People of Fraunhofer USA CEI

Jeffrey R. McCutcheon, PhD

Executive Director

Executive Director

Jeffrey McCutcheon is The Al Geib Professor of Environmental Engineering Research & Education in the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut.  He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Yale University.

Since his appointment in Fall of 2008, he has established a laboratory focused on membrane separations. He works in the areas of forward osmosis, membrane distillation, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, pervaporation, vapor permeation, organic solvent nanofiltration and additive manufacturing for membranes. He has authored over 80 refereed publications, written 3 book chapters, and has several patents on membrane technology.  He has served the separations community as a Director for both the AIChE Separations Division and the North American Membrane Society (NAMS) and recently served a term as President of NAMS.  He has received numerous awards including the 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, the Solvay Advanced Polymers Young Faculty Award, The DuPont Young Faculty Award, and the FRI/John G. Kunesh Award from the AIChE Separations Division. He recently was the winner of the 2019 Global Water Summit Water Technology Idol competition for his work on 3D printed membranes. 

In 2017, he was named the Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation.   This partnership between the State of Connecticut and the German Fraunhofer Institutes is dedicated to applied research in the membrane technology space and is charged to interact directly with industries in need of solutions to separations challenges.

Shan Yong, PhD

Director of Business Development

Director of Business Development

Shan Yong, PhD, is the Director of Business Development for Fraunhofer USA Center for Energy Innovation CEI.

Shan has more than 14 years of experience in international business development and technology consulting in the water and environmental sector with companies like Veolia Water Technologies North America, SembCorp Industries Singapore, SafBon Shanghai Water Holding, Nanostone, Aquafortus etc.

Her experience also includes new technology commercialization, technology assessment, feasibility studies, marketing, strategic planning, sustainability studies, M&A and partnership development. Notably, she has dual roles within Veolia, managing new technology developmental projects with the Americas Technology Team at Veolia Water Technologies North America while concurrently working with open innovation at Veolia Environment Research and Innovation. She drove technology development including patent research, technical evaluations, industrial/municipal market strategic development, partner engagement, and managed internal knowledge transfer.

Prior to obtaining her PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Yale, she worked for SembCorp Utilities in Singapore, developing green/brown field power and water/wastewater business development opportunities in the Asia Pacific region. Notable projects ranged from renewable energy, to novel industrial/municipal wastewater, acquisition of an Enron utility park in the UK and waste treatment technologies. She is also an established author with more than 370 citations on her high impact research papers in the field of Environmental Engineering.

Shan graduated with honors with her Bachelors of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and obtained her Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT. Following that, she completed her doctorate in Chemical Environmental Engineering from Yale University specializing in Forward Osmosis and is considered an expert in Osmotically Driven Membrane Processes.

Edward Wazer

Laboratory Director

Laboratory Director

Edward Wazer has been with Fraunhofer USA CEI since 2016, helping to relaunch the center with a focus on separation technologies.  Ed has been responsible for the preparation of the preliminary designs and requirements for the new Fraunhofer USA CEI lab and office space, as well as seeing through the buildout from conception to construction and completion.  Ed has designed the space for the high power and high-pressure liquid and gas separation research/activities to accommodate a wide range of potential clients’ separation requests that the center is performing.

With the rapid expansion and growth of Fraunhofer USA CEI, Ed is responsible for overseeing the staff, ongoing projects, the fabrication of membrane separation systems, and the operations of the laboratory.  One of Ed’s top priorities is to ensure that many of the separation systems built are automated, for efficiency and safety purposes. Ed is also responsible for the coordination and joint building of testing equipment with Fraunhofer Institute of Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS.

Prior to his position at Fraunhofer, Ed worked as an engineer in the aerospace industry for more than a decade with technical focuses in powerplant performance and engine secondary airflow systems.  

Ed holds a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UCONN.

Mayur Ostwal

Postdoctoral Scientist

Postdoctoral Scientist

Mayur is a postdoctoral scientist at Fraunhofer USA Center for Energy Innovation. He has broad experience and interest in gas separation technologies, mainly, membrane technology and adsorption. He is also interested in novel materials such as graphene oxide, MOF’s and COF’s for their application in gas separations.

Mayur received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, US. After that he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Colorado School of Mines and University of Colorado, Boulder. More recently, he worked as a Research Scientist in the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. He has published over 15 peer reviewed journal articles in the adsorption and membrane technology field along with one book chapter. 

Marianne Pemberton

Senior Laboratory Technician

Senior Laboratory Technician 

Marianne is the Senior Laboratory Technician at Fraunhofer USA Center for Energy Innovation CEI; she is responsible for building, operating and demonstrating bench top and pilot scale test stands for organic and inorganic  membrane projects.  Marianne is also supporting the development and collection of liquid & gas separation benchmarking data to support the core services that the new Fraunhofer USA CEI facility offers.  She joins the Fraunhofer CEI team with over two decades of prior experience in catalyst synthesis, component development, testing and evaluation within the renewable energy field.

Support Team

Terry Barber-Tournaud


Terry Barber-Tournaud has supported Fraunhofer USA CEI since 2013 at the initial launch of the center.  Terry is responsible for financial interactions between the University of Connecticut (UConn), CEI, Fraunhofer USA, and the State of Connecticut.  Terry is the interface with Fraunhofer USA Corporate on financial matters associated with the center’s operations.  She assists the organization in pre- and post-award grant management and well as other financial matters associated with purchasing, reimbursements, human resources and other administrative needs.  Terry splits her time between Fraunhofer CEI and the University of Connecticut’s Center for Clean Energy Engineering, where she serves as Program Director.

Terry  Barber-Tournaud has 20 years’ experience at United Technologies Corporation, where she held positions of increasing responsibility with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Hamilton Sundstrand (now UTC Aerospace Systems), UTC Research Center, UTC Industrial Lasers and the International Aero Engines consortium under Pratt & Whitney. Her duties spanned areas of strategic partnership alliances, product development, and collaborative project management.

Ms. Barber-Tournaud received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Hartford, and a master’s degree in Management as well as an MBA, from Albertus Magnus College.

Benjamin Anacleto

Laboratory Service

Manager of Laboratory Service

Benjamin has worked for the University of Connecticut as a laboratory technician and safety officer while acquiring his MS in Physics. 

Benjamin's background and knowledge facilitates Fraunhofer's ability to integrate with the university's vast pool of scientific instruments with the center.  His skills are utilized by designing, fabricating and performing experiments. 

He splits his time between Fraunhofer CEI and the University of Connecticut’s Innovation Partnership Building, where he serves as Manager of Laboratory Services.

Interns and Visiting Scholars

Johann Schnittger

Visiting Scholar

Johann Schnittger is a PhD graduate student visiting from the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) in Germany, which is Fraunhofer USA CEI’s partner institute. Johann is sharing his, and Fraunhofer IKTS’s, technical expertise with the staff of CEI. He received his M.Sc. in Hydro Science from the University of Dresden in 2017 and has since been working in the field of desalination.

He is a Ph.D candidate in Process Engineering in Hydro Systems at the University of Dresden under Prof. André Lerch (TU Dresden) and Prof. Ingolf Voigt (Fraunhofer IKTS) and conducts research related to the utilization of ceramic membranes in Membrane Distillation (MD) applications. The main focus of his research is the optimization of ceramic membranes for the treatment of aggressive wastewaters like produced waters, mining waste wasters, etc., using MD processes. His research is funded by the German Federal Foundation for the environment. Mr. Johann Schnittger also has a B.A. in economics and is passionate about mitigating human impact on the environment.

Jaime Idarraga-Mora

Research Intern

Jaime Idarraga-Mora is a Research Intern at Fraunhofer USA CEI working with Dr. Jeffrey McCutcheon. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (2013) from the Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia) where he performed research in applied thermodynamics. He worked as R&D Engineer for 1 year and 5 months at Qumica Basica Colombiana (Caloto, Colombia) developing sulphur-containing products.

Currently, he is a Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Clemson University (Clemson, SC) working with Dr. Scott Husson. His research is oriented to elucidate the role of the mechanical properties of the polymeric porous composite materials in the performance of osmotically-driven membrane processes.

Besides research activities, Jaime has served as officer in multiple student organizations, and he has taken courses in Project and Innovation Management in the Clemson University College of Business, both experiences he plans to use to lead and execute business-driven research activities.