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Engineering professor, alumnus named Russ Professor

Colleen Carow | Mar 25, 2019
Trembly and student

Engineering professor, alumnus named Russ Professor

Colleen Carow | Mar 25, 2019

Ohio University Professor of Mechanical Engineering and OHIO alumnus Jason Trembly, PhD '07, MS '04, BSChE '03, has been named as the newest Russ Professor in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. 

The five-year professorship, which includes an annual salary supplement as well as a travel budget for professional meetings, was created thanks to charitable contributions from alumnus Fritz Russ, BSEE '42, HON '75, and his wife, Dolores. This Russ Professorship joins five others in the college, for a total of six.

Dean Dennis Irwin said Trembly has been one of the college's most accomplished researchers since the time of his initial hire. 

"His designation as Russ Professor is our recognition of sustained success in research, achievement of which the Russes wanted to reward, which effectively we've been able to do since they established the initial Russ Professorship fund in 1982."

Trembly, who is also director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment, focuses on using process intensification – in which chemical engineering principles are used to develop a substantially smaller, cleaner, safer and more energy efficient technology – to increase sustainability in the energy and environmental spaces. His research group combines process modeling with materials and process development to address key regional, state and national challenges including industrial emissions, and hydraulic fracturing operations. Additional areas of research include syngas conversion, natural gas/NGLs conversion, nutrient recovery, high-temperature electrochemical systems, and techno-economic studies. 

Trembly, who became a faculty member at OHIO in 2011, said he's humbled by this recognition of his engineering contributions to the Russ College. "I've been fortunate to work with outstanding students, staff and colleagues throughout my career. Without their contributions, my work would not be successful," he said. "The Russes' giving had a tremendous impact on my career early career as a student -- and now as a faculty member. Receiving this professorship is a tremendous honor," he added.

Trembly, who has been principal investigator for more than $15 million in sponsored research, developed a process to clean hydraulic fracturing wastewater onsite. He recently was awarded $1 million total from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and OHIO to remediate carbon dioxide and ethane

According to research collaborator David Bayless, Loehr Professor of Mechanical Engineering, 
Trembly's innovations at the nexus of energy, water and fuel are among today's most innovative and practical.

"Dr. Trembly has not only envisioned systems to remediate wastewater, whether from hydraulic fracturing or agricultural runoff – he also has created electrochemical systems to convert low-value fuels into higher-value precursors for plastics at a scale that requires lower capital investment and offers the potential for more distributed manufacturing and greater economic development in the Appalachian region," Bayless said. "He is an outstanding mentor to his students, staff and colleagues."

Greg Kremer, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, acknowledged Trembly's teaching contributions in addition to his research excellence. 

"I'm very pleased to see Jason recognized for his research accomplishments, especially because he has built and maintained his research group while being a full contributor to the department, and providing excellent teaching and service."

Trembly joins fellow Russ Professors Gerardine Botte and Srdjan Nesic of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Robert Judd of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Shad Sargand of the Department of Civil Engineering, and Frank van Graas of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.