Bill Van Heyst

Headshot of Bill Van Heyst
Adjunct Professor
School of Engineering
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ext. 53665
THRN 1333


FTIR, NO/NO2/NOx/NH3 chemiluminescent analyzers, DustTrak particle counters.


  • Efficacy assessments for air pollution control devices (in the lab and in situ)
  • Air emission estimates from agricultural sources
  • Dispersion modelling of downwind concentrations from sources

Education and Employment Background

Dr. Bill Van Heyst, PhD, P.Eng., received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1997, after which he worked for five years with a major Toronto-based air quality consulting firm. Van Heyst joined the School of Engineering in 2002 at the University of Guelph and is currently a Professor in Environmental Engineering. 

Research Themes

Van Heyst’s research focuses on estimating and mitigating air pollution from a variety of agricultural sources including ammonia and particulate matter from animal housing units, especially in the poultry sector. Recently, Van Heyst has been developing innovative products that can reduce the emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from mobile and stationary sources in partnership with Envision SQ, a local clean technology company.  Recently, Van Heyst has pivoted his research and development of the photocatalyst air pollution control system to address the spread of the Covid-19 disease. Van Heyst’s research focuses on the following major themes:

  1. Impact of agriculture on air quality. This research is primarily concerned with size fractionated particulate matter, ammonia, and greenhouse gases. Agricultural sources studied include: composting, incineration, land application of manure, manure storage facilities, poultry barns, and dairy barns.
  2. Air quality modeling. This research involves dispersion models, emission inventory models, and regulatory compliance issues.
  3. Industrial collaborations. Working with various industrial partners, this research looks at new ways to control air pollution such as the SmogStop noise barrier designed to reduce NO and NO2 emissions along highways, using photocatalysts powered by LEDs to clean indoor air, and testing HVAC filters composed of compostable fibers.


  • Chair, Senate Committee on Student Petitions, University of Guelph, 2019-2020 
  • Associate Dean – External Relations, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, 2018-2020
  • Advisory Board Member, John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise, Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, 2018-2020
  • Research Program Director – Environmental Sustainability under the OMAFRA & University of Guelph Agreement, 2009-2018
  • Associate Director – Research and External Partners, School of Engineering, 2012-2015
  • Associate Director – Undergraduate Studies, School of Engineering, 2010-2012
  • Scientific Advisory Committee Member for Canadian Poultry Research Council, 2010-2012
  • OMAFRA Theme Advisory Group for Environmental Sustainability, Guelph, 2009-2010

Media Coverage

NanoCleanSQ self-sterilizing surface coating

SmogStop Noise Barrier

Agriculture and Air Quality