Matthew Realff, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE), has been elected as a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in recognition of his contributions to the chemical engineering field. A fellowship is the highest grade of membership in AIChE.
"This honor reaffirms the high esteem with which his colleagues and peers view his distinctive professional achievements and accomplishments," said AIChE Executive Director and CEO June Wispelwey.
Realff, who is the David Wang Faculty Sr. Fellow in ChBE, has the opportunity to be recognized for his AIChE Fellowship at the 2021 Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts (in-person from Nov. 7-11, virtual from Nov. 15-19), or at the 2022 Spring Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Realff, who joined the faculty of ChBE in 1993, has played a key role in the development of the School's educational programs in chemical process and product design.
His current research is focused on the design and operation of processes that minimize waste production by recovery of useful products from waste streams. Particularly, he is interested in carbon capture processes both from flue gas and dilute capture from air as well as the analysis and design of processes that use biomass.
In 2018, Realff became the founding editor-in-chief of the AIChE Journal of Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, whose mission is to connect research advances in engineering fields related to manufacturing to metrics important to society.
He was elected chair of the Council of Public Health Consultants of NSF Intl. in 2018 in recognition of his service in the development of sustainability assessment methods. The Council is the main oversight for the development of the organization's standards in areas such as sustainability assessment, food safety, and water treatment.
Realff is, at 14 years, the longest serving board member of GreenBlue, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving sustainable business. This organization has more than 500 members spanning the supply chain for packaging from materials suppliers such as Dow, to converters, to companies including Mars, Target, and Walmart. He has participated in strategic guidance of the organization and its recent development of the "How to Recycle" label that appears on thousands of products.
In 2015, Realff became a board advisor to Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), a non-profit organization charged with advancing market-based solutions for carpet recycling and landfill diversion of post-consumer carpet. He was recognized as CARE’s Person of the Year for 2018.
From 2005 to 2007, Realff was a program officer at the National Science Foundation, where he helped develop programs in Environmental Benign Design and Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructures, leading to the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program on that topic.