Freeman to Receive Society of Plastics Engineers’ Lifetime Achievement Award

Headshot of Professor Benny FreemanBenny Freeman, the Richard B. Curran Centennial Chair in Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, will receive the Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE) International Award, its top honor, recognizing lifetime achievement in the plastics industry.

The award will be presented April 21 during SPE’s annual technical conference Antec 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio- the world’s largest plastics technical conference. Freeman is being honored for his important contributions in engineering, research, service and education involving polymer membranes for low-energy gas and liquid separations.

Freeman’s research focuses on polymers and polymer-based composite materials, with particular emphasis on the transport of small molecules in polymers.  His research finds applications in areas such as gas separations, liquid separations, water purification, and barrier packaging.  His work has been commercialized in both the gas and water purification arenas, contributing water purification filters and energy-efficient membranes for gas separation, such as the purification of natural gas.

He joined the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering in 2002 and formed startup company Advanced Hydro Inc. in 2009. The company supplies high-performance membranes and pre-treatment processes for purifying and reclaiming oil- and gas-related wastewater, and the desalination of brackish groundwater or seawater for drinking or industrial use.

Freeman earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. His other recent awards include the American Chemical Society’s Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings in 2013, the American Chemical Society’s Applied Polymer Science Award in 2009, and the Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2008.

About the SPE
SPE has nearly 20,000 members in more than 70 countries around the world and is the premier source of peer-reviewed technical information for plastics professionals. Founded in 1942, SPE takes action every day to help companies in the plastics industry succeed by spreading knowledge, strengthening skills, and promoting plastics. Employing these vital strategies, SPE has helped the plastics industry thrive for more than 70 years. SPE has become the recognized medium of communication among scientists, engineers, and technical personnel engaged in the development, conversion, and application of plastics.

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