Dr. Munir Cheryan is internationally recognized for his work in membrane technology for over 40 years. He has made significant contributions in process development and engineering for a variety of industries such as the dairy industry, oilseed and plant proteins, corn processing including wet-milling and dry-grind, biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel, beverage, vegetable oils and nutraceuticals His teaching experience includes food processing, food engineering, dairy technology, plant proteins and membrane technology.
He has a B.Tech.in chemical engineering from IIT-Kharagpur (1968), M.S. in chemical engineering (1970) and Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison in food science (1974). After post-doctoral fellowships at UW-Madison and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), he was on the faculty at UIUC in the Departments of Food Science & Human Nutrition and Agricultural & Biological Engineering between 1976 and 2006 where he supervised over 80 post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, visiting scientists and technicians. He was then Research Professor at UIUC focusing on technology transfer and commercialization of his intellectual property. He is currently Professor Emeritus.
He has started up three companies since 2001, and is currently Founder and President of Membrane Consultants LLC which specializes in membrane applications in the food, biotechnology and biobased industries. He has provided consulting services to over 65 companies, from start-ups to multinationals, as well as government organizations and the UNDP-FAO.
He is the author of the best-selling Ultrafiltration Handbook first published by Technomic in 1986 and Ultrafiltration and Microfiltration Handbook (Taylor & Francis) in 1998. These books have received widespread acclaim as the first comprehensive treatment of this technology and they are among the most highly-cited and circulated references on this subject. He has published over 200 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in books, and has 17 US and Canadian patents and over two dozen IP disclosures to clients and employers. He has given over 200 seminars and presentations in 25 countries and conducted several short courses around the world,
Dr. Cheryan has received many awards and honors, among them the Archer-Daniels-Midland award from the American Oil Chemists Society in 1984, the Ethanol Award in 2011 from the Illinois Corn Growers Association, Paul Funk award from the Funk Foundation in 1987 for research, Gardner award in 1988 from the Association of Food Scientists and Technologists (India), Soybean Utilization Research Team Award in 1991 from the American Soybean Association and ICI Americas, Inc., the Research and Commercialization award from the National Corn Growers Association in 1993, a commendation from the State of Illinois Legislative Assembly in 1987 and the "Outstanding Professor" award from university students for his teaching. He was named one of the “Top 25 Industry leaders 2015” by Water & Wastewater International (UK) and was elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST) in 2020.
He has received international fellowships from the University of Western Sydney, Australia (1989), American Institute of Indian Studies (1983-84) and a lectureship from the Government of Taiwan (1990). He has been on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biotechnology, Journal of Applied Membrane Science and Technology, International Dairy Journal, Journal of Food Engineering, Journal of Food Process Engineering and Membrane Technology International.
He is one of the co-founders of the North American Membrane Society (NAMS).