Congratulations to PGR Zahid Hussain, who has passed his viva. His thesis was titled ‘Metal-organic Framework (MOFs) Derived Nanocomposites: Synthesis and Applications in Photocatalysis’. During his time with the CDT, Zahid published 11 papers, plus an English-to-Urdu translation of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. Zahid now works as a postdoctoral researcher at Technical University of Munich (TUM).
Zahid reflects on his experience of undertaking a PhD as part of the CDT:
I believe that life is a journey from nowhere to nowhere. The pleasure of living is in the process itself, and destinations only milestones leading us to the next journey. On this path, we meet all kinds of people. While some settle down on the way, others continue to live nomadic academic lives. As a foreign student, I identify myself with migratory birds, who leave behind many relationships, friendships, cultural and sensory experiences of material and non-material things, seeking better learning and living conditions. In the quest for knowledge and professional opportunities, the continuous struggle to assimilate into a new environment provides us with great learning opportunities, which broaden our mental horizons and deepen the understanding of life indeed.
The last 4 years of my life at the University of Exeter have been full of happenings, professionally and personally. I met some wonderful people, on-campus and off-campus. Many interactions turned into enduring friendships. First of all, I got a great sense of freedom in working with my PhD supervisors Dr Yongde Xia and Prof Yanqiu Zhu, which helped me to grow as an independent researcher. Also, my supportive colleagues and friendly environment of Functional Materials Laboratory (Lab 08) made the overall PhD experience very joyful and productive.
The doctoral training program (CDT) gave me the confidence to think independently and make my own research decisions. During this time, I developed some fruitful collaborations, especially with Dr Asif Tahir (Penryn campus), Prof. Roland Fischer (TU Munich), Prof. Freek Kapteijn (TU Delft, NL) and Prof. Ovidiu Ersen (University of Strasbourg, France). The work I did in these collaborations, greatly contributed to shaping my PhD project.
Along with the PhD, the last 4 years have been the most important time of my life. I married my partner Anna-Maria and became a parent of our lovely daughter Selma as if a sailboat navigating without a compass saw the shore and anchored. Countless moments of joy, peace and contentment, as well as many sleepless nights of childcare, frustrating days, lockdown months of Covid-19 and moving back and forth from Exeter to Munich, all made this time substantial.
We wish Zahid the best of luck with his future.
Zahid has co-authored the following publications:
- September 2021– Z. Huang, Z. Yang, M. Z. Hussain, Q. Jia, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia, Bimetallic Fe-Mo sulphide/carbon nanocomposites derived from phosphomolybdic acid encapsulated in MOF for efficient hydrogen generation, Journal of Materials Science and Technology, 84, 2021, 76-85.
- March 2021- K. Thummavichai, L. A. Thi, S-Y. Pung, O. Ola, M. Z. Hussain, Y. Chen, F. Xu, W. Chen, N. Wang, and Yanqiu Zhu, Sodium tungsten oxide bronze nanowires bundles in adsorption of methylene blue dye under UV and visible light exposure, Energies, 2021. (Accepted)
- February 2021- M. Z. Hussain, M. Bahri, W. R. Heinz, O. Ersen, T. Kratky, R. A. Fischer, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia, An in-situ investigation of the thermal decomposition of metal-organic framework NH2-MIL-125(Ti), Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 316, 2021, 110957.
- February 2021– M. Z. Hussain, B. van der Linden, Z. Yang, Q. Jia, H. Chang, R. A. Fischer, F. Kapteijn, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia, Bimetal-organic framework derived multi-heterostructured TiO2/CuxO/C nanocomposites with superior photocatalytic H2 generation performance, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 9, 2021, 4103-4116.
- February 2021- Y. Chen; O. Ola, G. Liu, L. Han, M. Z. Hussain, K. Thummavichai, J. Wen, L. Zhang, N. Wang, Y. Xia and Y. Zhu, Multifunctional porous SiC nanowire scaffolds, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 2021. (In press)
- September 2020- M. Z. Hussain, Z. Yang, B. van der Linden, Z. Huang, Q. Jia, E. Cerrato, R. A. Fischer, F. Kapteijn, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia, Surface functionalised N-C-TiO2/C nanocomposites derived from metal-organic framework in water vapour for enhanced photocatalytic H2 generation, Journal of Energy Chemistry, 57, 2021, 485-495.
- January 2020- Z. Huang, Z. Yang, M. Z. Hussain, B. Chen, Q. Jia, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia, Polyoxometallates@zeolitic-imidazolate-framework derived bimetallic tungsten-cobalt sulphide/porous carbon nanocomposites as efficient bifunctional electrocatalysts for hydrogen and oxygen evolution, Electrochimica Acta, 330, 2020, 135335.
- November 2019- N. Bibi, M. Z. Hussain, S. Hussain, S. Ahmed, I. Ahmad, S. Zhang, A. Iqbal, Excellent electrochemical performance of SrZrO3 nanorods as supercapacitor electrode in aqueous electrolytes, Applied Surface Science, 495, 2019, 143587.
- May 2019- M. Z. Hussain, G.S. Pawar, Z. Huang, A. A. Tahir, R. A. Fischer, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia, Porous ZnO/Carbon nanocomposites derived from metal-organic frameworks for highly efficient photocatalytic applications: A correlational study, Carbon, 146, 2019, 348-363.
- September 2018- M. Z. Hussain, A. Schneemann, R. A. Fischer, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia, MOF derived porous ZnO/C nanocomposites for efficient dye photodegradation, ACS Applied Energy Materials, 1, 2018, 4695-4707. (Selected for the front cover of the journal issue)
- June 2018- S. U. Awan, S. K. Hasanain, J. Rashid, S. Hussain, S. A. Shah, M. Z. Hussain, M. Rafique, M. Aftab, R. Khan, Structural, optical, electronic and magnetic properties of multiphase ZnO/Zn(OH)2/ZnO2 nanocomposites and hexagonal prism shaped ZnO nanoparticles synthesised by pulse laser ablation in Heptanes, Materials Chemistry and Physics, 211, 2018, 510-521.
Selected outreach activities
Zahid has translated a book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli from English to Urdu. It has recently published by the Mashal Books, Lahore, Pakistan.
Zahid has presented at the following conferences:
- M. Z. Hussain, Y. Xia; Presentation: Bi-MOF derived nanocomposites_applications in photocatalysis, GWPore: Conference on Porous Materials for Energy, Environment and Healthcare Applications, U.K. February 2021. (2nd best presentation award)
- M. Z. Hussain, R. A. Fischer, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia; Poster: Making heterostructures with water: Role of temperature and water steam in MOF derived TiO2/CuOx/Cu/C nanocomposites, Euromof-2019, 3rd International Conference on MOFs and Porous Polymers, Paris, France. October 2019.
- M. Z. Hussain, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia; Presentation: MOF derived photocatalysts for high efficient solar-light-driven H2 evolution. MCEC 2019, Conference on Materials for Clean Energy, NPL, London, U.K. April 2019.
- M. Z. Hussain, R. A. Fischer, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia; Presentation: MOF derived bimetal oxide/carbon composites: Synthesis and photocatalytic applications, 6th International Conference on Multifunctional, Hybrid and Nanomaterials, Sitges, Spain, March 2019.
- M. Z. Hussain, R. A. Fischer, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia; Poster: MOF derived TiO2/C nanocomposites for photocatalysis, ICS Winter School on Catalysis, Innovative Catalysis and Sustainability Scientific and Socio-Economic Aspects, Turin, Italy. January 2019.
- M. Z. Hussain, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia; Poster: MOF derivatives for visible-light-driven photocatalytic applications, 41st Annual Meeting of the British Zeolite Association (BZA), Cumbria, Ambleside, U.K. July 2018.
- M. Z. Hussain, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia; Poster: Black porous ZnO@C nanocomposites derived from MOF-5 for highly efficient photocatalytic application, RAMS-Recent Appointees in Materials Science, University of Exeter, U.K. September 2017.
- M. Z. Hussain, Y. Zhu, Y. Xia; Poster: MOF-5 derived ZnO/C nanocomposites for adsorption and photodegradation of organic pollutants, NIM Conference on Nanostructured Functional Materials for Sustainable Energy Provision, Munich, Germany. July 2017.