Academic Profile : Faculty

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

Dr Wang received her Bachelor degree from Zhejiang University, China in 1984 and PhD degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1992. She worked at the Institute of Process Engineering, CAS as Assistant Professor/Associate Professor (1992-1999). She was a Senior Research Scientist/Deputy Centre Director/Centre Director at the Institute of Environmental Science & Engineering, Singapore (1999-2008). 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. Dr Wang also assisted Dr Tony Fane in setting up Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (SMTC) in 2008 as Deputy Director, and becomes Director of SMTC since 2012. She serves as an Editor of Journal of Membrane Science (JMS) since 2014 and became Editor-in-Chief of JMS in 2020. She is on the editorial board of Desalination since 2011.

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.

Dr Wang has over 280 SCI tracked journal publications (cited times: >15,000, h-index: 69 @Web of Science as June 2020). She is the inventor of 24 patents/ technical disclosures for novel membrane fabrication. One patent led to the setup of a spin-off company, Aquaporin Asia, in 2011 for biomimetic membrane commercialization. Another spin-off company, Aromatec Pte Ltd, was formed in 2018 based on the forward osmosis (FO) membrane technology developed by her team. The third spin-off company, MEM+ Technology Pte Ltd, was set up in Feb 2020 based on her invention of bio-programmable hollow fiber reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membranes.

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 appointed to President’s Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering at NTU in 2019. She became a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering Singapore in 2020.

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 RO membrane, synthetic water channel-based RO membrane, organic solvent resistant and low pressure NF membrane, 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, 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;
• Simulation and optimization of various membrane processes for seawater desalination and CO2 capture in membrane contactors, etc.
  • A membrane-based biotechnology for single cell protein production from renewable biogas: a sustainable way to feed the future
  • A Sustainable Bio-platform for High Quality Microbial Protein Production
  • A Sustainable Bio-platform for High Quality Microbial Protein Production (CEE-WR)
  • Feasibility study to fabricate biomimetic hollow fiber membranes incorporating stabilized viral ion channels for drug discovery applications
  • 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
  • Scale-Up The Fabrication Of High Performance Aquaporin (AQP)-Based Biomimetic Flat-Sheet Membranes For Seawater Desalination
  • Scale-Up The Fabrication Of High Performance Aquaporin (AQP)-Based Biomimetic Hollow Fiber Membranes For Water Reuse And Desalination
  • Supporting Module Design, Fabrication And Operation To Harness The Benefits Of HAOPs (Heated Aluminum Oxide Particles) For Fouling Control As A Novel Pretreatment In Practical Membrane-Based Water Processes
  • Understanding and mitigating membrane fouling to exploit the benefits of membrane-based filtration for the separation of biocatalysts in the manufacturing of small-molecule API
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.