MSA Distinguished Lecture Series – Prof. Robert W. Field

Water, Membranes and Water Re-use: Wither this Triptych?

Prof. Robert W. Field
Department of Engineering Science
University of Oxford

Abstract: A set of three associated items that are intended to be appreciated together is called a triptych. Now one cannot respond effectively to the environmental challenges around water without appreciating the role played by membranes, and equally an appreciation of membranes is essential if the benefits of water re-use are to be established. For recycling and re-using water, satisfactory processes already exist. However, are further changes necessary? Indeed,
can one anticipate very significant changes? There is the classic tension between operating at high permeate fluxes, which enhances fouling but reduces capital costs, and operating at lower fluxes which increases capital costs. Will the advent of nano-materials change the optimal flux? Also what can one anticipate for future modules and future water processes?


Monash University:
Date: Monday 4th March
Time: 10.30 am – 12.00 noon
Venue: Lecture Theatre M1, 35 Rainforest Walk, Monash University, Clayton Campus

University of Melbourne:
Date: Tuesday 5th March
Time: 12 noon – 1pm
Venue: Chemical Engineering Theatre, Building 165, University of Melbourne

University of Technology Sydney:
Date: Wednesday 6th March 2019
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Venue: CB11.06.408 (FEIT Seminar Room at Level 6)

Date: Friday 8th March 2019
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Venue: 320A, Chemical Eng. Building

Biography: Professor Robert Field graduated with a PhD (chemical engineering) from University of Cambridge where he had also read Natural Sciences.  After being introduced to membrane processes at Bath University, he soon secured a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering award to work on the evaluation of potential membrane processes for environmental improvements.  His most highly cited research relates to the concept of a critical flux for fouling which has had widespread influence beyond academe. Although originally introduced for pressure driven porous membrane processes, he has led the development of its wider applicability.  His work on pervaporation has encompassed the manufacture of caesium polyacrylate hydrophilic membranes, bespoke hydrophobic membranes and fundamental analysis of the constraints imposed upon systems by boundary layer transport phenomena. He is currently a Professor at the University of Oxford where his current work includes an interdisciplinary study “Exploring Water Re-use – the nexus of engineering technology and public policy” which is funded by an esteemed APEX award from the Royal Society/British Academy