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William Phillip

William Phillip

Email: wphillip@nd.edu

Phone: 574-631-2708

Office: 205F McCourtney Hall


B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame (2004)

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota—Twin Cities (2009)


Postdoctoral Research Associate, Yale University (2009-2011)
Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame (2011-present)


Sahadevan Rajesh, Yu Yan, Hsueh-Chia Chang, Haifeng Gao, William A. Phillip. Mixed Mosaic Membranes Prepared by Layer-by-Layer Assembly for Ionic Separations. ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/nn504736w.

Ryan A. Mulvenna, Jacob L. Weidman, Bexin Jing, John A. Pople, Yingxi Zhu, Bryan W. Boudouris, William A. Phillip. Tunable Nanoporous Membranes with Chemically-Tailored Pore Walls From Triblock Polymer Templates. Journal of Membrane Science, 470: 246-256, 2014.

Menachem Elimelech, William A. Phillip. The Future of Seawater Desalination: Energy, Technology, and the Environment. Science, 333:712-717, 2011.

William A. Phillip, Rachel Mika Dorin, Joerg Werner, Eric M.V. Hoek, Ulrich Wiesner, Menachem Elimelech. Tuning Structure and Properties of Graded Triblock Terpolymer-Based Mesoporous and Hybrid Films. Nano Letters, 11:2892-2900, 2011.

William A. Phillip, Marc Hillmyer, E.L. Cussler. Cylinder Orientation Mechanism in Block Copolymer Thin Films Upon Solvent Evaporation. Macromolecules, 43:7763-7770, 2010.

William A. Phillip, Jui Shan Yong, Menachem Elimelech. Reverse Draw Solute Permeation in Forward Osmosis: Modeling and Experiments. Environmental Science & Technology, 44:5170-5176, 2010.


Doctoral New Investigator Grant, ACS Petroleum Research Fund (2014)

Young Investigator Program, Army Research Office (2014)

Young Membrane Scientist Award, North American Membrane Society (2014)

Top Cited Paper for 2010 and 2011, Journal of Membrane Science (2013)

3M Nontenured Faculty Award, 3M Corporation (2013)

Summary of Activities/Interests

Chemical separations are essential to the production of freshwater and the generation of fuels. Traditionally energy-intensive thermal processes have been used to effect these separations. Membrane separations, an alternative to thermally-driven separations, are gaining increased attention because of their ability to avoid the thermodynamic limitations associated with heat use. Realizing the benefits of membranes relies on understanding and controlling the transport of chemical species across them.  Recent advances in the characterization of materials at the nanoscale allow for correlations to be made between membrane nanostructure and chemistry and membrane macroscale transport properties. This link between nanoscale structure and macroscale properties allows for transport mechanisms to be more clearly elucidated, which in turn, enables the development of next-generation membranes that offer improved performance at lower energetic and environmental costs.

The Water purification and Advanced Transport Engineering Research (WATER) Laboratory examines how membrane structure and chemistry affect the transport of solutes and solvents across a variety of membranes. Our understanding of the connection between functionality and property is used to design and fabricate next-generation membranes that provide more precise control over the transport of chemical species. These material advantages are then leverage to design systems capable of enhancing chemical separations at the water-energy nexus. These principles are the motivation behind ongoing research projects, which include:

- Exploring the use of membranes to selectively remove contaminants from drinking water supplies.
- The fabrication of well-ordered, nanostructured membranes by exploiting the self-assembly of block copolymers.
- Understanding the transport of dissolved solutes in osmotically-driven membrane processes.


NDnano announces 2018 Seed Grant Program Recipients

July 18, 2018

Nine faculty members from the University of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering and College of Science have been awarded four grants through the Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano) Seed Grant Program. 

Faculty Awards Honor Undergraduate Teaching and Advising

May 9, 2018

Three engineering faculty are among the 20 faculty members have received Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Two of the three honored honored with Dockweiler Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising are also engineering faculty.

Engineered Polymer Membranes Could Be New Option for Water Treatment

May 1, 2018

A study conducted by chemical and biomolecular engineers at the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University suggests that self-assembled block polymer membranes, which allow for both customizable and uniform pore sizes, have the potential to advance water treatment technologies.

Phillip’s Article on Desalination of Seawater Passes 1,000 Citation Milestone

July 6, 2016

A paper written by William A. Phillip, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular at Notre Dame, and Menachem Elimelech, the Roberto Goizueta Professor of Environmental and Chemical Engineering and Director of the Environmental Engineering Program at Yale University, not only addresses possible solutions to the global water shortage, the document does it well enough to have passed the 1,000 citation mark, a milestone in academic circles.

Video: From Water Purification to Better Batteries, Notre Dame Engineers are Advancing Research for the Good of the World

November 10, 2015

A new video provides an overview of our department's momentum in tackling a number of global challenges — energy, environment, sustainability, and water.