Adair Gallo Junior

PhD Students



Adair Gallo Junior is a chemical engineer from Brazil. He co-founded Massarani, a consultancy company specialized in the areas of Chemical/Environmental Engineering. During his undergraduate study, he was awarded the Science Without Borders scholarship for a one-year exchange program at the University of Iowa, USA. During this stint, he also interned in the laboratory of the Late Prof. Jacob Israelachvili at University of California Santa Barbara, where he investigated the time-dependence of wetting of biomimetic polymeric interfaces. This work appeared on the cover of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Subsequently, Adair joined Dr. Mishra’s Group at KAUST as an MS-PhD student. His MS-thesis work has settled a long-standing debate on the applicability of electrosprays of water to investigate pristine air-water interfaces; this work has appeared on the cover of Chemical Science – the flagship journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Together with Prof. Mishra, Adair is the co-inventor of SandX, and currently responsible for large-scale manufacturing, designing and leading field trials, and testing the complementary effects of SandX with other soil-amendment technologies towards strengthening the global food-water-energy nexus.

Research interests

Hydrophobic interfaces, application and scale-up of technologies, chemical reactions in electrosprays, biochar, agriculture, aerogels, desalination.

Selected Publications

  • Gallo, Adair, Andreia SF Farinha, Miguel Dinis, Abdul-Hamid Emwas, Adriano Santana, Robert J. Nielsen, William A. Goddard, and Himanshu Mishra. "The chemical reactions in electrosprays of water do not always correspond to those at the pristine air–water interface." Chemical Science 10, no. 9 (2019): 2566-2577.​ Cover article. DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05538F
  • Subramanian, N., Qamar, A., Alsaadi, A., Gallo Jr, A., Ridwan, M.G., Lee, J.G., Pillai, S., Arunachalam, S., Anjum, D., Sharipov, F., Ghaffour, N., Mishra, H. 2019. Evaluating the potential of superhydrophobic nanoporous alumina membranes for direct contact membrane distillation. Journal of colloid and interface science, 533, pp.723-732. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2018.08.054
  • H. Mishra, A. M. Schrader, D. W. Lee, A. Gallo Jr., S-Y. Chen, Y. Kaufman, S. Das, J. N. Israelachvili, "Time-Dependent Wetting Behavior of PDMS Surfaces with Bioinspired, Hierarchical Structures", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces December (2015). Cover article. DOI: 10.1021/acsa​mi.5b10721 ​​


  • Ph.D. Environmental Science and Engineering, KAUST, Saudi Arabia (current student)
  • M.S. Environmental Science and Engineering, KAUST, Saudi Arabia (2017)
  • ​B.S., Chemical Engineering, State University of Western Parana (UNIOESTE), Brazil (2015)
  • Technician in Chemistry, Federal Technological University of Parana (UTFPR), Brazil (2009)


  • Winning team at Wetskills Water Challenge – Oman (2019)
  • Cover article – Chemical Science, DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05538F (2019)
  • Best Poster Award at the 5th Water Arabia Conference and Exhibition (2017)
  • Elsevier Best Poster Award at the 7th International Colloids Conference (2017)
  • Presenter at Falling Walls Lab – KAUST – Breaking the Wall of Food Insecurity (2017)
  • Winning team at KAUST/Dow STEAM Challenge (2017)
  • Cover Article, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b10721 (2016)
  • Winning team at Design for Manufacturing RC competition at University of Iowa (2014)
  • Science Without Borders, Brazil Scientific Mobility Program fully funded scholarship recipient for University of Iowa (USA), CAPES Foundation (2014)
  • 1st place at entrance exam at UNIOESTE (2010)
  • Two-time medalist at the Parana Chemistry Olympiad (2009 and 2008)
  • 2nd place at entrance exam at UTFPR (2006)

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Water Desalination and Reuse Center