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Dr. David Latulippe

Associate Professor

Department of Chemical Engineering

Associate Member

McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering

separation processes for water/wastewater treatment, biopartitioning and purification, microscale processing for high-throughput studies,unit operation modeling and optimization
Areas of Specialization:
Research Clusters:


Research Interests

The overarching theme of my research group is the development and optimization of novel separation processes.  Toward this end, we typically focus on microscale processes (MSP) - the study of conventional processes (e.g. chromatography, membrane filtration, adsorption) but in miniaturized formats such as micro-columns, micro-well plates, and microfluidic devices. The advantages of this approach are considerable - it is extremely cost-effective since it requires minimal amounts of material and it is very efficient since it uses a parallel architecture approach. Our research uses a unique combination of experimental work, statistical analysis, and advanced tools for sample characterization and process modelling.

Microscale processing in environmental engineering:

We are developing novel separation processes for a variety of 'tough-to-treat' applications including tailings (i.e. suspensions of clay particles) from mining operations, biosolids from municipal WW treatment, and vegetable 'wash-water' from agricultural processing.  Our work includes both physical, chemical and biological-based processes including the development of the first ever high-throughput microscale stirred cell filtration device for flat sheet membranes, the first ever high-throughput microscale filtration device for hollow fiber membranes, a lab-scale anaerobic digester featuring recuperative thickening technology.  Our lab is home to the Micro-scale Separations and Analysis Suite (MSAS), a collection of specialized equipment that is essential for the execution and analysis of micro-scale experiments, that was supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ontario Research Fund (ORF), and NSERC Research Tools and Instrumentation (RTI) programs.

Downstream purification of oncolytic viruses:

We are working to solve the considerable challenges associated with the downstream purification of oncolytic viruses (OVs), an innovative anti-cancer therapeutic that has attracted considerable attention. The establishment of a cost-effective OV manufacturing process is critically dependent on the development of new technologies for downstream processing - the finished product must be of a sufficiently high purity and immunogenic activity (to fulfill regulatory demands) that is ready for clinical trials and full-scale commercialization.  This work is being done in collaboration with scientists at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and University of Toronto through the Alliance for Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Innovation (ABMI).

Positions Available:

  • Undergraduate Students – Undergraduate research is an outstanding learning experience both for students seeking careers in industry and those interested in graduate school. NSERC has funding available specifically for undergraduate students – for more details see Senior-year students in any of the chemical engineering programs have the opportunity to join our lab as part of the ChE 4Y4 independent project course. Interested students should email
    Dr. David Latulippe (preferably with an attached resume).
  • Graduate students – There are positions available in our group for outstanding, highly-motivated and enthusiastic students. Inquiries about our research by prospective graduate students are strongly encouraged – please email Dr. David Latulippe. However, administrative questions relating to the admissions process should be directed to the graduate assistant


  • B. Eng. Chemical Engineering, McMaster University (2000)
  • M.A.Sc. Chemical Engineering, McMaster University (2005)
  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University (2010)
  • Post-Doctoral Associate Applied & Engineering Physics, Cornell University (2010-2012)


I joined McMaster in July 2012 following post-doctoral work (in the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University) on the development of microscale technologies for biological systems. Prior to that, I completed my Ph.D. (in the Department of Chemical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University) on the development of membrane filtration processes for DNA purification. Between my undergraduate and master's degrees I worked in the membrane manufacturing division at ZENON Environmental (now SUEZ  Water Technologies & Solutions) on the design and development of hollow-fiber membrane systems for water treatment. In 2014 I was awarded the Young Membrane Scientist Award from the North American Membrane Society and in 2018 I was awarded an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Science. Also, in 2020 I was named the inaugural Education Innovation Fellow by the North American Membrane Society for my work on developing educational initiatives that introduce membrane technologies into the undergraduate engineering curriculum.



A. Premachandra, S. O’Brien, N. Perna, J. McGivern, R. LaRue, and D. R. Latulippe

Treatment of complex multi-sourced industrial wastewater — New opportunities for nanofiltration membranes

Chemical Engineering Research and Design

Kawka, Karina, A. Noelle Wilton, Eric J. Redmond, Maria Fe C. Medina, Brian D. Lichty, Raja Ghosh, and David R. Latulippe

Comparison of the performance of anion exchange membrane materials for adenovirus purification using laterally-fed membrane chromatography

Water Research 95 (2016) 39-47

E. Wright, K. Kawka, M. F. C. Medina, and D. R. Latulippe

Evaluation of Host Cell Impurity Effects on the Performance of Sterile Filtration Processes for Therapeutic Viruses

Membranes, vol. 12, no. 4.

R. J. LaRue, B. Patterson, S. O’Brien, and D. R. Latulippe

Evaluation of Membrane Fouling by Microplastic Particles in Tertiary Wastewater Treatment Processes

ACS ES&T Water, vol. 2, no. 6. American Chemical Society (ACS)

P. Morkus, M. Zolfaghari, S. A. Kordkandi, J. Nease, C. D. M. Filipe, and D. R. Latulippe

A Rapid Assay to Assess Nitrification Inhibition Using a Panel of Bacterial Strains and Partial Least Squares Modeling

Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 54, no. 1. American Chemical Society (ACS)

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