stabtabaei's picture


LK Downing Hall, Room 2015
(202) 806-6626

Faculty Details

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2014: Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
MSc, 2007: Chemical Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
BSc, 2004: Chemical Engineering, Azad University, Science and Research branch, Tehran, Iran


Separation and Purification Processes, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals from Renewable Resources, Food Process Engineering


Expanding our energy supply sources with less environmental impacts requires creating more sustainable and secure energy systems. Our research activities are mostly focused on developing novel catalytic processes for the sustainable production of advanced biofuels and biochemical from biomass resources. We use experimental and theoretical approaches to understand the fundamental processes governing biomass conversion. Our goal is also to develop environmentally clean bio-separation technologies for concurrent recovery of high-quality food and biofuel from plant-based materials with the aim of addressing major issues in sustainable energy, human nutrition, and the environment.

Graduate Students Opportunities (Master’s Level):

I am looking for self-motivated students at master’s level. The ideal candidates are expected to conduct both experimental and computational research related to the development and optimization of green bio-separation technologies for processing and characterization of pharmaceutical powders as well as seeds and grains. Other available research projects are related to the production of advanced biofuels from underutilized biomass resources through novel catalytic processes.

A preferred candidate is expected to meet the following criteria:
1) Earned Bachelor degree in chemical engineering;
2) Graduate school admission criteria of Howard University;
3) Expertise in heat & mass transfer, and fluid flow concepts;
4) Excellent communication skills, both written and oral;
5) Proven ability to work as part of a team;
6) Excellent organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills;
7) Experience in mathematical/CFD modelling is an asset.

If you are interested in working in our group, please send your CV, transcripts, and representative publications (if applicable) to Dr. Solmaz Tabtabaei in one email at

Subjects Taught: 

Fluid Mechanics

Detailed Information

About Me: 

Dr. Solmaz Tabtabaei received her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto (Canada). There she conducted experimental and theoretical work to develop a new and sustainable process that simultaneously produces biodiesel and food-grade protein isolates from an underutilized feedstock. She has been granted the “Global Engineering Leaders Award” from the University of Toronto based on her publication records, remarkable research and extracurricular accomplishments during her PhD studies. In November 2014, Solmaz received MITACS Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship and moved to the University of Waterloo (Canada), where she began her work in developing solvent-free tribo-electrostatic bioseparation approach for production of plant protein concentrates as well as carbohydrate-rich biomass for biofuels. Dr. Tabtabaei has published her work in well-known journals and presented at several conferences including Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE) and American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS), where she has won the 2013 Industrial Oil Products Division Student Award.


Tabtabaei, S., M. Jafari, A.R. Rajabzadeh, and R.L. Legge (2016). “Development and Optimization of a Triboelectrification Bioseparation Process for Dry Fractionation of Legume Flours.” Separation and Purification Technology, 163:48-58. doi: 10.1016/j.seppur.2016.02.035

Tabtabaei, S., M. Jafari, A.R. Rajabzadeh, and R.L. Legge (2016). “Solvent-free Production of Protein-enriched Fractions from Navy Bean Flour using Triboelectrification-based Approach.” Journal of Food Engineering, 174: 21-28. doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2015.11.010

Jafari, M., A.R. Rajabzadeh, S. Tabtabaei, F. Marsolais, and R.L. Legge (2016). “Physicochemical Characterization of a Navy Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Protein Fraction Produced using a Solvent-Free Method.” Food Chemistry, 208: 35-41. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.03.102

Tabtabaei, S., D.G.B. Boocock, and L.L. Diosady (2015). “Biodiesel Production from Mustard Emulsion by a Combined Destabilization/Adsorption Process.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 92(8): 1205-1217

Tabtabaei, S., D.G.B. Boocock, and L.L. Diosady (2014). “Biodiesel Feedstock from Emulsions Produced by Aqueous Processing of Yellow Mustard.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 91(7): 1269-1282

Tabtabaei, S., V.M. Ataya Pulido and L.L. Diosady (2013). “Destabilization of Yellow Mustard Emulsion using Organic Solvents.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 90(5): 707-716

Tabtabaei, S. and L.L. Diosady (2013). “Aqueous and Enzymatic Extraction Processes for the Production of Food-grade Proteins and Industrial Oil from Dehulled Yellow Mustard Flour.” Food Research International, 52(2): 547–556

Tabtabaei, S. and L.L. Diosady (2012). “The Isolation of Yellow Mustard Oil using Water and Cyclic Ethers.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 89(5): 935-945


2016 AIChE Annual Student Conference in San Francisco

Wed, March 1, 2017

One Senior and six juniors chemical engineering students respectively participated in the 2016 AIChE Annual Student Conference in San Francisco, CA, November 14-18, 2016. The­ students were Simone Stanley, April Howard, Anayia Reliford, Mahtab Waseem, Bekuechukwu Uzondu, Diwash Bajracharya and Okeoghene Osevwe. Simone Stanley (Senior Chemical Engineering student) won first place for her presentation of “An Experiment Based Smartphone Education App for a Simple Introduction to Chemical Engineering Kinetics” in the General Engineering and Engineering Education session of the poster competition.Read More >>

ChemE Dept. Chair Ramesh Chawla Invited to Serve on EPA's National Advisory Council

Tue, May 24, 2016

Chemical Engineering Department Chair Ramesh Chawla has been invited to serve on the U.S Environmental Protection Agency's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology for a two-year term. As a representative member, he will represent the interests of the Howard University Department of Chemical Engineering.Read More >>


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