The Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Research Network is one of four networks created in 2010 as a part of the NSERC Forest Sector R&D Initiative. The Scientific Director is Professor Cedric Briens, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of Western University's Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR), the host university of the Network.  

Board of Directors

The NSERC Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Research Network’s Board of Directors has representation from a broad range of stakeholders; drawing from the pulp and paper industry, biofuels, chemical enterprises, senior university administrators, government, Canada’s National Research Council, and representatives of the Networks researchers.

The Board provides oversight of all of the Network’s activities and is responsible for the management, direction and financial accountability of the Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Research Network in conformance with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Councils’s Conflict of Interest Policy. The Board meets twice a year.

Name Title
Dr. Janusz Lusztyk (Chair) Retired from National Research Council of Canada
Dr. Tom Browne Program Manager, FPInnovations
Rory Gilsenan Chief, Resource Economics and Bioenergy, Canadian Forest Service
Dr. Murray McLaughlin President, Sustainable Chemistry Alliance
Lorne Morrow CEO, Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bioeconomy (CRIBE)
Mike Rushton Chief Operating Officer, Lignol Innovations
Dr. Cedric Briens Lignoworks Scientific Director
Hugh West Director Cellulose Fibers Research and Development, Weyerhaeuser

Non-voting Members:
Name Title
Dr. John Schmidt Network Liaison Manager Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Research Network
Claire McAneney Manager, Natural Resources and Energy, NSERC Research Partnerships Program

Dr. Janusz Lusztyk (Chair)

Retired from National Research Council of Canada

Dr. Janusz Lusztyk is an accomplished scientist and research manager.  In 2012 he retired from National Research Council of Canada (NRC) where he worked for more than 30 years, most recently (2008-2012) as the Director General of the NRC Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology (NRC-ICPET).

Dr. Lusztyk received his M.Sc. and PhD (with distinction) in Chemistry at Warsaw University of Technology (Politechnika Warszawska). He then spent two years in the U.K. as a postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Department at the University College London. He joined the NRC Division of Chemistry in 1982 as Research Associate in Dr. Keith Ingold's group and was appointed as NRC Research Officer in 1985.

During his 30-year career at NRC, Dr. Lusztyk has managed a variety of files. At the NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences from 1990 until 1999, Dr. Lusztyk directed the Organic Reaction Dynamics Group and then the Chemical Biology Program. He was Director General of the NRC Institute for National Measurement Standards from 1999 to 2004 and Acting Director General of the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NRC-NINT) for 2003-2004. Since 2004 he has been Senior Advisor on Nanotechnology and subsequently Coordinator of NRC Nanotechnology Program (NRC-Nano). Concurrently, Dr. Lusztyk also served as Acting Director Research for the Institute for Marine Biosciences (2005-2006) and since September of 2006, as Director Research at NRC-NINT.

Dr. Lusztyk is an internationally recognized expert on chemistry and kinetics of organic reactive intermediates and time-resolved UV-Vis and IR spectroscopy. His most significant work supported the development of applications of free radical chemistry in organic synthesis. Dr. Lusztyk was elected as Chairman of the Gordon Conference on Free Radical Reactions (1997), and a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada (1999). He was also elected and served as a member of the International Committee of Weights and Measures (2003-2005). Other distinctions include visiting professorships at the Australian National University (1990) and the University of Bordeaux (1995). Dr. Lusztyk has co-authored 115 publications in the open scientific literature.

Dr. Tom Browne

Program Manager, FPInnovations

Tom Browneobtained his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University, then completed a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, also at McGill University. His post-graduate studies focused on the deformation behaviour of paper sheets in a rolling nip.

In 1994 he joined FPInnovations, Paprican Division, working in the area of energy use in pulp and paper mills in general and mechanical pulping plants in particular. He was technical editor of monographs on energy and water use in pulp and paper mills. Recently he has led the development of a major new research network in the area of the forest biorefinery.

Dr. Browne has published articles in refereed journals on the topic of paper properties in calendering, mechanical pulping processes and energy use. He has participated in a number of industry committees, in particular serving as chairman of the Energy Committee of the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada. At Paprican he has been Program Manager, Mechanical Pulping since June 2001. In June 2004 he took on additional responsibility for the Sustainability and Forest Biorefinery portfolios.

Profile Address:

Rory Gilsenan

Chief, Resource Economics and Bioenergy, Canadian Forest Service

Rory Gilsenan is an Ottawa-based resource economist who has been with the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada since 2003, working primarily on bioenergy and climate change issues. His current work includes the development of a government decision-making framework for commercialising bioenergy technologies. He has been the federal government lead on the Bio-Pathways Project, a collaborative study spearheaded by the Forest Products Association of Canada to explore options for transforming the Canadian forest products industry. He leads a team of economists conducting applied policy and economic analyses on forest bioenergy and other industry issues. Previously, his work for the CFS was focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation issues for Canada's forest sector.

Prior to joining the Canadian Forest Service, Rory worked as an economist for a number of international clients in both the public and private sectors in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In 1993, he moved from Canada to Washington, DC, to work at the World Bank as an economist in the West and Central Africa department of the Bank, providing analyses and advice on a range of subject matter, including structural adjustment lending, debt restructuring, trade issues, currency adjustments and price liberalization programs. Then in 1998, he shifted his focus to environmental assessment work, providing environmental project and policy advice on a range of infrastructure projects in the Middle East, specializing on issues related to the water sector.

Rory has a B.A. honours degree in Economics from Concordia University in Montreal and a M.Sc. in Resource Economics from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Cedric Briens

Lignoworks Scientific Director


Dr. Cedric Briens is Director, R&D, of the Institute for Chemical and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR), which he founded with Dr. Franco Berruti and other colleagues at Western University. He has over 25 years of experience in both academia and industry. His areas of expertise are fluidization and particulate operations, which he has applied, for example, to the development of new reactor technology for the conversion of biomass and heavy oils into valuable products.

Dr. Briens is the theme leader for the Thermochemical  Processing Theme of Lignoworks and has also become Scientific Director as of January 15, 2013.

Dr. Murray McLaughlin

President, Sustainable Chemistry Alliance

Murray McLaughlin (B.Sc. McGill University, M.Sc. and Ph.D. Cornell University) has been and continues to be active in Canadian agriculture and bioindustry. He was President and CEO of Foragen for 7 years, the only early seed stage venture fund focused on advanced agricultural technologies in Canada. He stepped down in July 2005 once the fund was fully invested.

Dr. McLaughlin has held various positions in private industry, government and non-profit sectors including Adjunct Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, President of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, President of Ag-West Biotech Inc. where he helped build the Saskatoon cluster, and several assignments with ELANCO. He held the position of Director of Business Development for the Canadian Light Source (Synchrotron) in Saskatoon for the last three years. Dr. McLaughlin manages McLaughlin Consultants Inc., a firm focused on providing sound advice to agriculture, food and life sciences. He joined the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance as President and CEO on March 1st, 2009.

Dr. McLaughlin’s career has focused on agricultural science including research, development and product management and marketing. He is a member of numerous Boards of Directors and Advisory Committees, including Biotech Canada, BioAtlantech and Bioenterprise. He has been awarded the Canadian Agri-Marketer of the Year award from the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association, the Alumni of the Year from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and the National Merit Award from the Ottawa Life Sciences Council. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Dalhousie University/Nova Scotia Agriculture College, May, 2006.

Profile Address:

Lorne Morrow

CEO, Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bioeconomy (CRIBE)

Lorne Morrow assumed the role of CEO of the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy on December 1, 2009. He is accountable for all aspects of the corporation. Most recently, he was the Province of Ontario’s lead facilitator and negotiator for the transformation of single entity sustainable forest licenses to cooperative SFL's. 

Lorne has a long and successful thirty-year career in the forest sector of northern Ontario as a Senior Resource Manager, Professional Forester and business leader. He held various positions as a senior manager with Domtar, the Buchanan Group and Norampac Inc., including chief forester, woodlands manager and finally resident manager of the integrated linerboard mill in Red Rock, Ontario.
Lorne holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick and a Masters in Forestry from Lakehead University and is a Registered Professional Forester.

Profile Address:

Mike Rushton

Chief Operating Officer, Lignol Innovations

Michael Rushton, is a chemical engineer and business executive with more than 30 years experience in the development and commercialization of technology. Mike started his career in the oil industry and has subsequently been involved in the development and supply of process technology to the pulp and paper, metal smelting and chemical process industries and in the alternative energy sector.

Mike has been Chief Operating Officer of Lignol Innovations Ltd of Burnaby, BC, Canada since May of 2006.  Lignol is engaged in developing Biorefining Process Technology with the capability to produce cellulosic ethanol as a well as a range of unique highly pure forms of lignin and lignin derivatives; Mike heads up Lignol’s business development activities in this area.  Prior to joining Lignol, Mike was President and Chief Executive Officer of Membrane Reactor Technologies, a company developing novel hydrogen generation and purification technology, and prior to this he spent 22 years in a variety of technical and management positions with Chemetics International, a Canadian company that commercialized chemical process technology in the Pulp and Paper, Metal Smelting and Chemical Industries.

Profile Address:

Hugh West

Director Cellulose Fibers Research and Development, Weyerhaeuser


Technology Exploitation Committee

The Technology Exploitation Committee (TEC), appointed by the Board and chaired by the Network Liaison Manager, is comprised of representatives of Industry, representatives from University Technology Transfer offices, and other organizations that have a stake in commercialization of technologies derived from university research.

The committee will assist in identifying and pursuing intellectual property arising from Network activities. It will facilitate linkages to industry partners and establish technology transfer policy. The TEC will meet at least two times per year, where it will review the status of Network research nearing consideration for transfer, and monitor the progress of active technology transfer projects.

Dr. John SchmidtNetwork Liaison Manager Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Research Network
Mike RushtonChief Operating Officer, Lignol Innovations
Dr. Amar NeogiResearch Scientist, Weyerhaeuser Co
Trevor IpEngineer, Alberta-Pacific Corp.

Scientific Operations Committee

The day-to-day management of the Network is carried out by the Scientific Operating Committee, which consists of the Theme Leaders and the Network Liaison Manager and is chaired by the Scientific Director. A key function is to regularly review progress and budgets of the network investigators and to make recommendations to the Board on issues such as annual budgets, reallocation of resources, addition of new personnel and major changes in research direction.

Dr. John SchmidtNetwork Liaison Manager Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Research Network
Dr. R. Tom BakerCatalytic Processing Theme Leader
Dr. Cedric BriensThermochemical Processing Theme Leader
Dr. Frank KoPolymeric Products Theme Leader

Administrative Centre

The Network utilizes a distributed administrative structure with the Scientific Director and the Administrative Manager located at Western University's Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources and the Network Liaison Manager located at FPInnovations Pulp, Paper and Bioproducts Division in Pointe-Claire.

Dr. Cedric BriensLignoworks Scientific Director
Dr. John SchmidtNetwork Liaison Manager Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Research Network
Chantal GloorAdministrative Manager