Benny Freeman is the William J. (Bill) Murray, Jr. Endowed Chair in Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor of Chemical Engineering and has been a faculty member for 32 years. He completed graduate training in Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a Ph.D. in 1988. In 1988 and 1989, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI), Laboratoire Physico-Chimie Structurale et Macromoléculaire in Paris, France. Dr. Freeman’s research is in polymer science and engineering and, more specifically, in mass transport of small molecules in solid polymers. He currently directs or co-directs 21 Ph.D. students, 2 postdoctoral fellows and 1 visiting scientist performing fundamental research in gas and liquid separations using polymer membranes and barrier packaging. His research group focuses on structure/property correlation development for desalination and gas separation membrane materials, such as new materials for water/ion separation, hydrogen separation, natural gas purification, and carbon capture. His group also studies reactive barrier packaging materials and new materials for improving fouling resistance and permeation performance of liquid separation membranes.
His research is described in 472 publications and 37 patents/patent applications.He has co-edited 5 books on these topics. He has won a number of awards, including becoming the first NAMS Fellow (2017), Fulbright Distinguished Chair (2016-17, the PMSE Distinguished Service Award (2015), Fellow of the I&ECR Division of ACS (2014), Joe J. King Professional Engineering Achievement Award from The University of Texas at Austin (2013), AIChE Clarence (Larry) G. Gerhold Award (2013), Society of Plastics Engineers International Award (2013), Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings from the PMSE Division of ACS (2012), the ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science (2009), AIChE Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology (2008), and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project of the Year (2001). He is a Fellow of the AAAS, AIChE, ACS, and the PMSE and IECR Divisions of ACS.He has served as chair of the PMSE Division of the ACS, chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Membranes: Materials and Processes, President of the North American Membrane Society, chair of the Membranes Area of the Separations Division of the AIChE, and as Chair of the Separations Division of AIChE.He is a co-founder of Advanced Hydro, Inc. (http://www.advancedhydro.net/).
Education and Training:
- North Carolina State University, Chemical Engineering, B.S., 1983
- University of California, Berkeley, Chemical Engineering, Ph.D., 1988
- Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris, Polymer Physics, NSF/NATO, Postdoctoral Fellow, 1988-1989
Research and Professional Experience:
- William J. (Bill) Murray, Jr. Endowed Chair in Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin (2019 – present)
- Richard B. Curran Centennial Chair in Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin (2012 – 2019)
- Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek & American Petrofina Foundation Centennial Professor of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin (2007 – 2012)
- Kenneth A. Kobe Professor of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin (2005 – 2012)
- Matthew van Winkle Professor of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin (2002 – 2005) Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University (1989 – 2002)