John Fortner, assistant professor in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received the 2015 Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO) Emerging Investigator Award Nov. 8 in Oregon.
The award recognizes an emerging scientist or engineer working in sustainable nanotechnology. Fortner was selected for his excellence in research in sustainable nanotechnology and his commitment to mentoring students at all levels.
Fortner, the I-CARES Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, focuses his research on the environmental implications and applications of advanced materials. In collaboration with Pratim Biswas, PhD, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Professor and chair of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, he has developed a one-of-a-kind multifunctional membrane for nanofiltration with crumpled graphene oxide-based nanocomposites, which are highly water-permeable, photoreactive and antimicrobial. In addition, Fortner's lab makes other nanoparticles with different compositions and surface coatings for a variety of advanced applications. One nanoparticle system Fortner's team has developed binds uranium in water at the highest level ever reported for an engineered sorbent.
Earlier this year, Fortner received a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. In 2012, he received the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities.
Prior to joining Wash U in 2010, Fortner was a postdoctoral research fellow at Rice University, Georgia Tech and ETH Zurich. He earned a doctorate from Rice University in 2007 and a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University in 2000.
Fortner's lab has conducted research funded by the NSF, the Army Corps of Engineers (Department of Defense), the American Chemical Society, Washington University's International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES) and the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environment Partnership (MAGEEP).
The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 88 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,300 undergraduate students, more than 900 graduate students and more than 23,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.