Dr. Hassan Arafat
Dr. hassan arafat Professor Senior Director Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Contact Information


Prof. Arafat is the Senior Director of the Research and Innovation Center for Graphene & 2D Materials (RIC2D) and professor of chemical engineering at Khalifa University (KU) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, where he has been working since 2010. 

His current research interests are in Graphene, 2D materials, membrane-based desalination and the development of novel membranes for water applications. He is also an expert on “sustainable desalination”, an approach that integrates multiple interdisciplinary tools to enhance the prospects of deploying desalination for achieving water and food security. The sustainable desalination concept was first introduced in 2017 in Prof. Arafat’s book: “Desalination Sustainability: A Technical, Socioeconomic and Environmental Approach”. 

Prof. Arafat received his Ph.D. and BSc in Chemical Engineering from the Univ. of Cincinnati (USA) (2000) and the Univ. of Jordan (1996), respectively. From 2000 to 2003, he worked at Argonne National Laboratory (USA) on separation processes development for nuclear waste treatment. Between 2003 and 2010, he was a faculty member of the Chem. Eng. Dept. at An-Najah University (Palestinian Territory). Between 2009 and 2012, he served as an adjunct associate professor of the Biological Eng. Dept. at Utah State Univ. (USA) and in 2010, he spent six months as a visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). Between 2018 and 2022, he was the Director of the Center for Membranes and Advanced Water Technology (CMAT) at KU. 

Prof. Arafat is a recipient of several prestigious research fellowships by the US National Academy of Science (USA), the Open Society Foundation (USA) and DAAD (Germany). Through his career thus far, he has supervised 58 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students and received 29 research grants, totaling more than $16M. His research was published in 300+ book chapters, journal papers, and conference presentations, in addition to two US patents. He has been invited and delivered over 60 keynote and invited talks worldwide. Among other honors, Prof. Arafat received the Khalifa Award for Education, presented by the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence, presented by the Prime Minister of the UAE, the United States Department of Energy Secretarial Honor Award, the Mondialogo Engineering Award by Daimler AG and UNESCO, and the Univ. of Cincinnati Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship. 

He is a member of the selection committees of the prestigious Zayed Sustainability Prize and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award. In 2021, he was granted the United Arab Emirates Citizenship by nomination of the UAE’s Prime Minister Office in recognition of his accomplishments and service to the UAE.

  • PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Cincinnati (USA), 2000
  • PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Cincinnati (USA), 2000

  • Membrane Technology
  • Sustainable Desalination Processes

Affiliated Research Institutes/Centers
  • Research & Innovation Center for Graphene and 2D Materials
  • Masdar Institute

Research Interests
  • Graphene & Related 2D Materials
  • Membrane-Based Desalination
  • Development of Novel Membranes for Water Applications
  • Sustainable Desalination

Research Projects

2021 ˗ 2023

Co-Principal Investigator: ($517k) Anti-fouling remediation strategies for water intake for nuclear reactor cooling systems.

Sponsor: Emirates Nuclear Energy Company

2021 ˗ 2023

Co-Principal Investigator: ($735k) Light Responsive MOF-based sponges for ultrafast and cost-effective adsorption desalination.

Sponsor: Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority.

2020 ˗ 2022

Principal Investigator: ($272k) Fixed-bed reactor for water microbial disinfection via supported metal over kaolin and metal oxide nanoparticles composites.

Sponsor: Abu Dhabi Research & Development Authority. 

2019 ˗ 2022

Co-Principal Investigator: ($550k) Solar Absorbing Membranes for Water Desalination. 

Sponsor: Khalifa University (KU) internal funding.

2018 ˗ 2021

Founding Director: ($3.5M seed funding) Center for Membrane and Advanced Water Technology.

Sponsor: Khalifa University (KU) internal funding. 

2017 ˗ 2021

Principal Investigator: ($350k) Water desalination in the UAE using low-energy reverse osmosis process.

Sponsor: Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (S. Korea).

2014 ˗ 2016

Principal Investigator: ($905k) Fouling assessment and mitigation in utility-scale membrane distillation systems for brine management. 

Sponsor: Abengoa Water Co. (Spain)

2014 ˗ 2016

Principal Investigator: ($500k) Economic analysis of solar powered desalination.

Sponsor: Suez Environment (France)

2014 ˗ 2015

Principal Investigator: ($300k) Novel module configurations for high efficiency Membrane Distillation-Project extension.

Sponsor: MIT&MI Innovation Program

2014 ˗ 2015

Principal Investigator: ($105k) Membrane Distillation (VMD) System Using Aspirator for Reduced Cost and Enhanced Water Recovery.

Sponsor: British Petroleum Co. (via Masdar Institute Technology Innovation Program).

2014 ˗ 2015

Principal Investigator: ($100k) Novel module configurations for high efficiency Membrane Distillation.

Sponsor: MIT&MI Innovation Program.

2014 ˗ 2015

Co-Principal Investigator: ($12k) More than just water security: Ecological, political, and social implications of our efforts to bridge the water gap: Symposium and seminar series (with P. Jacques, Univ. of Central Florida).

Sponsor: The Hollings Center (USA).

2012 ˗ 2015

Principal Investigator: ($3.6M) Development of advanced membrane water purification systems: fabrication, fouling resistance, and system configuration.

Sponsor: Masdar Institute and MIT flagship collaborative project.

2011 - 2012

Principal Investigator: ($112k) Development of novel, sustainable and eco-efficient poly(lactic acid) membranes for membrane distillation.

Sponsor: Masdar Institute internal funding.


Co-Principal Investigator: ($100k) A novel boron tracing technology supporting critical performance evaluation of desalination processes in the UAE.

Sponsor: Masdar Institute internal funding

2010 -2012

Principal Investigator: ($900k) Development of renewable energy powered membrane distillation process.

Sponsor: Masdar Institute and MIT Collaborative Program

2006 - 2010

Co-Principal Investigator: ($105k) Development of polymer nanofiber, micro-fiber and hollow-fiber membranes for desalination by membrane distillation (with M. Khayet, U. Madrid).

Sponsor: Middle East Desalination Research Center (Oman)

2006 - 2008

Principal Investigator: ($125k) Development of an effective process for evaluation of faculty teaching performance leading to enhanced teaching methodologies. 

Sponsor: World Bank

2006 - 2007

Principal Investigator: ($100k) Utilization of dairy whey in the Palestinian Territories.

Sponsor: Islamic Development Bank (KSA).

2005 ˗ 2008

Co-Principal Investigator: ($115k) Preparation of thin film composite reverse osmosis membranes with reduced fouling for seawater desalination (with T. Matsuura, U. Ottawa, Canada).

Sponsor: Middle East Desalination Research Center (Oman). 


Principal Investigator: ($4k) Pollution prevention by recovery and reuse of hazardous wastewater from textile washing operations in Palestine.

Sponsor: Palestinian American Research Center (USA).

2005 ˗ 2009

Co-Principal Investigator: ($156k) Design of novel membranes for desalination by direct contact membrane distillation (Subcontractor with T. Matsuura & M. Khayet).

Sponsor: Middle East Desalination Research Center (Oman). 

2004 ˗ 2006

Principal Investigator: ($10k) Critical improvements of the drinking water disinfection system within the Nablus municipality.

Sponsor: UNESCO

2002 - 2004

Principal Investigator: ($2.47M) IS-MIO process for Sr and actinides removal from SRS salt waste. 

Sponsor: DOE, USA

2001 - 2003

Principal Investigator: ($250k) A new process for the removal of hazardous organic compounds from contaminated groundwater using an environmentally friendly solvent extraction technology. 

Sponsor: ANL (USA).

2001 - 2002

Principal Investigator: ($160k) Removal of Sr and TRU elements from alkaline tank waste using in-situ generated magnetite. 

Sponsor: National Energy Technology Laboratory (USA).

1998, 1999, 2000

($10k) Research Council Summer Fellowship Grant.

Sponsor: Univ. of Cincinnati (USA).

Research Staff and Graduate Students:

Dr. Parashuram Kallem (2019 - 2022) Postdoctoral Associate
Eng. Nurshaun Sreedhar (2018 - 2022) Research Engineer
Dr. Musthafa Mavukkandy (2019 - 2022) Postdoctoral Associate
Dr. Navya Thomas (2019 - 2021) Postdoctoral Associate
Dr. Mahendra Kumar (2018 - 2020) Research Scientist
Dr. Munirasu Selvaraj (2019) Research Scientist
Eng. Savvina Loutatidou (2015 – 2016) Research Engineer
Dr. Joanna Kujawa (2015 – 2016) Postdoctoral Associate
Dr. Samer Al-Gharabli (2015 – 2016) Research Scientist
Dr. Sudip Chakraborty (2015 – 2016) Postdoctoral Associate
Eng. Virginie Dufour (2015 – 2016) Research Engineer
Dr. Mohamed Roil Bilad (2013 – 2015) Postdoctoral Associate
Dr. Elena Guillen-Burrieza (2011 – 2014) Postdoctoral Associate
Dr. Rinku Thomas (2011 – 2013) Postdoctoral Associate
Eng. Ali Farhat (2011 – 2013) Research Engineer
Qian Liu PhD Student
Mohamed Khatab PhD Student
Fatema Hisham Khamis PhD Student
Mohammed Abujayyab PhD Student
Mujeeb Kareem PhD Student
Yongjie Liu PhD Student
Hussein Amusa PhD Student
Balsam Swaidan PhD Student
Areej Abdulsalam MSc Student
Momen Abubasha MSc Student
Nabeel Sultan MSc Student