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


May 2018

Geise selected to receive the Robert A Moore, Jr. Award

Prof. Geise was selected to receive the 2018 Robert A. Moore, Jr. Award in Chemical Engineering. This UVA ChE Department award was established in 2007 by Bob Moore (Halsey Professor, 1997) to recognize a UVA chemical engineering faculty member whose teaching, research, and outreach activities during the previous twelve-month period best represent the interests of industry and best prepare students for industrial careers.


May 2018

Golson Leads Effort on Successful UVA Sustainability Research Development Grant

Undergraduate researcher and Rodman Scholar, Cydnie Golson, will lead a team of UVA Rodman Scholars as they carry out a research project funded by a UVA Sustainability Research Development Grant. The award will support research on sustainable window coatings to reduce light pollution on Grounds.

April 2018

4-VA Collaborative Research Grant to the Geise Research Group

Prof. Geise landed a 4-VA Collaborative Research Grant to support a joint research effort with Prof. Lou Madsen and his group at Virginia Tech. The grant will fund research focused on controlling molecular configuration and diffusion in polymeric membranes for water purification and energy applications. The team will leverage Geise lab expertise in the study of small molecule transport in charged polymer membranes and Madsen lab expertise in NMR diffusometry to engineer advanced membrane materials for membrane-based water purification and energy applications.


March 2018

Ph.D. Student Yuanyuan Ji Selected as a UVERS Finalist

Graduate student, Yuan Ji, gave a poster presentation as a finalist in the 14th Annual University of Virginia Engineering Research Symposium (UVERS), hosted by the Graduate Engineering Student Council. Her poster was titled, Specific co-ion sorption and diffusion properties influence membrane permselectivity.

March 2018

Geise Research Group Represented at the Spring ACS Meeting

Prof. Geise gave an invited lecture, titled Ion specific effects in charged polymers for membrane applications, which highlighted Yuanyuan Ji's Ph.D. thesis research in collaboration with Hongxi Luo. The talk was given as part of the joint PMSE-NAMS Joint Symposium on Surface Science of Membranes for Advanced Separations at the 255th ACS National Meeting. Prof. Geise also chaired a session of the symposium. Thesis research from Tianyi Xue and Kevin Chang was also presented during the Water Purification for a Sustainable Future session co-organized by Prof. Geise and Dr. Shannon Mahurin (Oak Ridge National Lab) and the Structure & Dynamics of Materials via NMR Spectroscopy session.

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