AMTA/Reclamation Fellowships for Membrane Technology – 2020 Award Recipients
The American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) and the Bureau of Reclamation are pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of the AMTA/Reclamation Fellowships for Membrane Technology. The four recipients undertaking cutting-edge and innovative research in universities across the country will receive a $11,750 fellowship to support their research that advances membrane technology in the water, wastewater, or water reuse industries.
2020 recipients of AMTA/Reclamation Fellowships for Membrane Technology are:
Ms. Stephanie McCartney, Columbia University, New York
McCartney is a PhD Student researching Advancing Membrane Technologies for Nitrogen and Phosphorous Recovery from Human Urine under the guidance of Dr. Ngai Yin Yip. McCartney earned an MS in Earth and Environmental Engineering from Columbia University and a BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Lafayette College, Pennsylvania. McCartney’s work examines the feasibility of two membrane-based technologies, isothermal membrane distillation with acidic collector and Donnan Dialysis driven anion exchange, for nutrient recovery from urine. By driving innovations in membrane technologies, the research aims to revolutionize nutrient-management—advancing membrane performance for nutrient reclamation from wastewater, improving energy-efficiency of the process, and lowering costs while protecting aquatic environments.
“Steph shows tremendous promise and is on an exceptional trajectory to be an outstanding membrane scientist. She demonstrates creativity, research intuition and meticulous execution in her approach to science exploration and has the clear potential to make significant impacts in the membrane field.”
Ngai Yin Yip, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University
Mr. Duong Nguyen, University of Colorado Boulder
Nguyen is a Graduate Research Associate studying Ultra-Selective Air-gap Reverse Osmosis Distillation Membranes for Desalination, Water Reuse, and Resource Recovery under the guidance of Dr. Anthony Straub. Nguyen earned an MS in Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University and a BS in Environmental Science from Vietnam National University. Nguyen is developing a new distillation-based reverse osmosis process using hydrophobic membranes that has the potential to reduce cost and energy demand for desalination and water reuse while creating new opportunities for recovery of volatile solutes.
“Duong has achieved remarkable progress on his research to create new membrane-based processes for water and wastewater treatment. Through his passion for improving water quality and hard work ethic, Duong exemplifies the characteristics of an environmental engineer and scientist and is poised to make great contributions to environmental research.”
Anthony Straub, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
University of Colorado Boulder
Mr. Jacob Palmer, Texas State University – San Marcos
Palmer is a Doctoral Student studying Enhanced Water Recovery by a Combination of Photobiological Process and Secondary Reverse Osmosis under the guidance of Dr. Keisuke Ikehata. He earned an MS in Chemical and Environmental Engineering and a BS in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Riverside. Palmer’s research is one of the newest RO brine treatment and enhanced water recovery schemes that will increase water supply while reducing cost, energy usage, and environmental impacts of membrane-based treatment systems.
“Jacob is passionate about learning advanced materials in environmental engineering with the potential for performing excellent, cutting-edge research. His dedication and devotion to his work to help solve our water supply and quality issues through the widespread application of membrane technology can make a significant contribution to the water industry.”
Keisuke Ikehata, PhD, PE, PEng, Assistant Professor
Ingram School of Engineering, Texas State University
Ms. Haley White, Georgia Institute of Technology
White is a Graduate Research Assistant exploring Enhanced Wastewater Reclamation with Carbon Molecular Sieves under the guidance of Dr. Ryan Lively. White earned both an MS and BS in Chemical Engineering from Tennessee Tech University. Her research will support the development of first-generation carbon molecular sieve membranes, more rigid and selective and adapted to direct potable reuse, for the removal of small, neutral solutes from wastewater to safeguard public health.
“Haley is a technical leader taking an inspired and novel path to solve real world and complex water quality challenges. With her strong insights and drive, Haley will make a positive impact on the world and local community through her commitment to membrane technology and scientific outreach.”
Ryan P. Lively, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Advanced treatment of alternative water supplies is becoming increasingly critical for long-term water security, and most such alternatives—including brackish groundwater, seawater, and recycled wastewater—require both membrane filtration and desalination technology. Accordingly, innovations in membrane technology have significant potential to reduce the cost, energy, and environmental impact of advanced treatment, yielding clean, safe, abundant, and cost-effective water supplies in arid western states and across the United States.
AMTA and the Bureau of Reclamation are partnering to support graduate student fellowships that aid in the advancements needed to pursue innovation in membrane technologies and contribute to the October 2018 Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West. Reclamation is forming partnerships with private industry, universities, water utilities, and others to address a broad range of desalting and water purification needs where research is of national significance and provides widespread benefits.
“We are thankful for this partnership with AMTA that recognizes the contribution of new ideas that will help advance desalination technology into the future. Investing in the work that these researchers are undertaking will help further refine the desalination process and reduce the cost to develop water supplies in the future,” said David Raff, Bureau of Reclamation Chief Engineer.
“AMTA is very grateful for Reclamation’s generous support of cutting-edge membrane research,” said Brent Alspach, AMTA’s Fellowship Committee Chair and immediate Past President. “Our ongoing collaboration not only advances the technical and economic feasibility of the most challenging treatment applications, but also honors the talented and hard-working young researchers that are the future of our industry.”
As the leading professional association dedicated to membrane treatment technology and research, AMTA administers fellowships for university students to support academic scholarship and innovative membrane research, with more than $550,000 awarded since 2007. Through partnership, this financial support not only yields cutting-edge innovations in membrane technology, but also provides career development for the industry’s brightest young minds.