Picture of Joseph Danner

Joseph Danner is an exceptional graduate student in the Weinman lab. Joseph grew up in Augusta, Georgia and came to the Capstone in 2015 to begin his undergraduate studies. He decided to pursue chemical engineering because he was intrigued by the innovative nature of the field and its diverse applications.

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 2019, Joseph started his career as a process engineer at Parsons Corporation. In this role, Joseph primarily worked in design and commissioning. He regularly performed plant walkdowns, made modifications to processing systems, and carried out calculations to determine specifications for pressure safety valves, pumps, heat exchangers, and other processing equipment.

In 2021 Joseph decided to return to Alabama to attend graduate school. He made this decision because he wanted to broaden his professional horizons and work on novel projects that will drive the next wave of innovation. Specifically, he was drawn to Dr. Weinman’s research on separations, which he considered to be cutting-edge. Additionally, he felt like Dr. Weinman, as well as the graduate program, were truly invested in his success.

The goal of Joseph’s research is to engineer the next generation of sustainable membranes using green solvents and plastic upcycling. In recent years, many of the solvents involved in membrane fabrication processes have been found to be dangerous, so there is currently a major push in industry to find effective and eco-friendly alternatives. Joseph contributed to a breakthrough in these efforts by identifying a novel green solvent commonly found in various nuts, seeds, and baked goods. Moreover, Joseph was able to use this solvent to dissolve plastic forks and spoons, which were then repurposed to fabricate water filtration membranes. Both findings present remarkable potential for reducing waste, protecting the environment, and building a more sustainable future around membranes.

Joseph is extraordinarily passionate about his work and the overall mission of the department. He appreciates how professors lend their expertise to each other’s projects and views their collaboration as an integral part of everyone’s success. Joseph also enjoys the sense of collegiality that he experiences across faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Altogether, he is excited to be involved in the department and looks forward to contributing to more research going forward.