Chemical engineering students receive awards to present at upcoming NAMS meeting

Published: Apr 6, 2022 1:55 PM

By Virginia Speirs

Two chemical engineering students received travel awards from the North American Membrane Society (NAMS) for their upcoming annual meeting on May 14-18 in Tempe, Arizona. Graduate student Yi-hung Lin won an Elias Klein Founders Travel Supplement and undergraduate chemical engineering senior Brock Hunter won a NAMS Undergraduate Student Travel Supplement.

Both students will present their work in membrane research among prominent chemical engineers from across the country at the meeting and will be able to demonstrate the work that they have and plan to continue in their academic careers.

“For Yi-Hung, the Elias Klein award is itself an honor,” said Bryan Beckingham, assistant professor of chemical engineering and Ginn Faculty Achievement Fellow. “Recognizing his work in membranes will enable him to attend this conference where he will present his work and meet with the premier membrane scientists and engineers in North America.”

For Hunter, not only will this allow him to attend and present his work at NAMS, but he will be paired with a graduate student mentor who will help him to navigate the technical, social and networking opportunities, according to Beckingham. He will also attend a “Lunch with Legends” event where he will meet and share a meal with some of the most prominent members of the membrane science community. 

Hunter’s project is titled “Transport and Physiochemical Properties of Polyether-Based Membranes as Alternatives to Nafion for Nitrogen Reduction Fuel Cells.” His research focuses on the Haber-Bosch process — the process that produces the industry standard for ammonia — and its role in fertilizer production.

“That process uses a lot of heat energy to make it work,” Hunter said. “So we’re trying to produce it with electricity instead, which is a lot more sustainable. My work is based on designing better membranes for the cells, which currently allow a lot of ammonia to pass through.” 

Not only will Hunter and Lin be able to present their work, but the meeting will also be an excellent opportunity for career development, outreach and to learn from key speakers prominent in the world of membrane research. 

“I am very fortunate to have been awarded,” Hunter said. “I’m very excited to present, along with my peer Yi-Hung. We are both very grateful for Dr. Beckingham’s guidance.”

Media Contact: Cassie Montgomery, cmontgomery@auburn.edu, 334.844.3668
Brock Hunter and Yi-hung Lin

Brock Hunter and Yi-hung Lin

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