Professor Hicham Idriss

Honorary Professor


Hicham Idriss is Fellow at SABIC Corporate Research & Development (CRD) at KAUST, Saudi Arabia and an Honorary Professor here at the Department of Chemistry.  He received his undergraduate and postgraduate education from the University of Strasbourg (France).  Prior to joining SABIC he was Aberdeen Energy Futures Chair and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Aberdeen (UK).  His main research work is on the surface reactions of metal oxides both at the experimental and computational levels.  In the last decade, he has been focusing his research on hydrogen production from renewables both by thermal and photocatalytic methods.  He has about 220 papers and over 60 patents/patents applications.  He is member of the editorial board of Catalysis, Structure and Reactivity; Applied Catalysis B: Environmental; Catalysis Surveys from Asia; and the regional editor of Current Organocatalysis.   

Summary of research group
  The main activity is devoted to making hydrogen from renewables (in particular water) using sun energy.  The activity encompasses complete study of the water splitting reactions (and associated reforming reactions) from ab initio computation to model single surfaces, to real catalysis and larger reactors.  The main concepts behind our work are plasmonics, phase-synergism as well as 3D microscopic structures such as photonic band gap materials. 
Research highlights

Frontispiece: Surface Functionalization of g-C3N4: Molecular-Level Design of Noble-Metal-Free Hydrogen Evolution Photocatalysts

Hicham Research Highlight…
Research Facilities
  • XPS
  • STM
  • Femto second pump probe and luminescence
  • In situ IR
  • In situ photoluminescence
  • Photocatalytic reactors and GCMS
  • Ab initio computation (pwSCF and VASP)
  • French Ministry of Research and Technology - PhD Scholarship (1985-1987).
  • Invited Professor; November 2000 – January 2001, School of Chemistry, University of Strasbourg, France.
  • Research Fellowship at the Fritz Haber Institute der Max-Plank Geselschaft, 2000. 
  • Research Fellowship; the French National Research Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS): Oct. 2001-Feb. 2002.
  • Member of the Asia-Pacific Association of Catalysis Societies (APACS) Committee. 2004-2008; New Zealand representative.
  • Fellow of the NZ Institute of Chemistry, 2005.
  • Member of the Energy Panel of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 2005- 2008
  • American Chemical Society 
  • American Vacuum Society
  • Materials Research Society
Research interests
  • Catalysis by metal oxides
  • Metal/metal oxides interface
  • Photocatalytic reactions for hydrogen production
  • Reaction mechanism (experimental and computational)
  • Surface spectroscopy
  • Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials – lectures on Catalysis