Mahdi Ghaleni

Ph.D. Candidate, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 2016

M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, 2012

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Azad University, 2008


Mahdi is a Ph.D. student in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is working under the supervision of Professor Siamak Nejati on a wide range of interfacial phenomena that are essential to the materials development and device fabrication.

Mahdi is working on developing new polymeric and composite materials for membrane separation processes. Currently, he is fabricating hydrophobic porous membranes tailored for the water desalination by membrane distillation. Mahdi continuously conducts mathematical modeling to understand the overall performance of the systems on which he is working experimentally. Using mathematical modeling, he recently showed that a model-guided module design can intensively increase the performance of hollow fiber membrane modules. He developed novel hollow fiber membranes using a dry-jet wet spinning method. He used the fabricated hollow fiber membranes in the proposed high-performance module fabricated using additive manufacturing method.

Mahdi also is highly passionate about interfacial science and development of advanced materials with unique surface properties. He is fundamentally studying the adsorption phenomena at a molecular level in an initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) system that he custom-designed and assembled at the transformative coatings and interfaces laboratory (TCIL). These fundamental studies will help him to further understand the molecular behaviors in the chemical vapor deposition system, opening new windows towards the development of new functional materials and devices.

In addition to research, Mahdi enjoys teaching and interacting with undergraduate students, helping them with their course works. Following this purpose, he has been holing computational lab sessions for undergraduate students, teaching them how to model and simulate chemical transport phenomena using COMSOL Multiphysics software.

Before joining TCIL, Mahdi did his master’s in materials science and engineering under the supervision of professor Asle Zaem at Missouri University of Science and Technology. During his studies, he focused on the modeling of particulate flows and particle-wall-fluid interactions in high-temperature wall-bounded flows. He was a member of “Alpha Sigma Mu” honor society and a recipient of prestigious scholarships such as the E. Wayne Kay Graduate Scholarship (2016), and the WAAIME Scholarship (2015 and 2016).

Developing Flexible Omniphobic Surfaces through Step-Wise initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition (iCVD)