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 the University of Virginia.

Undergraduate students interested in research opportunities should express interest by contacting Prof. Geise directly. Please be prepared to provide copies of your most recent resume and unofficial transcript.

Latest News from the Geise Group


January 2020

Hongxi Luo wins the NAMS Student Fellowship Award

Graduate student Hongxi Luo was selected to receive the North American Membrane Society (NAMS) Student Fellowship Award. The award recognizes outstanding graduate students who have made contributions ot the membrane science and technology field. The award will support Hongxi’s participation in the NAMS 2020 meeting, and he will present on Engineering selective desalination membranes by controlling functional group configuration during the awards session at the meeting.

December 2019

Geise Research Group Publishes Collaborative Research with the Arges Research Lab

Graduate research assistant Kevin Chang and Prof. Geise recently published an article titled Stable and highly conductive polycation-polybenzimidazole membrane blends for intermediate temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells in ACS Applied Energy Materials. The work was published in collaboration with Prof. Chris Arges and the Arges Research Lab at LSU. The Geise Research Group contributed dielectric property measurement and analysis expertise to advance a mechanistic understanding of the performance of a new class of polycation-polybenzimidazole membranes for intermediate temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.


November 2019

Professor Geise Gives Invited Research Seminars

Prof. Geise presented research results from the Geise Research Group via 3 invited research seminars this fall. The seminars were given at the University of Arkansas (Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering), the University at Buffalo (Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering), and the University of Connecticut (Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering).


October 2019

4th Year Undergraduate and USOAR Researcher Kevin Bahati Wins the AIChE Minority Affairs Committee College Scholarship Award

Congratulations to Kevin Bahati who recently won the AIChE Minority Affairs Committee College Scholarship Award! Kevin is a 4th year undergraduate researcher in the group. His research has been supported by the UVA Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research (USOAR) program.

October 2019

Kevin Chang Publishes Review Article on the Dielectric Properties of Hydrated Polymers

Graduate research assistant Kevin Chang recently published a review article summarizing efforts to characterize and connect hydrated polymer dielectric permittivity properties and ion transport properties. The invited contribution, published in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, is part of a collection of papers honoring Professor Donald R. Paul of the University of Texas at Austin on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

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