Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame



William Phillip

Office:  205F McCourtney Hall

Phone:  574-631-2708


Department Website

Group Website

Current Position
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota—Twin Cities
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame

Research Interests
Chemical separations are essential to the production of fresh water and the generation of fuels. Traditionally, energy-intensive thermal processes have been used to effect these separations. Membrane separations, an alternative to thermally-driven separations, are gaining increased attention, because of their ability to avoid the thermodynamic limitations associated with heat use. Realizing the benefits of membranes relies on understanding and controlling the transport of chemical species across them. Recent advances in the characterization of materials at the nanoscale allow for correlations to be made between membrane nanostructure and chemistry and membrane macroscale transport properties. This link between nanoscale structure and macroscale properties allows for transport mechanisms to be more clearly elucidated, which in turn, enables the development of next-generation membranes that offer improved performance at lower energetic and environmental costs. The Water purification and Advanced Transport Engineering Research (WATER) Laboratory examines how membrane structure and chemistry affect the transport of solutes and solvents across a variety of membranes. Our understanding of the connection between functionality and property is used to design and fabricate next-generation membranes that provide more precise control over the transport of chemical species. These material advantages are then leveraged to design systems capable of enhancing chemical separations at the water-energy nexus.

Key Words
Self-Assembly, Polymers, Water Treatment, Osmotically Driven Membrane Processes, Nanoporous Materials, Ultrafiltration, Desalination, Diffusion and Mass Transfer, Battery Separators

Relevant Energy Publications

  1. Tunable Nanoporous Membranes with Chemically-Tailored Pore Walls from Triblock Terpolymer”, Journal of Membrane Science, 2014, 470, 246-256.
  2. The Future of Seawater Desalination: Energy, Technology, and the Environment. Science, 333:712-717, 2011.
  3. Tuning Structure and Properties of Graded Triblock Terpolymer-Based Mesoporous and Hybrid Films. Nano Letters, 11:2892-2900, 2011.
  4. Ion Selective Permeation Through Cellulose Acetate Membranes in Forward Osmosis”, Environmental Science & Technology, 2013, 47, 13745-13753.
  5. Designing Block Copolymer Architectures for Targeted Membrane Performance”, Polymer, 2013, 55, 347-353.