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


February 2018

Article Accepted for Publication in the Journal of Membrane Science

Kevin Chang and Tianyi Xue published research on Increasing salt size selectivity in low water content polymers via polymer backbone dynamics in the Journal of Membrane Science.


January 2018

Article Accepted for Publication in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces

In collaboration with Prof. Ruilan Guo and Joseph Aboki at the University of Notre Dame, Hongxi Luo and Yuan Ji published research on Water and salt transport properties of triptycene-containing sulfonated polysulfone materials for desalination membrane applications in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.


January 2018

Undergraduate Researcher Cydnie Golson Recognized as a UVA Rodman Scholar

Congratulations to first-year undergraduate researcher Cydnie Golson for being selected to be a Rodman Scholar! The UVA Rodman Scholars Program is the honors program for UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science.

December 2017

Prof. Geise Awarded Prestigious NSF CAREER Grant

The National Science Foundation has awarded Prof. Geoff Geise with a prestigious CAREER research grant. The five-year, $548,898 grant is titled, Engineering Molecular Interactions to Control Ion Transport in Hydrated Polymers for Membrane Separations. The grant will support research and engineering education that will design and synthesize new molecularly-tailored polymer membranes that create unique electrochemical environments to selectively discriminate ions of similar charge, size, and other properties.

November 2017

2017 AIChE Annual Meeting

Professor Geise gave a presentation titled Ion specific effects in charged polymer membranes for water purification and energy applications at the 2017 AIChE meeting held in Minneapolis. Prof. Geise also chaired technical sessions on Charged Polymers for Membrane-Based Water and Energy Applications and Membrane-Based Organic Solvent Separations.

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