News and Events


  • September 2010: Sebastian Grajales defends his Ph.D. dissertation “CO2-selective polymer brush membranes and antibacterial polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes: Synthesis, characterization, and application” Sebastian is currently working at Aldrich Chemical Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • July 2010: Wenqian Shan defends her Ph.D. dissertation “The environmental applications and implications of nanotechnology in membrane-based separations for water treatment”.
  • June 2010: Christopher Crock joins the PIRE team. Chris worked as a research intern over the Summer of 2010 and enrolled as an MS student at MSU in September 2010. Chris is continuing Adam Rogensues's research on catalytic membranes by exploring other hierarchical nanofiller architectures.
  • May 2010: Sebastian Grajales adn Seth Hogg receive NSF/ONR NAMS 2010 Travel Awards for oral presentation at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the North American Membrane Society, Washington DC in July 2010
  • April 2010: PIRE organizes "Novel membrane materials and processes for environmental applications" telesession at the 2010 Membrane and Sorption Processes and Technologies conference in Kyiv, Ukraine The organizers of the conference capitalized on their PIRE experience with telecommunication software (Skype and Gotomeeting)
  • April 2010: Adam Rogensues completes his research on nanocomposite catalytic membrane with hierarchical nanofillers and is currently preparing his MS thesis. Adam recently received and accepted a job offer from Severn Trent.
  • March 2010: Wenqian Shan receives the 2010 Outstanding Environmental Engineering Ph.D. Student Award



  • December 2009: Sebastian Grajales gives a poster presentation at Midwestern Universities Analytical Chemistry Conference, East Lansing , MI
  • October 2009: Lu Ouyang defends her Ph.D. dissertation “Layer-by-layer modification of membranes for ion separations and catalysis”.
  • August 2009: Julian Taurozzi defends his Ph.D. dissertation “Nanoparticle-polymer composite membranes: Synthesis, characterization, and environmental applications”.
  • August 2009: David Dotzauer defends his Ph.D. dissertation “Modification of porous membranes with polyelectrolyte/metal nanoparticle films for catalytic applications”. David is currently working as a research scientist at EcoLab in Minneapolis, MN.
  • March 2009: PERMEANT is organizing "International Collaborations in Environmental Research and Education" session at the 2009 Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) conference
  • April 2009: Our paper "Internationalizing tomorrow's researchers - strategies and experiences from the Partnership for Education and Research in MEmbrane NanoTechnologies (PERMEANT" has been accepted fro a podium presentation at the 2009 American Society for Engineering Education annual conference and exposition.
  • March 2009: Masten and Tarabara participate in the Nanoday at the Impression 5 Science Center (Lansing) with a Nanotechnology for Drinking Water exhibit.[youtube]
  • February 2009: Vlad Tarabara is named MSU Lilly Teaching Fellow. The objectives of the Lilly project "From international research to curricula innovation: Educating globally competent scientists and engineers" are:
    • To identify leveraging mechanisms and design related pedagogical approaches that can be effective for using international research projects to inform curricula and enhance students' international competencies, and
    • To develop quantitative assessment methods for the evaluation of outcomes of these approaches.
  • February 2009: Julian Taurozzi is the recipient of 2008 Outstanding Environmental Engineering Graduate Student Award. Congratulations, Julian!
  • January 2009: Daniel Haldar (high school research intern, Tarabara group) became a semifinalist of the Siemens-Westinghouse Science Talent Search competition
  • January 2009: Hari Arul (high school research intern, Tarabara group) takes 3rd place in the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.


  • October 2008: In conjunction with the French Embassy in USA. Wiesner coordinates PERMEANT participation in the conference on nanotechnologies and environment in Washington , DC
  • August 2008: Wiesner and Tarabara participate in the organization of the International Water Association conference on membrane technologies held at the University of Mass. at Amherst in August 2008. Wiesner is also invited to present results of PERMEANT research and other activities at the Leading Edge Technology Conference of the International Water Association in Singapore in June 2009.
  • July 2008: High school students from WIMS for Teens program (July 3, 2008) visit MSU membrane science laboratories. A lab tour is given by PERMEANT students.
  • June-July 2008: Zachary Hendren (PhD student, Wiesner group) spends the period of June 15-July 5 meeting with his co-advisor Cabassud in Toulouse (INSA) learning methods for characterizing membrane distillation facilities, and met with researchers at the CEREGE.
  • June 2008: Tarabara and Bruening co-organize conference session, Nanotechnology-enabled membranes for water quality control at the 2008 International Water Association Regional Conference “Membrane Technologies in Water and Waste Water Treatment”, June 2-June 4, 2008, Moscow, Russia. This session is designed to give the PERMEANT program more exposure to research in Russia and neighboring countries. Presentations included both US and international partners. David Dotzauer (Ph.D. student, Bruening group) gives a talk at the Conference.
  • June 2008: Results of joint MSU-UKMA work are presented by Andrii Gorobets (paper “Influence of silica fillers on the structure and hydraulic properties of polymeric ultrafiltration membranes”) at the 5th Polish-Ukrainian conference “Polymers of Special Applications," June 18, 2008, Radom, Poland.
  • May-June 2008: Adam Rogensues (Tarabara group) visits Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and attends the 2008 NanoMemCourse in Patras, Greece on Nanostructured materials and membrane modelling and simulation.
  • April-May 2008: Jorge Macanás, Université Paul Sabatier, France, performed research at MSU
  • March-April 2008: Andrii Gorobets, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine, visited MSU and performed research on the development of nanocomposite membranes.
  • March 2008: A connection was established with the Chemistry Club of J. W. Sexton High School, Lansing MI. Working together with Mark Barrera, Chemistry and ChemClub teacher, a visit of ChemClub students is organized on March 25, 2008. The visit included a laboratory tour, an introductory lecture (by Tarabara) on water safety and nanotechnology and an informal Q&A meeting with PERMEANT students.
  • February 2008: Wenqian Shan, Julian Taurozzi, Adam Rogensues together with Andrii Gorobets (visiting PhD student from a PERMEANT partner institution in Ukraine) attended and presented at the 21st Triennial Borchardt Conference Symposium on Advancements in Water and Wastewater , Ann Arbor, MI.
  • January-February 2008: Matt Hotze (Ph.D. student, Wiesner group) visits CEREGE and related facilities at France Commissariat a l'energie atomique (CEA) in Saclay (near Paris) to work on advanced light scattering techniques for materials characterization.
  • During the 2007-2008 academic year, the MSU Environmental Engineering Seminar series hosted 7 talks by the leading researchers in the field of membrane science and environmental nanotechnology. Among the invited speakers were 3 PERMEANT PIs: Mark Wiesner ( Duke University ), Jérôme Rose (CEREGE) and Pierre Aimar (UPS).


  • Sebastian Grajales joins the project (Bruening group) to work on antibacterial surfaces in collaboration with Viktoria Konovalova (UKMA).  During Dr. Konovalova's visit to MSU, Sebastian began modifying membranes with antibacterial polyelectrolytes. He has learned to work with bacteria and is now testing a new antibacterial compound developed by the Kiev group. Philip Strauss (undergraduate research intern, Bruening group) is working with Sebastian on developing and testing antibacterial membranes. His work will be limited to MSU because he is graduating soon, but he learned important techniques in synthesis, working with bacteria, and examining membranes.

  • November 2007: Wenqian Shan (Tarabara group) together with Lu Ouyang (Bruening group) were awarded diploma for their contribution to the project NANOMEMCAT: "Tailor-made CATalytic MEMbrane reactors with NANOstructured functional geometries for intensified chemical production". The project has been awarded the first prize in the"Synchronizing European Research" activity in NanoMemCourse EF1: "Nanostructured Materials and Membranes, Synthesis and Characterization" held in Zaragoza, Spain

  • November 2007: A laboratory tour and an introductory lecture on water safety and nanotechnology is given by PERMEANT faculty to Lansing Community College students taking “Introduction to nanotechnology” course at LCC.

  • October-November 2007: David Dotzauer visits l'Institut de Recherches de la Catalyze et l'environnement de Lyon to work with Sylvain Miachon. In the past year David synthesized nanoparticle-modified membranes using a layer-by-layer technique and characterized these materials using a variety of techniques including scanning electron microscopy. David demonstrates that these membranes show remarkable activity in wet-air oxidation of formic acid and phenol.
  • October-November 2007: Matt Hotze (Ph.D. student, Wiesner group) visits CEREGE to work with co-advisor Bottero
  • October 2007: A meeting of the full PERMEANT team was held October 18-19, at Duke to insure that all participants understood the full range of project activities and to investigate opportunities that could be developed for the remainder of the project period and beyond. The meeting included student presentations on their work as well as presentations from the PIs and international participants. The meeting helped solidify a common sense of purpose relative to participation in the project, helped identify some immediate steps that could be taken to improve the education, research and management of the project, and produce some new research avenues to be more fully developed.
  • September-October 2007: Viktoria Konovalova, a faculty member at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine, performed research at MSU on the development of biofouling resistant membranes
  • June-July 2007: Matt Hotze (Ph.D. student, Wiesner group) visits CEREGE and INSA (June 15-July 5) to meet with researchers and co-advisors. This visit included research presentations and an international workshop hosted in Toulouse where Hotze also presented his research.
  • June-July 2007:
    • Bruening and Tarabara visit CNRS Institut de Recherches sur la Catalyse et l'Environnement de Lyon , meet with Dr. Sylvain Miachon and his group and discuss collaboration on the development of membrane reactors for catalytic membrane processes for water treatment
    • Tarabara and Voice visit Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ministry for Environmental Protection of Ukraine,and Institute of Physical Chemistry (National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine) to plan future visits and submission of joint research proposals
    • Hendren, Hotze, Wiesner, Dr. Benjamin Espinasse (Duke), and Dr. Lena Brunet (Duke) visit CEREGE and Toulouse for research meetings with co-advisors (Bottero, Rose, Aimar, Merieles, Cabassud) and planning for the Fall 2007 PERMANT meeting
  • Summer 2007: Wenqian Shan (Ph.D. student, Tarabara group) receives summer fellowship from MSU College of Engineering in recognition of her research progress
  • May 2007: Merlin Bruening (MSU co-PI) and MSU PERMEANT students from his group - David Dotzauer and Lu Ouyang - attend the annual meeting of the North American Membrane Society. Dotzauer received a student travel award and Ouyang won a student poster award
  • March 2007:
    • New project website is developed
    • Helen Hsu-Kim (Duke) visits CEREGE to initiate new research and teaching collaboration in the field of spectroscopy and measurement.
    • Julian Taurozzi (MSU PERMEANT graduate student) is awarded Nordberg Fellowship by the CEE department in recognition of his research contributions toward his PhD dissertation.
  • February 2007: Our recent ES&T paper on nC60 toxicity is #9 on the list of most accessed papers in Oct-Dec 2006
  • January 2007: Adam Rogensues (MSU PERMEANT undergraduate research associate) is awarded 2007 Michigan Section AWWA Fellowship for Water Quality and Treatment Study. Congratulations to Adam!
  • January 2007: Graduate student David Dotzauer joins the Bruening group at MSU and the PERMEANT team


  • November 2006: Volodymyr Bosak (Kyiv-Mohyla Academy PhD student) visits Tarabara's research group at MSU to participate in research on the development of nanocomposite membranes with biocidal properties
  • June - July 2006
  • July 2006: Zachary Hendren and Christine Robichaud visited LGC in Toulouse to visit with Beatrice Biscans regarding TiO2 fabrication practices with respect to safety
  • July 2006: Visit to UKMA
    • Anatoly Burban's group in Kyiv is providing opportunities for filtration of pollutants that are of concern in this country. The expertise of the Ukrainian group in membrane surface modification is leveraged for the development of low fouling membranes.
  • June 2006: Visit to Aix-en-Provence
  • June 2006: Visit to Toulouse
    • The role of international collaboration in the project focuses on several areas including modification of hollow fiber membranes with multilayer polyelectrolyte films, reduction of colloidal fouling using polyelectrolyte-modified membranes, and removal of pollutants from water with novel membranes. The Interface & Particle Interaction Engineering group of Pierre Aimar at Université Paul Sabatier is providing unique hollow fiber membranes with interior and exterior skin layers that have molecular weight cutoffs suitable for deposition of polyelectrolyte films. Expertise in Aimar's laboratories is also important for modeling of colloidal fouling of modified membranes.
  • April 2006: Visit to Toulouse
    • Christine Robichaud and Matt Hotze (Duke PERMEANT students) worked at CEREGE for three days, having meetings regarding nanoparticle characterization and risk assessment
    • Mark Wiesner (Duke Co-PI) and Jon Brant (Duke) collaborated with Jean-Yves Bottero (CEREGE) and Jerome Rose (CEREGE) on a book writing project with PERMEANT participation and support: Environmental Nanotechnologies (Published May 2007, McGraw Hill)
  • January 2006: Tarabara group and Bruening group have received NAMS student internship award for the project “International research internships: Membrane separations for water quality control"

For more information, please contact: Thomas Voice or Volodymyr Tarabara,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA 48824
Phone: +1 517 353 9718. Fax: +1 517 355 0250. Email: