SOLON, OH – 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).

Freeman began his academic career at North Carolina State University in 1989 in the Chemical Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor. He quickly progressed to full Professor and also served as Associate Department Head. In 2002, he moved to The University of Texas at Austin. He is also a member of the Texas Materials Institute and the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources.

Freeman’s research concerns membrane materials science and technology, focusing on the mass transport of small molecules in polymer coatings. He has 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. Discoveries from Freeman’s laboratory have been commercialized and continue to provide the basis for new jobs and economic development.

Freeman has provided a high level of leadership and service to his profession. These activities include: serving as the Chair of PMSE in 2005 and currently serving as a Councilor for PMSE, serving as President of the North American Membrane Society from 2005-2006, serving as Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Membranes: Materials and Processes in 2004, and serving as immediate Past Chair of the Separations Division of AIChE.

Freeman will receive the Tess Award from Dr. David Schiraldi, 2012 Chair of the PMSE Division, on Monday, August 20, 2012, during the 244th National Meeting of the ACS in Philadelphia. He will present an award address at that time.

Funded by a grant from Dr. and Mrs. Roy W. Tess, the annual Tess Award recognizes outstanding contributions to coatings science and technology.

Additionally, The American Chemical Society' PMSE is seeking nominations for the 2013 Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings. Nominations will be welcomed from all segments of industry, academia and government. For more information, contact Theodore Provder at