Research output per year

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Personal profile


I joined Aston in 2015 as a lecturer within Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. I studied chemical engineering at the Nanjing University of Technology, obtaining a BEng with Highest Distinction in 2003 and PhD in 2008. In the last year of my PhD, my first employment started at The University of Hong Kong (Department of Chemistry), the topic covered nanomaterials for electrocapacitors and fuel-cell electrocatalysts. The next position was at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Department of Physics) from 2010 to 2013 and focusing on chalcogenides as photovoltaic materials and photosynthesis proteins for photocatalysis. Early 2013, I moved to the University of Liverpool (Department of Physics) and assisted to set up a new research group focusing on hybrid nanomaterials for low carbon energy sources. Before I moved to Aston, I had a four-month experience working in the National Graphene Institute, University of Manchester. 

My work has appeared in about 30 publications in high quality journals (e.g. ACS NanoNanoscaleSmallJ. Mater. Chem.ACS Appl. Mater. InterfacesEnviron. Sci. & Technol.) with nearly 1000 citations and H-Index of 15.


  • 2016              Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching for Higher Education in the UK.

  • 2003-2008     Nanjing University of Technology (NJUT), PhD in Chemical Engineering.

  • 1999-2003     NJUT, BEng (1st Honours) in Chemical Engineering.


  • 2016              Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching for Higher Education in the UK.

  • 2003-2008     Nanjing University of Technology (NJUT), PhD in Chemical Engineering.

  • 1999-2003     NJUT, BEng (1st Honours) in Chemical Engineering.

Teaching Activity

  • Separation Process (CE2103, CE3105)
  • Design and Build (CE1002)
  • Process Design (CE3003)
  • MEng Final Year Research Projects (CE4011)

Research Interests

  • Photocatalytic reaction engineering and reactor systems

  • Hybrid nanomaterials for renewable energy (e. g. catalytic biomass upgrading, photocatalytic, photovoltaic and energy storage applications)

  • Applications of hybrid nanomaterials in biology, healthcare and electronics related fields.

PhD Supervision


Research Fellow
Dr Sekar Karthikeyan, Newton International Research Fellow
Dr Yang Bai, PDRA

PhD student
Kassam Ahmed

MEng students
Daniel Bachynskyj-Bilas, Max Thompson, Olufemi Tanimonure

Visiting student
Quentin Ruiz (from Polytech Montpellier, France)

Alumni with most recent known affiliation
Rima Trofimovaite, PhD

Harun Ahmed, MEng
Haroon Khan, MEng

Navpreet Mander, MEng
Jeremy Wong, MEng
George Sykes, MEng

Research Projects/Collaborations

  1. DST-DBT international collaboration project, £52,000, funded by Ministry of Science & Technology, India. project title “Nanoengineered Inorganic Halide Perovskites for Photo, Electro and Thermochemical (PETC) CO2 Reduction: Novel Artificial Photosynthesis Implementation for Clean Energy Generation”, Co-I, 2019 - 2021.

  2. International Collaboration Grant, £55,000, funded by local government at Shenzhen, China. project title “Multifunctional biomaterial dressing for chronic wound healing”, Co-I, 2019 - 2021.

  3. BBSRC GCRF project, £607,148, project title “Cascade processes for integrated bio-refining of agricultural waste in India and Vietnam”, Co-I, 2017 - 2019.

  4. The Royal Society International Exchanges award, £12,000, project title “Multiscale Analysis of Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation with Photosystem II”, PI, 2017 - 2019.

  5. Foreign Experts Visiting and Collaboration Grant, £35,000, supported by Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China, Co-I, 2018-2019.

  6. The Royal Society Newton International Fellowship, £99,000, project title “Development of graphene supported metal oxide catalyst for environmental remediation”, PI, 2016 - 2018.

  7. The Energy Research Accelerator (The Midlands, UK), £10,000, project title “Combined biomass upgrading and hydrogen production using photosynthesis proteins”, PI, 2017.

  8. EPSRC AMR4AMR Seedcorn Project, £15,000, project title “Development of transglutaminase-crosslinked collagen biomaterial dressings: a Swiss Knife approach to tackle diabetic foot ulcers”,Co-I 2017.

  9. International Collaboration Grant, £12,000, supported by State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering (Nanjing University of Technology, China), project title “Applications of TiO2 based nanomaterials”, PI, 2017 - 2019.

  10. The Royal Society Research Grant, £15,000, project title ‘Hybrid nanomaterials for combined biomass upgrading and hydrogen production by photoelectrocatalysis’, PI, 2016.

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Royal Society of Chemistry

  • IChemE

  • UK Solar Fuel Network

  • EPSRC Associate Peer Review College

Contact Details

Telephone: 0121 204 3035

Email: w.li8@aston.ac.uk 

Office: MB111

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Research Output

Effects of ionic hydration and hydrogen bonding on flow resistance of ionic aqueous solutions confined in molybdenum disulfide nanoslits: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations

Zhang, Y., Zhu, W., Li, J., Zhu, Y., Wang, A., Lu, X., Li, W. & Shi, Y., 15 Jun 2019, In : Fluid Phase Equilibria. 489, p. 23-29 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Interfacial potassium induced enhanced Raman spectroscopy for single-crystal TiO2 Nanowhisker

    Pan, F., Zhou, G., Huang, L., Li, W., Lin, M. & Liu, C., 25 Oct 2019, In : Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Joint event extraction based on hierarchical event schemas from framenet

    Li, W., Cheng, D., He, L., Wang, Y. & Jin, X., 18 Feb 2019, In : IEEE Access. 7, p. 25001-25015 15 p., 8643786.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Nanocatalysts for CO2 Conversion

    Kumar, S., Li, W. & Lee, A. F., 11 Jun 2019, Carbon Nanomaterials in Hydrogenation Catalysis. Luque, R. (ed.). 38 ed. Royal Society of Chemistry, p. 207-235 29 p. (RSC Catalysis Series; vol. 2019-January, no. 38).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Nanolamellar Tantalum Interfaces in the Osteoblast Adhesion

    An, R., Fan, P., Zhou, M., Wang, Y., Goel, S., Zhou, X., Li, W. & Wang, J., 19 Feb 2019, In : Langmuir. 35, 7, p. 2480-2489 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access