DuPont’s Caleb Funk, Ph.D., Named 2024 Gordon E. Moore Medalist for Advancements to Water Purification Membrane Technologies

Press Release | April 24, 2024
Press Release
DuPont’s Caleb Funk, Ph.D., Named 2024 Gordon E. Moore Medalist for Advancements to Water Purification Membrane Technologies

Release from SCI America

PHILADELPHIA, PA, April 24, 2024 – The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) America announced today that Caleb Funk, Ph.D. is this year’s recipient of the 21st annual Gordon E. Moore medal. SCI established the Gordon E. Moore medal to recognize early-career success in innovation, as reflected both in market impact and improvement to quality of life.

Funk, Lead R&D Scientist at DuPont, will be presented the award at Innovation Day, hosted jointly by SCI and the Science History Institute, on September 9, 2024, at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

"Through his research at DuPont, Caleb developed a new polyamide chemistry that changed multiple aspects of the traditional membrane process and applied these innovations to multiple membranes that are now commercialized,” said Roger Kearns, President and CEO of NOVA Chemicals and Chair of SCI America. “In dedicating his scientific career to creating new and improving existing membranes, Caleb has significantly contributed to improved recovery and better reliability in industrial wastewater. His work has direct and measurable impacts on sustainability and energy conservation and we are thrilled to recognize his achievements.” 

DuPont Water Solutions is one of the world’s leading suppliers of nanofiltration membranes.  This technology can be used to recover, recycle, and concentrate valuable solutes in mining, industrial chemical processes, microelectronics manufacturing, dairy processing, and many more applications. Funk led the technical development of multiple reverse osmosis and nanofiltration membrane breakthroughs over the last fifteen years that improved the transport properties, energy efficiency, and sustainability of membrane separations. Funk’s membrane innovations, fully realized in an expanding range of DuPont Water Solutions products, have led to improved sustainability and financial advantages for a wide array of applications.

“Caleb represents the essence of what it means to be a fearless innovator at DuPont. He has elevated the field of research in the area of nanofiltration and used it for the benefit of our customers and for the purpose of helping humanity thrive,” said Alexa Dembek, Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer at DuPont. “It is in this unique space where chemistry, innovation and sustainability intersect that Caleb excels. I’m so very proud to call Caleb a colleague and on behalf of all his teammates at DuPont, I offer him our deepest congratulations on this career milestone.”


About Caleb Funk
Caleb Funk is a Lead R&D Scientist at DuPont focused on water purification membranes, including ultrafiltration, nanofiltration (NF), and reverse osmosis (RO). Much of his career has been spent on membrane manufacturing process R&D, scaling up new process technologies from lab to pilot to full-scale, as well as process advancements for element fabrication. His current role includes nanofiltration membrane chemistry development and new quality control technology development for reverse osmosis membranes. 

He has been recognized with several awards including the DuPont Engineering Excellence Award in 2022 and 2023 for his work solving challenges with NF membrane manufacturing and Seawater RO membrane testing. DuPont has launched a portfolio of products incorporating an array of his membrane innovations including the FilmTec™ Fortilife™ NF1000 nanofiltration membrane for industrial wastewater separations, winner of a 2023 R&D100 Award from R&D Magazine, the Edison Award-winning FilmTec™ LiNE-XD nanofiltration membrane for direct lithium extraction, and the FilmTec™ SWBR product line for seawater mineral recovery. 

As part of the broader membrane community, Funk served on the Board of the Directors of the North American Membrane Society for 8 years. During this time, he chaired both the Membership and Awards committees, served a term as President of the Society in 2017-2018, and served for 3 years on the steering committee of the World Association of Membrane Societies.

Funk received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. 


About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)

SCI America, launched in 1894, provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists, and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspires students to enter technical careers. SCI America also offers its members the opportunity to become part of its growing network by participating in its annual Innovation Day, where young industry leaders come together to celebrate innovation in the chemical industry and to seek solutions for tomorrow’s challenges. 

By highlighting extraordinary individuals and their work, SCI America aims to promote public understanding of research and development in modern chemical industries, enhance the interest of students in applied chemistry by providing role models, and emphasize the role of creative research in the global economy. SCI America events are managed by the Science History Institute.