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School of Environment Science and Engineering

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Li Weiyi

Research Assistant Professor

School of Environmental Science and Engineering


Dr. Weiyi Li got his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Cincinnati (USA) in 2009.  He worked as a research fellow at the Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) and has been working in the field of membrane technology for more than 16 years.  His research focuses on membrane process simulation and optimization, membrane module/spacer design, novel membrane fabrication, advanced techniques for membrane characterization (e.g., Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy and Optical Coherence Tomography), and novel methods for fouling and concentration polarization control.  His work has yields about 21 peer-reviewed papers (total citations: 570, h-index: 12) and two patent applications.
2004-2009 Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, USA
2000-2003 M.S. in Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, China
1996-2000 B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, China
2017-present Research Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology
2010-2017 Research Fellow, Singapore Membrane Technology Centre, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
2004-2009 Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, USA
2003-2004 Research Assistant, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, China


Research Interests
1) Novel techniques for membrane process characterization
2) Membrane process modeling and simulation
3) Novel membrane materials and fabrication methods
4) Membrane module design and optimization
5) Membrane-based seawater desalination, wastewater treatment, particle purification for biological or medical engineering, etc.



1. Y. Wang, W. Li, R. Wang, C. Y. Tang, Enhancing Boron Rejection in FO Using Alkaline Draw Solutions, , Water Research, 118(2017) 20-25.
2. Y. Wang, R. Wang, W. Li, C. Y. Tang, Whey Protein Recovery Using Forward Osmosis - Evaluating the Factors Limiting the Flux Performance, J. of Membrane Science, 533(2017) 179-189.
3. Q. Han, W. Li (co-corresponding author), T. T. Trinh, X. Liu, J. W. Chew, A Network-Based Approach to Interpreting Pore Blockage and Cake Filtration During Membrane Fouling, J. of Membrane Science, 528(2017) 112-125.
4. X. Liu, W. Li (co-corresponding author), T. H. Chong, A. G. Fane, Effects of Spacer Orientations on the Cake Formation During Membrane Fouling: Quantitative Analysis Based on 3D OCT Imaging, Water Research, 110(2017) 1-14.
5. W. Li (corresponding author), X. Liu, Y. Wang, T. H. Chong, C. Y. Tang, A. G. Fane, Analyzing the Evolution of Membrane Fouling via a Novel Method Based on 3D Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging, Environmental Science & Technology, 50(2016) 6930-6939.
6. W. Li, K. K. Chen, Y. Wang, W. B. Krantz, A. G. Fane, C. Y. Tang, A Conceptual Design of Spacers with Hairy Structures for Membrane Filtration, J. of Membrane Science, 510(2016) 314-325.
7. S. Qi, Y. Li, Y. Zhao, W. Li, C. Y. Tang, Highly Efficient Forward Osmosis Based on Porous Membranes: Applications and Implications, Environmental Science & Technology, 49(2015) 4690-4695.
8. Y. Gao, S. Haavisto, W. Li (corresponding author), C. Y. Tang, J. Salmela, A. G. Fane, Novel Approach to Characterizing the Growth of a Fouling Layer during Membrane Filtration via Optical Coherence Tomography, Environmental Science & Technology, 48(2014) 14273-14281.
9. Y. Gao, Y. Wang, W. Li, C. Y. Tang, Characterization of the External and Internal Concentration Polarizations during Forward Osmosis, Desalination, 338(2014) 65-73.
10. Y. Gao, S. Haavisto, C. Y. Tang, J. Salmela, W. Li (corresponding author), Characterization of Fluid Dynamics in Spacer-filled Channels for Membrane Filtrations Using Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography, J. of Membrane Science, 448(2013) 198-208.
11. W. Li, W. B. Krantz, E. R. Cornelissen, J. W. Post, A. R. D. Verliefde, C. Y. Tang, A Novel Hybrid Process of Reverse Electrodialysis and Reverse Osmosis for Low Energy Seawater Desalination and Brine Management, Applied Energy, 104(2013) 592-602.
12. Y. Gao, W. Li, W. C. L. Lay, H. G. L. Coster, A. G. Fane, C. Y. Tang, Characterization of Forward Osmosis Membranes by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy, Desalination, 312(2013) 45-51.
13. S. Qi, W. Li, N. Ma, Y. Zhao, J. Wei, W. Ting, C. Y. Tang, Influence of Polyelectrolyte Layers and Draw Solutes on the Performance of Layer-by-Layer FO Membranes, J. of Membrane Science, 423-424(2012) 536-542.
14. D. Xiao, W. Li (co-first author), S. R. Chou, R. Wang, C. Y. Tang, A Modeling Investigation on Optimizing the Design of Forward Osmosis Hollow Fiber Modules, J. of Membrane Science, 392(2012) 76-87.
15. W. Li, Y. Gao, C. Y. Tang, Network Modeling for Studying the Effect of Support Structure on Internal Concentration Polarization During Forward Osmosis: Model Development and Theoretical Analysis, J. of Membrane Science, 379(2011) 307-321.
16. W. Li, C. Duclos-Orsello, C. C. Ho, Theoretical Analysis of the Effects of Asymmetric Membrane Structure on Fouling During Microfiltration, AIChE Journal, 55(2009) 1434-1446.
17. C. Duclos-Orsello, W. Li, C. C. Ho, A Three Mechanism Model to Describe Fouling of Microfiltration Membranes, J. of Membrane Science, 280(2006) 856-866.
18. W. Li, J. Li, T. Chen, D. Wang, Z. Zhao, C. Chen, Study on Nanofiltration for Purifying Fructo-oligosaccharides: Process Simulation and Optimization, WMSCI 2005, 10(2005) 509-514.
19. W. Li (corresponding author), J. Li, T. Chen, Z. Zhao, C. Chen, Study on Nanofiltration for Purifying Fructo-oligosaccharides II. Extended Pore Model, J. of Membrane Science, 258(2005) 8-15.
20. W. Li, J. Li, T. Chen, C. Chen, Study on Nanofiltration for Purifying Fructo-oligosaccharides I. Operation Modes, J. of Membrane Science, 245(2004) 123-129.
21. W. Li, J. Li, C. Chen, T. Chen, Experimental Study on Nanofiltration for Purifying FOS and Diafiltration mode, Membrane Science and Technology (P.R. China), 24(2004) 6-10.

Research Fields

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