top of page
Picture3_v2 - Copy.JPEG


Assistant Researcher (UC Professional Research Series)

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

University of California, Los Angeles

Co-founder & Chief Science and Technology Officer

Nanotech Energy, Inc.

UCLA Address

607 Charles E. Young Dr. East

Molecular Sciences Building 2230

Los Angeles, CA 90095



Maher El-Kady is a distinguished researcher and innovator, currently serving as a professional researcher at the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. He is also recognized as the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Nanotech Energy, Inc. With a remarkable career spanning across various disciplines, El-Kady has made significant contributions to the fields of energy, electronics, and sustainability through his expertise in materials design and implementation. At the heart of El-Kady's work lies an interdisciplinary approach, encompassing chemistry, materials science, engineering, molecular and cell biology, and their convergence in creating advanced materials and devices. His pioneering efforts have led to groundbreaking advancements in multiple domains, including batteries, implantable medical devices, nanogenerators for wearable and skin electronics, chemical sensors and biosensors, solar cells, artificial photosynthesis, water remediation, and environmental monitoring. El-Kady's doctoral research, conducted under the guidance of Prof. Richard Kaner, a renowned authority in materials science at UCLA, yielded significant breakthroughs in graphene chemistry and supercapacitors.


His seminal contributions to the field laid the foundation for the establishment of Nanotech Energy, Inc., a company dedicated to transforming the battery industry. As the company's chief science and technology officer, El-Kady spearheads a team of talented scientists and engineers in realizing the commercial potential of his innovations. El-Kady has co-authored nearly 200 patents and patent applications and more than 70 papers in prestigious journals, attracting 19,400+ citations. His professional experiences resulted in numerous awards including Iconic Express Magazine top 10 Influential Leaders of 2023, C-Level Focus 10 Best CTO's of 2022, C&EN Talented 12 from the American Chemical Society, the UCLA Herbert Newby McCoy Award, Amgen Postdoctoral Award, Lindau Graduate Student Award, the Cairo University Presidential Award for Excellence in Research in addition to a research award from the Government of Egypt. Additionally, his research accomplishments have been showcased in various media outlets, including a documentary produced for the Sundance Film Festival on ideas that could change the world. He also appeared in the popular NOVA science show and on BBC Four screen in a series of episodes that tell the stories behind some of the most significant inventions that helped shape the world we live in today. Furthermore, El-Kady had the privilege of featuring in a movie alongside Nobel laureate Harry Kroto, whose groundbreaking discovery of fullerenes over three decades ago ignited a global surge of nanotechnology research. Throughout his career, El-Kady developed a long-standing passion for creating "smart" materials that will transform our lives. 

  • Papers 70+, citations: 19400+; h-index: 46 as of June 4, 2024

  • Clarivate Analytics: 10 articles in the category of "highly cited papers", which features research papers in the top 1% of their academic field according to the Web of Science.

  • Developed extensive intellectual property with a global portfolio of 206 patents and patent applications

Google Scholar Citations as of June 20, 2023
Picture 17.png

Applications by Country

MapChart_Map - cleaned.png

​Professional Experience

  • 2019-present

Research Assistant professor (UC Professional Research Series), University of California, Los Angeles

Developing new materials, analyzing their properties, and collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to advance energy storage technologies.

  • 2014-present

Co-founder and chief science and technology officer, Nanotech Energy, Inc.

Leading a team of scientists and engineers for transforming cutting edge research from the lab to the marketplace

  • 2017-2019

Postdoctoral research associate, University of California, Los Angeles

Developed tiny power generators for wearable electronics, electronic skin, water-splitting catalysts, solid-state batteries, and implantable medical devices

  • 2014-2017

Postdoctoral research fellow, University of California, Los Angeles

Team leader of the energy storage group in the Kaner Lab. The research focused on new graphene electronics, 2D materials, nanomaterial assembly, and targeted drug delivery and cellular imaging

  • 2014-2014 (6 months)

Research scientist, Draper Laboratories

Investigated methodologies for the fabrication of graphene micro-supercapacitors for down-hole applications

  • 2013-2015

Assistant professor of Chemistry, Cairo University

  • 2013-2014

Research scientist, NASA-Kennedy Space Center

Developed high energy density supercapacitors for space applications

  • 2012-2013 (1.5 years)

Research scientist, Maxwell Technologies

Working with the world’s largest producer of supercapacitors, I led a team from UCLA to develop carbon-based electrodes for high-power supercapacitors

  • 2009-2013

Doctoral student, University of California, Los Angeles

Developed a groundbreaking technique that uses lasers to fabricate graphene supercapacitors that store as much charge as traditional batteries, but can be recharged in seconds. This work has brought about a huge scientific and technological interest

  • 2004-2009

Lecturer of chemistry, Cairo University

Taught discussion and lab sections covering all aspects of undergrad chemistry including physical, organic, analytical and inorganic chemistry


Awards and Honors

  • 2023: Top 10 Influential Leaders of 2023, Ionic Express Magazine

  • 2022: Top 10 Best CTOs, C-Level Focus Magazine

  • 2022: Talented 12 from the American Chemical Society – for "Group of path-paving young scientists tackling the world's toughest problems with clever chemistry".

  • 2022: Innovation Award from the CES Show - World’s Largest Technology Tradeshow.

  • 2022: Advisory Board for the Engineering Leadership Certificate Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara

  • 2021: The 5 Largest LA Tech Startup Funding Rounds of August 2021, LA Tech Watch.

  • 2021: 12 of my patent applications were granted and more than 50 new patent filings over the year 2021 only.

  • 2020: Extensive Media Coverage of our new discovery showing that snow could be the next clean energy source [Link].

  • 2019: UCLA Top Stories of the Year: UCLA Newsroom.

  • 2019: MRS Meeting Scene: My talk was featured by the world’s largest congregation of material scientists [Link]

  • 2019: Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World. Discussed how graphene can revolutionize the automobile in PBS and BBC TV series. The show was highlighted in Washington Post, 2019.   

  • 2018: Next Gen. Electronics: My achievements in the graphene industry celebrated by Aljazeera [Link].

  • 2018: The top 10 most cited research articles in the prestigious journal Science [Link]. 

  • 2017: NOVA science show! The interview was part of an episode titled “Search for the Super Battery” which aired on PBS on February 1, 2017.

  • 2017: Notable Scientific Contributions of the Year: the University of California selected our work on battery-free medical implants as an example of important UC discoveries made in 2017 [Link].

  • 2016: Henrik Fisker is using a revolutionary new battery to power his Tesla killer: Legendary Henrik Fisker proposed using batteries I developed for the next-generation electric cars [Link]. 

  • 2016: 10 game-changing graduate student startups. The University of California named Nanotech Energy among the top 10 startups based on UC graduate student research that are well on their way to being the next big thing [Link]. 

  • 2016: making graphene and the power of graphene technology and portable power: An interview with the legendary Grant Imahara.

  • 2015: Editors Raymond Chang and Kenneth Goldsby recognized my Ph.D. work on carbon-based supercapacitors in the latest edition of “Chemistry” 12e, published by McGraw Hill this year, more details here. So, undergraduate students around the world study my research discoveries in classes!

  • 2015: Groks Science Radio Show and Podcast: featured in an episode on 3-D Supercapacitors, 2015.

  • 2015: Amgen Postdoctoral Award: Molecular Biology Institute, 2015 [Link1, Link2].

  • 2015: UCLA Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Award.

  • 2014: Finalist, Muslim Star of the Year in the Field of Science: Nominated by On-Islam, Feb. 2014 [Link].

  • 2014: TEDx talk in the city of Cairo, Egypt. Title of the talk “The Super Supercapacitor: The battery tech that could charge your phone in seconds”. 

  • 2014: French TV Station, TF1 featured our research on graphene. 

  • 2013: Most Prominent Scientific Achievements of 2013 in the Arab World according to Aljazeera [Link].

  • 2013: Egypt’s Ministry of Manpower and Immigration also listed my research work as an example for highlighting the work of prominent Egyptian scholars, [Link here].

  • 2013: Cairo University Presidential Award for Excellence in Research, 2013. The award is so prestigious that the vice president of Cairo University, UCLA Dean of graduate research along with a delegate from the Embassy of Egypt in Washington provided the award in a celebration at UCLA [Link].

  • 2013: UCLA Herbert Newby McCoy Award, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. “for the student or faculty member in the Chemistry Department of the University of California at Los Angeles making the greatest contribution of the year to the science of chemistry” [Link]. 

  • 2013: My research has been named as the KCET ReWire’s most popular story of 2013. KCET is America’s Largest Independent Public Television Station.

  • 2012: Featured in a three-minute movie entitled “the Super Supercapacitor”, which was produced for the Sundance film festival by the videographer Brian Davis on ideas that could change the world. This movie was selected by the Fast Company Magazine on the list of best-designed videos of 2013 with an interview with Steve Jobs in the first place and our video came in the third place, link here.

  • 2009: Lindau Graduate Student Award, Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting, the largest regular congregation of Nobel laureates in the world, apart from the Nobel ceremony in Stockholm -  Lindau, Germany.

  • 2009: Nanotechnology, Use and misuse: Discussed the future of Nanotechnology with the 1996 chemistry Nobel laureate, Prof. Sir Harold Kroto. The movie was featured on the home page of the prestigious Nature journal.

  • 2009: Full Ph.D. scholarship, General Missions Program, Government of Egypt.

  • 2009: Best M.Sc. Thesis Award from the School of Physical Sciences at Cairo University.

  • 2008: Distinguished Teaching Award, School of Physical Sciences, Cairo University

  • 2007: Distinguished Teaching Award, School of Physical Sciences, Cairo University


Revolutionizing Electric Cars 

Join Ric Kaner and Maher El-Kady in an insightful conversation as they explore the transformative potential of graphene in revolutionizing the automotive industry. Delve into the captivating world of "Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World," a video series that unveils the incredible impact of six iconic inventions throughout human history. Witness the interplay of science, invention, and technology as they intertwine to reshape our world as we know it. The full episode aired recently on PBS (US) and BBC4 (UK) [link here]. IMDB rating 8.2/10. 

Nanotech Energy Announces Nonflammable Battery 

Lithium-ion batteries have transformed the way society uses energy. They can hold a lot of charge in a small volume, allowing cell phones, laptop computers, and even electric cars to exist. So, they are closely related to our daily lives but they have obvious safety issues. A battery, if shorted, could become a fireball bomb nearly impossible to extinguish using conventional techniques. In this interview, our teams at Nanotech Energy and UCLA present a game-changing non-flammable battery smothering the potential of a flame or explosion and providing a safer battery solution. 

The Search for the Super Battery - NOVA Science Show - PBS TV 

We live in an age when technological innovation seems to be limitlessly soaring. But for all the satisfying speed with which our gadgets have improved, many of them share a frustrating weakness: the batteries. Though they have improved in the last century, batteries remain finicky, bulky, expensive, toxic, and maddeningly short-lived. A new way of making supercapacitors may help them store more energy than normal batteries.

The Power of Graphene Technology with Grant Imahara

In a captivating discussion, Grant Imahara engages in a dialogue with power industry leaders and innovators, delving into the future of power technology, with a particular focus on graphene advancements. Joining the conversation are esteemed UCLA chemists and graphene experts, Richard Kaner and Maher El-Kady. Their insights shed light on the potential of these cutting-edge technologies and their transformative impact on the power industry.

Making Graphene - Maher El-Kady and Grant Imahara

Dr. Maher El-Kady teams up with legendary Grant Imahara to unveil the process of creating Graphene, the extraordinary material driving a remarkable advancement in portable power. In this captivating demonstration, they showcase the innovative production techniques that enable the fabrication of Graphene. By shedding light on this groundbreaking process, El-Kady and Imahara provide a glimpse into the transformative potential of Graphene in revolutionizing portable power solutions. Prepare to be amazed as they unveil the secrets behind this remarkable breakthrough that has the power to shape the future of energy storage and propel us into a new era of portable power.

Nanotechnology: Use and Misuse - Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting - Germany 2009 - Nature Publishing Group

Sir Harry Kroto won the Nobel Prize for discovering the soccer-ball-shaped fullerenes, strangely-structured carbon molecules also known as buckyballs. These molecules led to the development of carbon nanotubes and the burgeoning field of nanoscience. But young chemists Stephanie Benight and Maher El-Kady want to know how we can use buckyballs in the future, and whether we should be worried by some aspects of these new nano-scale technologies.

The Super Supercapacitor - How to Charge your Phone in Seconds | Maher El-Kady | TEDxCairo 2014

Maher El-Kady, a researcher at UCLA, has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of battery technology through the development of the super supercapacitor. This revolutionary battery technology promises to transform the way we store and utilize energy, from enabling faster charging for our phones to extending the range of electric vehicles. Join us in an engaging TED talk where we delve into the latest advancements in battery technology and explore the next generation of fast-charging energy storage systems. Discover how Maher El-Kady's innovative research is shaping the future of energy storage, paving the way for more efficient and sustainable power solutions. This enlightening discussion will open your mind to the possibilities that lie ahead in the realm of batteries and their impact on our daily lives.

Advancing Education in Egypt - MBC Group 

Sherif Amer, renowned talk show host on MBC Masr, conducted a captivating interview with Maher El-Kady, where they explored a wide range of topics, including the future of batteries and electric vehicles, as well as advancements in science education in Egypt and the Middle East. The discussion delved into the latest developments and innovations in battery technology, emphasizing their significance for the future of sustainable energy and transportation. The Interview shed light on the importance of promoting science education in the region, fostering a culture of scientific curiosity and knowledge dissemination.

New Research Directions - Alghad TV

Maher El-Kady discusses his latest research on fast-charging batteries and tiny power generators that can harvest body motion to create sustainable power for portable electronics. He also describes a breakthrough energy storage device that may allow future pacemakers to be used for a lifetime without the need for batteries. This innovation, achieved in collaboration with researchers from the University of Connecticut, involves a remarkable biological supercapacitor that can convert the body's ions into storable energy. 

مقدمة القناة: يعكفُ العالمُ المصريُ الشاب ماهر القاضي على تطويرِ اختراع توصل إليه منذ سنوات وهو عبارة عن بطارياتٍ حديثةٍ للهواتف يتم شحنها خلال ثوانٍ معدودة ويستمر عملُها لعدة ساعات وذلك بعد دراسات أجراها على مادة الجرافين، الاختراع - بحسب القاضي - يمهد السوقَ لاكتساح السيارات الكهربائية فالمكثفاتُ الخارقةُ التي يتم صُنعُها من الجرافين قادرةٌ على تخزين الطاقة بصورة مضاعفة، تفاصيل أكثر حول هذا الاختراع وانعكاساته وفوائده الاقتصادية نتابعها مع الدكتور ماهر القاضي العالم المصري والباحث في جامعة كاليفورنيا مع الإعلاميين ولاء غانم وعمر الأطرقجي في برنامج يوم جديد.

bottom of page