Research Interests

  • Biomimetics
  • Superhydrophobic sand mulches and soil amendments for aridland agriculture
  • Coating-free liquid-repellent surfaces for drag reduction; Nano-/micro-fluidics
  • Surface forces (hydrophobic interactions, DLVO, structural forces)
  • Chemistries and electrification at water-hydrophobe interfaces

Selected Publications

Education Profile

  • ​Ph.D., Materials Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA, 2013
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, Indiana, USA, 2007
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Punjab Engineering College, India, 2005

Professional Profile

  • 2020-Present: Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Engineering, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2014-2020: Assistant Professor, Environmental Science and Engineering​​​​, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2014: The Elings Prize Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Santa Barbara, USA


  • Best Poster Prize, 45th International Conference on Micro and Nano Engineering, Rhodes, Greece (September 23-26, 2019) (Zain Ahmad, MS student) (Out of 404 entries; cash prize: 400 Euros)
  • 2017: Elsevier Best Poster Award, 7th International Colloids Conference, Sitges-Barcelona, Spain (Presenter: H. Mishra)
  • 2017: First Place, Doctoral Level Students Poster Contest, 5th Water Arabia Conference and Exhibition, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia (2017) (Presenter: Adair Gallo Jr., Ph.D. student)
  • 2016: Best Presentation Award, International Conference on Science and Technology of Emerging Materials (STEMa, 2016), Thailand (Presenter: H. Mishra)
  • 2014: The Elings Prize Postdoctoral Fellow, California NanoSystems Institute, University of California Santa Barbara, USA


  • Editors’ Highlights, Nature Communications (2020) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-19054-8
  • Cover Article, Advanced Materials Interfaces (2020) DOI:10.1002/admi.202001268
  • Cover Article, International Journal of Quantum Chemistry (2020) DOI:10.1002/qua.26501
  • Student delegate to the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Interdisciplinary Meeting (2020): Adair Gallo Jr., PhD student
  • Invited lecture: Physical Chemistry Seminar, College of Chemistry, University of California Berkeley, CA, USA (October 15th, 2019)
  • Invited lecture: Chemical Physics Seminar, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA (October 8th, 2019)
  • Session Chair, Wetting on Soft or Microtextured Surfaces, Bad Honnef, Germany (Host: Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Apr 11-13, 2019)
  • Cover Article, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2019) DOI:10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b01835
  • Cover Article, Chemical Science (2019) DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05538F
  • Lecture at the United Nations COP-24 meeting on climate change at Katowice, Poland (Dec, 2018) got >92k views on Facebook through Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) reporting.
  • Cover Article: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2016) DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b10721

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC)
  • Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE)​