polyols from canola oil and which can be used in many types of polyurethane materials. For example, we have developed polyurethane foam products with a high biobased content. We have also developed polyols from other oils such as camelina which can be used like castor oil in many applications. We are actively investigating the use of epoxy resins based on flax, hemp and other oils in biobased materials for industrial applications.
(2) The analysis of lipids of importance in food, agriculture, human health, medical sciences, oleochemicals and in industrial applications:
The general theme is the development of novel analytical methods to solve emerging problems in these broad areas, often via multidisciplinary collaborations. We are particularly interested in developing methods that improve structural specificity and accuracy in the quantification of lipids, which usually occur as complex mixtures. Typically, analytical solutions are required that are multi-dimensional in order to provide enough specificity for the task. Gas and Liquid chromatography combined with mass spectrometry and MS/MS are core methods but the research program will focus on complementing these with newly emerging analytical techniques such as multi-dimensional chromatography and on-line ozonolysis mass spectrometry (O3-MS).
NUFS 372/3 Food Chemistry
NUFS 499 and AFNS 599 Advanced Agri-Chemical Analysis
Graduate Student Applications
Potential graduate students might have a strong interest in oleochemistry, biobased materials and/or in the analytical chemistry of lipids in the areas of food, agriculture, health and industrial products. Ideally, your first degree(s) would be in chemistry, lipid chemistry, analytical or polymer chemistry, food science, or in a related discipline. Funded positions may be advertised on the LCG website
Advanced analysis of food and agri-industrial materials with a focus on good laboratory practices (GLP), chromatographic techniques (HPLC, GC), mass spectrometry, and other modern techniques from sample preparation to analysis of data. Not to be taken if credit received for NU FS 499. Prerequisite: NU FS 372 or consent of instructor.
Individual study supervised by the student's supervisor, requiring the preparation of a comprehensive report, presentation of a seminar and oral examination by the student's supervisor and one additional faculty member.
The fundamental chemistry of major and minor components of food and food additives. The relationship between chemistry and function in food systems is discussed. Laboratory emphasizes analytical techniques. Not to be taken if credit received for NU FS 373. Prerequisites: CHEM 102, (CHEM 164 or CHEM 261) and CHEM 263.
The fundamental chemistry of major and minor components of food and food additives. The relationship between chemistry and function in food systems is discussed. The project component emphasizes current topics in food chemistry. Not to be taken if credit received for NU FS 372. Prerequisite: (CHEM 164 or CHEM 261) and CHEM 263. Pre- or corequisite: CHEM 102.
Advanced analysis of food and agri-industrial materials with a focus on good laboratory practices (GLP), chromatographic techniques (HPLC, GC), mass spectrometry, and other modern techniques from sample preparation to analysis of data. Prerequisite: NU FS 372.