UCLA doctoral student among recipients of awards for novel membrane technologies

By on January 27, 2018

The American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) and the Bureau of Reclamation have awarded their 2018 Fellowship Awards of $11,750 each to four graduate students for their research of novel membrane technologies. University of California, Los Angeles doctoral student Mackenzie Anderson is one of the recipients.

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that the students were awarded the funds for their research pertaining to novel membrane technologies in an effort to conserve water and protect water quality through the widespread application of membrane technology. The AMTA-Reclamation Fellowship Award program sought novel membrane research focused on the production of innovative water treatment strategies through the use of novel membrane technologies. This research will advance future water treatment innovations for water users, wastewater managers, and water reuse industries.

“Innovative water treatment methods using novel membrane research have the potential to provide new sources of water and assist water users’ efforts to improve water quality,” Burman said. “We are looking forward to seeing how these technologies can improve desalination and water purification efforts.”

Anderson is conducting research in the laboratory of Professor Richard Kaner where she is studying novel chemically tolerant membranes for desalination and industrial water reuse. She began her college career at Pasadena City College and became involved in the American Chemical Society (ACS) student chapter leading the elementary school outreach program. Interested in a career in research, she pursued an internship at Oak Crest Institute of Science doing field work and analytical chemistry pertaining to environmental metabolomic chemistry. She transferred to UCLA in fall 2015 and was drawn to the interdisciplinary Chemistry and Materials Science Program and its interdisciplinary research. Anderson joined Kaner’s lab in fall of 2015 and began studying anti-fouling surface treatments for reverse osmosis and forward osmosis membranes in winter 2016. After receiving her B.S. in chemistry in June 2017, she joined the UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate program in the Fall 2017.

The three other 2018 AMTA-Reclamation Fellowship Awardees include:

Carlo Alberto Amadei, Harvard University

Amadei is a doctoral student working on the development of novel, fully carbon membranes for wastewater reclamation.

Alma Beciragic, University of North Carolina

Beciragic is a doctoral student who is developing methods for the detection of membrane leachates and byproducts during water treatment.

Mengyuan Wang, University of Colorado

Wang is a doctoral student studying the gel-liquid interfacial polymerization process, and mechanisms and applications in thin film composite membranes.

The four Fellowship Award recipients will attend the AMTA-AWWA Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition in March 2019 in New Orleans, LA to present their research and to receive recognition of their fellowship award.

The Reclamation-AMTA partnership was developed to support private industry, universities, water utilities, and other entities in their efforts to address needs associated with desalination and water purification. The Reclamation-AMTA goal in funding this award program was to recognize research with widespread benefits of national significance and to offer financial support when participants’ research lacked the ability to fully invest in the research and when the entity is unable to assume all research-related liability.