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2022 AIChE Separations Division FRI/Kunesh Award Winner


    Dan Summers, Director of AIChE's Separations Division, notified FRI that Prof. Zachary P. Smith is the winner of the 2022 AIChE Separations Division FRI/Kunesh Award. Prof. Smith is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the molecular-level design, synthesis, and characterization of polymers and inorganic materials for applications in membrane and adsorption-based separations. Prof. Smith has co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers and has been recognized with several awards, including the DoE Early Career Award, NSF CAREER Award, ONR Young Investigator Award, AIChE 35 Under 35 Award, North American Membrane Society Young Membrane Scientist Award, and DoE Office of Science Graduate Fellowship. He was also awarded the Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising at MIT. He served as a committee member in writing the 2019 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on A Research Agenda for Transforming Separation Science. Prof. Smith serves on the Board of Directors for the North American Membrane Society and is on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Macromolecules and Polymer. He is a co-founder and Advisor for Flux Technology and a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Osmoses Inc., two startup companies aiming to commercialize membrane technology. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Penn State Schreyer Honors College and completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. His postdoctoral training was in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

    This award is presented in memory of John G. Kunesh, past Separations Division Chairman and Technical Director of Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI). His dedication to the distillation industry and service to those working in it serve as models for all those practicing engineering disciplines. John actively challenged, mentored, and encouraged young engineers to succeed.

    FRI thanks AIChE for helping to honor John's legacy and congratulations to Prof. Smith.