Nidal Hilal

Professor Nidal Hilal received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1981 followed by a master’s degree in advanced chemical engineering from Swansea University in the United Kingdom in 1986. He received his PhD degree from Swansea University in 1988, where he later founded the internationally recognized Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research (CWATER)*. He is a chartered engineer (CEng) in the UK, a registered European Engineer (Euro Ing) and is an elected fellow of both the Institution of Chemical Engineers (FIChemE) and the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW).
He is currently a Global Network Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at New York University and is the Director of New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Water research Center. 
He is internationally recognized, as indicated by google scholar**, as one of the world leaders in Desalination especially in Membrane Separation, Membrane Distillation and Reverse Osmosis. He has published 7 handbooks, 56 invited book chapters and around 500 articles in refereed scientific literature. His research has produced several breakthrough innovations, including: development novel technology to show distinct pores in nanofiltration membranes, development of Molecularly imprinted membranes, development of novel membranes, the use of AFM in the development of new membranes with optimized properties for difficult separations, smallest AFM colloid probe reported in the literature, first AFM coated colloid probe technique, first AFM cell probe technique, first direct measurements of the interaction of single live cells with surfaces, first use of the atomic force microscope in meso-scale cavitation studies.
He has chaired and delivered lectures at numerous international conferences. In 2005 he was awarded Doctor of Science (DSc) from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom in recognition of an outstanding international research contribution in the field of Membrane Science and Water Process Engineering including Desalination. He was also awarded the Kuwait Prize for applied science “Water resources development” in 2005.
Professor Hilal is the Editor-in-Chief for the international journal Desalination. He sits on the editorial boards of several international journals, is an advisory board member of several multinational organizations and has served on/consulted for industry, government departments, research councils and universities on an international basis.

Most research interests for a scientist

His research interests lie broadly in the identification of innovative and cost-effective solutions within the fields of nano-water, membrane technology, and water treatment including desalination, colloid engineering and the nano-engineering applications of AFM. His internationally recognized research has led to the use of AFM in the development of new membranes with optimized properties for difficult separations.


  • Chemical Engineering