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Freeman Elected Fellow in North American Membrane Society

The North American Membrane Society (NAMS) has elected Dr. Benny Freeman, Richard B. Curran Centennial Chair in Engineering at the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, a Fellow based on his service to the organization and his highly significant professional accomplishments in the membrane field.

“Professor Freeman’s service to NAMS and other related societies is outstanding. Benny has provided extensive service to the profession through serving in high-level panels and committees, organizing conferences and symposia, serving as editor for journals, and serving in leadership roles of numerous organizations including NAMS,” said Dr. Dibaker Bhattacharyya, past president of NAMS. “He’s a tremendous asset to our profession.”

The North American Membrane Society is the only professional society in North America that promotes all aspects of membrane science and technology. This ranges from fundamental studies of membrane material science to process application and development. Dr. Freeman will be recognized at the 2017 International Congress on Membranes and Membrane Processes conference in San Francisco, July 29 through August 4.

Posted May 16, 2017

Benny Freeman, CSIRO’s 2017 Sir Jerry Price Lecture Presenter

Professor and Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Benny Freeman was recently announced as CSIRO’s 2017 Sir Jerry Price Lecture presenter.

The lecture series was established in 1990 in an effort to encourage the collaboration between industry, CSIRO and university scientists. Its namesake, Sir Jerry Price, was the former CEO of CSIRO and a leading mind in organic chemistry.

Professor Freeman’s presentation titled, “Science and Technology to Secure the Future for Water and Energy” will frame the water/energy nexus challenges and opportunities, and provide a glimpse of potential paths forward to supply the world with low energy, abundant access to water.

Professor Freeman was awarded the U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Science, Technology and Innovation in 2016. His is the first Fulbright distinguished chair sponsored by CSIRO.

The lecture will take place Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 at the Australian Synchrotron. A recorded broadcast will be available on the Chemical Engineering Department’s website and social media pages following the event.

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Posted January 27, 2017

Jovan Kamcev Wins 2016 AIChE Graduate Student Research Award

Jovan Kamcev has been awarded the 2016 AIChE Separations Division Graduate Student Research Award in Separations: Membrane-Based Separations, established to recognize outstanding graduate student research in this area. He is pictured here with Profesor Benny D. Freeman.

Selection criteria for the award include:
1) The paper must report on research, investigation or design, and must be part of the student’s work for a graduate degree.
2) The paper may be co-authored by others, but the student nominee must have been the primary author.
3) The paper is of quality acceptable for publication in journals such as the AIChE Journal and Chemical Engineering Science.
4) Papers are judged on technical content, quality of writing, and organization.
5) The person nominating a student must be a member of the AIChE.

Jovan Kamcev Wins Graduate Student Paper of 2016

Jovan Kamcev has been awarded the Graduate Student Paper of the Year Award and the Marion Johnson South Texas Section Society of Plastics Engineers Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Chemical Engineering worth $4,000, for his paper entitled “Partitioning of mobile ions between ion exchange polymers and aqueous salt solutions: Importance of counter-ion condensation” published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics in January 2016.

Kamcev’s study addresses a longstanding problem in his field – the need for a theoretical framework to predict ion sorption and transport in charged membranes. Charged membranes play a key role in water purification and energy generation applications such as electrodialysis, fuel cells, batteries, etc. Using established ideas from the field of dilute polyelectrolytes, Kamcev and his team have developed a model to accurately predict ion partitioning between a charged membrane and an aqueous salt solution without adjustable parameters. This approach requires knowledge of basic membrane properties such as chemical structure, concentration of fixed charge groups, and water content.

Kamcev’s paper is the foundation for his research program, aimed at developing a molecular understanding of how altering the polymer structure (chemical or physical) affects water and ion transport properties in such materials. Once he and his team develop a better understanding of this issue, high performance membranes can be designed in a rational way. This could lead to major improvements in technologies aimed at addressing the most pressing challenge facing our society – obtaining sustainable supplies of energy and water for future generations.

“Winning this award means a great deal to me, considering the amazing and diverse research that goes on in our department,” Kamcev said. “It is truly an honor to be selected for this award. I want to express my deepest gratitude to my co-authors, as well as the rest of our laboratory, for their assistance with this study.”

This recognition is one of many in a series of successes for Kamcev. Recently, Kamcev was also awarded first place at the Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Graduate Student Award Symposium, second place at the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Membranes: Materials & Processes, and the 2016 AIChE Separations Division Graduate Student Award.

Posted 8/29/2016, https://che.utexas.edu/2016/08/29/kamcev-wins-paper-of-the-year/

Michelle Dose is Runner-Up in Graduate Student Seminar Series Top Presenters

The McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering announced the top presenters for the 2016 Graduate Student Seminar Series, as voted by attending first-year and third-year Ph.D. students.

Michelle Dose’s research, “polymer membranes for oelfin/paraffin separations” focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of the transport of small molecules through polymer based membranes with an eventual goal of using such materials to reduce the energy consumption of large scale gas phase separations.

Michelle Dose and Kelly Markham were also recognized for organizing these weekly seminars and Professor Hal Alper for overseeing the program.

Jovan Kamcev Selected to Receive NSF Science and Technology Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS) Outstanding Graduate Student Award for 2016

The National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS) selected Jovan Kamcev to receive one of the Outstanding Graduate Student Awards for 2016. These awards are given to students who have made exceptional contributions to the Center in the areas of Research, Teaching and Mentoring, or Service to the Organization.

2016 North American Membrane Society (NAMS) Award Winners!

Jovan Kamcev won first place in his category of posters and one of three NAMS Student Fellowship Awards, the highest student award offered by The North American Membrane Society (NAMS). Michelle Dose and Josh Moon took second and third place for posters in their section. NAMS is the primary technical outlet for membrane research in the United States.

During the event, a close colleague and co-advisor, Dr. Don Paul, was recognized as an inaugural NAMS Fellow.

Dr. Freeman wins the 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers International Award

Dr. Freeman has been awarded the 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers International Award.  This International Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Society of Plastics Engineers.  It recognizes lifetime achievements in the fields of polymer science or polymer/plastics engineering.  Nominees are recognized internationally by their peers for excellence in their fields.

Dr. Freeman was given the award based on his seminal contributions to plastics engineering, research, technology, service, and education in polymer membranes for low-energy gas and liquid separations.  An award symposium will be held at the SPE ANTEC meeting April 22-24, 2013 in Cincinnati.  The award comes with a $5,000 honorarium and a gold medal.