David Lu, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, has been selected for a 2023 Reclamation Fellowship for Membrane Technology from the American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) and the Bureau of Reclamation.
Applications for the fellowship are carefully reviewed by a committee of industry professionals widely recognized as experts in the field of membrane and process technology. Lu’s submittal “Reduction of Biofouling in Brackish Water using Scaled Silver Nanoparticle-Embedded Polysulfone Membranes Derived from Green Solvents” was one of only four selected for the one-year fellowship.
Per the AMTA website, “[t]he need to reduce the cost, energy usage and environmental impacts in advanced water treatment and desalination is membrane technology-based; therefore, a focus should be on innovation of new systems or optimization of existing technology. The need for additional work in innovation is critical in meeting water supply demand in the United States, greater so in the arid western states of the country.”
Lu’s work focuses on fabricating polymeric membranes using bioderived solvents. He is studying both the mechanisms of fabrication as well as the scale up of these membranes, with the scale up study being a collaboration with Georgia Tech.
Isabel Escobar, the Paul W. Chellgren Chair Professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering says Lu’s accomplishments are many.
“David Lu is a stellar student. He is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Trainee (NRT) on the topic of innovations at the nexus of food, energy and water (INFEWS), and he currently serves as President of the Materials and Chemical Engineering graduate student association (MACE).”
As a fellowship awardee, Lu will also attend the 2024 Membrane Technology Conference and share his research through a podium or poster presentation.
AMTA is one of the leading associations in the United States in the area of membrane research and membrane technology innovation. AMTA has an established fellowship program that funds graduate students to aid the research of membrane technology and advancements made in this area of study. Through a cooperative agreement, AMTA and the Bureau of Reclamation collaborate to select and fund the competitively awarded fellowships for full-time graduate students at U.S. universities conducting research in innovations for water treatment in membrane-related research.