Masdar Institute Appoints Renowned Expert in Desalination to Establish Centre of Excellence for Water Technologies

September 21, 2018

Dr. Nidal Hilal Joins Faculty of Water and Environmental Engineering Program

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 14 February, 2012 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced the appointment of Dr. Nidal Hilal, an expert in desalination and membrane technologies, as the Professor in Nano-membranology and Water Technologies at the Water and Environmental Engineering program.

Dr Hilal, who has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wales in the UK, is also entrusted with the responsibility of working with the faculty to establish a Centre of Excellence for Water Technologies at Masdar Institute. He is internationally recognized as a leader in developing and applying the force measurement capability of atomic force microscope (AFM) to the study of membrane separation and engineering processes at the nano-scale level.

The Centre of Excellence for Water Technologies at Masdar Institute will be the GCC region’s first international-quality provider of localized solutions to water technology needs. It will focus on membrane technologies, a newer way of removing salt and impurities from seawater that is estimated to use about 90 per cent less energy than standard thermal desalination plants. More specifically, the Centre will aim to help reuse the UAE’s wastewater, reducing the need to create desalinated water from the Gulf and thus saving on carbon emissions.

Dr Hilal is also the Editor-in-Chief of Desalination, published by Elsevier, the most widely respected international journal on the science and technology of desalting and water purification. Masdar Institute now leads the way in desalination.

Dr. Marwan Khraisheh, Dean of Engineering at Masdar Institute, said: “Our faculty represents a cross-section of talented and proven individuals in clean energy and sustainable technologies. Dr Hilal is an internationally-renowned expert in water-treatment technologies who brings enormous additional value to Masdar Institute’s highly focused research activities. We are delighted to welcome him and we thank the country’s leadership for creating an institution that serves as a magnet, attracting leading brains in science, technology and engineering.”

Dr Hilal’s research focus areas include the identification of innovative and cost-effective solutions to real world process engineering problems within the fields of chemical engineering, nano-water, membrane technology, water treatment including desalination, colloid engineering and the nano-engineering applications of atomic force microscopy (AFM).

As the Director of Centre for Clean Water Technologies at the University of Nottingham in the UK from 2003 until 2010 and later the Director of Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research (C WATER) at Swansea University in the UK, Dr Hilal has developed a successful research portfolio and established a wide range of international research collaborations over the last 10 years. He has more than 300 publications to his credit and his work has been published widely in journals, international proceedings including five books and 23 invited book chapters.

Dr. Nidal Hilal said: “Masdar Institute focuses on advanced technology solutions including new water treatment technologies and I am keen to contribute my expertise to identifying new solutions in this area. It is a privilege to be a member of Masdar Institute faculty and the additional responsibility of establishing the Centre of Excellence for Water Technologies demonstrates the institution’s confidence in my capabilities. I will contribute my efforts towards driving research and finding solutions in water technologies that is of paramount importance to the region.”

Dr Hilal won the Kuwait Prize of Applied Science in the Arab world in 2005 for his innovative development work in water technology. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) from the University of Wales in recognition of his outstanding research contribution in the fields of membrane technology and application of AFM to chemical and process engineering.

Representing 27 countries, Masdar Institute’s 63 faculty members across the eight Master’s programs are the alumni of some of the most globally-renowned universities.

Established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.  With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, Masdar Institute remains committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change.