Polymer Membrane Research at UVA

geise research group

The Geise research group seeks to develop structure/property/processing relationships to guide polymeric materials design for membrane-based liquid separation and energy applications by understanding the influence of nano- and molecular-scale interactions and phenomena on mass transfer and system-level performance.

We are located in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia.

Contact the Geise Group

geise lab

Geise Group Research:
Water-Energy Nexus

Our research focuses on experimental studies aimed at solving fundamental and practical problems related to water and ion transport through polymers that could be used as membranes in a variety of water and energy applications. Providing sustainable and economic supplies of purified water and clean energy solutions is a critical global challenge for the future, and polymer membranes will play a key role in these efforts.

We seek to rationally tailor and design polymers at the molecular level and process those polymers to engineer advanced membrane materials that will expand access to clean water and enhance the use of renewable energy sources.

Meet the Geise Group

drought conditions scene

Water Purification for a Thirsty World

Within the next 10 years, the United Nations predicts that nearly two-thirds of the world’s population may find themselves living in a water stressed area.

Today, the vast majority of desalination processes are performed using polymer-based membranes. Improved membranes are needed to meet the challenges of economically and sustainably purifying increasingly saline and contaminated water sources around the globe.

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night lights scene

Clean and Renewable Energy
to Light our Future

Energy demand around the globe is projected to increase by more than 50% over the next 35 years, and sustainable, low-carbon footprint energy resources are needed to meet this increasing energy demand.

Technologies such as large-scale flow batteries, reverse electrodialysis, and capacitive mixing rely on polymer membranes to regulate ion transport. Improved membrane selectivity will enable advances in renewable energy storage and generation technologies.

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Join the Geise Research Group

Prospective graduate students interested in joining the group should indicate their interest when applying for admission to the Department of Chemical Engineering at UVA

Undergraduate students interested in research opportunities should express interest by completing the undergraduate research interest questionnaire (login using your UVA e-mail address to complete the form).

Latest News from the Geise Group


November 2018

Prof. Geise Attended the 6th Arab-American Frontiers Symposium

Prof. Geise was invited to be a water systems delegate at the 6th Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Symposium. Organized by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS), the meeting was held in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Prof. Geise presented a poster to highlight the group's desalination and water purification membrane research.


October 2018

Graduate students Yuanyuan Ji and Kevin Chang gave oral presentations at the 2018 AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh

Yuan presented her research on Ion Specific Effects in Charged Polymers for Membrane Applications, and Kevin presented his research on the Influence of Polymer Backbone Rigidity on the Water and Ion Transport Properties of Low Water Content Membrane Polymers. Special thanks to the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Volkswagen Group of North America Fellowship for supporting Yuan and Kevin's travel to the meeting!


September 2018

Agata Wins Technical Presentation Competition

Third-year graduate student, Saringi Agata, won the technical presentation competition at the National GEM Consortium Annual Board Meeting and Conference for a presentation on her research into charged polymers for electric field-driven desalination processes. Congratulations Saringi!

August 2018

Prof. Geise Presented at the 10th Conference on Broadband Dielectric Spectroscopy and its Applications

Prof. Geise presented a poster, titled Relative permittivity properties of hydrated polymers for desalination membrane applications, highlighting the research efforts of graduate students Kevin Chang and Hongxi Luo at the 10th Conference on Broadband Dielectric Spectroscopy and its Applications.

August 2018

Prof. Geise was a discussion leader at the Membranes: Materials and Processes Gordon Research Conference

Prof. Geise served as a discussion leader along with Prof. Miao Yu (RPI) for the Membranes, Mesoscale Devices with Controlled Nanostructures session at the 2018 Membranes: Materials and Processes Gordon Research Conference. The session featured invited talks from Prof. Chinedum Osuji (UPenn), Prof. Ivo Vankelecom (KU Leuven), and Prof. Orlando Coronell (UNC Chapel Hill).

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