A scientist from the American Washington University, by the name of John D. Fortner (PhD), received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The five-year, $500,000 award is for his project titled “Development and Application of Crumpled Graphene Oxide-Based Nanocomposites as a Platform Material for Advanced Water Treatment.”

Fortner will aim to develop 3D nanoscale composites made of crumpled graphene oxide as multifunctional platform materials for advanced water treatment technologies. Along with material synthesis and characterization, he plans to develop a range of membrane assemblies for advanced water treatment, including crumpled graphene oxide nanocomposites, which are highly water-permeable, photoreactive and antimicrobial. There is a patent pending for this platform technology.

Fortner’s research focuses on the environmental implications and applications of advanced materials. He has extensively studied the environmental fate, reactivity and impacts of engineered carbon nanomaterials in aqueous systems. Fortner also is developing nanoscale metal oxide-based materials for environmental sensing and novel, highly efficient water treatment processes.

In addition, Fortner is involved in several educational programs for various ages and purposes.