Dr. Mark Snyder, the P. C. Rossin and Frank Hook Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering has won a five year CAREER award from NSF for his project entitled "CAREER: Hierarchically-Structured, Ultra-Thin Inorganic Membranes".
The NSF CAREER award program is considered one of the most prestigious awards from NSF in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. Each award provide stable support at the level of approximately $400,000 (or higher) for a five year period.
The award will allow Dr. Snyder and his students to study ultra-thin, high-flux, and high-selectivity carbon molecular sieve (CMS) membranes that hold promise for transformative improvements in low-energy gas and liquid separations. Their approach will employ nanoparticle-mediated thin film/membrane formation and concomitant nanoscale confinement as a new paradigm for simultaneously tuning membrane thickness to previously elusive scales and controlling membrane microstructure. Specific applications to shale gas relevant (CO2/CH4) and biomass critical separations will be studied. As part of the award, Snyder will also develop an educational outreach program involving an inquiry-based learning module titled “Molecular Traffic Control.” Through close collaboration with local middle and high school science teachers and undergraduate students, this learning module will be broadly disseminated to impact students and educators in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.