Benny Freeman

Richard B. Curran Centennial Chair in Engineering

Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering

Research Group Website



  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley (1988)
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, NC State University (1983)


My research program explores the relationship between polymer structure, processing and properties. More specifically, we study the effect of polymer structure on the solubility, diffusivity, and permeability of small molecules in polymers and polymer-based materials. These fundamental studies bear directly upon membranes for liquid, gas, and vapor separations; controlled drug delivery devices and techniques; barrier plastics for food and specialty packaging; monomer and solvent removal from formed polymers; and physical aging of glassy polymeric materials and membranes.

Current Projects:

  • Next Generation Gas Separation Membrane Materials
  • Bioinspired Membranes to Control Fouling of Water Purification Membranes
  • Fundamentals of Water and Ion Transport in Membranes to Water Purification
  • Fundamentals of Fouling of Porous Membranes for Water Purification

Awards & Honors

  • North American Membrane Society (NAMS) Fellow (2017)
  • Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Disruptive Separations, CSIRO (2016-2017)
  • PMSE Distinguished Service Award (from Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division of ACS) (2015)
  • World Premier International (WPI) Professor of International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I²CNER) at Kyushu University, Japan (2014 – present)
  • IChE Clarence (Larry) G. Gerhold Award (2013)
  • Joe J. King Professional Engineering Achievement Award (2013)
  • Society of Plastics Engineers’ Lifetime Achievement Award (2013)
  • Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings (from PMSE Division of ACS 2012)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Polymer (2011-present)
  • ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science (2009)
  • AIChE Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology (2008)
  • IBM Faculty Award (2008).
  • Associate Editor, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2007 – present)
  • University CO-OP Research Excellence Award for Best Research Paper (2006)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Membrane Science (2005 – present)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Applied Membrane Science and Technology (2005 – present)
  • Member, International Editorial Advisory Board, Membrane Journal and Korean Membrane Journal (2003-present)
  • ACS PMSE Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science (2001)
  • Strategic Environmental Research and Development Project of the Year Award (2001)
  • Fellow of the ACS, AIChE, AAAS, PMSE Division of the ACS, and the IECR Division of the ACS