Nidal Abu-Zahra, Ph.D.

profile photo
, nidal@uwm.edu
(414) 229-2668
Eng & Math Sciences E351
Associate Professor/Department Chair
Materials Science and Engineering

Dr. Nidal’s focus is on expanding our knowledge on contemporary issues such as cost effective harnessing of solar energy, sustainability of foam extrusion, and functionality of commodity plastics. His lab is capable of synthesizing an array of polymeric materials (thermoplastics, elastomers, and thermosets) with specific characteristics (physical, thermal, and mechanical) or functional properties. Currently, he is working on synthesizing new polymer and polymer-composite foams capable of removing heavy metal toxics from drinking water at low levels (ppb) and high cation exchange rates.

Education:

  • Ph.D. - Manufacturing Engineering, Cleveland State University (Ohio), 1996
  • M.S. - Mechanical Engineering, University of Manchester (UK), 1994
  • B.S. - Mechanical Engineering, University of Jordan (Jordan), 1992

Research Interests:

  • Thermoplastic extrusion and foaming processes
  • Polymer foam nanocomposites - synthesis and characterization
  • Water applications of polymer nanocomposites
  • Polymer solar cells
  • Polymer films and coatings

Journal Publications

WATER – Filtration

  • “Adsorption Kinetic and Performance Evaluation of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Impregnated in Polyurethane Matrix for Water Filtration Applications”, Faten B. Hussein, Nidal H. Abu-Zahra. Journal of Polymers and the Environment. Under Review - Submitted 5/1/2017.
  • “Synthesis and Characterization of High Exchange Capacity NA-X Hydrated Zeolite from Class F Fly Ash”, Saeed Golbad, Parisa Khoshnoud, Nidal Abu-Zahra. Water and Environment Journal. Under Review - Submitted 1/16/2017.
  • “Synthesis of 4A Zeolite and Characterization of Calcium-and Silver-exchanged Forms”, Saeed Golbad, Parisa Khoshnoud, Nidal Abu-Zahra. Catalysts. Under Review - Submitted 5/2/2017.
  • “Synthesis, Characterization and Performance of Polyurethane Foam Nanocomposite for Arsenic Removal from Drinking Water”, Faten B. Hussein, Nidal H. Abu-Zahra. Journal of Water Process Engineering. Volume 13, 8/5/2016, Pages 1–5. doi:10.1016/j.jwpe.2016.07.005.
  • “Extended Performance Analysis of Polyurethane-Iron Oxide Nanocomposite for Efficient Removal of Arsenic Species from Water”, Faten B. Hussein, Nidal H. Abu-Zahra. Journal of Water Science and Technology: Water Supply. 11/24/2016.   DOI: 2166/ws.2016.188
  • Hydrothermal Synthesis of Hydroxy Sodalite from Fly Ash for the Removal of Lead Ions from Water”, Saeed Golbad, Parisa Khoshnoud, Nidal Abu-Zahra. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. First Online: 26 September 2016, DOI: 10.1007/s13762-016-1133-x
  • “Structure–performance relationship of bulk functionalized polyurethane foams designed for lead ion removal from water”, Subhashini Gunashekar and Nidal Abu-Zahra, Journal of Porous Materials, June 2016, Vol 23, Issue 3, pp 801-810.
  • “Synthesis of Functionalized Polyurethane Foam using BES Chain Extender for Lead ion Removal from Aqueous Solutions”, Subhashini Gunashekar and Nidal Abu-Zahra, Journal of Cellular Plastics, September-November 2015 vol. 51 no. 5-6 453-470, Manuscript ID: JCP-13-0029. (IF 1.661)
  • “Liquid flow in polyurethane foams for filtration applications: a study on their characterization and permeability estimation”, Subhashini Gunashekar, Krishna M. Pillai, Ben C. Church, Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Journal of Porous Materials 22(3), May 2015.
  • “Characterization of Functionalized Polyurethane Foam for Lead ion Removal from Water”, Subhashini Gunashekar and Nidal Abu-Zahra, International Journal of Polymer Science, 10 March 2014, vol. 2014, Article ID 570309, doi:10.1155/2014/570309.
  • “Structurally Functionalized Polyurethane Foam for Elimination of Lead Ions from Drinking Water”, Nidal Abu-Zahra and Subhashini Gunashekar, Journal of Research Updates in Polymer Science, 02 April 2014, 3, 16-25.
  • "Functionalized PU Foam for Water Filtration", Nidal Abu-Zahra and Subhashini Gunashekar, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Chemical, Molecular, Nuclear, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Vol:8, No:4, 2014

ENERGY – Organic Photovoltaic Cells

  • “Enhanced morphological and optoelectronic properties of organic solar cells incorporating CuO, ZnO and Au nanoparticles”, Aruna Wanninayake, Benjamin Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra. Journal of Materials and Environmental Science. Under Review - Submitted 3/20/2017.
  • “CuO NPs Incorporated Single and Double Junction Polymer Solar Cells”, Aruna Wanninayake, Benjamin Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra. International Journal of Nanoelectronics and Materials. Accepted 8/25/2016.
  • “Effect of ZnO Nanoparticles on the Power Conversion Efficiency of Organic Photovoltaic Devices Synthesized with CuO Nanoparticles”, Aruna Wanninayake, Benjamin Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra. AIMS Materials Science, 3(3): 927-937. DOI: 10.3934/matersci.2016.3.927. 18 July 2016.
  • “Annealing Effect on ZnO-NPs Buffer Layer Assembled Organic Solar Cells synthesized with CuO Nanoparticles”, Aruna Wanninayake, Benjamin Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra. Advanced Materials Letters. DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2016.6485. 7/27/2016.
  • “Plasmonic Effect of Au Nanoparticles in Enhancing Power Conversion Efficiency of ZnO Buffer Layer Assembled Organic Solar Cells”, Aruna Wanninayake, Benjamin Church, and Nidal Abu-Zahra. Journal of Sustainable Energy Engineering. Volume 3, Number 4, June 2016, pp. 333-342(10). June 1, 2016.
  • “CuO Nanoparticles Based Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells: Investigations on Morphology and Performance”, Aruna Wanninayake, Subhashini Gunashekar, Shengyi Li, Benjamin Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra, ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering 137(3), 031016 (June 01, 2015) SOL-14-1293; doi: 10.1115/1.4029542.
  • “Performance Enhancement of Polymer Solar Cells using Copper Oxide Nanoparticles”, Aruna Wanninayake, Subhashini Gunashekar, Shengyi Li, Benjamin Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra, Semiconductor Science and Technology, Volume 30, Number 622, May 22, 2015.
  • “Effect of Thermal Annealing on the Power Conversion Efficiency of CuO-Bulk Heterojunction P3HT/ PC70BM Solar cells”, Aruna Wanninayake, Subhashini Gunashekar, Shengyi Li, Benjamin Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra, Journal of Sustainable Energy Engineering, Volume 3, Number 2, November 2015, pp. 107-126(20).
  • “Electrical and Optical Properties of Hybrid Polymer Solar Cells Incorporating Au and CuO Nanoparticles”, Aruna Wanninayake, Shengyi Li, Benjamin Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra, AIMS Materials Science, 3(1): 35-50. DOI: 10.3934/matersci.2016.1.35. December 2015.
  • “Thermal Annealing on P3HT/PC70BM Solar Cells Incorporated with Au and CuO Nanoparticales”, Aruna Wanninayake, Shengyi Li, Benjamin Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra, International Journal of Renewable Energy Research-IJRER, Vol 5, No 4 (December 2015).
  • “Effect of n-dodecylthiol and thermal annealing on the performance of P3HT/PC70BM polymer photovoltaic cells”, Mahmoud Algazzar and Nidal Abu-Zahra. J. of Sustainable Energy, Published online: 03 Mar 2014, DOI: 10.1080/14786451.2014.885027
  • "Enhancing Power Conversion Efficiency of P3HT/PCBM Polymer Solar Cells", Nidal Abu-Zahra and Mahmoud Algazzar. J. of Chemical, Nuclear, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Vol:8 No:4, 2014
  • “Effect of Crystallinity on the Performance of P3HT/PC70BM/n-Dodecylthiol Polymer Solar Cells”, Nidal Abu-Zahra and Mahmoud Algazzar. ASME Transactions - J. Solar Energy Engineering 136(2), 021023 (Dec 19, 2013), doi:10.1115/1.4026100

POLYMERS – Composites & Processing

  • “Evaluating recyclability of fly ash reinforced polyvinyl chloride foams”, Parisa Khoshnoud, Jon Carl Wolgamott, Nidal Abu-Zahra, Journal of Vinyl and Additive Technology, 16, February 2016. doi:10.1002/vnl.21541.
  • “Properties of Rigid PVC Foam Composites Reinforced with Different Shape Fillers”, Parisa Khoshnoud and Nidal Abu-Zahra, Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials (manuscript ID is JTCM-15-0169.R1). 5/9/2016.
  • “Effect of Cenosphere Fly Ash on the Thermal, Mechanical, and Morphological Properties of Rigid PVC Foam Composites”, Parisa Khoshnoud and Nidal Abu-Zahra, Journal of Research Updates in Polymer Science, Vol 4, No 1 (2015).
  • “Enhanced Thermal Properties of Rigid PVC Foams Using Fly Ash”, Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Parisa Khoshnoud, Murtatha Jamel, Subhashini Gunashekar, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Chemical, Molecular, Nuclear, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Vol:9, No:1, 2015.
  • “Evaluating the Performance of Class-F Fly Ash Reinforced PVC Foam Composites”, Parisa Khoshnoud Murtatha M. Jamel Subhashini Gunashekar Nidal Abu-Zahra, International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol. 4, Issue 9, September 2015.
  • “Enhancement of Dimensional Stability of Rigid PVC Foams Using E-Glass Fibers”, Murtatha M. Jamel, Parisa Khoshnoud, Subhashini Gunashekar, Nidal Abu-Zahra, Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 2015, 3, 65-75.
  • “Effect of E-Glass Fibers and Phlogopite Mica on the Mechanical Properties and Dimensional Stability of Rigid PVC Foams”, Murtatha M. Jamel, Parisa Khoshnoud, Subhashini Gunashekar, Nidal Abu-Zahra, Polymer-Plastics Technology and Engineering, Volume 54, Issue 15, 2015. DOI:10.1080/03602559.2015.1010222.
  • “Enhanced Dimensional Stability of Rigid PVC Foams Using Glass Fibers”, Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Murtatha M. Jamel, Parisa Khoshnoud, Subhashini Gunashekar. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Chemical, Molecular, Nuclear, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Vol:9, No:1, 2015.
  • “Mechanical Properties and Dimensional Stability of Rigid PVC Foam Composites Filled with High Aspect Ratio Phlogopite Mica”, Murtatha M. Jamel, Parisa Khoshnoud, Subhashini Gunashekar, Nidal Abu-Zahra. Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization, Vol.3 No.4, July 2015. DOI: 10.4236/jmmce.2015.34026.
  • “Comparative Analysis of Rigid PVC Foam Reinforced with Class C and Class F Fly Ash”, Parisa Khoshnoud, Subhashini Gunashekar, Murtatha M. Jamel, Nidal Abu-Zahra, Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, Vol.02 No.06 (2014), Article ID:51164.
  • "Synthesis and Characterization of Polyurethane (PUR)-Nanoclay Composites," Manasa Nayani, Subhashini Gunashekar, and Nidal Abu-Zahra. International Journal of Polymer Science, Vol 2013 (2013), Article ID 717895.
  • “One Step Forward to a Sustainable Green Solution of Extruded Foam PVC Building Products”, Hong Chang and Nidal Abu-Zahra. of Vinyl and Additive Technology, v 17, n 1, p 17–20, March 2011.
  • "Extrusion of Rigid PVC Foam with Nanoclay: Synthesis and Characterization," Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Ali M. Alian, Ron Perez, Hong Chang. Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, v 29, n 8, p 1153-1165, April 2010
  • “Density and cell morphology of rigid foam PVC-clay nanocomposites,” Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Ali M. Alian, and Hong Chang. Polymer - Plastics Technology and Engineering, v 49, n 3, p 237-243, January 2010
  • “Mechanical properties of rigid foam PVC-clay nanocomposites,” Ali M. Alian and Nidal H. Abu-Zahra. Polymer - Plastics Technology and Engineering, v 48, n 10, p 1014-1019, October 2009.
  • “Measuring Melt Density in Polymer Extrusion Processes Using Shear Ultrasound Waves,” Nidal Abu-Zahra. J. of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 24, No. 9-10, pp 661-665 (2004).
  • “In-Line Monitoring of PVC Melt Viscosity Using Dielectric Measurements,” Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, The International Polymer Processing Journal, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp 16-20 (2004).
  • “On-Line Measurement of Glass Filler in Polypropylene Compounds Containing TiO2,” Nidal Abu-Zahra and Taysir H. Nayfeh. The Journal of Materials Evaluation. Vol. 62, No. 1, pp 63-68 (2004).
  • “Real-Time Viscosity and Density Measurements of Polymer Melts Using Dielectric and Ultrasound Sensors Fusion,” Nidal Abu-Zahra. The International Journal of Mechatronics. Vol. 14, No. 7, pp 789-803 (2004).
  • “Measuring Polymer Melt Density and Viscosity in Real-Time during Extrusion Processes using Ultrasound Sensors Fusion,” Nidal Abu-Zahra. The International Polymer Processing Journal, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp 362-367 (2003).
  • “Neural Network Approach to Density Control of Rigid PVC Foam in Extrusion Process,” Nidal Abu-Zahra. The International Polymer Processing Journal, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp 122-126 (2003).
  • “On-Line Monitoring of PVC Foam Density Using Ultrasound Waves and Artificial Neural Networks,” Nidal Abu-Zahra and Samira Karimi. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 19, No. 8, pp 618-622 (2002).
  • “Ultrasound Measurement of Two Filler Concentrations in Polypropylene Compounds - Part 1: Static Calibration,” T. H. Nayfeh, H. Abu-Zahra, W. M. Fedak, A. A. Salem. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp 313-318 (2002).
  • “Ultrasound Measurement of Two Filler Concentrations in Polypropylene Compounds - Part 2: On-Line Calibration,” T. H. Nayfeh, W. M. Fedak, H. Abu-Zahra, A. A. Salem. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 20, No. 11, pp 812-816 (2002).
  • “In-Process Density Control of Extruded Foam PVC Using Wavelet Packet Analysis of Ultrasound Waves,” Nidal H. Abu-Zahra and Ashish Seth. International Journal of Mechatronics, Vol. 12, pp 1083-1095 (2002).
  • “In-Line Density Monitoring of Rigid PVC Foam During Extrusion Process,” Nidal H. Abu-Zahra and Hong Chang. The International Polymer Processing Journal. Vol. 15, No. 4 (2000).

METALS -- Process Monitoring

  • “Gradual Wear Monitoring of Turning Inserts Using Wavelet Analysis of Ultrasound Waves,” Nidal H. Abu-Zahra and Gang Yu. The International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp 337-343 (2003).
  • “Tool Chatter Monitoring in Turning Using Wavelet Analysis of Ultrasound Waves,” H. Abu-Zahra and J. H. Lange. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp 248-254 (2002).
  • “Analytical Model For Tool Wear Monitoring in Turning Operations Using Ultrasound Waves,” Nidal H. Abu-Zahra and Gang Yu. International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, Vol. 40, No. 11, pp 1619-1635 (2000).
  • “Multi-Functional Sensor For On-Line Tool Condition Monitoring in Turning Operations,” Taysir H. Nayfeh and Nidal H. Abu-Zahra. Journal of Materials Evaluation. Vol. 56, No. 3, pp 443-448 (1998).
  • “Calibrated Method For Ultrasonic On-Line Monitoring Of Gradual Wear During Turning Operations,” Nidal H. Abu-Zahra and Taysir H. Nayfeh. International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture. Vol. 37, No. 10, pp 1475-1484 (1997).
  • “On-Line Ultrasonic Tool Chipping Detection during Turning Operations,” Nidal H. Abu-Zahra and Taysir H. Nayfeh. Journal of Engineering Design and Automation. Vol. 3, No. 3, pp 245-254 (1997).

 

Supervised PhD’s

  1. Alaa Momena –Spring 2018. Dissertation Title: TBD - Crystalline nanocellulose polymer composites.
  2. Mohammed Alsaggaff –Spring 2018. Dissertation Title: TBD – Implementation of lean manufacturing principles in developing economies.
  3. Behnam Gohari – Spring 2018. Dissertation Title: “Poly(ether)sulfone/metal and metal oxide nanocomposite asymmetric membranes fabricated by immersion precipitation phase inversion method for water treatment”
  4. Mohsen Hajipour Majili – Spring 2018. Dissertation Title: “Engineered Macroporous Material for The Removal of Lead and Mercury from Water”
  5. Ali Alarjani – Expected Graduation: Fall 2017. Dissertation Title: “Decision making in global petrochemical facility location selection using similarity coefficient-based clustering algorithms”
  6. Parisa Khoshnoud – Summer 2017. Dissertation Title: “Fly Ash Polymer Composites”
  7. Aruna Wanninayake – Spring 2016. Dissertation Title: “Nanostructured Organic/Inorganic Semiconductor Photovoltaics: Investigation on Morphology and Optoelectronics Performance”
  8. Subhashini Gunashekar – Spring 2015. Dissertation Title: “A Study on the Synthesis-Structure-Property-Performance Relationship of Bulk Functionalized Polyurethane Foams for Water Filtration Applications”
  9. Mahmoud Alghazzar – Fall 2012. Dissertation Title: Synthesis and Characterization of P3HT/[70]PCBM/n-Dodecylthiol Polymer Solar Cells”.
  10. Ali Alian –Spring 2008. Dissertation Title: “Synthesis and Characterization of Rigid Foam PVC/Nanoclay Composites”.
  11. Irfan Shanti - September 2003. Dissertation Title: “Measuring Polymer Melt Density and Viscosity in Real-Time during Extrusion Processes using Ultrasound Sensors Fusion”.
  12. Srinivas Ganapathyraju - Spring 2003. Dissertation Title: “Quad-Tree Based Mapping and Path Planning for Teleoperated Mobile Robot”.
  13. Gang Yu –Spring 2002. Dissertation Title: “Tool Wear Monitoring in Turning Operations Using Ultrasound Waves and Artificial Neural Networks”.

 

Supervised MSc’s

  1. Reed Heintzkill – Spring 2018. Thesis Title: TBD.
  2. Jon Wolgamott – Spring 2017. Thesis Title: “Analysis of Zinc Oxide Thin Films Synthesized by Sol-Gel via Spin Coating”
  3. Saeed Golbad – Fall 2016. Thesis Title: “The Application of Zeolites for the Removal of Toxic Heavy Metals from Wastewater”
  4. Faten Bakri Hussein – Spring 2016. Thesis Title: “Synthesis and Performance Analysis of Polyurethane Foam Nanocomposites for Arsenal Removal from Drinking Water”
  5. Subhashini Gunashekar –Spring 2012. Thesis Title: “Lead removal from drinking water using functionalized PU foams”.
  6. Manasa Nayani –Fall 2010. Thesis Title: “Synthesis and Characterization of PUR-Clay Nanocomposites”.
  7. Samira Karimi –Fall 2005. Thesis Title: “On-Line Monitoring of PVC Foam Density Using Ultrasound Waves and Artificial Neural Networks”.
  8. Paul Kokkin –Spring 2004. Thesis Title: “Real-time Viscosity Measurement of Melt Viscosity using Dielectric Parameters”.
  9. Irfan Manzoor –Spring 2003. Thesis Title: “Implementation of Lean Manufacturing in a High Variety Industry”.
  10. Daniel J. Hauer - Fall 2002. Thesis Title: “A Case Study of Leeson Electric Demonstrating the Use of Vertical Integration as a Tool to Increase the Success of Lean Manufacturing Implementation”.
  11. Vaidyanathan Shankar - Fall 2002. Thesis Title: “Quoting Accurate Lead Times for an Industrial Supply Chain Using Simulation”.
  12. Samira Karimi - Spring 2001. Thesis Title: “Wavelet Transform Analysis of Ultrasound Waves in Density Monitoring of Foam PVC during Extrusion Process”.
  13. Jeff Lange - Fall 2000. Thesis Title: “Investigation of Tool Chatter Monitoring in Turning Operations Using Ultrasound Waves”.
  14. John Hamm - Fall 2000. Thesis Title: “Wavelet Transform Analysis of Ultrasound Waves in Tool Wear Monitoring in Turning Operations”.
  15. Ashish Seth - Fall 2000. Thesis Title: “A Neural Network Model for Density Control in PVC Foam Extrusion”.
  16. Tsedale Zwedi - Spring 1999. Thesis Title: “An Investigation of Suspensions Characterization Using Ultrasound Waves”.
  17. Krirk Wongsariyawanich - Spring 1999. Thesis Title: “On-Line Density Measurement of Foam PVC Using Ultrasound Waves”.