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Working Group (AG) - Maleki

Dr. Hajar Maleki

Address Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Cologne, Greinstrasse 6, 50939 Cologne
Room office: 213, lab: 215 
Phone +49 (0)  221 470-1981

E-mail: h.malekiSpamProtectionuni-koeln.de 

Researcher ID: A-9926-2016
Orcid ID: 0000-0002-2813-4700

Google Scholar


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I am a materials chemist with a broad academic background and multidisciplinary research experience with an opportunity of working in four renowned research teams in different countries, namely Iran, Portugal, Austria, and Germany .

Starting at the INST - Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Sharif University of Technology, Iran where I studied Nanochemistry (2006-2012) with a project entitled '' Synthesis, Surface Modifications, and charaterizations of Fe3O4@Au Core-Shell Nanoparticles '', I have accumulated impressive knowledge and skills for my further career steps in Europe. At the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra, Portugal, I received a doctorate for my work on development of Silica-polymer hybrid aerogels for thermal insulation in aerospace applications (2014) under a Marie Curie Fellowship. Beside of my doctoral thesis, I have also had a privilege to work / closely collaborate with a research institute '' Biotechnology Innovation Center, Biocant, '' and '' Active Space Technologies (AST) '' company. In 2016, I was granted a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Lise Meitner program at the Materials Chemistry Division of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria,for two years. My project focused on 'development of various functional Silica-Silk Fibroin hybrid aerogels for various application purposes ranging from environmental sustainability to thermal insulation and biomedical application' '.  Since Nov. 2018 , I have taken further steps toward my independent academic career as a Habilitand in the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the University of Cologne with a main research focus of development and structurally designing of functional nanostructured 3D Materials through bioinspired and additive manufacturing processing techniques for various application purposes. The habiliation projects are being supported through German Science Foundation (DFG-Eigene Stelle) and German Aerospace Center (DLR). 

So far, I have been able to acquire ca. 520 K€ 3rd party funding (from DFG, FWF, FCI) as a principle investigator to conduct the research in the realm of functional bio-inspired materials. 

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Academic background

01/09/2011 - 13/01/2015      

Ph.D.:  Nanomaterials/ Chemistry

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Ph.D. Thesis: Development of Mechanically Reinforced Polymer-Silica Aerogel for Thermal Insulation in Space Applications

Magna Cum Laude, GPA=18 from 20.

Date of Ph.D. defense: 10/12/2014

15/09/2006 –


M.Sc.: Organic Chemistry

Department of Chemistry, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.

M.Sc. Thesis: A comparative study of catalyzed rearrangement of allyloxy- coumarins and allyloxynaphthalenes to dihydrofurocoumarins and dihydronaphthofurans.

GPA=17.45 from 20.

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Professional Experiences

01/11/2018 –                          

Habilitand/ Junior Group Leader

Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany,

Granted by DFG (Eigene Stelle) and German Aerospace Center (DLR) 

Mentor: Prof. Dr. Sanjay Mathur

15/09/2016 – 30/09/2018 

 Postdoctoral research fellow (FWF principal investigator)

Chemistry and Physics of Materials, Materials Chemistry Division Paris Lodron University Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria,

Lise Meitner - Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Mentor: Prof. Dr. Nicola Huesing

01/09/ 2015 – 30/06/ 2016

Postdoctoral research fellow

Sol-gel technology lab, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra (UC), Coimbra, Portugal.

Research group: Prof. Dr. Antonio Portugal

22/01/2015- 30/08/2015    Career break: Maternity leave
12/01/2012 – 13/01/2015      

Marie-Curie-Early Stage Researcher (ESR during Ph.D.)

Sol-gel technology lab, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra (UC), Coimbra, Portugal, Marie Curie ITN project

Research group: Prof. Dr. Antonio Portugal

13/05/2011 – 01/09/2011  

Visiting Scholar

Biocant - Biotechnology Innovation Center, CNC-Center of Neurosciences and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra (UC), Cantanhede, Portugal.

Research group: Prof. Dr. Lino Ferreira

01/09/2008 – 29/04/2011    

Research assistant

Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (INST), Sharif University of Technology (SUT), Tehran, Iran.

Research group: Prof. Dr. Arash Simchi

01/09/2009 – 15/07/2010    


Qazvin Azad University of (QIAU), Qazvin, Iran.

Teaching Chemistry courses: General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

Fellowships & Awards

1. Fellowship award from the German Science Foundation (DFG - Eigene Stelle)  Project Number: MA 8575/3-1, 07/2021
2. Fellowship award from the prestigious Lise Meitner postdoctoral fellowship - Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Project Number: M 2086-N34, 05/2016.
3. Fellowship award from competitive European Funded Marie Curie ITN project, MANANO (Manufacturing and Application of Nanostructured Materials (MANANO), Project Reference: 264710, 01/2012.
4. Grant awarded from German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany. Project Number: 78002333.11/2018
5. Grant award from the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie for material cost allowances (Sachkostenzuschüsse) for young university teachers, 07/2019.
6. Grant awarded from Postdoc-Kids & ElderCare within the Female Professors Programme II of University of Cologne, 12/ 2019.
7. Grant awarded from Kopf Frei - Postdoc-Programme for Female Professors Programme III of University of Cologne, 07/ 2020.
8. Grant awarded from Kopf Frei - Postdoc-Programme for Female Professors Programme IV of University of Cologne, 05/ 2021.
9. Ph.D. thesis approved/passed with honors/ distinction, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 12/2014.
10. Most downloaded article award from Elsevier Publisher, for a review paper ‘’H. Maleki*, et al., 385, 2014, An Overview of silica aerogels synthesis and different mechanical reinforcing strategies, Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids’’, 06/2019
11. Best oral presentation award in International Sol-Gel meeting, Liège, Belgium for Session: ‘’Biomaterials, biohybrids and bioinspired materials’’, 09/2017.
11. 17th best student, out of ca. 4000 participants in national M.Sc. exam (Iran), 09/2006.
12. Grant awarded from Iran Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, for financial aid on research developed on University of Coimbra, Portugal, 03/2011