Dr. Rafal Gieleciak

Research Scientist

Current research and/or projects


I graduated from University of Silesia (Poland) and completed a Ph.D. in Chemistry, specializing in computational chemistry, quantum chemistry, quantitative structure-property relationship and multivariate analysis. Before coming to Canada in 2007, I was a Lecturer at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry of the University of Silesia and my research was focused on designing and synthesize of novel HIV inhibitors. A substantial portion of my research career in Canada (read CanmetENERGY) is directly related to both our ability to determine detailed molecular composition of oil sand derived products and our ability to use these data to accurately model and process petroleum feeds and their derivative products.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Development of advanced analytical methods to identify and quantify sulfur, nitrogen and oxygen containing hydrocarbons using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) techniques, including speciation using time-of-flight mass spectroscopy (TOF-MS).
  • Developing and applying analytical separation methodologies in support of the petroleum feedstock flexibility and integrity programs.
  • Quantitative structure-property/retention relationships (QSPR) and application of principal component analysis (PCA), partial least squares (PLS) regression, and neural networks (NN) in separation chemistry related problems.
  • Development of stand-alone and commercially-compatible computational MATLAB software applications which apply mathematical models for the molecular simulation of complex hydrocarbon mixtures.

Professional activities / interests

I am an expert reviewer of papers for publication in scientific journals.

Education and awards


Ph.D. in Chemoinformatics and Molecular Modeling, University of Silesia, Poland, 2004. 

M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry, University of Silesia, 1999.


NRCan Research Scientist Promotion and Reclassification (SE RES01 - SE RES02), 2014.

Canadian Government Visiting Fellow (NSERC Visiting Fellow), 2008.

The Award for Young Scientists of the Foundation for Polish Science, 2004-2005.

Ph.D. in chemistry Cum Laude – 4th distinction with outstanding honor, 2004.

Grant for financial support from the Polish Science Foundation, KBN committee, 2003.


Key publications

  1. Gieleciak, R., Hager, D., Heshka, N. (2016) Application of QSRR approach for the prediction of the two dimensional gas chromatography retention times of PASH compounds, Journal of Chromatography A, 1437, 191-202.
  2. Muller, Ch., Cannella, W., Bays, T., Bruno, T., Dettman, H., Gieleciak, R., Huber, M., Kweon, M., McConnell, S., Pitz, B., Ratcliff, M., Rose, K., (2016) Diesel surrogate fuels for engine testing and chemical –kinetic modeling: composition and properties, Energy & Fuels, 30, 1445-1461.
  3. Alvarez-Majmutov, A., Chen, J., Gieleciak, R. (2016) Molecular-level modeling and simulation of vacuum gas oil hydrocracking. Energy & Fuels 30, 138–148.
  4. Shen, J., Astrath, N.G.C., Pedreira, P.R.B., Astrath, F.B.G., Gieleciak, R., Wen, Q., Michaelian, K.H., Fairbridge, C., Malcarne, L.C., Rohling, J.H., Baesso, M.L. (2015) Correlations among thermophysical properties, ignition quality, volatility, chemical composition, and kinematic viscosity of petroleum distillates, Fuel,163, 324-333.
  5. Alvarez-Majmutov, A., Gieleciak, R., Chen, J. (2015) Deriving the molecular composition of vacuum distillates by integrating statistical modeling with detailed hydrocarbon characterization. Energy & Fuels 29, 7931–7940.
  6. Alvarez-Majmutov, A., Chen, J., Gieleciak, R., Hager, D., Heshka, N., Salmon, S. (2014) Deriving the Molecular Composition of Middle Distillates by Integrating Statistical Modeling with Advanced Hydrocarbon Characterization, Energy & Fuels, 28, 7385-7393.
  7. Wen, Q., Shen, J., Gieleciak, R., Michaelian, K.H., Rohling, J.H., Astrath, N.G., Baesso, M.L. (2014) Temperature Coefficients of the Refractive Index for Complex Hydrocarbon Mixtures, International Journal of Thermophysics, 35(5), 930-941.
  8. West, C.E., Scarlett, A.G., Tonkin, A., O'Carroll-Fitzpatrick, D., Pureveen, J., Tegelaar, E., Gieleciak, R., Hager, D., Petersen, K., Tollefsen, K.-E. and Rowland, S.J. (2014) Diaromatic sulfur-containing 'naphthenic' acids in process waters. Water Research 51, 206-215.
  9. Jones, D., Scarlett, A.G., West, C.E., Frank, R.A. Gieleciak, R., Hager, D. and Rowland, S.J. (2013) Elemental and spectroscopic characterization of fractions of an acidic extract of oil sands process water. Chemosphere, 93 (9), 1655-1664.

Research facility

1 Oil Patch Drive
Devon, AB T9G 1A8


The member of US led CRC Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engine working group

Associate Editor of Journal of Sustainable Mining