Safiya Khalil, a second-year doctoral student in chemical and biomolecular engineering (ChBE) at Rice, has been selected as an affiliate to the Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Scientists (MBRAS) in the United Arab Emirates.
A native of Abu Dhabi, UAE, Khalil works in the lab of Rafael Verduzco, professor of ChBE and of materials science and nanoengineering. Her research focuses on synthesizing covalent organic frameworks (COFs) for water treatment and energy storage applications.
She hopes to use nanoengineering principles to tailor revamped synthetic routes that enable the processing of COFs to macroscopic physical configurations for use in advanced applications. She is also interested in optimizing the transport and mechanical properties of COF films.
Khalil graduated from Khalifa University of Science and Technology in 2019 with a B.S. in chemical engineering where she studied thermo-responsive hydrogels. She worked as an undergraduate research assistant focusing on the synthesis of hierarchical zeolites using inorganic solutions and controlling their morphology and crystal size.
She is one of 40 young researchers recently selected by the MBRAS, which represents the scientific community in the UAE.