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.

geise group members

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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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

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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Recent News & Publications

Graduate student Kevin Chang has been invited to participate in the twenty-third annual Center for High Resolution Neutron Scattering "Summer School on Methods and Applications of Neutron Spectroscopy", which is held at the NIST Center for Neutron Research in Gaithersburg, MD. The program, which includes hands-on and lecture content, is made possible by the NIST Center for Neutron Research and the National Science Foundation.
Fourth year undergraduate researcher Andrew Biedermann won the Outstanding Student Award. This award, which is presented by the U.Va. School of Engineering and Applied Science, recognizes fourth year undergraduate students who have excelled in the areas of academics, leadership, and service. Drew has been an active undergraduate researcher in the group for three years now, and he will be missed next year as he begins graduate school in chemcial engineering at MIT. Congratulations Drew!
Graduate student Yuan Ji presented her research as a finalist for a podium presentation at the U.Va. School of Engineering and Applied Science’s 13th annual University of Virginia Engineering Research Symposium (UVERS). Her presentation was titled, "Modifying polymer dielectric properties to selectively control water/ion transport in polymeric membrane for clean water and energy generation."
Professor Geise gave a seminar titled Structure/property relationships in polymer membranes for water purification and energy applications to the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Clemson University.
Undergraduate researcher, Kevin Bahati, was featured in a U.Va. Today Student Spotlight. Kevin is conducting research in the group with the support of the U.Va. USOAR program.
The Geise research group is excited to welcome new graduate students Saringi Agata (Columbia University), Kevin Chang (University College London), and Hongxi Luo (University of Missouri Columbia and East China University of Science & Technology) into the group.
Prof. Geise delivered an invited lecture titled Structure/property relationships in polymer membranes for water purification and energy applications to the Materials Science & Engineering Division at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD.
Fourth year undergraduate student Drew Biedermann was awarded a 2016-2017 Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Scholarship by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. This award is presented annually to 15 AIChE undergraduate student members on the basis of academic achievement and involvement in student chapter activities.
The award will be presented at the 2016 AIChE Annual Student Conference in San Francisco on Sunday, November 13.
The Geise research group is pleased to welcome Dr. Bill Morris (Ph.D., Chemistry, 2016) as a postdoctoral scholar. Dr. Morris will be studying backbone dynamics and dielectric properties of hydrated membrane polymers.
Prof. Geise was selected to receive the ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. Each year, ORAU member institutions are permitted to nominate up to 2 junior faculty members for the award to enhance their research. Prof. Geise was nominated by U.Va. this year and was one of 35 junior faculty from across the nation to be selected for the award. He was chosen from 132 applicants from ORAU’s 121 institutions.
Congratulations to graduate student Tianyi Xue for earning her M.S. degree in chemical engineering with her thesis, "Polymer backbone dynamics influence water/ion transport selectivity in membranes for water purification"!
Prof. Geise was selected to receive the Engineering Conferences International (ECI) New Professor Award. This award is made to assistant professors to develop future talent by enabling their attendance at an ECI meeting. Prof. Geise will present the group's research at the Advanced Membrane Technology VII meeting in September 2016.
Prof. Geise delivered an invited presentation titled Structure/property relationships in polymer membranes for water purification and energy applications at the APS March Meeting in Baltimore.
More than 5 years after publication, Prof. Geise's article Water purification by membranes: The role of polymer science is still 'topping the charts' in the Journal of Polymer Science: Part B as it was the most accessed article in the journal during 2015.

Additionally, Prof. Geise's article Water permeability and water/salt selectivity tradeoff in polymers for desalination is listed as one of the most cited articles in the Journal of Membrane Science.
The Geise research group traveled to Oak Ridge National Lab to meet with researchers in the Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS) and Neutron Sciences to discuss mutual interests in polymers for membrane-based water treatment and energy applications.
[December 2015] Huan Zhang earns his M.E. degree in chemical engineering, and Professor Geise gives invited talks at the Pacific Polymer Conference and Pacifichem 2015

Congratulations to graduate student Huan Zhang for earning his M.E. degree in chemical engineering!

Additionally, Prof. Geise gave invited talks on group research activities related to the influence of polymer backbone rigidity on water/salt selectivity and ion specific effects in charged polymer membrane materials for water and energy applications at the 14th Pacific Polymer Conference and the Pacifichem 2015 meeting, respectively.

[November 2015] Drew Biedermann and Professor Geise give presentations at the 2015 AIChE Annual Meeting

Drew Biedermann (pictured below) presented his research at the undergraduate student poster session at the 2015 AIChE Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. His poster was titled, "Concentration Dependence of Transport and Sorption Behavior of NaCl in Disulfonated Poly(Arylene Ether Sulfone) Membranes". Additionally, at the meeting, Professor Geise gave a presentation highlighting the group's research efforts.

[October 2015] Geise research group featured in U.Va. Today

Geise research group work on membrane polymers for water purification and desalination was featured in a U.Va. Today article.

[August 2015] Article accepted for publication in Environmental Science

"Reducing nitrogen crossover in microbial reverse-electrodialysis cells by using adjacent anion exchange membranes and anion exchange resin" has been accepted for publication in the RSC journal Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology

Professor Geise was featured in the Spring 2015 edition of ChE News at U.Va.

Read the article "Tuning Polymer Membranes for Water and Energy Applications" in the Spring 2015 edition of ChE News at U.Va.

[June 2015] Article accepted for publication in the Journal of Membrane Science

"Water and salt transport properties of zwitterionic polymer films" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Membrane Science.

[May 2015] Geise research group welcomes graduate student Huan Zhang

Graduate student Huan Zhang (Tsinghua University) has joined the Geise Research Group.

[March 2015] Prof. Geise wins NAMS Young Membrane Scientist Award

The North American Membrane Society (NAMS) awarded Prof. Geise the Young Membrane Scientist Award, which will be presented at the NAMS 2015 meeting held in Boston in early June.

[February 2015] Invited lecture: Prof. Geise at the Advances in Materials and Processes for Polymeric Membrane Mediated Water Purification meeting

Prof. Geise delivered an invited presentation titled Ion sorption and transport in charged polymers for membrane applications at the Advances in Materials and Processes for Polymeric Membrane Mediated Water Purification meeting in Pacific Grove, CA.

[December 2014] Invited lecture: Prof. Geise at the Macromex 2014 meeting

Prof. Geise delivered an invited presentation titled Structure/property relationships in polymer membranes for water and energy at the Macromex 2014 meeting in Nuevo Vallarta.

[November 2014] Geise research group welcomes new graduate students Yuanyuan Ji and Tianyi Xue

Graduate students Yuanyuan Ji (Tianjin University) and Tianyi Xue (Tsinghua University) have joined the Geise Research Group.

[August 2014] Article accepted for publication in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

"Specific ion effects on membrane potential and the permselectivity of ion exchange membranes" has been accepted for publication in the RSC journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

[July 2014] Prof. Geise named an Excellence in Diversity Fellow at U.Va.

Prof. Geise was awarded a 2014-2015 Excellence in Diversity Fellowship at the University of Virginia.