Devin L. Shaffer
Dr. Devin L. Shaffer, Ph.D., P.E.
Assistant Professor
Office Location: N135 Engineering Building 1, Houston, TX 77204-4003
Phone: 713-743-7612 | Fax: 713-743-4260
Email: dshaffer [at] uh [dot] edu


Ph.D., Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Yale University, 2016
M.Eng., Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003
B.S., Civil Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 2002

Professional Experience: 

2016-2017: Postdoctoral Fellow, Functional Polymers Group, Materials Science and Engineering Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD
2011-2016: Graduate Student Researcher, Chemical & Environmental Engineering Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2003-2011: Professional Engineer, Carollo Engineers, Inc., Phoenix, AZ


CIVE 3331: Environmental Engineering
CIVE 6387: Physicochemical Treatment Processes

Awards & Honors: 

National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct materials research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2016-2017
Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Research Fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2012-2015

Professional Memberships: 

Registered Civil Engineer, Arizona
North American Membrane Society
American Chemical Society; Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division

Research Interests: 

Dr. Shaffer studies materials and systems for water treatment.  His research aims to create new and resilient water supplies through desalination technologies and reuse strategies.

Currently, Dr. Shaffer investigates membranes for desalination and tailors membrane surface properties to improve performance.  He employs novel characterization techniques like neutron radiography and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to gain insight into structure-property relationships that influence membrane transport. Membranes with tailored properties will be incorporated into systems designed for high-recovery desalination of unconventional water sources.


Shaffer D.L., Energy Optimization for Membrane Desalination. Oral presentation at the Water Environment Association of Texas 8th Annual W. Wesley Eckenfelder Lecture, Houston, TX, July 26, 2018.
Shaffer D.L., Feldman K.E., Chan E.P., Stafford G.R., Stafford C.M. Studying permselectivity of desalination membranes using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Oral presentation at the American Chemical Society National Meeting, Washington, DC, August 20-24, 2017.
Shaffer D.L., Stafford C.M., Stafford G.R., Soles C.L., Chan E.P. A geophysical approach to studying porous membrane structure and predicting intrinsic permeability. Poster presentation at the International Congress on Membranes and Membrane Processes, San Francisco, CA, July 29-August 4, 2017.
Shaffer D.L., Tousley M.E., Elimelech M. Influence of polyamide membrane surface chemistry on gypsum scaling. Oral presentation at the American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, CA, March 13-17, 2016.
Shaffer D.L., Chan E.P., Hussey D.S., Elimelech M. Using Neutron Radiography to Verify the Film Model for Permeation through Forward Osmosis Membranes. Oral presentation at the American Chemical Society National Meeting, Boston, MA, August 16-20, 2015.

Selected Publications: 

Shaffer D.L., LaManna J.M., Jacobson D.L., Hussey D.S., Elimelech M., Chan E.P. Studying water and solute transport through desalination membranes via neutron radiography. Journal of Membrane Science, 2018, 548, 667-675.

Shaffer D.L., Tousley M.E., Elimelech M. Influence of polyamide membrane surface chemistry on gypsum scaling behavior. Journal of Membrane Science, 2017, 525, 249-256.

Shaffer D.L., Jaramillo H., Romero-Vargas Castrillón S., Lu X., and Elimelech M. Postfabrication modification of forward osmosis membranes with a poly(ethylene glycol) block copolymer for improved organic fouling resistance. Journal of Membrane Science, 2015, 490, 209-219.

Shaffer D.L., Werber J.R., Jaramillo H., Lin S., and Elimelech M. Forward osmosis: Where are we now? Desalination, 2015, 356, 271-284.

Shaffer D.L., Arias Chavez L.H., Ben-Sasson M., Romero-Vargas Castrillón S., Yip N.Y., and Elimelech M. Desalination and Reuse of High-Salinity Shale Gas Produced Water: Drivers, Technologies, and Future Directions. Environmental Science & Technology, 2013, 47 (17), 9569-9583.