News | December 9, 2016

Four Graduate Students Studying Novel Membrane Technologies Receive The 2016 AMTA-Reclamation Fellowship Award

The American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) of Stuart, FL, and the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) of Denver, CO, are pleased to announce the 2016 AMTA-Reclamation Fellowships for Membrane Technology have been awarded to graduate students Masoud Aghajani of the University of Colorado, Boulder; Kasia Grzebyk of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Carlyn Higgins of the University of Central Florida; and Christopher Morrow of University of Southern California at Los Angeles.

The fellowships provide $11,750 each to support graduate student research that pertains to Reclamation’s objectives, as well as AMTA’s mission to solve water supply and quality issues through the widespread application of membrane technology. The research funded is for work that innovates water treatment in membrane related research and results in the advancement of membrane technologies in the water, wastewater, or water reuse industries.

Reclamation is forming partnerships with private industry, universities, water utilities, and others to address a broad range of desalting and water purification needs. Reclamation is interested in research where the benefits are widespread but where private-sector entities are not able to make the full investment and assume all the risks. Reclamation is also interested in research that has a national significance- where the issues are of large-scale concern and the benefits accrue to a large sector of the public. AMTA is the leading association in the United States in the area of membrane research and membrane technology.

Aghajani is a second-year doctoral student at University of Colorado, Boulder, working under the supervision of Dr. Yifu Ding, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He is studying Fabrication and characterization of Patterned Thin Film Composite Membranes with well controlled Surface Patterns to Reduce Concentration Polarization, Fouling and Scaling.

Grzebk is a third-year doctoral student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working under the supervision of Orlando Coronell, Assistant Professor Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering.She is working on tailoring thin-film nanocomposite (TFN) membranes for water reuse.

Higgins is a Master Student at the University of Central Florida. She is working on Modeling of Mass Transfer and Endocrine Disrupting Compound Removal in a Nanofiltration Membrane Process Modified for Acid Pretreatment Conditions. Her faculty research advisor is Dr. Steven J. Duranceau, P.E. (Florida) Associate Professor Director, Environmental Systems Engineering Institute.

Morrow is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles and is guided by Dr. Amy E. Childress, Professor and Director, Environmental Engineering Program. He is studying Osmotic membrane bioreactors coupled to membrane distillation for low energy potable reuse.

All the Fellows will attend the AMTA-AWWA Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition in March 2018 in West Palm Beach, FL, to present their research and to receive recognition of their fellowship award.

For more information about the fellowship program, visit

About The American Membrane Technology Association’s
The American Membrane Technology Association’s mission it 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. AMTA provides broad opportunities for the exchange of technical, operational and financial information among individuals and organizations interested in membrane technologies. As the leading advocate of membrane processes in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America, AMTA is a strong voice for regulatory and legislative reforms essential to the understanding, acceptance and utilization of membrane technologies. For more information, visit

The Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. For more information, visit

SOURCE: The American Membrane Technology Associations