Cristian Picioreanu, Ph.D.


Research Interests: Numerical modeling, Biofilms, Membrane engineering, Bioreactor engineering, Multi-scale simulations, Water Treatment

Johannes Vrouwenvelder, Ph.D.

Professor | Center Director

Research Interests: Biofouling, Water Treatment, Biofilms, Transport and distribution, Biological stability / regrowth, Microbial water quality, Membrane fouling, Biofilm monitors, On-line sensors

Matthew McCabe, Ph.D.

Professor | ​​​​​​​​Associate Director

Research Interests: Hydrology, Remote sensing, Climate change, Agriculture, Evaporation, Water resources, Satellite, ​UAV

Kim Choon NG, Ph.D.


Research Interests: ​Solar-powered adsorption desalination, Thermal desalination,, ​Membrane-based dehumidification​

Noreddine Ghaffour, Ph.D.


Research Interests: ​Innovative desalination technologies and hybrid systems (Membrane Distillation,, Forward Osmosis, Adsorption Desalination, Membrane fouling and scaling, Innovative membrane cleaning methods, Fouling indices, RO pretreatment and intake systems, RO systems design and optimization, Desalination economics, Renewable energy-driven integrated desalination technologies

Geert-Jan Witkamp, Ph.D.


Research Interests: Water, Crystallization, Thermodynamics, Supercritical carbon dioxide, Natural deep eutectic solvents, Green solvents

Pascal Saikaly, Ph.D.

​​​Associate Professor​

Research Interests: Microbial Electrochemical Technology, Aerobic Granular Sludge, Anammox

Peng Wang, Ph.D.


Research Interests: ​Nanomaterial, Water, Solar energy, Surface wettability, Membrane, Lithography

Peiying Hong, Ph.D.

​Associate Professor

Research Interests: ​Microbial safety, biotechnology,, water reuse, water quality, antibiotic resistance, anaerobic processes

Himanshu Mishra, Ph.D.

​​​​​​​​​​​Associate Professor

Research Interests: Bio-inspired technologies for food-water security, Capillarity, Surface forces, Nanoconfined liquids, Chemistry at water interfaces

Gary Amy, Ph.D.

​Emeritus Professor

Research Interests: ​Membrane technology, Innovative adsorbents, Ozone/advanced oxidation, River bank filtration and soil aquifer treatment, Natural organic matter and disinfection by-products, Organic and inorganic micropollutants

Research Scientists

M Kum Ja, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Optimization chiller, Evaporative cooling, Dessicant dehumidification, Microwave dehumidification, Membrane dehumidification

Tiannyu Wang, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Bacteria engineering, Biocatalyst, Water safety

Sarah Kerdi, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Membrane filtration processes, Water desalination, Fouling, Spacer design, Material sciences, Catalysis, Chemical formulation

Alla Alpatova, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: ​Membrane separation processes, Water desalination, Catalytically active membranes, Advanced oxidation processes

Bastiaan Blankert, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Process control, Modeling, Membrane processes, Optimization, System design, Pilot scale research, Membrane fouling, Membrane integrity

Muhammad Ali, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: ​Biological wastewater treatment, Biological nitrogen transformation, Anaerobic ammonium oxidation​

Szilard Bucs

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Desalination, Wastewater Treatment1, Forward Osmosis, reverse osmosis, Biofouling

Muhammad Burhan, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: ​Solar Energy Systems, Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV), Water Electrolysis, Ozone Water Treatment, Wastewater Electrolytic Treatment, Hydrogen Energy

Nadia Farhat, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Water Treatment, Desalination, reverse osmosis, Biofouling, non-destructive imaging

Kasper Johansen, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Remote sensing, Agriculture, Satellite, High spatial resolution, Geographic object-based image analysis, UAV1, Airborne, Multi-spectral, LiDAR, Thermal, Hyper-spectral, Image processing

Luca Fortunato, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Membrane fouling, In-situ monitoring, Water Treatment, Membrane distillation, Desalination

Krishna Katuri, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Electro-microbiology, Microbial electrochemical systems, Electrochemical membrane bioreactors, Molecular microbial ecology, Bioreactors (aerobic & anaerobic bioprocesses) design for waste treatment and fermentation processes

Zahid Rehman, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Microbiology, Biofouling

Buddha Shrestha, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: ​​Hydrophobic interaction, Bio-lubrication, Bio-adhesion, Electrochemistry, Catalysis

Graciela Gonzalez-Gil, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Microbial ecology, Biofilms architecture and ecology, Drinking water, Environmental biotechnology

Sofiane Soukane, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: ​Process design and scale-up, Multi-scale modeling and simulation

Research Staff

Ali Imran A.

Lab Manager

Samir K. M. Al Mashharawi

​Research Staff

Research Interests: Meterology, Hydrology, land surface and climate modeling, Water resources, arid land water management, water resources engineer, Evapotranspiration

Imene El Tall

Safety Specialist

Andreia Farinha, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Research Interests: Water Treatment, Organic pollutants, Chromatography

Ahmed Kasmi

Research Technician

Adnan Qamar, Ph.D.

System Modelling and Data Specialist​

Research Interests: ​Computational Fluid Dynamics, Machine learning, Data Analytics and High Performance Computing (HPC)

Yogesh Singh, Ph.D.

​Research Specialist

Research Interests: ​Water quality (analysis, treatment and monitoring)seawater desalination (SWRO/MD), Pretreatment, Membrane fouling/ scaling

Chengyan Zhao

​Research Technician

Yanjie Zhu

​Research Consultant

Yunpeng Zhou

​Research Technician

Research Interests: Membrane distillation, Desalination, Clean water producing, Waste water treatment

Jianqiang Zhou

​Research Staff

Research Interests: ​Wastewater treatment, Anaerobic MBR, Heterogeneous Fenton oxidation

Oliver López, Ph.D.

Research Specialist

Research Interests: Remote sensing, Hydrology, Water resources

Postdoctoral Fellows

Marcel El Hajj, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Synthetic aperture radar data, Optical data, LiDAR, Soil moisture, Biomass, Crop mapping, Crop parameters, Crop modeling

Yuquan Li, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Capacitative deionization, Polymer electrode, Ion selective collection

Hari Ananda Rao, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Electromicrobiology, Microbial ecology, Microbial interactions, Waste to resources, Biocorrosion

Yu-Hsuan Tu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Agricultural monitoring, UAV remote sensing, Vegetation mapping, Aerial survey

Kennedy Odokonyero, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Plant biology/ecology, Plant microbial interaction, Material engineering, Soil science, Irrigation management

Bárbara Freitas, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Microalgae biotechnology, Biological Co2 fixation, Food science

Shuo Zhang, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Anaerobic membrane reactor, Industrial wastewater, water reuse, Pathogen, Emerging contaminants, Membrane fouling

Faheem Akhtar, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​Polymeric and mixed-matrix membranes, Water vapor separation, Dehumidification

Mohammed Obaid Awad, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Seawater desalination, Wastewater Treatment1, Membrane fabrication, Electrospinning, Forward Osmosis, Ultrafiltration

Qian Chen, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Thermal desalination,, Thermodynamics analysis and optimization

Harun Elcik, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Membrane distillation, Membrane fouling, Water and Wastewater Treatment, Renewable Energy, Microalgae

Seunghyun Hong, Ph.D.

​​​​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​​Two-dimensional nanomaterials, Nanofluidics, Membrane, Energy harvesting

Mahmoud Ibrahim, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​Water Surface, Interface, Wetting, Nanoparticles, Catalysis

Jiale Jang, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​Crop growth monitoring, Optical remote sensing modeling, Scale transformation, Data fusion

Renyuan Li, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Environmental Nanotechnology, Atmospheric Water Harvesting, Photothermal, Water desalination

Muhammad Nawaz, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral fellow

Research Interests: ​Forward osmosis membrane filtration, Biological treatment of wastewater, Water purification, Fate of chemical contaminants in water treatment

Adriano Santana Sanchez, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​Density functional theory, Molecular dynamics, Free energy, Transition state, Machine learning

Meng Shi, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​Interfacial phenomenon, Heat transfer, Fluid Mechanics, Nanostructures

Mengchun Wu, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Bio-inspired films, Photothermal materials

Veerraghavulu Sapireddy, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​Microbial biofilm development, Wastewater Treatment1, Microbial fuel cell (MFC) and Microbial electrolysis cell (MEC)

Jiajie Xu, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral fellow

Research Interests: Wastewater Treatment1, Electrochemical technology, Anaerobic digestion/fermentation, Resource recovery technology

Doskhan Ybyraiymkul, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: CFD modeling, Adsorption, Water desalination, Thermal management systems

Peng Zhang, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Analytical chemistry, Microchip electrophoresis for bio/nano applications, Nanofabrication techniques, Single-molecule detection based super-resolution optical imaging, Materials characterizations, Water droplet on a super-hydrophobic surface

Yong Jin, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Condensation, Heat transfer, Desaliantion, Materials, CFD

Bin Bian, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow

Research Interests: Microbial Electrochemistry, Carbon capture and utilization, Energy recovery, Organic waste management, Electrochemical membrane bioreactors

Dario Rangel Shaw, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow

Research Interests: ​Microbial ecology of wastewater, ​Environmental microbiology, Bioremediation, Molecular biology techniques

Hyuk Soo Son, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow

Research Interests: Water desalination, Sustainable Engineering

Wenbin Wang, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow

Research Interests: Solar water distillation and collection, ​Wastewater treatment

Ph.D. Students

Claudia Oviedo

MS/Ph.D. Student

Omar Andrés López Camargo

MS/Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Remote sensing, Computer vision, AI, Oceanography, Agriculture

Mohammed Bader

MS/Ph.D. Student

Nischal Maharjan

MS/Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Intermolecular and surface forces, Bio and soft matter physics, Wetting phenomena

Laura Milena Pulido Beltran

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Water Treatment, Desalination, Membrane processes, Biofouling

Yeong Na

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Environmental engineering, ​Biological wastewater treatment, ​Environmental microbiology

Lamya Al Fuhaid

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​NADES, Physical chemistry, Biological processes, biotechnology,, Biochemistry

Sarah Almahfoodh

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Membrane distillation, Water desalination

Yoseline Ángel Lopez

​​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​​Hyperspectral remote sensing, satellites, Earth observation, UAVs​​​

Sankara Arunachalam

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Biomimetics, Microfabrication, Wetting, Membrane distillation, Fluid dynamics, Surface science

Adair Gallo Junior

​​​M.S./Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Solar energy, Water desalination, Materials, ​Interfaces, Superhydrophobicity

Kees Theo Huisman

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Membrane processes, Fouling control, Biofouling, Non-destructive characterization

Luisa Javier

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Biofouling, Membrane systems, reverse osmosis, Desalination process

Rodrigo Jimenez-Sandoval

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Water Treatment, Bioelectrochemical systems, Biofuels, Bioproducts

Ting Li

M.S./Ph.D. Student

Mustakeem Mustakeem

​Ph.D. Candidate​

Research Interests: Bioelectrochemical System, Nanomaterial Interface

Jamilya Nauruzbayeva

​​​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Contact electrification, Superhydrophobicity, Surface wettability, Micro/Nanotextured surfaces, Materials characterization

Maria Fernanda Nava Ocampo

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​​Environmental, Chemical engineering, Biofouling

Claudia L. Sánchez Huerta

​​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Membrane bioreactor, Biological wastewater treatments, biotechnology,, Organic micro-pollutants, water reuse

Julie Sanchez Medina

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Environmental biotechnology, Microbial ecology, Resource recovery, ​Wastewater treatment

Victor Manuel Torres Serrano

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Innovative adsorbents, Water desalination, Phosphorus recovery, Inorganic crystallization, Reactor design and modeling

Changzhi Wang

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Bioinformatics, Computational biology, Metagenomics

Chenlin Zhang

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Environmental nanomaterials

Matteo Guiseppe Ziliani

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​​Data assimmilation, Unmanned aerial vehicles, Remote sensing, Crop yield modeling

Zain Ahmad

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Wetting, Interfacial Phenomena

Sara Aleid

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Environmental nanomaterials, Water desalination, ​Wastewater treatment, Clean water production, Membranes, Heat recovery, Brine, Bacterial inhibition, Solar cells, Membrane distillation

Bothayna Algashgari

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Environmental microbiology, Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, ​Wastewater treatment

Vinicius Luis dos Santos

​M.S./Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Interfaces, Superhydrophicity, Surfaces

Nayara Vivian Huve Musskopf

​M.S./ Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Interfaces, Superhydrophobicity, Surface wettability, Materials characterization

Ratna Putri

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Environmental microbiology, Bioinformatics, Microbial indicators, Biocorrosion, Microbial enhanced oil recovery

Luigi Ranieri

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Wastewater treatment, Membrane fouling, In-situ monitoring

Mayamin Razali

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Industrial Crystallization, Eutectic Freeze Crystallization, Water Treatment, Scale-up, Sustainable Chemical Process

Administrative Staff

Victor Otoadese

​​Center Manager

Shereen Bawazeer

Business Administrator​

Cecilia Balagtas

​Communications Coordinator

Cairong Zheng

​Administrative Assistant

Industry Specialists

Abdulaali Alharbi

Research specialist/ Pilot Engineer

Muhammad Altaf, Ph.D.

Process and Controls Lead

Paulus J. Buijs

​Center Liaison Officer

Vitor Borges

​Pilot Plant Specialist

Achraf Boussira

​Research Assistant