Skip to content

2012 Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings

Dr. Benny D. Freeman of the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin will receive the Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings for 2012.  The announcement was made by the Officers and the Award Committee of the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Dr. Freeman began his academic career at North Carolina State University in 1989 in the Chemical Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor, quickly progressed to full Professor and also served as Associate Department Head. In 2002, Benny moved to The University of Texas at Austin and is currently the Kenneth A. Kobe and Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek and American Petrofina Foundation Centennial Professor of Chemical Engineering.  He  also is a member of the Texas Materials Institute and the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources.

Dr. Freeman earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to that, he received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, at North Carolina State University.  He was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow for nearly 2 years at the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI).

Dr. Freeman’s research concerns membrane materials science and technology. Benny’s research focuses on mass transport of small molecules in polymer coatings. He and his students and colleagues have studied structure/property relations for polymer based desalination as well as gas and vapor separation membrane coating materials, new polymer membrane materials for hydrogen separation and natural gas purification, polymer based barrier packaging materials and new polymer coatings for improving fouling resistance of liquid separation membranes. His work directly intersects many of the grand challenges of our time, such as providing clean water in a more cost-effective and reliable way and developing energy efficient gas separation membrane coatings, based on polymers, for carbon capture and a wide range of other separations. Fundamental discoveries from Dr Freeman’s laboratory have been commercialized and continue to provide the basis for new jobs and economic development.

Dr. Freeman has authored over 300 papers and publications; co-edited five books, and is a named inventor on 14 patents or patent applications as well as having presented more than 500 lectures at leading institutions and conferences world-wide.  He has provided a high level of leadership and service to his profession.  These activities include the following: Chair (2005) of PMSE and currently serving as a Councilor for PMSE; President (2005-2006) of the North American Membrane Society; Chair (2004) of the Gordon Research Conference on Membranes:  Materials and Processes; immediate past Chair of the Separations Division of AIChE.

Dr. Freeman has won many awards.  He was named an AAAS Fellow in 2012, an ACS and AICHE Fellow in 2011, named a PMSE Fellow in 2010, won the 2009 ACS Applied Polymer Science Award, won the 2008 AICHE Industrial Gases Technology Award, won an IBM faculty award in 2006 and was one of the winners of the PMSE Cooperative Research Award in 2002.  Benny also has won quite a few other awards and honors for his research and teaching accomplishments.

Dr. Freeman will present an Award Address at the Tess Award Symposium during the 244th National Meeting of the ACS in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Freeman will receive the Tess Award from Dr. David Schiraldi, 2012 Chair of the PMSE Division, on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 during the 244th National Meeting of the ACS in Philadelphia, PA at an evening reception in honor of the Tess Award recipient and other PMSE and POLY award winners.

The Tess Award is presented annually by PMSE in recognition of outstanding contributions to coatings science and technology.  It is funded by a grant to PMSE from Dr. and Mrs. Roy W. Tess.  The purpose of the award is to encourage interest and progress in coatings science, technology and engineering and to recognize significant contributions to the field.  The Award consists of a plaque and a $3000 cash prize.