UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering


Congratulations to Halan Mohamed for passing her PhD viva!

21 September 2022


We are happy to announce that Ms Halan Mohamed passed her PhD defence to soon become Dr Halan Mohamed. Her PhD thesis, titled "Kidney-inspired anti-fouling strategies for membrane-based water filtration", was carried out in our NICE Group (UCL Chemical Engineering) at the Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering (CNIE), under the supervision of Prof Marc-Olivier Coppens. She was expertly examined by Prof Semali Perera (University of Bath) and Prof Luiza Campos (UCL Dept of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering).

Halan started her research journey with us during the final year of her chemical engineering degree at UCL, obtaining a 1st class Honours MEng. Most recently, she obtained the prestigious AJV Underwood Exhibition Award for her tremendous promise. Her research also featured on the cover of Royal Society of Chemistry MSDE (Molecular Systems Design & Engineering), for a first-authored article in this RSC/Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) journal. To develop membranes with improved anti-fouling properties (a major issue in membrane separations), her work sought to learn from the remarkable properties of the glycocalyx layer in the kidney. Halan elucidated the relative contributions of charge and hydrophilicity, combining novel synthesis techniques and nanomaterials characterisation methods. She developed innovative synthesis techniques for grafted polymer brushes.

Halan also joined forces with (recent Dr) Nidhi Kapil, to develop a platform to combat anti-microbial resistance (AMR), synergistically combining her work on polymer brushes with catalytic gold nanoparticles synthesised by Nidhi. They obtained AMR Precision Grant funding, and with the highly promising results obtained over the past year, Dr Halan, Nidhi and Shanom Ali will continue to develop this in a CNIE Inspiration Grant project to further assess the potential for clinical applications. The soon-to-be Dr Halan Mohamed also led passionately on many widening participation and outreach activities and as demonstrator and guest lecturer for the NICE course, taught to final-year undergraduate (MEng) and MSc chemical engineering students.