Nidal Abu-Zahra, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Dr. Nidal Abu-Zahra has over 15 years of experience in the design and processing of polymeric materials for research and industrial applications. His polymers synthesis and processing laboratory has helped several local and national companies in their existing materials and processing techniques to better their product quality and/or processing costs. Dr Abu-Zahra's 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. The functionality of these foams (and their composites) can be customized to target several metals simultaneously with adjustable selectivity. Lead, mercury, arsenic, and hexavalent chromium are among the targeted metals at this stage. In addition, Dr. Abu-Zahra's group of graduate students work on other applications of polymeric materials such as polymeric solar cells and biomimic polymeric materials for biomedical transplants.