Jovan Kamcev receives DOE Early Career Award

Kamcev is one of only 51 researchers from U.S. universities to receive the award this year.

Image of Jovan Kamcev

The Department of Chemical Engineering is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Jovan Kamcev was recently awarded a DOE Early Career Award for his project entitled “Ion Transport in Highly Charged Ion-Exchange Membranes with Subnanometer Free Volume Elements.” 

Kamcev is one of only 51 researchers from U.S. universities to receive the award this year. Awardees were selected from a large pool of university- and national laboratory-based applicants. Selection was based on peer review by outside scientific experts. The award is accompanied with $750,000 in research funding over 5 years.

“I am honored to be selected for this highly competitive award and grateful for DOE’s support of our research. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the hard work of my students and the wonderful support around us,” says Kamcev.

“The DOE’s Early Career Award recognizes young faculty with exceptional promise, providing them with research funding for their very best ideas,” says Sharon Glotzer, Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering. “It is among the most competitive of young faculty research grants, and a real feather in one’s cap. I’m thrilled to see Assistant Professor Kamcev’s research on membranes supported in this way.”

Kamcev’s research group studies polymeric materials (e.g., membranes and sorbents) that are used in applications such as water purification and energy generation and storage. The DOE Early Career Award will support his team as they seek to establish fundamental understanding of ion transport in a unique and relatively unexplored class of highly charged polymer membranes with subnanometer pores.

 Kamcev says, “Better fundamental understanding in this area could facilitate the rational design of new charged polymer membranes with improved throughput and selectivity, which can ultimately increase the efficiencies of existing technologies and enable their use in emerging environmental and energy applications. This project is aligned with DOE’s interests in addressing the coupled needs of sufficient energy and clean water for a thriving economy and national security.”

These awards are part of the DOE’s efforts to support critical research at the nation’s universities and national labs, grow a skilled STEM workforce, and cement America as a global leader in science and innovation.

The Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm says of this year’s awardees, “Maintaining our nation’s braintrust of world-class scientists and researchers is one of DOE’s top priorities—and that means we need to give them the resources they need to succeed early on in their careers. These awardees show exceptional potential to help us tackle America’s toughest challenges and secure our economic competitiveness for decades to come.”

Kamcev joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Michigan in Fall 2019 after completing a postdoc in chemistry at University of California, Berkeley, with Jeffrey R. Long, and his doctoral degree in chemical engineering at the University of Texas in Austin, under the direction of Benny D. Freeman and Donald R. Paul.