Jeffrey McCutcheon

Professor and Executive Director, Connecticut Center for Applied Separations Technology

Al Geib Professor of Environmental Engineering Research and Education

Ph.D., Yale University (2007)

Google Scholar Profile:

Current Research

  • Membrane separations
  • 3D printed membranes
  • Thin film composite membrane design and fabrication
  • Organic solvent nanofiltration
  • Forward osmosis/osmotic dewatering
  • Electrospun nanofibers for separations
  • Polymeric membrane characterization

Professional Activities

President: North American Membrane Society
Executive Director:
Faunhofer Center for Energy Innovation
Board of Directors
: North American Membrane Society
Editorial Board: Journal of Membrane Science
Editorial Board: Desalination
Member: North American Membrane Society, American Chemical Society, AAAS

Our Active Research Projects Include:

3D Printed TFC Membranes: Using an additive approach, we have developed a method of creating polyamide membranes of tunable thickness and roughness.

Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposite Membranes for Water and Fuel:  In a collaboration with Mattershift (, we are evaluating the use of CNT based nanocomposite membranes for water purification and ethanol extraction.

Hybrid FO Systems.  We are developing a greater understanding of forward osmosis hybrid systems.  In particular we are examining FO-RO and FO-MD systems to understand how the two processes interplay during operation at a module-scale.

Osmotic Dewatering. We are exploring using osmotic dewatering for concentrating solutions that require substantial dewatering before use and/or disposal. These include produced water, food products, and agricultural wastewaters.

Hollow Nanofiber TFC Membranes and Modules for Forward Osmosis: We are developing TFC membranes based on commercial UF membranes that enables rapid module prototyping that currently is challenging for academic laboratories.

Chemical Engineering Pedagogy Development using Membranes: Membranes offer a unique opportunity for teaching fundamental engineering principles to undergraduate chemical engineers. Dr. McCutcheon and his students have developed a senior unit operations laboratory module based on reverse osmosis and forward osmosis. During this lab, students must calculate fundamental membrane constants (permeability and selectivity) while learning how process parameters and membrane design and chemistry impact performance.

Previous Positions

2008-2014 Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut
2007-2008 Chief Engineer, Stonybrook Purification
2007-2008 Research Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University
2002-2007 Graduate Research Assistant, Yale University,
2005-2006 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Yale University
2000-2002 Teaching Assistant, University of Dayton
2000-2001 Engineering Intern, YSI, Inc., Yellow Springs, OH
1999-2000 Engineering Intern, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Materials Directorate

Awards & Honors

2018 Al Geib Professorship
2016 Al Geib Professorship
2014 FRI/John G. Kunesh Award
2013 Named a DuPont Young Professor
2011 Solvay Advanced Polymers Young Faculty Award
2011 Environmental Protection Agency Early Career Award
2011 3M Untenured Faculty Award

Student Awards

ICIM Student Poster Award, Lingling Xia, 2018

AIChE Separations Division Graduate Student Research Award, Maqsud Chowdhury, 2017

ICOM Graduate Student Poster Award, Maqsud Chowdhury, 2017

3-Minute Thesis – UConn, 2nd place, Jian Ren, 2016

ECI Poster Award, Lingling Xia, 2016

AIChE Separations Division Graduate Student Research Award, Jian Ren, 2016

North American Membrane Society Graduate Student Fellowship, Jian Ren, 2016

General Electric Fellowship, Maqsud Chowdhury, 2016

FEI Graduate Student Fellowship, Jian Ren, 2015

NAMS Student Poster Award, 2nd place, Membrane Processes, Maqsud Chowdhury, 2015

NAMS Student Poster Award, 3rd place, Membrane Materials, Malgorzata Chwatko, 2015

AIChE Undergraduate Student Poster Award, 1st Place, Separations Division, Gabriella Frey, 2014

AIChE Undergraduate Student Poster Award, 2nd Place, Separations Division, Gianna Credaroli, 2014

ICOM Student Poster Award, Jian Ren, 2014

NAMS Travel Award, ICOM 2014, Liwei Huang, 2014

NAMS Graduate Student Poster Award, 1st place, Jason Arena, 2014

General Electric Fellowship, Jian Ren, 2014

Elias Klein Travel Award, Maqsud Chowdhury, 2014

AMTA Graduate Student Poster Award, Jason Arena, 2014

NAMS Graduate Student Poster Award, 2nd place, Ngoc Bui, 2013

Elias Klein Travel Award, Liwei Huang, 2013

Marshall Scholarship, Ethan Butler, 2013

Udall Scholarship, Ethan Butler, 2013

University Scholar, Andrew Silva, 2013

University Scholar, Ethan Butler, 2012

NAMS Travel Award, Ngoc Bui, 2012

NWRI-AMTA Fellowship, Jason Arena, 2012

GK-12 Fellowship, Jason Arena, 2011

Selected Publications

Xia, L., Ren, J., Weyd, M., McCutcheon, J.R., “Ceramic-supported thin film composite membrane for organic solvent nanofiltration”, Journal of Membrane Science, in press.

Xia, L., Arena, J.T., Reimund, K.K., Holland, A., Wilson, A.D., McCutcheon, J.R., “A trimethylamine–carbon dioxide draw solution for osmotic engines”, AIChE Journal, in press.

McGinnis, R.L., Reimund, K.K., Ren, J., Xia, L., Chowdhury, M.R., Sun, X, Abril, M., Moon, J.D., Merrick, M.M., Park, J., Stevens, K.A., McCutcheon, J.R., Freeman, B.D., “Large scale polymeric carbon nanotube membranes with sub-1.27 nm pores”, Science Advances 4, 2018, e1700938.

Ambrosi, A., Al-Furaiji, M., McCutcheon, J.R., Cardozo, N.S.M., Tessaro, I.C., “Transport of Components in the Separation of Ethanol from Aqueous Dilute Solutions by Forward Osmosis”, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 57, 2018, 2967-2975.

Chowdhury, M.R., McCutcheon, J.R., “Elucidating the impact of temperature gradients across membranes during forward osmosis: Coupling heat and mass transfer models for better prediction of real osmotic systems”, Journal of Membrane Science 553, 2018, 189-199.

Xia, L., Andersen, M.F., Nielsen, C.H., McCutcheon, J.R., “Novel Commercial Aquaporin Flat-sheet Membrane for Forward Osmosis”, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 56, 2017, 11919-11925.

Chwatko, M., Arena, J.T., McCutcheon, J.R. “Noreprenephrine modified thin film composite membranes for forward osmosis”, Desalination 423, 2017, 157-164.

Manickam, SS., McCutcheon, J.R., “Understanding Mass Transfer through Asymmetric Membranes during Forward Osmosis: A Historical Perspective and Critical Review on Measuring Structural Parameter”, Desalination, 421, 2017, 110-126.

Ren, J., Chowdhury, M.R., Qi, J., Xia, L., Huey, B.D., McCutcheon, J.R., Relating osmotic performance of thin film composite hollow fiber membranes to support layer surface pore size”, Journal of Membrane Science, 540, 2017, 344-353.

Philips, L.A., Ruffner, D.B., Cheong, F.C., Blusewicz, J.M., Kasimbeg, P., Waisi, B., McCutcheon, J.R., Grier, D., Water Research 122, 2017, 431-439

Gong, Hui, Anastasio, D.D., Wang, K., McCutcheon, J.R., “Finding Better Draw Solutes for Osmotic Heat Engines: Understanding Transport of Ions during Pressure Retarded Osmosis”, Desalination 421, 2017, 127-134.

McCutcheon, J.R., “Forward Osmosis: A technology platform here to stay”, guest editorial, Desalination 421, 2017, 1-2.

Chowdhury, M., Ren, J., Reimund, K., McCutcheon, J.R., A hybrid dead-end cross-flow forward osmosis system for evaluating osmotic flux performance at high recovery of produced water”, Desalination 421, 2017, 127-134.


Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-4601
Mailing Address191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3222, Storrs, CT 06269-3222
Office LocationEII-207