Group members

Current Group Members

Dr Sushil Kumar

sushil

Sushil received his PhD in Inorganic chemistry from the University of Delhi, India. He worked as a SERB-Young Scientist at CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune (India), and a postdoctoral fellow at KAUST investigating the synthesis and applications of covalent organic frameworks. His current research interest encompasses designing and synthesizing novel porous polymers for different industrial applications.

Dr Mahmoud Abdulhamid

Abdulhamid_Original

Mahmoud joined the group as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in KAUST after finishing his Ph.D. in Chemical Science under the supervision of Prof. Ingo Pinnau at AMPMC-KAUST. He works on designing and synthesizing novel porous polymers for different industrial applications including gas separation and organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN). His research focuses on developing newly fashioned polymers prepared from contorted structures and study their transport performance. Google Scholar profile.

  1. F. Topuz, M.A. Abdulhamid, S. Nunes, G. Szekely, Hierarchically porous electrospun nanofibrous mats produced from intrinsically microporous fluorinated polyimide for the removal of oils and non-polar solvents, Environmental Science: Nano, 2020, 7, 1365. (selected for front cover) – IF: 7.7

Dr Fuat Topuz

Fuat

Fuat joined the group as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at KAUST. He obtained his PhD from RWTH Aachen after which he was a postdoc UNAM-National Nanotechnology Research Center of Turkey. Fuat focuses on the engineering of functional nanomaterials for environmental applications and separations in organic media. Follow his website for more detailed information. Google Scholar profile.

  1. F. Topuz, M.A. Abdulhamid, S. Nunes, G. Szekely, Hierarchically porous electrospun nanofibrous mats produced from intrinsically microporous fluorinated polyimide for the removal of oils and non-polar solvents, Environmental Science: Nano, 2020, 7, 1365. (selected for front cover) – IF: 7.7

Dr Rifan Hardian

Rifan photo

Rifan received his PhD in Materials Science from Aix-Marseille University, France, within the European Commission’s Marie Curie Actions under the supervision of Philip Llewellyn and Marie-Vanessa Coulet. He worked as an Early Stage Researcher at MADIREL Laboratory to investigate the interplay between texture, structure, and reactivity in Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), particularly in the case of defective, amorphous, and metal-encapsulated MOFs. His research interest encompasses gas storage, separation, and heterogenous catalysis. Read more about Rifan at his Blog, LinkedIn and GoogleScholar profiles.

  1. P. Kisszekelyi, R. Hardian, H. Vovusha, B. Chen, X. Zeng, U. Schwingenschlogl, J. Kupai, G. Szekely, Selective Electrocatalytic Oxidation of Biomass-derived
    5-Hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-Diformylfuran: From Mechanistic Investigations to Catalyst RecoveryChemSusChem, 2020, 13, 3127. – IF: 7.8

Cong Yang

Cong Yang 1

Cong received her MS degree from the University of Manchester. Cong’s PhD research focuses on developing green, solvent-resistant thin film composite membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration. PhD graduation: 2023.

 

Jiahui Hu

Jiahui Hu

Jiahui received her MS degree from the University of Manchester under the supervision of Dr Thomas Rodgers. Jiahui’s PhD research focuses on exploring the potential of artificial intelligence for advancing membrane separations, and developing novel membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration. PhD graduation: 2023. LinkedIn profile.

Gergo Ignacz

Gergo new

Gergo received his MRes from the University of Manchester in The Szekely Group, and his thesis focused on polymers of intrinsic microporosity in nanofiltration systems. After one year of working in the pharmaceutical industry, he joined the Group again, this time as a PhD student. Gergo is developing nature-inspired polymers and membranes for separations, in particular organic solvent nanofiltration. PhD graduation: 2023. LinkedIn and GoogleScholar profiles.

 

Fadhilah Alduraiei

Fadhilah A

Fadhilah received her MS degree from KAUST under Prof Peng Wang. Her project focused on superwettable membranes for highly efficient separation of oil in water emulsions. She worked on multiple environmental sustainability projects, which looks into treating industrial waste. Fadhilah develops TFC membranes for separations in non-polar organic solvents in collaboration with Professor Suzana Nunes. PhD graduation: 2023.

Robert McNair

Robert McNair

Rob explores membrane capacitive deionisation techniques to remove undesirable ions from water. The ultimate aim of the project will strive to achieve clean, drinkable water. As part of the Graphene NOWNANO CDT, Rob develops graphene-based membranes and other 2D materials as a means of deionisation and desalination in collaboration with Professor Robert Dryfe from the School of Chemistry at The University of Manchester. Expected PhD graduation: 2021.

Publications:

  1. R. McNair, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, R. Dryfe, Asymmetric Membrane Capacitive Deionization using Anion-Exchange Membranes based on Quaternized Polymer BlendsACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2020, 2, 2946.
  2. R. McNair, H.A. Le Phuong, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, Peer Review of Manuscripts: A Valuable yet Neglected Educational Tool for Early-Career Researchers, Educational Research International, 2019, Article ID 1359362

Hai Anh Le Phuong

HALP

Hai Anh explores innovative membrane-based approaches for chiral separations utilising enzymes. Her project is carried out in a close collaboration with Dr Christopher Blanford from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. Expected PhD graduation: 2020. LinkedIn profile.

Publications:

  1. H.A. Le Phuong, C.F. Blanford, G. Szekely, Reporting the unreported: the reliability and comparability of the literature on organic solvent nanofiltration, Green Chemistry, 2020, 22, 3397. – IF: 9.4
  2. H.A. Le Phuong, N.A.I. Ayob, C.F. Blanford, N.F.M. Rawi, G. Szekely, Nonwoven Membrane Supports from Renewable Resources: Bamboo Fiber Reinforced Poly(Lactic Acid) Composites, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2019, 7, 11885. – IF: 7.0
  3. F. Fei, H.A. Le Phuong, C.F. Blanford, G. Szekely, Tailoring the Performance of Organic Solvent Nanofiltration Membranes with Biophenol Coatings, ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2019, 1, 452.
  4. R. McNair, H.A. Le Phuong, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, Peer Review of Manuscripts: A Valuable yet Neglected Educational Tool for Early-Career Researchers, Educational Research International, 2019, Article ID 1359362
  5. H.A. Le Phuong, L. Cseri, G.F.S. Whitehead, A. Garforth, P. Budd, G. Szekely, Environmentally benign and diastereoselective synthesis of 2,4,5-trisubstituted-2-imidazolines, RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 53278. – IF: 3.1

Levente Cseri

LC

Levente works on ion-exchanges membranes for electrodialysis to tackle the 21st century’s engineering grand challenge of clean water. His research is carried out in close collaboration with Professor Peter Budd from The University of Manchester, and Professor Linda Zou from Masdar Institute. Expected PhD graduation: 2020. LinkedIn and GoogleScholar profiles.

Publications:

  1. R. McNair, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, R.A.W. Dryfe, Asymmetric Membrane Capacitive Deionization using Anion-Exchange Membranes based on Quaternized Polymer BlendsACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2020, in press
  2. A. Alabi, L. Cseri, A. AlHajaj, G. Szekely, P. Budd, L. Zou, Electrostatically-coupled graphene oxide nanocomposite cation exchange membrane, Journal of Membrane Science, 2020, 594, 117457. – IF: 7.0
  3. L. Cseri, G. Szekely, Towards Cleaner PolarClean: Efficient Synthesis and Extended Applications of the Polar Aprotic Solvent Methyl 5 (Dimethylamino)-2-methyl-5-oxopentanoate, Green Chemistry, 2019, 21, 4178. – IF: 9.4
  4. R. McNair, H.A. Le Phuong, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, Peer Review of Manuscripts: A Valuable yet Neglected Educational Tool for Early-Career Researchers, Educational Research International, 2019, Article ID 1359362
  5. L. Cseri, J. Baugh, A. Alabi, A. AlHajaj, L. Zou, R. Dryfe, P.M. Budd, G. Szekely, Graphene oxide – polybenzimidazolium nanocomposite anion exchange membranes for electrodialysisJournal of Materials Chemistry A, 2018, 6, 24728. – IF: 9.9 (front cover)
  6. C. Didaskalou, J. Kupai, L. Cseri, J. Barabas, E. Vass, T. Holtzl, G. Szekely, Membrane-grafted asymmetric organocatalyst for an integrated synthesis-separation platform, ACS Catalysis, 2018, 8, 7430. – IF: 11.4
  7. F. Fei, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, C.F. Blanford, Robust Covalently Crosslinked Polybenzimidazole/Graphene Oxide Membranes for High-Flux Organic Solvent NanofiltrationACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2018, 10(18), 16140. – IF: 7.5
  8. A. Alabi, A. AlHajaj, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, P. Budd, L. Zou, Review of nanomaterials-assisted ion exchange membranes for electromembrane desalination, Clean Water, 2018, 1, 10.
  9. L. Cseri, T. Fodi, J. Kupai, G.T. Balogh, A. Garforth, G. Szekely, Membrane-assisted catalysis in organic media, Advanced Materials Letters, 2017, 8(12), 1094. – IF: 1.5
  10. L. Cseri, M. Razali, G. Szekely, Organic Solvents in Sustainable Synthesis and Engineering in the book entitled Green Chemistry published by Elsevier, 2017
  11. H. A. Le Phuong, L. Cseri, G.F.S. Whitehead, A. Garforth, P. Budd, G. Szekely, Environmentally benign and diastereoselective synthesis of 2,4,5-trisubstituted-2-imidazolines, RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 53278. – IF: 3.1

Abdulaziz Alammar

aa

Abdulaziz investigates the formation and mitigation of tight water/oil emulsions in the petrochemical industry. In particular, he is developing new materials and processes with sustainability in mind. Expected PhD graduation: 2020. LinkedIn profile.

Publications:

  1. A. Alammar, S.-H. Park, C.J. Williams, B. Derby, G. Szekely, Oil-in-water separation with graphene-based nanocomposite membranes for produced water treatment, Journal of Membrane Science, 2020, 603, 118007 – IF: 7.0
  2. P. Kisszekelyi, A. Alammar, J. Kupai, P. Huszthy, J. Barabas, T. Holtzl, L. Szente, C. Bawn, R. Adams, G. Szekely, Asymmetric Synthesis with Cinchona-Decorated Cyclodextrin in a Continuous-Flow Membrane Reactor, Journal of Catalysis, 2019, 371, 255. – IF: 7.7

Alumni Group Members

Dr Sang-Hee Park

Sang-Hee Park photo 1

Sang-Hee joined the group as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2019-2020) in KAUST moving from the Sustainable & Environmental Materials Laboratory at Korea University. He worked on thin film composite (TFC) membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN). His research focused on exploring the structure-performance-property correlation via fine-turning the membrane structures and their intrinsic properties. GoogleScholar profile.

  1. A. Alammar, S.-H. Park, C.J. Williams, B. Derby, G. Szekely, Oil-in-water separation with graphene-based nanocomposite membranes for produced water treatmentJournal of Membrane Science, 2020, 603, 118007 – IF: 7.0

Virag Voros

Virag Voros

Virag spent her Erasmus scholarship in the group at Manchester in 2018 and visited KAUST in 2019. His research focused on modelling of hybrid processes for nanofiltration-enabled waste utilization. LinkedIn profile.

Publications:

  1. V. Voros, E. Drioli, C. Fonte, G. Szekely, Process Intensification via Continuous and Simultaneous Isolation of Antioxidants: An Upcycling Approach for Olive Leaf Waste, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2019, 7, 18444. – IF: 7.0 (front cover)

 

Christopher Wagstaff

Chris Wagstaff

Chris Wagstaff joined the group after completing a Master’s thesis at Imperial College London on a thin-film-composite (TFC) membrane tested for chiral separations in organic solvents. He continued his interest with polymer membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) by investigating novel modifications to polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes. LinkedIn profile. Chris spent 9 months in the group at KAUST in 2019.

Dr Fan Fei

Fan Fei

Fan developed graphene-based membranes for molecular level separations in organic media. He was mainly based in the School of Materials, and he investigated new techniques to characterise graphene oxide membranes. His project was carried out in close cooperation with Dr Christopher Blanford from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. Fan graduated with a PhD from Manchester in 2019. LinkedIn and GoogleScholar profiles.

Publications:

  1. F. Fei, H.A. Le Phuong, C.F. Blanford, G. Szekely, Tailoring the Performance of Organic Solvent Nanofiltration Membranes with Biophenol Coatings, ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2019, 1, 452.
  2. G. Ignacz, F. Fei, G. Szekely, Ion-Stabilized Membranes for Demanding Environments Fabricated from Polybenzimidazole and its Blends with Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity, ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2018, 1, 6349.
  3. F. Fei, L. Cseri, G. Szekely, C.F. Blanford, Robust Covalently Crosslinked Polybenzimidazole/Graphene Oxide Membranes for High-Flux Organic Solvent NanofiltrationACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2018, 10(18), 16140. – IF: 7.5

Gergo Ignacz

GI

Gergo developed robust polymers and polymer blends for organic solvent nanofiltration. He focused on polymers of intrinsic microporosity and polybenzimidazole. He graduated with an MRes from Manchester in 2018. LinkedIn and GoogleScholar profiles.

Publications:

  1. D. Zhao, J.F. Kim, G. Ignacz, P. Pogany, Y.M. Lee, G. Szekely, Bio-Inspired Robust Membranes Nanoengineered from Interpenetrating Polymer Networks of Polybenzimidazole/Polydopamine, ACS Nano, 2019, 13, 125. – IF: 13.7
  2. G. Ignacz, F. Fei, G. Szekely, Ion-Stabilized Membranes for Demanding Environments Fabricated from Polybenzimidazole and its Blends with Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity, ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2018, 1, 6349.

 

Jiaru Bai

Jiaru Bai

Jiaru worked on the fabrication of defect-free mixed matrix membranes using metal organic frameworks. His project focused on UiO-66 and Basolite F300, their functionalisation, and preparation of solvent-resistant nanofiltration membranes. He graduated with a BEng from Manchester in 2018. LinkedIn profile.

Dr Christos Didaskalou

Christos

Christos worked in the group toward his PhD between 2014 and 2017. His research focused on the development of sustainable separation processes using advanced materials. Christos developed membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration and imprinted polymers for scavenging natural products. He graduated with a PhD from Manchester in 2017.

Publications:

  1. C. Didaskalou, J. Kupai, L. Cseri, J. Barabas, E. Vass, T. Holtzl, G. Szekely, Membrane-grafted asymmetric organocatalyst for an integrated synthesis-separation platform, ACS Catalysis, 2018, 8, 7430. – IF: 11.4
  2. C. Didaskalou, S. Buyuktiryaki, R. Kecili, C.P. Fonte, G. Szekely, Valorisation of agricultural waste with adsorption/nanofiltration hybrid process: from materials to sustainable process design, Green Chemistry, 2017, 19, 3116. – IF: 9.1
  3. T. Fodi, C. Didaskalou, J. Kupai, G.T. Balogh, P. Huszthy, G. Szekely, Nanofiltration‐enabled in situ solvent and reagent recycle for sustainable continuous‐flow synthesis, ChemSusChem, 2017, 10, 3435. – IF: 7.2
  4. M. Razali, C. Didaskalou, J.F. Kim, M. Babaei, E. Drioli, Y.M. Lee, G. Szekely, Exploring and Exploiting the Effect of Solvent Treatment in Membrane Separations, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2017, 9(12), 11279. – IF: 7.1
  5. M. Schaepertoens, C. Didaskalou, A.G. Livingston, G. Szekely, Solvent recycle with imperfect membranes: A semi-continuous workaround for diafiltration, Journal of Membrane Science, 2016, 514, 646. – IF: 5.6
  6. G. Szekely, Didaskalou, Biomimics of metalloenzymes via imprinting chapter in the book entitled Molecularly Imprinted Catalysts: Synthesis and Applications published by Elsevier, 2015

Mayamin Razali

MR

Mayamin worked in the group in Manchester between 2015 and 2017. Her research focused on sustainable wastewater treatment for the membrane manufacturing industry, long-term stability of molecularly imprinted polymers and revealing the effect of solvent treatment on membrane separation. LinkedIn profile.

Publications:

  1. L. Cseri, M. Razali, G. Szekely, Organic Solvents in Sustainable Synthesis and Engineering in the book entitled Green Chemistry published by Elsevier, 2017
  2. M. Razali, C. Didaskalou, J.F. Kim, M. Babaei, E. Drioli, Y.M. Lee, G. Szekely, Exploring and Exploiting the Effect of Solvent Treatment in Membrane Separations, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2017, 9(12), 11279. – IF: 7.1
  3. J. Kupai, M. Razali, S. Buyuktiryaki, R. Kecili, G. Szekely, Long-term stability and reusability of molecularly imprinted polymers, Polymer Chemistry, 2017, 8, 666. (selected for front cover) – IF: 5.7
  4. P. Pogany, M. Razali, G. Szekely, Experimental and theoretical investigation of the complexation of methacrylic acid and diisopropyl urea, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 2017, 170, 69. – IF: 2.7
  5. M. Razali, J.F. Kim, M. Attfield, P. Budd, E. Drioli, Y.M. Lee, G. Szekely, Sustainable wastewater treatment and recycling in membrane manufacturing, Green Chemistry, 2015, 17, 5196. – IF: 9.1

Dr Tamas Fodi

FodiT

Tamas spent his Campus Mundi PhD secondment in the group in Manchester in 2017. His research focused on heterogeneous catalysis in flow reactors with integrated membrane-based separation. LinkedIn profile.

Publications:

  1. T. Fodi, C. Didaskalou, J. Kupai, G.T. Balogh, P. Huszthy, G. Szekely, Nanofiltration‐enabled in situ solvent and reagent recycle for sustainable continuous‐flow synthesis, ChemSusChem, 2017, 10, 3435. – IF: 7.8