Dr Harvey Yi Huang




+44(0)131 6507793


1.192 Fleeming Jenkin

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Engineering Discipline: 

  • Chemical Engineering

Research Institute: 

  • Materials and Processes

Research Theme: 

  • Carbon Capture and Separation Processes
  • Reaction Engineering and Catalysis
  • Materials Design, Processing and Characterisation
Dr. Harvey Yi Huang
Dr. Harvey Yi Huang


Dr Harvey Yi Huang is a Reader in Advanced Materials & Interfaces at the University of Edinburgh (UoE). He received a Ph.D. degree (Chemical Engineering) from Monash University, Australia with Prof Huanting Wang and joint undergraduate honours degrees (Chemical Engineering and Economics) from Harbin Engineering University. As a part of his PhD program, Dr Huang worked at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO), Australia as a postgraduate scientist with Dr Anita J. Hill and studied abroad in the Michael Tsapatsis Research Group at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, US. Before his appointment in Edinburgh, he was a senior postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, US with Profs Krista Walton and David Sholl.

Currently, he leads a research team at UoE, focusing on advanced porous and 2D materials, membrane materials, and their novel nanofabrication methods and nanotechnology to address challenges in many industrial processes, e.g. mixture separation & adsorption, gas storage (CH4, H2, CO2), catalysis, antibacterial & self-cleaning interfaces (e.g. thin films, coatings and surfaces), anti-cancer drug delivery and clean water supply. His research has been strengthened by substantial industrial interactions. He has attracted more than £2.4 million of funds for his research and commercialization. 

Dr Huang has several editorial duties, for example, he is the Editor of Results in Engineering (IF 5.0); Editorial Board Member and Guest Editor of Separation and Purification Technology (IF 8.6) and Sustainability (IF 3.9), Advanced Membranes (CiteScore 8.5) and Green Chemical Engineering (CiteScore 11.6), and Cambridge Prisms: Carbon Technologies (published by Cambridge University Press). He was elected for the '2022 RINENG Distinguished Young Investigator Award', the '2022 ISPT-BMS Young Membrane Scientist Award', and the '2023 Separation and Purification Technology (SPT) Distinguished Young Scholar'.


Academic Qualifications: 

  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Australia (2007-2011).
    • Research scientist (postgraduate), CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia (2008-2011)
    • Study abroad, Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, United States (2010-2011)
  • Joint B.Eng. in Chemical Engineering and Dip. Eco. in International Economics and Trade, Harbin Engineering University, China (2002-2006)


Professional Qualifications and Memberships: 


  • Chemical Engineering Laboratory 3 (CHEE09016) - Course Instructor
  • Chemical Engineering Design: Projects 4 (CHEE10002) - Project Supervision
  • Chemical Reaction Engineering 4 (CHEE10008) - Course Organiser
  • Chemical Engineering Study Project 4 (CHEE10009) - Project Supervision
  • Chemical Engineering Industrial Project 5 (CHEE11014) - Project Supervision
  • Chemical Engineering Research Project 5 (CHEE11017) - Project Supervision


Research Interests: 

  • All across the world, people are facing a wealth of new and challenging problems, particularly energy and environmental issues. For example, billions of tons of annual CO2 emissions are the direct result of fossil fuel combustion to generate electricity. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. emitted 6.1 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2007. Producing clean energy from abundant sources, such as coal, will require a massive infrastructure and highly efficient capture technologies to curb CO2 emissions. In addition to its environmental impact, CO2 also reduces the heating value of the CH4 gas streams in power plants and causes corrosion in pipes and equipment. To minimize the impact of CO2 on the environment, the design of high-performance separation materials and technologies for efficient carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is urgent. Our research in this area is creating novel nanostructured (membrane) materials with enhanced transport properties by ordering their nano-architectures via different methods and meanwhile exploring their novel and energy-sustainable scale-up.
  • Enhanced demand for fuels worldwide not only decreased world oil reserves but also increased climate concerns about the use of fossil-based fuels. To address these energy and environmental problems, efforts have been made towards improved utilization of fossil fuels and the development of renewable energy production. With its abundant availability and carbon-neutral nature, biomass is recognized as one of the most promising renewable energy resources. Several transportation fuels can be produced from biomass, helping to alleviate the demand for petroleum products and improve the greenhouse gas emissions profile of the transportation sector. Traditional catalysts suffer from many undesirable properties, such as small accessible pore size, low hydrothermal stability, and less controllable active sites. Among these, low hydrothermal stability at upgrading temperatures greatly hinders the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuel. Our research is focused on synthesizing a new class of ultra-stable catalysts with tunable nanostructure and functionalities for efficient bio-oil upgrading, with special emphasis on the study of their hydrothermal stability.
  • Oil pollution is another serious global issue because of the large amounts of oily wastewater produced by petrochemical and other industries, as well as by frequent off-shore oil spill accidents. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) issues guidance addressed to all companies involved in offshore exploration and production where oil may be released into the sea or other water systems. The regulatory limit for the concentration of oil in produced water discharged into the sea is set at a 30 mg/l performance standard (this figure applies as averaged over a monthly period). At any one time, the concentration must not exceed 100 mg/l. Therefore, it's urgent to develop effective techniques to treat oil-polluted wastewater at such low oil/grease concentrations to satisfy the stringent governmental limitations and preserve the environment. Membrane techniques have been widely employed for water purification and are very effective in separating stabilized oil, especially for removing oil droplets. However, current membranes suffer from membrane fouling both on surfaces and in internal structures, which significantly limits their service time and degrades separation performance in practical operations. My research in this field attempts to adopt the concept of biomimetic hierarchical roughness in membrane design for creating superoleophobic membrane surfaces from a vast pool of candidate materials, such as zeolites, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), and single-layered graphene oxide. Our research also focuses on the development of facile, low-cost preparation techniques that would open a completely new direction for the membrane society.



  • 2-dimensional and porous materials (graphenes, MXenes, zeolites and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs))
  • Ultrathin membranes, smart surfaces and multifunctional interfaces
  • Adsorption, storage and membrane separation
  • Drinking water purification, wastewater treatment, desalination, antibacterial and anti-cancer applications

Other interests: hydrothermally stable materials for catalytic bio-oil upgrading; novel controlled delivery systems for small drug delivery


Further Information: 

Current Opportunities:

Your application should include the latest CV with a publication list, a research statement, and the contact information (including name, affiliation, phone number and email address) of at least two references. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled.

*Ph.D. Vacancy - Open!! Hierarchical nanofabrication of smart and functional materials for energy-efficient separations (applications are welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere.).

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduates who are interested in adsorption, membrane separation, materials synthesis, and catalytic science, please contact Dr. Huang.

Graduate Students:

Always looking for outstanding prospective students who are interested in Ph.D. studies in Chem. Eng. The following scholarships can be applied to support your study. (School of Engineering also provides Ph.D. scholarships for exceptional applicants)

Principal's Career Development Ph.D. Scholarships

Carnegie/Caledonian PhD Scholarships

Research Scholarships for international students - Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship

China Scholarships Council/University of Edinburgh Scholarships (Citizens and permanent residents of the People's Republic of China)

More funding information can be found here!

Postdoctoral researchers

Outstanding applicants can consider the following fellowships, e.g., RAE, MC (Individual Fellowships), Newton International FellowshipsSir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral FellowshipsChina Scholarship Council Scholarship Postdoctoral Fellowship, Marie-Curie Postdoc Fellowship, Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, NERC Independent Research Fellowship, EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellowship1851 Research Fellowship.

Note: additional postdoctoral opportunities may be available in the "Current Opportunities" section if research funding opportunities arise!

Visiting researchers

Self-funded visiting students/scholars/professors are welcomed. You need to source your own funding for the visit, including a bench fee (£955,  2024-2025) and living costs.

Other enquiries?

Welcome, just send an email to Yi.Huang@ed.ac.uk