Nidal Abu-Zahra, Ph.D.

, nidal@uwm.edu
(414) 229-2668
Eng & Math Sciences E351
Associate Professor
Materials Science & 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

Publications:

  • “Effect of n-dodecylthiol and thermal annealing on the performance of P3HT/PC70BM polymer photovoltaic cells”, Mahmoud Algazzar and Nidal Abu-Zahra, International Journal of Sustainable Energy, Published online: 03 Mar 2014, DOI: 10.1080/14786451.2014.885027
  • “Effect of Crystallinity on the Performance of P3HT/PC70BM/n-Dodecylthiol Polymer Solar Cells”, Nidal Abu-Zahra and Mahmoud Algazzar, ASME Transactions - J. Sol. Energy Eng. 136(2), 021023 (Dec 19, 2013), doi:10.1115/1.4026100
  • "Enhancing Power Conversion Efficiency of P3HT/PCBM Polymer Solar Cells", Mahmoud Algazzar and Nidal Abu-Zahra accepted for "ICAAPMS 2014: International Conference on Advances in Applied Physics and Materials Science", Apr 17-18, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • “Structurally Functionalized Polyurethane Foam for Elimination of Lead Ions from Drinking Water”,  Journal of Research Updates in Polymer Science, 2014, 3, 16-25.
  • “Characterization of Functionalized Polyurethane Foam for Lead ion Removal from Water”, Subhashini Gunashekar and Nidal Abu-Zahra, International Journal of Polymer Science, vol. 2014, Article ID 570309, doi:10.1155/2014/570309.
  • “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, Manuscript ID: JCP-13-0029. Accepted for publication on 1/30/14.
  • “Functionalized PU Foam for Water Filtration", Subhashini Gunashekar and Nidal Abu-Zahra, accepted for "ICAAPMS 2014: International Conference on Advances in Applied Physics and Materials Science", Apr 17-18, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • "Synthesis and Characterization of Polyurethane (PUR)-Nanoclay Composites," by 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” by Hong Chang and Nidal Abu-Zahra, J. of Vinyl and Additive Technology, v 17, n 1, p 17–20, March 2011.
  • "Extrusion of Rigid PVC Foam with Nanoclay: Synthesis and Characterization" by Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Ali M. Alian, Ron Perez, Hong Chang, J. of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, v 29, n 8, p 1153-1165, April 2010
  • “Density and cell morphology of rigid foam PVC-clay nanocomposites” by 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” by Ali M. Alian and Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Polymer - Plastics Technology and Engineering, v 48, n 10, p 1014-1019, October 2009.

 

Community Involvement:

Connecting students with manufacturing companies in Milwaukee area on research and application projects.