University of Saskatchewan

September 30, 2014   

Dr. Jerzy Szpunar

Cleaner Energy, Brighter Future

Jerzy Szpunar, BSc, MA, PhD

Philosophy

“Engineers and scientists have to respond to the demands of society and society is concerned with pollution, climate change and developing green energy.”

Background

1969 PhD, Academy of Mining and Metallurgy (Krakow, Poland)
1966 MA, Academy of Mining and Metallurgy
1965 BSc, Academy of Mining and Metallurgy

Published

More than 580 Research Papers

Mentored

27 PhD students
15 MEng students

Committees/Boards

  • Co-editor, International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials (2009-)
  • Co-editor, International Journal of Corrosion (2008-)
  • Co-editor, Texture, Stress, and Microstructure (2007-)
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the AECL Montreal Chapter (2007-2009)
  • Chairman of the Executive Committee of the “Texture and Anisotropy Division” of ASM International (1998-2001)

Contact Information

Phone: (306) 966-5374
Email: jerzy.szpunar@usask.ca

 

Dr. Jerzy Szpunar

Canada Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Clean Energy

The Big Question

Canada’s energy industries require high-performance materials to generate, transport and store energy. University of Saskatchewan researcher Jerzy Szpunar is finding safer and more environmentally friendly processes to meet these needs.

As Canada is the world’s leading uranium producer and nuclear power provides much of our country’s energy, it is important to continue improving these technologies. Szpunar studies novel materials that better resist radiation damage and handle the high temperatures, corrosion and stress found in nuclear power reactors.
 
He also investigates better ways to extract, purify and safely monitor hydrogen. Hydrogen holds promise as a future fuel source, but it also has the potential to be explosive if it leaks. As a result, the hydrogen industry needs to find improved ways to store the gas. Szpunar is building nanostructure sensors to detect hydrogen leaks and developing membranes to coat fuel cells and prevent these dangerous leaks.

Szpunar is also exploring industrial materials such as new steels that can safely transport gas and oil through pipelines in northern Canada’s demanding climate.
 
“There is a lot of need for new materials that can withstand the harsh climate and conditions of the North,” Szpunar says.

In all his work, Szpunar is partnering with Canada’s energy industries to discover materials to help make them safer and more productive.

The Research

Szpunar developed his broad interests in materials research working in Denmark, Finland, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and the United Kingdom before coming to Saskatoon.

He was drawn to the U of S by the Canadian Light Source and the opportunity to work alongside the world-class researchers who have gathered around the country’s national synchrotron facility.

“Obviously having the CLS is an advantage,” Szpunar says. “I’m interested in the structural changes in materials and imaging the structure of materials. With the CLS we can do tests on how materials perform in a special environment with high temperatures, corrosion and high pressure.”

The Impact

Szpunar is motivated by the desire to serve the needs of both society and environment.

“Engineers and scientists have to respond to the demands of society,” he says. “And society is concerned with pollution, climate change and developing green energy.”