Elaine's Homepage
 (M.Sc., P.Chem.)

Thanks for dropping by!

I work as a Lab Manager and Research Associate in the Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  I am also a registered Professional Chemist (Alberta).  My academic background includes a M.Sc. in Colloid Chemistry from the Chemistry Department, University of Calgary.  My masters thesis looked at the variation of critical micelle concentrations of foam-forming surfactants used in enhanced oil recovery as a function of temperature and salinity.  In short, I got my M.Sc. by watching "soaps" all day for 2 years!  I completed a B.Sc. Honours in Chemistry from the University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan.  My undergraduate thesis involved observing chemical/structural changes in lignite coal as it underwent thermal dewatering and was under the supervision of Dr. Brian D. Kybett of the Energy Research Unit.

The research I'm presently involved in is under the direction of Dr. Harvey Yarranton and our research group is called Asphaltene & Emulsion Research or AER.  The primary goal in my work is to study water-in-oil emulsions made of model systems (such as asphaltenes in heptane/toluene mixtures), real systems (such as solvent-diluted bitumen), and the effect of surfactants and demulsifiers.  We look mostly at interfacial properties and try to understand the mechanisms of emulsion stabilization.  AER also has numerous projects in PVT related characterization of asphaltenes/bitumen/heavy oil.  I have also spent 10 years looking at chemical means of improving oil recoveries from bitumen froth produced from hot and warm water extraction (flotation) of Athabasca oil sand, brought the flotation process down to cooler temperatures, and tried to develop an understanding of the colloidal forces at work in these processes.  I also looked at effects such as shear and  conditioning aids on oil recovery from oil sands.  Besides being active in my research projects, I also assist Dr. Yarranton's graduate students with their own projects, get interesting side projects, manage AER laboratory operation and maintain the AER webpages. 

In my Professional Resumé (CV) you will find academic and professional details, as well as a complete list of my publications.

Here's a colloid-themed haiku I wrote.

For a sampling of where our research is going, take a look at our recent and upcoming submitted conference abstracts.  AER also has a Consortium for industrial involvement in our research - if you are interested in becoming a member, check out C-AER for information or send me an email.

Some conferences we attend and participate in often include the American Chemical Society, the Canadian Society of Chemistry, the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering, Canadian International Petroleum Conference, and the International Conference on Petroleum Phase Behavior and Fouling.

This and That:

I live in the scenic city of Calgary, Alberta.  Although the weather in Calgary is reliably unpredictable, it's usually very sunny and a great place to live.  The left pic is a photo of downtown Calgary, taken from Prince's Island, September 2002.


The close proximity of Calgary to the Rocky Mountains makes hiking or picnicking an ideal way to spend a day on a sunny weekend.  Here are some photos I've taken of a few places in Kananaskis and the Rocky Mountains.  I'll be adding more photos at any time, so check back here later!

When I have time, I enjoy listening to music.  Take a look at my music collection. There's a lot of prog rock and jazz in there.

I am interested in cooking (okay....eating too!!) and enjoy preparing a variety of flavours in my kitchen!  Some cooking-related links I have found fun and useful include:

    -    All Recipes
    -    Epicurious Magazine
    -    Better Homes and Gardens
I also enjoy travelling and taking lots of photographs of the places I've seen.  I have a few photographs in a travel picture library of some of the places I've been to.  This is always under construction, so be sure to check back as I go to more places and add more photos!

Miscellaneous Links:

    -    New Scientist Magazine
    -    Canadian Geographic Magazine
    -    Style at Home Magazine
    -    Cat of the Day
    -    Darwin Awards page
    -    CBC News

        Send me an email
Created  April, 2002; last updated January, 2018