Dr. Lai is a full professor of the Chemical and Biological Engineering degree program of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). He is one of the founding faculty members of KAUST and the KAUST Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center.
Dr. Lai’s research mainly focuses on development of high-performance membranes out of ordered porous materials such as zeolites, metal organic frameworks, carbon nanotubes, covalent organic frameworks and porous polymers. The applications of these membranes are targeted to industrially important and energy-intensive separation systems including hydrocarbon mixtures, natural gas upgrading, seawater desalination, organic solvent nanofiltration, hemodialysis, and waste-water treatments. Most of his work are published on prestigious journals including “Science”, “Nature Nanotechnology”, “Nature Materials”, “JACS”, “Angewandtl Chemie”, and “Journal of Membrane Science” and highly cited. He is a SABIC presidential chair from 2013 to 2016.
Dr. Lai received his bachelor and master degrees from Tsinghua University China, and PhD degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Before he joined KAUST, he worked as a postdoc in the department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science of University of Minnesota Twin Cities and an assistant professor in Nanyang Technological University Singapore.