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

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.
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.
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.

Geise research group work on membrane polymers for water purification and desalination was featured in a U.Va. Today article.
Graduate student Huan Zhang (Tsinghua University) has joined the Geise Research Group.
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.
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.
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.
Graduate students Yuanyuan Ji (Tianjin University) and Tianyi Xue (Tsinghua University) have joined the Geise Research Group.
Prof. Geise was awarded a 2014-2015 Excellence in Diversity Fellowship at the University of Virginia.