Academic Profile : Faculty

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Prof Wang Rong
Executive Director, Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute
President’s Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
 
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Dr Rong Wang is Full Professor and President’s Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She also holds the position of Executive Director, Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI), and Director, Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (SMTC) at NEWRI, NTU. She is the founding President of Membrane Society in Singapore (MEMSIS). She is a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering Singapore.

Dr Wang received her Bachelor degree from Zhejiang University, China and PhD degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). She worked at the Institute of Process Engineering, CAS prior to joining the Institute of Environmental Science & Engineering, Singapore in 1999. She joined NTU in 2008 as Associate Professor, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2014. She served as the Chair of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at NTU from 2014 to 2020. She co-founded the SMTC at NTU and has led the centre for the last 15 years.

Dr Wang has over 30 years of experience in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Water and Energy related research and innovation. She specializes in novel membrane development for water and wastewater treatment, liquid purification and gas separation, and in the development of novel hybrid membrane systems and process simulation. Since joining NTU in 2008, Prof. Wang has secured over $40 million in external competitive grants as a Principal Investigator (PI) from both the government and private sectors for her research work in novel membrane development.

Dr Wang has over 360 SCI tracked journal publications (cited times: >26,200, h-index: 89 @Web of Science; cited times: >35,900, h-index: 103 @ Google Scholar as April 2024), and is recognized in the top 2% of scientists worldwide by Stanford University since 2021. She is the inventor of 30 patents and technical disclosures for novel membrane fabrication. Her inventions led to the setup of 3 membrane-based spin-off companies in Singapore, including Aquaporin Asia, Aromatec Pte Ltd and H2MO Technology Pte Ltd.

Dr Wang is an Editor (and eventually taking over the helm as an Editor-in-Chief since Jan 2020) of the Journal of Membrane Science since 2014, a premier international membranes journal. She was the President of Aseanian Membrane Society (AMS) from 2022-2023.

Dr Wang was featured among the top 25 leading water researchers globally by Lux Research in 2013, and was the winner of Singapore’s Minister for National Development R&D Award in 2013. She received a prestigious “Alternative Water Prize” from Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) from Saudi Arabia in 2016, and was awarded Nanyang Research Award in 2018. She was listed in the Singapore 100 Women in Tech (SG100WIT) 2021, and is the winner of Singapore’s National Day Award - Public Administration Medal (Silver) 2022. She has also been awarded the prestigious “President’s Technology Award” 2022, which is the highest honor bestowed on exceptional research scientists and engineers in Singapore for their excellent achievements in science and technology.
Dr Wang's main research interests cover membrane science & technology, chemical & environmental engineering processes. She focuses on:

• Development of various novel membranes such as biomimetic/bio-programmable hollow fiber reverse osmosis (RO) membrane, synthetic water channel-based RO membrane, organic solvent resistant and low pressure nanofiltration (NF) membrane, forward osmosis (FO)/pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) membranes, hydrophobic membrane distillation (MD) membranes, extractive membranes and mixed matrix membranes for membrane-based separation & purification processes for water and energy productions, CO2 capture and for wastewater treatment in industry;

• Membrane surface modification for fouling control in water & wastewater treatments; modification of microporous membranes to enhance membrane anti-wetting and anti-fouling properties for MD and membrane contactor applications; dynamic membrane and system development;

• Brine processing by membrane distillation crystallization and membrane distillation module design;

• Membrane gas separation for O2 enrichment and CO2 capture;

• Simulation and optimization of various membrane processes for seawater desalination and CO2 capture in membrane contactors, etc.
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  • A membrane-based biotechnology for single cell protein production from renewable biogas: a sustainable way to feed the future
  • A New Class of Two-Dimensional Covalent Organic Framework-Based Membranes for Competitive Carbon Capture
  • A Sustainable Bio-platform for High Quality Microbial Protein Production
  • A Sustainable Bio-platform for High Quality Microbial Protein Production (CEE-WR)
  • Activation Mechanism of A Protein Water Channel by Cardiolipin: Implications for the Fabrication of Block Copolymer Nanosheets
  • Developing PVDF-based nanofiltration membranes for harsh environments
  • Enabling Pebax Copolymers as High-Performance Gas Separation Membranes
  • Ion-selective nanofiltration (NF) membranes for resource recovery from seawater desalination brine
  • Nano-enabled Adsorptive Membrane Scaffolds as Harvesting Devices for Precious Lithium Metal Recovery
  • NEWRI Tranche 4 - Water Programme RIE2025
  • NEWRI Tranche-4 Development (OOE) under NRF Research Centre Funding Scheme
  • NEWRI Tranche-4 Development (Research Scholarships) under NRF Research Centre Funding Scheme RIE2025-CoE/NEWRI
  • Novel multifunctional osmotic membranes for high-efficiency grid-scale energy storage and freshwater production: towards using a new multifunctional energy storage system to reduce carbon emissions and enhance energy-water resilience
  • NTU Support funding of NEWRI’s ongoing Operation
  • Organic solvent reverse osmosis membranes for energy-efficient separation of complex hydrocarbon mixtures: towards low-carbon petroleum refining
  • Research Support Resource (RSR) for President Term Professorship (Prof Wang Rong)
  • State-of-the-art Nanofiltration Membranes with Advanced Bioprocesses for Next-generation Wastewater Management, Water Reclamation and Resources Recovery
US 2016/0082391 A1: A Draw Solute And An Improved Forward Osmosis Method (2021)
Abstract: A draw solute for forward osmosis comprising a semi-interpenetrating (semi-IPN) hydrogel which comprises a thermally responsive polymer and a hydrophilic polymer, such that the semi-IPN hydrogel is capable of switching between a hydrophilic and hydrophobic state in response to changes in temperature is provided. Also provided is a draw solute comprising a hydrogel of a polyionic thermally responsive polymer, wherein the hydrogel switches between a hydrophilic state to allow absorption of water osmosed from a feed solution and a hydrophobic state to allow release of the absorbed water in response to changes in temperature. There is also provided a forward osmosis method comprising: contacting a feed solution and the draw solute via a semi-permeable membrane, such that feed water in the feed solution passes through the membrane by osmotic pressure and moves into the draw solute; and separating the water from the draw solute to form a purified water product.

US 2016/0074810 A1: A Draw Solute For Forward Osmosis (2020)
Abstract: The present invention provides a draw solute for forward osmosis comprising a carbon dioxide responsive structural unit and a thermally responsive structural unit, wherein the draw solute is capable of reversibly switching between a protonated state and a deprotonated state. The present invention also provides a forward osmosis method utilising the draw solute.

US 2016/0303522 A1: Nanofiltration Membrane And Method Of Manufacturing A Nanofiltration Membrane (2020)
Abstract: A nanofiltration membrane comprising a selective layer comprising or consisting of poly(amide-imide) cross-linked with polyallyamine is provided. A method of manufacturing the nanofiltration membrane and use of the nanofiltration membrane in a water softening process that is carried out at a low pressure of less than about 2 bar is also provided.

US 2018/0008933 A1: A Draw Solute For A Forward Osmosis Process (2022)
Abstract: A draw solute for a forward osmosis process, the draw solute comprising: a thermally responsive ionic compound having at least one of: a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) and an upper critical solution temperature (UCST), the draw solute being regeneratable from a diluted aqueous draw solution after forward osmosis via one of: liquid-liquid phase separation and solid-liquid phase separation, the draw solute being regeneratable when the diluted aqueous draw solution is at a temperature selected from one of: above the LCST and below the UCST.

US 2022/0144988 A1: Fouling Prevention Ability-Imparting Agent And Water Treatment Membrane Manufactured Using Same (2024)
Abstract: The present invention provides an antifouling ability-imparting agent that adheres well to a variety of water treatment membranes such as reverse osmosis membranes and imparts excellent antifouling ability to the water treatment membranes.
Awards
• “President’s Technology Award” 2022, which is the highest honor bestowed on exceptional research scientists and engineers in Singapore;

• Singapore’s National Day Award - Public Administration Medal (Silver) 2022;

• Listed in Singapore 100 Women in Tech (SG100WIT) 2021

• “Nanyang Research Award” in 2018;

• Prestigious “Alternative Water Prize” from Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW), Saudi Arabia in 2016;

• Singapore’s Minister for National Development R&D Award in 2013;

• Featured among the top 25 leading water researchers globally by Lux Research in 2013
 
Fellowships & Other Recognition
Fellow of the Academy of Engineering Singapore
 
Courses Taught
EN4102 - Membrane Water Reclamation Technology
EN3004 - Air Pollution Control Engineering
CV3015 - Environmental Engineering
EN4912 - Integrated Design
CV7501 - Membrane Science and Technology