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 based 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


July 2023

Dr. Rueben Pfukwa Visits the Geise Research Group

Dr. Rueben Pfukwa (Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, University of Stellenbosch) is spending time this summer as a Visiting Professor in the Geise Research Group. Dr. Pfukwa is collaborating with the group to develop advanced polymers for desalination applications.

June 2023

Mariah Tammera Joins the Geise Research Group

The Geise Research Group is excited to welcome its newest member, Mariah Tammera.
Mariah is a rising 2nd year student at George Mason University and is participating in the UVA Advanced Materials Synthesis REU program.


May 2023

Geise Group at NAMS 2023

Sean Bannon, Anna Harris, Inara Oliveira do Carmo Nascimento, Bea Tremblay, and Charlie Leroux (left to right and top to bottom) presented their research at the 2023 North American Membrane Society Poster Session in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


May 2023

Sean Bannon Admitted to Doctoral Candidacy

Congratulations to graduate student Sean Bannon for successfully completing his Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal titled Understanding how interactions between ions, water molecules, and polymer influence desalination transport properties of sulfonated polysulfone.

May 2023

Geise Group Undergraduate Researchers Win Awards

Congratulations to Geise Research Group undergraduate researchers Anna Harris, Bea Tremblay, and Lena Keesecker for winning UVA Dept. of Chemical Engineering awards. Anna and Bea won Thomson Scholarships, and Lena won the Excellence in Leadership and Edward and Lois Paul awards.

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