Dan Miller Wins National Polymer Modifiers & Additives Division Challenge

From left: PMAD Chairman Dr. Thoi HoDr. Thoi Ho, Dan Miller & Professor Benny FreemanGraduate student Dan Miller recently won the Polymer Modifiers & Additives Division (PMAD) Challenge, a national technical writing competition hosted by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

Miller’s paper, “A Membrane Photoreactor for Wastewater Treatment,” earned him the first place prize of $2,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to the SPE’s annual technical conference and award reception in Orlando, Florida.

The PMAD Challenge is designed to encourage student members to participate in SPE activities as well as to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics.

“All of us in the Freeman research group are very proud of Dan’s achievement and the recognition that comes with this prestigious award,” said Professor Benny Freeman, one of Miller’s advisers.  “Dan is an excellent writer and highly deserving of this award.”

The contest consisted of submitting a hypothetical research proposal addressing an issue raised in a selected journal article. Miller reviewed an article that discussed developing a light-sensitive plastic material that could degrade water contaminants. He then proposed creating a membrane from this material that would allow water to flow through it to treat wastewater.

“Winning the contest was extremely gratifying,” Miller said.  “It made me especially appreciative of my high school English instructors, whom I feel really helped me develop my writing abilities and shape my style.”

Miller received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Bucknell University in 2006.  He is co-advised by Professors Benny Freeman and Donald Paul, and has held a National Science Foundation Fellowship throughout his studies at UT Austin.  Miller also won the North American Membrane Society’s poster competition in June.

About the SPE

For over 60 years, the SPE has helped people and companies in the plastics industry succeed by spreading knowledge, strengthening skills and promoting plastics.  The society is a 20,000-member network of leading engineers, scientists and other plastics professionals, including technicians, salespeople, marketers, retailers and representatives from tertiary industries.



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