Dr Amr Omar

Dr Amr Omar

Research Associate
Engineering
School of Chemical Engineering

Amr Omar has completed his PhD at the University of New South Wales, where he focused on developing solar thermal systems and combining them with desalination processes to alleviate water scarcity in rural-arid regions. During his postdoc in chemical engineering at UNSW, he has worked on multiple industry-funded projects, such as the development of flocculant strength instrument for water catchment monitoring and ultrafine bubble assessment for turf growth. 

Amr Omar is the winner of the prestigious 2022 Malcolm Chaikin Prize for Research Excellence in Engineering of the Year and was nominated for the Asian Union of thermal Science and Engineering Young Scientist. He was also awarded first place in the Three Minutes Thesis (3MT) 2020 competition from the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Due to his research contributions, he was awarded the "research student award" by the UNSW Postgraduate Council.

Overall, Amr's main goal is to provide a more clean, more efficient, and cost-effective integration of solar energy to decarbonize processes, particularly water processes.

Location
Room 505, Level 5, Science & Engineering Building, Kensington campus
  • Book Chapters | 2021
    Omar A; Li Q; Saldivia Salazar D; Nashed A; Dang B, 2021, 'Solar-driven water treatment: Generation III - Low technology readiness', in Mahian O; Wei J; Taylor RA; Wongwises S (ed.), Solar-Driven Water Treatment Re-engineering and Accelerating Nature’s Water Cycle, Academic Press, pp. 201 - 261
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Ellersdorfer P; Omar A; Taylor RA; Daiyan R; Leslie G, 2023, 'Multi-effect distillation: a sustainable option to large-scale green hydrogen production using solar energy', International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 48, pp. 31491 - 31505, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2023.04.261
    Journal articles | 2023
    Mirza NR; Fernandes D; Li Q; Omar A; Zhao S; Xie Z; Taylor R; Allen J; Feron P, 2023, 'Reclaiming water from a direct air capture plant using vacuum membrane distillation – A bench-scale study', Separation and Purification Technology, 305, pp. 1 - 30, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2022.122418
    Journal articles | 2023
    Moradi S; Omar A; Zhou Z; Agostino A; Gandomkar Z; Bustamante H; Power K; Henderson R; Leslie G, 2023, 'Forecasting and Optimizing Dual Media Filter Performance via Machine Learning', Water Research, 235, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2023.119874
    Journal articles | 2022
    Li Q; Charlton AJ; Omar A; Dang B; Le-Clech P; Scott J; Taylor RA, 2022, 'A novel concentrated solar membrane-distillation for water purification in a building integrated design', Desalination, 535, pp. 115828, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2022.115828
    Journal articles | 2021
    Omar A; Li Q; Nashed A; Guan J; Dai P; Taylor RA, 2021, 'Experimental and numerical investigation of a new hollow fiber-based multi-effect vacuum membrane distillation design', Desalination, 501, pp. 114908, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2020.114908
    Journal articles | 2021
    Omar A; Nashed A; Li Q; Taylor RA, 2021, 'Experimental and numerical evaluation of the energy requirement of multi-stage vacuum membrane distillation designs', Separation and Purification Technology, 257, pp. 117303, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2020.117303
    Journal articles | 2021
    Omar A; Saldivia D; Li Q; Barraza R; Taylor RA, 2021, 'Techno-economic optimization of coupling a cascaded MED system to a CSP-sCO2 power plant', Energy Conversion and Management, 247, pp. 1 - 38, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2021.114725
    Journal articles | 2020
    Li Q; Lian B; Zhong W; Omar A; Razmjou A; Dai P; Guan J; Leslie G; Taylor RA, 2020, 'Improving the performance of vacuum membrane distillation using a 3D-printed helical baffle and a superhydrophobic nanocomposite membrane', Separation and Purification Technology, 248, pp. 117072, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2020.117072
    Journal articles | 2020
    Li Q; Omar A; Cha-Umpong W; Liu Q; Li X; Wen J; Wang Y; Razmjou A; Guan J; Taylor RA, 2020, 'The potential of hollow fiber vacuum multi-effect membrane distillation for brine treatment', Applied Energy, 276, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115437
    Journal articles | 2020
    Omar A; Nashed A; Li Q; Leslie G; Taylor RA, 2020, 'Pathways for integrated concentrated solar power - Desalination: A critical review', Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 119, pp. 109609, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2019.109609
    Journal articles | 2019
    Omar A; Saghafifar M; Mohammadi K; Alashkar A; Gadalla M, 2019, 'A review of unconventional bottoming cycles for waste heat recovery: Part II – Applications', Energy Conversion and Management, 180, pp. 559 - 583, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2018.10.088
    Journal articles | 2019
    Saghafifar M; Omar A; Mohammadi K; Alashkar A; Gadalla M, 2019, 'A review of unconventional bottoming cycles for waste heat recovery: Part I – Analysis, design, and optimization', Energy Conversion and Management, 198, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2018.10.047
    Journal articles | 2017
    Saghafifar M; Omar A; Erfanmoghaddam S; Gadalla M, 2017, 'Thermo-economic analysis of recuperated Maisotsenko bottoming cycle using triplex air saturator: Comparative analyses', Applied Thermal Engineering, 111, pp. 431 - 444, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2016.09.100
    Journal articles | 2016
    Omar A; Saghafifar M; Gadalla M, 2016, 'Thermo-economic analysis of air saturator integration in conventional combined power cycles', Applied Thermal Engineering, 107, pp. 1104 - 1122, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2016.06.181
  • Software / Code | 2023
    Huang Y; Omar A; Saldivia Salazar D, 2023, CSP-MED Integration Techno-economic Model, Matlab code, Published: 24 October 2023, Software / Code, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/unsworks/28658
    Conference Papers | 2022
    Ellersdorfer P; Omar A; Taylor R; Daiyan R; Leslie G, 2022, 'Could Multi effect Distillation be the Key to Unlock Large scale Solar Driven Green Hydrogen Production', in Proceedings of the Asia Pacific Solar Research Conference 2022, Australian PV Institute, Newcastle, Australia, presented at Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference 2022, Newcastle, Australia, 29 November 2022 - 01 December 2022, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/unsworks/28578
    Conference Papers | 2022
    Huang Y; Omar A; Saldivia D; Taylor R; Leslie G, 2022, 'What Factors are Most Important in Determining Payback Period on Concentrated Solar Power + Desalination Plants: A Sensitivity Analysis', in Proceedings of the Asia Pacific Solar Research Conference 2022, Australian PV Institute, Newcastle, Australia, presented at Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference 2022, Newcastle, Australia, 29 November 2022 - 01 December 2022, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/unsworks/28584
    Conference Papers | 2022
    Huang Y; Omar A; Taleb A; Saldivia D; Taylor R; Kay M; Leslie G, 2022, 'Can Concentrated Solar Power Desalination Solve Rising Energy and Water Prices An Australian Site Feasibility Study', in Proceedings of the Asia Pacific Solar Research Conference 2022, Australian PV Institute, Newcastle, Australia, presented at Asia Pacific Solar Research Conference 2022, Newcastle, Australia, 29 November 2022 - 01 December 2022, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/unsworks/28579
    Reports | 2022
    Omar A, 2022, Solar-Driven Membrane Distillation Overview, Begell House, http://dx.doi.org/10.1615/thermopedia.010196, https://thermopedia.com/content/10196/
    Reports | 2022
    Omar A, 2022, Solar-Driven Multi-Effect Distillation Overview, Begellhouse Inc., http://dx.doi.org/10.1615/thermopedia.010205, https://thermopedia.com/content/10205/
    Theses / Dissertations | 2021
    Omar A, 2021, Membrane Distillation Development for Concentrated Solar Thermal Systems, University of New South Wales
    Conference Papers | 2020
    Omar A; Saldivia D; Nashed A; Li Q; Taylor R, 2020, 'Can concentrated solar-driven supercritical CO2 power cycles help address the energy-water nexus?', Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, presented at SolarPACES Conference 20, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 29 September 2020 - 02 October 2020
    Conference Papers | 2019
    Omar A; Nashed A; Taylor R, 2019, 'Techno-Economic Feasibility of Large-Scale, Concentrated Solar Power and Desalination (CSP-D) Cogeneration Plants: A Case Study in Abu Dhabi', Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, presented at Sixth International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment (ICWEE/6), Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 26 March 2019, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/unsworks/27496
    Conference Papers | 2018
    Omar AH; Nashed A; Taylor R, 2018, 'Single vs Multi-Stage Vacuum Membrane Distillation: An Energetic Analysis', in Proceedings of the 11th Australasian Heat and Mass Transfer Conference, AHMTC11, Melbourne, Australia, presented at Australian Heat and Mass Transfer Conference, AHMTC 11, Melbourne, Australia, 09 July 2018 - 10 July 2018
    Preprints |
    Charlton A; Li Q; Omar A; Dang B; Le-Clech P; Taylor R, A Novel Concentrated Solar Membrane-Distillation for Water Purification in a Building Integrated Design, , http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3972691
    Preprints |
    Mirza NR; Fernandes D; Li Q; Omar A; Zhao S; Xie Z; Taylor R; Allen J; Feron P, Reclaiming Water from a Direct Air Capture Plant Using Vacuum Membrane Distillation – a Bench-Scale Study, , http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4176064
  • Media | 2021
    Omar A; Taylor R; Leslie G, 2021, Contemplating The Solar-Desal Sunrise, Water Desalination Report,

  • 100K AUD research grant from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for the development of an evaporative cooling roadmap.
  • 20K AUD for the development of a hollow fiber vacuum membrane distillation module with CSIRO Energy (2020-2021).

  • Nominated for Research Excellence Award (Early Career Academic) category for UNSW's Faculty of Engineering Excellence Awards 2023.
  • Awarded the Prestigious Malcolm Chaikin Prize for Research Excellence in Engineering, 2022.
  • Asian Union of Thermal Science and Engineering Young Scientist Award Nominee, 2022.
  • Research student award from UNSW's postgraduate council, University of New South Wales, 2020.
  • First place in the three-minute thesis (3MT) in the school of mechanical and manufacturing engineering, University of New South Wales, 2020.
  • Australian postgraduate award full scholarship, University of New South Wales, 2017.
  • Engineering top-up award, University of New South Wales, 2017.
  • Runner up to the best postgraduate thesis in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Sydney, 2017.
  • Research assistantship position, American University of Sharjah, 2014.
  • Merit and Dean's List Awardee, American University of Sharjah, 2010 - 2014.

Amr Omar has focused on decarbonizing water processes using solar technology and translate innovative technologies from lab-scale to real world application. His research focuses on mimicking the solar-driven, natural water cycle, in a controlled environment using either novel membrane distillation technology (for small-scale applications) or the more developed multi-effect distillation process (for large-scale applications). He has also explored seawater desalination through conventional means, such as seawater reverse osmosis or low-temperature multi-effect distillation, to produce sufficient water to run and actively cool down electrolyzers for efficient hydrogen production. Furthermore, he has studied the flocculant strength in the pre-treatment process for water filtration plants and has been studying the potential of nanobubble technologies in agricultural irrigation equipment. 

Accordingly, Amr's research aims to bridge the forgoing gaps in water treatment processes and run them sustainable using renewable energy sources to straddle two pressing Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations, SDG6 for 'clean water' and SDG7 for 'affordable and clean energy'.

  • Reviewer for multiple Q1 journals including Nature
  • Keynote speaker at NSW field day presenting the potential of micro/nanobubbles for future irrigation systems
  • Review panel member for various conferences

My Research Supervision

  • Triple Bottom Line Assessment for Inland Green Hydrogen Developments (PhD Project)
  • Development of the Solar-driven Membrane Distillation for Seawater Desalination (PhD Project)
  • An Improved Nanofluid-based Hybrid Photovoltaic/Thermal System (Master by Research)
  • Sun to H2O - Vertically Integrated Project (VIP)
  • Site Feasibility Study for a Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Plant Coupled with Desalination (Thesis Project)
  • Solar Still Feasibility for Nighttime Operation (Thesis Project)