North American Membrane Society Honors Georges Belfort

World-leading bioseparations expert Georges Belfort, Institute Professor and a member of the Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been awarded the Alan S. Michaels Award for Innovation in Membrane Science and Technology from the North American Membrane Society (NAMS).

The award, given every three years by NAMS “to recognize individuals who have made outstanding innovations and/or exceptional lifetime contributions to membrane science and technology,” includes a $10,000 prize.

NAMS will present the award to Belfort at a ceremony in June at the professional organization’s annual meeting in Houston. At the meeting, Belfort will present a plenary lecture highlighting his breakthrough contributions in membrane-based bioseparations. Additionally, a special technical session has been organized in honor of Belfort at the 2014 International Congress on Membrane and Membrane Processes meeting in July, in Suzhou, China.

Belfort has earned a place among the world’s most respected academic and industrial chemical engineers. Throughout his career, he has made seminal contributions in liquid-phase pressure-driven membrane-based processes, bioseparations engineering, interfacial science, protein misfolding at surfaces, and affinity separations.

The editor or co-editor of three books, Belfort has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and 22 book chapters. His h factor, a key metric for academic researchers that measures both productivity and the impact of published research, is greater than 40. He serves on the editorial boards of several international journals and is the international editor of the Journal of Chemical Engineering of Japan.

Belfort is the recipient of several major awards in the field of chemical engineering. The American Chemical Society (ACS) Biotechnology Division honored Belfort with the 2011 Alan S. Michaels Award in the Recovery of Biological Products. In 2008, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) named Belfort one of the “100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era.” Also in 2008, he received the ACS E.V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry.

Belfort is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).  He is co-founder and former president of NAMS, and has twice been named a fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science.

In 2012, Belfort was elected a foreign corresponding member of the Institute of Bologna Academy of Sciences, which was created in 1690 and has grown over the centuries into one of Europe’s most renowned scientific societies. Also in 2012, Belfort was also named a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, which is one of 80 institutes that make up the distinguished Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science.

Belfort received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the University of California at Irvine.