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


January 2021

Prof. Geise Publishes Perspective Article in Science Magazine

Prof. Geise wrote an invited perspective article highlighting recent research about Nanoscale control of internal inhomogeneity enhances water transport in desalination membranes.

Prof. Geise's perspective article can be accessed
in full-text or as a PDF.

December 2020

Geise Group Contributes to Collaborative Research Effort

Hongxi Luo contributed to a collaborative research effort with the Choi and Paolucci research groups in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UVA. The work titled The Impact of Cation and Anion Pairing in Ionic Salts on Surface Defect Passivation in Cesium Lead Bromide Nanocrystals was accepted for publication in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C.


November 2020

Kevin Chang Successfully Defends His Ph.D.

Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Chang for successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation titled Structure-Property Relationships in Polymer Membranes for Desalination Applications! Dr. Chang will begin a full-time position on the Downstream Process Development Team at GlaxoSmithKline in early 2021.


October 2020

Sean Bannon Joins the Geise Research Group

The Geise Research Group is excited to welcome its newest member, Sean Bannon! Sean is a Chemical Engineering B.S. graduate from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Welcome to the group, Sean!


September 2020

Saringi Agata Presents in the DuPont GOLD Symposium

Graduate student, Saringi Agata, was selected to present her research during the DuPont GOLD Symposium as part of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) conference! The title of her presentation was Molecular Layer-by-Layer (mLbL) Synthesis of Polyamide Thin Film Composite (PA-TFC) Membranes for Desalination Membrane Development.

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