Prof. Fatwa F. ABDI

PhD in Chemical Engineering, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Netherlands
Staff title
Associate Professor

Prof. Fatwa F. Abdi is an Associate Professor in the School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering (1st class honours) from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He then completed his Master of Engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and Master of Science degree from the National University of Singapore, Singapore, within the framework of the Singapore-MIT Alliance program. After a brief stint in the semiconductor industry, he pursued a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Netherlands, and graduated cum laude in 2013. His PhD thesis on the development of highly efficient bias-free solar water splitting received the Martinus van Marum prize from the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) for the best thesis in chemistry and chemical technology for the past five years. He then joined the Institute for Solar Fuels, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Germany, as a postdoctoral researcher. He was then promoted to be a group leader / staff scientist (2015 – 2023) and the deputy head of the institute (2019 – 2023).

Prof. Abdi’s research group is interested in the development of materials and engineering of devices for solar-to-chemical conversion applications. His group focuses on complex metal oxides with activities spanning from investigating their fundamental material properties using e.g., spectroscopy techniques to implementing bulk and surface modification strategies to overcome their limitations. At the same time, his group utilizes the combination of multiphysics modeling and validation experiments to identify challenges associated with device scale-up and demonstrate highly efficient solar-to-chemical conversion devices. With these research topics, Prof. Abdi has participated as a principal investigator in various national and international projects funded by the European Commission (Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe), German’s Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF), German Research Foundation (DFG), and Helmholtz Association.

Other Information

Position(s) Available

We seek highly motivated researchers to join our research group as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. We welcome candidates from various engineering backgrounds, including but not limited to Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics or related fields. The candidates should be passionate about the research interests of our group and are expected to have good spoken and written English communication skills.

PhD students

  • Candidates interested in pursuing PhD (4 years) in our research group should follow the CityU application instructions and submit their formal application to the School of Energy & Environment, CityU.
  • Various funding mechanisms are available for eligible candidates, e.g., Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS), University Grants Committee (UGC) Teaching Assistant (TA) Scheme, University Grants Committee (UGC) Research Assistant (RA) Scheme.
  • Prior to application, please send your motivation letter (incl. background and research interests), CV and other supporting documents (e.g., published works) to Prof. Abdi at


  • Postdoctoral researcher positions in the development of photoelectrochemical devices for the generation of valuable chemicals are available within our research group
    • Candidates must have a recent PhD in a relevant discipline (see above)
    • Ideal candidates should have a solid understanding of photo-electrochemistry, reactor engineering/design and mass-transport phenomena in (photo-)electrochemical processes
    • Experience in multiphysics modeling of (photo-)electrochemical processes and/or construction of (photo-)electrochemical devices is desirable
    • Successful candidates are expected to publish in high impact journals and co-mentor graduate students in the group
    • Please send your motivation letter (incl. background and research interests), CV and other supporting documents (e.g., published works) to Prof. Abdi (
    • Review of applications will begin immediately and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
    • Competitive salary and benefits will be offered, along with funding to attend conferences to deliver papers and interact with fellow researchers.
  • Excellent candidates interested in applying for Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme or other relevant fellowship to conduct research in our research group are highly welcome.

City University of Hong Kong is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to the principle of diversity. We encourage applications from all qualified candidates, especially applicants who will enhance the diversity of our staff.

Staff Image
Fatwa F. ABDI
Contact Information
Office: YEUNG-B5429
Phone: +(852)-3442-2984
Fax: +(852)-3442-0688

Time slots for consultation

Research Interests
  • Photoelectrochemical water splitting
  • Solar-driven waste valorization and generation of valuable chemicals
  • Oxide semiconductors for energy conversion applications
  • Transport phenomena in solar-driven chemical conversion devices