Contact info:
Dr. Rami Messalem
Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research - ZIWR
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
POB 653 Beer Sheva
Tel: +972 8 6461 943
Professional experience
Senior Research Scientist at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Expert in Membrane technologies (Ultrafiltration, Reverse Osmosis, Electrodialysis). Supervising a team of research scientists dedicated to membrane development for desalination, drinking water, municipal and industrial wastewater for the last 30 years.  He spent two years with Prof. K. S .Spiegler at the Seawater Conversion Laboratory in Berkeley, California (1970-1972), and several sabbatical years in industry, among them, head of R&D and Vice-President at Memtek Corp., Boston, a membrane company making commercial membrane systems for industrial wastewater treatment and ultra pure water (1980-1982). He received a Citation Award by the U.S. National Bureau of Standards for "Contribution to understanding of the properties of membranes" (1972). He published several papers and patents in the field of water treatment technologies and participated in several EU projects (AVICENNE, AQUAREC and MEDINA, among others). Current activities: Desalination and wastewater treatment by membrane processes (Ultrafiltration, Membrane Bio-reactors); Polymeric membrane synthesis; Design and construction of Electrodialysis stacks; Zero Liquid Discharge of Concentrates; Desalination with Solar Energy; Reverse Electrodialysis; Advanced Oxidation Processes (Ozonation of groundwater, solar water detoxification).
Research interests
Dr. Messalem specializes in membrane processes for treating municipal and industrial wastewater (particularly in ultra-filtration and micro-filtration, as well as reverse osmosis) and in pre-treating sea-water for desalination. His areas of interest focus on physical chemistry of membranes. Specifically, he deals with membrane and fiber synthesis; characterization of reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration and ion-exchange membranes; fouling mechanisms in membranes; scanning electron microscopy of the morphology of membranes; industrial waste treatment; design and development of waste treatment processes and equipment using cross-flow filtration membranes. Dr. Messalem has also been involved in the Israel Hazardous Waste Survey.
Research activities (from 2000 up to date)
-Development of a New Electrodialysis System; R. Messalem, C. Linder, O. Kedem,
(Ministry of Industry), Katamon project, 2008-201.  -Advanced bipolar membrane processes for reduction of high salt load waste water
streams, New ED; R. Messalem (BGU), FP7 framework, EU project, 2009-2012.
-Removal of Micro-pollutants from Municipal Wastewater: A Comparative Study between Activated Sludge (CAS) and UF vs. Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR) Treatment; BMBF-Germany, and MOS (Min. of Science & Technology). Co-investigators: A. Aharoni -: (2007-2010). PI.
-Concentrating Solar Power & Desalination for communities in Israel & Jordan; BMU-Germany, and MOS (Min. of Science & Technology). Co-investigators: A. Roy, A. Kudish, (2007-2010).
-Membrane-Based Desalination: an Integrated Approach -MEDINA; (EU project: 036997). Y. Oren , J. Gilron, V. Freger, S. Belfer(2006- 2009). Co-PI.
-Zero Liquid Discharge of Desalination Concentrates; BMBF-Germany, and MOS (Min. of Science & Technology). with Y. Oren, J. Gilron, E, Korngold (2006-2009). 
-Application of cross-flow UF and coagulation as tertiary treatment after biological treatment. Co-investigators: Brenner, A., Gitis, V., Oron, (2005-2007)
-Development of new Ultrafiltration membranes for seawater pretreatment and for tertiary treatment of municipal wastewater: Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Fund (CIIRDF). Co­investigators: P. Cote (Zenon, Canada), M. Priel (Mekorot), (2005-2007)
-Integrated concepts for Reuse of upgraded wastewater AQUAREC (EU project: EVK1­CT-2002-00130), with a consortium of 16 Research groups, (2003-2006).
-Optimization of Membrane Processes for Water Treatment; Ministry of Science, (Pr. 01­01-01486). Co-investigators: Y. Oren, R. Semiat, D. Hasson, Y. Talmon, J. Gilron, V. Freger, S. Belfer, C. Linder, N. Daltrophe, Y. Gelman, P. Gluekstern and M. Priel (2003­2005). Co-PI.
-Use of CAPS and ED for treating domestic wastewater; Ministry of Trade and Industry. Co-investigators: Y. Oren, C. Linder, J. Gilron, (2000-2002)
Selection of recent publications
-A. Ghermandi and R. Messalem. Solar-driven desalination with reverse osmosis: the state of the art. Desalination and Water Treatment 7 (2009): 285-296.
-A. Ghermandi and R. Messalem. The advantages of NF desalination of brackish water for sustainable irrigation: The case of the Arava Valley in Israel. Desalination and Water Treatment 10 (2009): 101-107.
-F. Kent, R. Messalem, P. Cote, R. Arviv, O. Silner (2007), "Micro-bubble Interferences with Silt Density Index Measurements on Ultrafiltration Permeate", presented at AWWA Membrane Technology Conference, March 18-21, 2007 Tampa, Florida.
-Uri Goren, Avi Aharoni, Mario Kummel, Rami Messalem, Igor Mukmenev, Asher Brenner and Vitaly Gitis (2007), "Role of Membrane Pore Size in Tertiary Flocculation/ Adsorption/ Ultrafiltration Treatment of Municipal Wastewater", Separation & Purification Technology, received 11 September 2007; revised 11 October 2007; accepted 15 October 2007. Available online 24 October 2007
-   E. Huertas, M. Salgot, J. Hollander, S. Weber, S. Kahn, A. Schafer, R. Messalem, B. Bis,
A. Aharoni and H. Chikurel (2006), "Key Objectives for Water Reuse Concepts", Desalination, in press.
-   R. Messalem (2006), "Membranes for Unrestricted Water Reuse", Paper in NATO Security through Science Series -C, Environmental Security: "Integrated Urban Water Resources Management", edited by P. Hlavinek & al., Springer: 313-320.