UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania – The North American Membrane Society recently named Andrew Zydney, president of Penn State Bayard D. Kunkle and professor of chemical engineering, a fellow. He is honored for his contributions to society over 30 years.
NAMS, a professional society promoting membrane science and technology, elects two to three fellows per year. The fellows are honored for their service to NAMS and for “highly significant professional achievements in the field of membranes,” according to the prize specifications.
“The service component of this award goes beyond research and community visibility,” said Zydney, director of the National Science Foundation’s Membrane Science, Engineering and Technology Center and former director of the Penn State Center of Excellence in Industrial Biotechnology. “The fellows must have helped the company advance in some substantial way.”
Becoming a member in 1990, Zydney served on the NAMS board twice, first in 1998 and again in 2016. He was the company’s vice president in 2001 and became chairman in 2002. He also chaired several committees, including the committee that has chosen comrades in past years. He organized the annual NAMS meeting in Baltimore in 1997 and Pittsburgh in 2019.
Received the Alan S. Michaels Award for Innovation in Membrane Science and Technology by NAMS in 2020, the most prestigious research award awarded by the company.
One of Zydney’s passions is encouraging graduate students to get involved in society and support them in establishing a career in membrane research.
“NAMS has always been very supportive of graduate students and we are continually discussing ways to engage them,” he said. “We want to give them a strong bond with industry leaders, to get them out of the ‘back row’ of research interviews and bring them to the forefront of the conversation.”
Fifteen years ago, NAMS established Lunch with Legends, where graduate students meet for lunch with senior researchers at the annual NAMS meeting. Zydney continued the tradition while meeting in Pittsburgh and has actively participated in the lunches since their inception, sharing her insights and perspectives with dozens of graduate students.
Lunch with Legends makes the 600-member company seem smaller and more accessible, Zydney said.
“NAMS is a very collegiate group that works well together in its different fields,” he said. “The group has members from all sciences, including chemists, materials scientists, biomedical engineers, physicists and chemical engineers.”
For 15 years, Zydney was editor and chief editor of the Journal of Membrane Science. He currently serves on editorial review committees for several journals, including Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Separation and Purification Reviews, Separation Science and Technology, and Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering.
Zydney will receive the award at the company’s annual meeting in May in Tempe, Arizona.