ASU professor given distinguished status by chemical engineering institute

Pioneering research in modern inorganic membrane science has led to Jerry Lin’s election to the status of Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Lin is a Regents’ Professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

AIChE Fellows are elite members, typically with 25 or more years of experience in the field. Selection as a Fellow is “recognition of professional attainment and significant accomplishment in engineering.”

In nominating Lin, his colleague Yushan Yan, Distinguished Engineering Professor at the University of Delaware, lauds Lin’s “exemplary service to the chemical engineering profession.”

Yan notes Lin’s leadership as chair of several major national and international science and engineering conferences, as editor of the flagship journal in his research area, the Journal of Membrane Science, and as an advisor to an AIChE chapter.

Yan’s research in zeolite films includes membranes, an overlapping area with Lin’s expertise. Their teams have benefitted from each other’s results in closely related areas of research.

Pioneer in the field

Lin’s achievements in fundamental advances in inorganic membrane science for gas separations and adsorption separation technologies have earned him international recognition. He is widely credited with taking the field from an emerging area of science to an established new specialty.

Lin focuses on small molecules including hydrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. The work has applications across a number of fields of national and international importance, from producing clean alternative fuel and purifying water supplies to preventing pollution from industrial processes.

“Jerry’s work has impacted all major areas of inorganic membrane science, from mesoporous and microporous to dense membranes. His work is particularly important to applications in energy and the environment, including removing pollutants from industrial effluents, capturing CO2 from power plant flue gas and reducing the costs of oxygen and hydrogen production and purification,” says Kyle Squires, director of the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy.

Separation of hydrogen, oxygen or carbon dioxide from gas mixtures is directly related to many chemical, petroleum and energy production processes. The molecules in the gas mixture are often very similar in chemical or physical properties, making their separation highly energy intensive.

Lin’s major research efforts in the past two decades have been on the development of new, effective membrane and adsorption processes, and understanding the fundamental science these processes are based upon for gas separation.

History of achievement

Lin has received more than $10 million to support his research from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Defense, the State of Ohio and industry sources.

His efforts have led to eight patents, 10 book chapters, 230 journal articles, 60 conference proceedings papers and more than 300 conference presentations. His journal articles have been cited more than 6,500 times by other researchers.

Among his greatest achievements, Lin cites the more than 80 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers he has supervised, who have been embarking on their own careers in chemical engineering. While serving as chair of the chemical engineering department, he was instrumental in the expansion and improved national ranking of the chemical engineering program at ASU.

“Jerry is dedicated to the profession and to the development of undergraduate students, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers,” Squires says. “He maintains the highest standards of academic scholarship.”

Lin was named an ASU Regents’ Professor in 2012. It’s the highest honor bestowed on faculty of Arizona’s state universities. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and current editor of the Journal of Membrane Science.

Among his many awards, he has received the AIChE Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology, BP Faculty Excellence Award, Cheung Kong Scholar award, Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award and a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award.

Lin joined ASU in 2005 and served as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 2006-2009. Previously, he was a professor of chemical engineering and co-director of the NSF Center for Membrane Applied Science and Technology at the University of Cincinnati, where he joined the faculty in 1991.

He earned a bachelor of science degree from Zhejiang University in China, and a master’s of science and doctoral degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, all in chemical engineering.

Written by Heather Beshears

(480) 965-8122
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

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