Johan Foster

Johan Foster

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
The University of British Columbia

Chair title

NSERC/Canfor Industrial Research Chair in Advanced Bioproducts

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Associate Chairholder since 2020


The philosophy behind the NSERC/Canfor Industrial Research Chair in Advanced Bioproducts is to maximize utilization of forest biomass, to advance fundamental scientific knowledge in fiber characterization, and to pursue development of application- and consumer-focused products. Collaborations with Canfor, as well as through the ongoing industry-focused collaborations at UBC in closely related areas, will be crucial to developing the research program. The Chair will synergistically leverage Canfor’s position as a world leader in wood and pulp production and quality with the Candidate’s proven track record in nanomaterials, bioproducts, and their characterization and utilization in materials and applications. A major goal of this research will be the establishment of scalable and readily deployable processes to recover high-quality, value-added materials from diverse and under-utilized wood waste streams. These materials, along with traditional pulp fibers, will be utilized in the development of several end-use products, namely automotive and aerospace parts, fiber cement, electrical board and a bio-based replacement for single use plastics. Each of these end-use applications will in turn require addressing of fundamental scientific questions in order to understand and better assess their characteristics and potential for commercial adoption. The Applicant’s prior work in novel biomaterials, nanocomposites, polymer processing, and fibre characterization will all be leveraged to pursue a cohesive research program that will support Canfor’s research and innovation efforts through the pursuit of application-focused knowledge.

Canfor is one of the world’s largest producers of sustainable lumber, pulp and paper, and is a North American leader in green energy production. Strongly committed to innovation, Canfor is driving the forest industry forward through its investments in and focus on turning sustainable wood fiber into green energy and value-added materials.


  • Canfor

Contact information

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
The University of British Columbia



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