Freeman Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Benny Freeman was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at an induction ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia Feb.18. This prestigious honor is bestowed upon AAAS members who have been nominated by peers and whose work is considered scientifically and socially distinguished.
“It was truly exciting to learn that I had been elected to be an AAAS Fellow,” said Freeman. “It is a great honor to join the extraordinarily distinguished scientists who are already AAAS Fellows, including several colleagues from UT Austin. I am particularly grateful to my students, colleagues and collaborators over the years. Without their help, I could not have accomplished the research recognized by my election.”
Freeman’s most notable achievement, and the reason he was elected fellow, has been his work with polymeric materials as gas barriers and separations. Freeman was the first to demonstrate that gas permeability and selectivity could be increased by impermeable nanoparticles due to the ability of extra small particles to disrupt polymer chain packing. His publication on this topic has been sited more than 250 times.
In addition, Freeman is well-known for his study of membranes. Jerry Lin, a chemical engineering professor at Arizona State University and one of Freeman’s three nominators said, “Dr. Freeman is an internationally recognized leader in membrane science. I would consider him one of the very best membranologists in the world.”
Freeman received a B.A. in chemical engineering from North Carolina University and a Ph.D in chemical engineering from The University of California at Berkeley. His research focuses on advanced materials, polymers and nanotechnology and environmental engineering.
“This is Professor Freeman’s third election this year to fellowship of a society, the other two being AIChE and ACS, indicative of the broad impact of his work on engineering, science and society,” said Roger T. Bonnecaze, department chair and T. Brockett Hudson Professor in chemical engineering.
The Triple A-S, an international non-profit organization, was founded in 1848 and seeks to “advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.” It publishes the journal Science, as well as many other scientific newsletters, books and reports. Fellows are elected annually by the AAAS Council for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications.