Professor Nidal Hilal elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Nidal Hilal, Professor of Engineering and Director of NYUAD Water Research Center has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). Professor Hilal was elected for his outstanding contributions to colloidal science, water treatment, desalination and membrane separation.

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is the largest organization in Europe dedicated to advancing the chemical sciences and the professional body for chemists in the United Kingdom. Founded in London in the 1660s, it is the world’s oldest chemical society.

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Fellowship is a recognition of Professor Hilal’s internationally leading research which resulted in significant breakthroughs and the distinguished achievements throughout his academic and research career. He is ranked globally by Google Scholar as number 1 in the fields of membrane separation, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, microfiltration, membrane distillation; and number 2 in reverse osmosis and number 7 in desalination technologies. Professor Hilal has been the most cited author in Desalination for 55 years (1966- 2021) and because of this, he is the most cited author (lifetime) in Desalination. He is also the most cited author in the Journal of Water Process Engineering. As a testament to his international reputation, he has delivered plenaries and keynote lectures at numerous international conferences and prestigious organizations around the world.

Professor Hilal was awarded a senior doctorate (Doctor of Science) degree from the University of Wales in recognition of his outstanding international research contributions in the fields of colloidal science, membrane technology and desalination. In the same year, he was awarded the prestigious Kuwait Prize of Applied Science by the Emir of Kuwait for his innovative work in desalination and water treatment. In 2020, he received the Menelaus Medal by the Learned Society of Wales; this is one of the highest awards that can be conferred in Wales in the United Kingdom on a scientist, and it is truly a great achievement. In 2022, he was included by Clarivate in the highly cited researchers 2022 (category of Chemistry) to join only 0.1 % scientists selected around the world to be on this list.

In addition to his record of high-quality scholarship, Professor Hilal has impressive experience in university academic administration and cultural adaptability. Professor Hilal has been elected a fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in 2003 and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (LSW) in 2012. He has also taken an active and leading role in many leading international conferences, and has been the chairman of quite a number of conferences in the area of desalination and membrane technology. These include the International Conference on Desalination Using membrane Technology (MEMDES 1 in Spain, MEMDES 2 in Singapore, MEMDES3 in the Canary Islands and MEMDES4 in Perth-Australia) and the International Conference on Desalination (ICODE 1 in Abu Dhabi and ICODE2 in Doha).

NYUAD Water Research Center awarded the Research and Innovation Award for 2022 - 2023

His Excellency Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, the UAE's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, awarded the Research and Innovation Award for 2022-2023 to the NYUAD Water Research Center in the Water Security and Sustainability category.

Senior Vice Provost for Research Sehamuddin Galadari and Director of the NYUAD Water Research Center Nidal Hilal received the award today in a special ceremony in Dubai.  Feb 27, 2023

Professor Nidal Hilal, Director of NYUAD Water Research Center, has been featured in an EXPO 2020 special series on "Land of dreamers who do" at the UAE Pavillion. Watch him discuss water and our work in this short video.


The Osmosis Engineering book (ISBN: 978-0-12-821016-1) by Professor Nidal Hilal et al provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the art regarding osmosis based research and industrial/engineering applications. It covers the underpinning theories, technology development and commercial applications, with chapters written by the leading researchers in the relevant fields.

Engineered osmosis (EO) refers to a family of membrane based separation processes, with wide industrial applications, but primarily associated with the production of drinking water from seawater and brackish water, and with the treatment of contaminated and waste water.


Osmosis is the diffusion driven flow of fluid across a semi-permeable membrane, leading to separation of solutes from solvent. EO collectively are processes based on driving solutions through a selective membrane either with or against the osmotic gradient. EO processes is a rapidly moving research which includes both isothermal (Forward Osmosis, FO; Pressure Retarded Osmosis, PRO; Reverse Osmosis, RO; Osmotic Distillation, OD) and non-isothermal (Osmotic Membrane Distillation, OMD; Thermo-osmosis, TO) membrane separation processes used for water and energy production.

News Bulletin

21st-century British engineers
Professor Nidal Hilal, the Director of NYUAD Water Research Center, has been included in the list of notable or famous 21st-century British engineers.
TheNotablePeople | 2021

New York University Abu Dhabi faculty members receive UAE’s 10-year golden residency visa
Professor Nidal Hilal, the Director of NYUAD Water Research Center, receives 10-year golden residency visa in recognition of their outstanding research contributions to the UAE and the region.
Gulf News | 2020

Nidal Hilal is a Menelaus Medal Winner 2020
Director of NYUAD Water Research Center and Professor of Engineering Nidal Hilal, has won the Learned Society of Wales’ Menelaus Medal 2020, awarded to celebrate excellence in engineering and technology.
The Learned Society of Wales | 2020

Tapping into Salty Water to Grow Healthy Food
In a world where fresh water is scarce, can brackish water be converted into fertiliser solutions to grow healthy crops, improving water/food sustainability?
Advances in Engineering | 2019