top of page
Pixel Frame Bottom


Mahdi Abu-Omar

Renowned Chemist in Green Chemistry

Pixel Frame Bottom


Date of Birth:



Jerusalem, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Mahdi Abu-Omar is a distinguished Palestinian-American chemist known for his significant contributions to green chemistry and renewable energy. As the Mellichamp Professor of Green Chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he has made groundbreaking advancements in the field, particularly in biomass conversion and bio-inspired chemistry.

Brief bio

Mahdi Abu-Omar is recognized for his interdisciplinary research in inorganic chemistry and catalysis, addressing critical issues in energy science, sustainability, and green chemistry. His pioneering work includes developing novel methods for converting lignin into valuable phenols and investigating metal oxo complexes for small molecule activation.

Major Milestones


  • Ph.D. from Iowa State University: Abu-Omar completed his doctoral studies specializing in inorganic chemistry...See More

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship at Caltech: He further honed his expertise in bioinorganic chemistry under Harry Gray.

  • Faculty Positions: Abu-Omar has held faculty positions at UCLA, Purdue University, and UC Santa Barbara.

  • Founder and CEO of Spero Renewables: In 2018, he founded this green chemistry company, focusing on sustainable, plant-based alternatives to petrochemical products.

  • Significant Awards: Abu-Omar has received multiple awards, including the NSF CAREER Award (1999), the Beckman Young Investigator Award (1999), and was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012).

  • Advancements in Green Chemistry: His work significantly contributes to the development of sustainable and renewable chemical processes.

  • Biomass Conversion Research: Abu-Omar has developed innovative methods for converting biomass into valuable chemicals and fuels.

  • Educational Contributions: As a professor, he has mentored and educated a generation of students in the field of chemistry.

  • Leadership in Scientific Research: His role as an associate director of C3Bio and his involvement in numerous research projects demonstrate his leadership in scientific research.

  • Innovative Business Ventures: Through Spero Renewables, he is translating his research into practical applications, thereby impacting the industry and environment.

Date of Last Update: 
February 4, 2024

See similar profiles

Show your support — share their legacy with your friends & followers!

bottom of page