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


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.


September 2020

Professor Geise Gives Invited Research Seminars

Prof. Geise presented research results from the Geise Research Group via 3 invited research seminars over the summer and into this fall. The seminars were given to the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) Polymers Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia, and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Virginia.

July 2020

Luo and Agata Publish Review Article on Ion Selectivity in Ion Exchange Membranes

Graduate research assistants Hongxi Luo and Saringi Agata recently published a review article titled Connecting the Ion Separation Factor to the Sorption and Diffusion Selectivity of Ion Exchange Membranes. The invited contribution, published in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, is part of a collection of papers honoring the 2020 Class of Influential Researchers.

March 2020

Battery Research Project Gets Lift From Virginia Space Grant Consortium

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium recently awarded the Geise Research Group a grant to support a research project to investigate a new approach to designing polymer electrolyte membranes to make lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries viable for space applications. The project will focus on engineering advanced membranes to be used as battery separators in extreme environments. Batteries made using advanced technologies are expected to be a critical part of addressing space-based energy storage needs associated with NASA’s Artemis Mission for moon and Mars exploration.

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