About Emily

Emily Cranston

Dr. Emily D. Cranston

President’s Excellence Chair in Forest Bio-Products

Forest Sciences Centre 4036
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Phone: 604 827-0627

Education & Academic Positions

  • BSc Chemistry, McGill University (2001)
  • PhD Materials Chemistry, McGill University (2008)
  • Post-Doctoral Associate, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden (2011)
  • Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, McMaster University (2011-2016)
  • Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, McMaster University (2016-2019)

Brief Biography

Emily was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and moved to Montreal, Quebec following her high school completion. She received her Honours B.Sc degree in Chemistry with a specialty in Bio-Organic Chemistry from McGill University. During her undergraduate studies she participated in research focused on natural and synthetic biodegradable polymers and was involved with establishing the Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Network. During this time she also worked on developing multimedia tools for teaching Chemistry and Physics and worked full-time writing software after graduation. She then went on to graduate studies in the group of Professor Derek Gray at McGill University, obtaining a Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry (within the Pulp and Paper Research Centre). Her thesis entitled “Polyelectrolyte Multilayers Containing Cellulose Nanocrystals” explored the use of cellulose nanocrystals for model surfaces and in novel cellulose composites.

The study of “value-added” products from cellulose took her to Stockholm, Sweden (they also have a lot of trees!) where she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in two departments at KTH Royal Institute of Technology: Surface and Corrosion Science (mastering techniques to characterize surface forces and adsorption phenomena) and Fibre and Polymer Technology (looking at fundamental and mechanical properties of nanocellulose). During her stay in Sweden she also acted as the Coordinator for one theme of Biomime, the Swedish Centre for Biomimetic Fibre Engineering; Fundamentals of Adhesion and Composite technology.

In January 2011 she took up the position of Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at McMaster University where her research focused on surface engineering of sustainable materials based on nanocellulose and she held a Tier 2 CRC in Bio-Based Nanomaterials. In January 2019 she joined the University of British Columbia as the President’s Excellence Chair in Forest Bio-products, and as an Associate Professor in UBC’s Departments of Wood Science and Chemical and Biological Engineering. Emily is the recipient of the 2016 KINGFA Young Investigator’s Award from the American Chemical Society’s Cellulose & Renewable Materials division and was the 2018 Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecturer, awarded by ACS and the Kavli Foundation.