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UW Water Research Duo Recognized at Membrane Tech Conference

March 30, 2018
man sitting in water research lab
UW civil engineering Ph.D. candidate Coleman Henry, right, from Casper, studies meter readings in Associate Professor Jonathan Brant's water resources lab, in which he researches physicochemical separation processes for water and industrial wastewater treatment. (UW Photo)

Two University of Wyoming engineering students recently claimed top awards at one of the nation’s premier membrane technology conferences.

The American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) hosted the 2018 Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition in West Palm Beach, Fla. UW civil engineering Ph.D. candidates Coleman Henry and Mahdi Shahabadi were honored at the awards ceremony for their research. Both work in the UW Center of Excellence in Produced Water Management, directed by Associate Professor Jonathan Brant.

Henry, from Casper, won the conference’s Student Best Paper Award for his presentation, "Modeling Water Transport Mechanisms in Soil-Water Potential Driven Desalination."

Shahabadi, who came to UW from Iran, received the Student Best Poster Award for his presentation, "Bio-Inspired Superhydrophobic/Superoleophilic Membranes Prepared by Electrospinning and Electrospraying for Oil Separation."

“The American Water Works Association and the American Membrane Technology Association are the leading professional organizations related to water treatment in the United States,” Brant says. “The Membrane Technology Conference is among the largest professional gatherings for professionals and academics involved in membrane technologies. As such, student awards are highly competitive.”

He says that having two UW students win two out of the three awards is “truly an accomplishment and a testament to the innovative work being done by our graduate students.”

“These awards bring a great deal of recognition to them and to our growing research program in physicochemical separation processes at UW,” Brant adds.

Formed in 1972, AMTA is a nonprofit scientific and educational association dedicated to solving water supply and quality issues through the widespread application of membrane technology. AMTA's mission is to promote, advocate and advance the understanding and application of membrane technology to create safe, affordable and reliable water supplies, and to treat municipal, industrial, agricultural and waste waters for beneficial use.

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