Sciences: Polymer Membrane Science and Engineering

Department: Chemical Engineering

Supervising Faculty Member: Geoff Geise

Specialization: Polymer Membrane Science and Engineering for Water Purification and Clean Energy

Research Focus: Our group focuses on understanding the fundamental science inherent to polymers for membrane applications in order to engineer advanced membrane materials to meet global need for water purification and clean energy. In the lab, our work centers on synthesizing polymers and characterizing polymer properties. We aim to design polymers, at the molecular scale, to address current and future challenges in developing and providing clean water and energy resources.

Position Description: Students will initially focus on characterizing material properties that are critical for understanding how efficiently a given polymer would perform in a membrane application. Depending on progress and interest, students may also synthesize and subsequently characterize new polymers.

Required skills: As we are an experimental research group, students will need to be comfortable working in a chemical laboratory environment. Completion of entry-level college chemistry lecture and laboratory courses (perhaps including AP credit) is required. Rising second year students are preferred, and students pursuing the fields of chemical engineering, chemistry, materials science, civil and environmental engineering, or related fields should have the necessary foundational skill sets to succeed in our group (students will be trained in specific experimental procedures that are relevant to the research). Students should be committed to excellence in safety, research ethics, attention to detail, communication (verbal and written), and time management (as students will need to balance coursework and research).

Computer software: Students should be familiar with basic data analysis in Excel.

Training/certification: U.Va. EHS training modules will be assigned prior to beginning work in the lab.

What you will learn: Students will learn: 1) to acquire, analyze, interpret, and present (communicate) experimental results as a member of an experimental research group 2) about the role that polymers play in water purification and energy technologies 3) how to characterize and/or synthesize polymers for membrane applications.

Web site link to research: http://faculty.virginia.edu/geise/