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Solmaz Tabtabaei

Assistant Professor

  • Department of Chemical Engineering, CEA
  • College of Engineering and Architecture (CEA)


Dr. Solmaz Tabtabaei received her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto (Canada). There she conducted experimental and theoretical work to develop a new and sustainable process that simultaneously produces biodiesel and food-grade protein isolates from an underutilized feedstock. She has been granted the “Global Engineering Leaders Award” from the University of Toronto based on her publication records, remarkable research and extracurricular accomplishments during her PhD studies. In November 2014, Solmaz received MITACS Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship and moved to the University of Waterloo (Canada), where she began her work in developing solvent-free tribo-electrostatic bioseparation approach for production of plant protein concentrates as well as carbohydrate-rich biomass for biofuels. Dr. Tabtabaei is currently an assistant professor of Chemical Engineering at Howard University, Washington DC. She enjoys working on bio-separation processes, food and biofule-related engineering projects, reaction engineering, and 3D food printing.

Education & Expertise


Chemical Engineering

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Chemical Engineering,

University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Fluid Mechanics (CHEG-301)

Heat Transfer (CHEG-302)

Food Engineering (CHEG 426 )

Process Design 1 (CHEG 407)

Process Design 2 (CHEG-414)




Separation and Purification Processes, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals from Renewable Resources, Food Process Engineering




USDA-NIFA-AFRI Grant, Solmaz Tabtabaei (PI; $450K; Grant #2020-67021-31141), 2020-2024, for the project: "Additive Manufacturing Of Protein Snack Foods From Electrostatically Enriched Protein Fractions Prepared From Legumes And Cereal".NSF-HBCU-UP-RIA Fund, Solmaz Tabtabaei (PI; $300k; Grant# 1900894), 2019-2022, for the project: “Research Initiation Award: Investigation on Tribo-charging Behavior of Agricultural Particles in the Development of Water-free Bio-separation Approach for Biomass Residues”.Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fund, Solmaz Tabtabaei (PI; $90k), 2016, for the project: “Catalytic Hydrothermal Decarboxylation of Triglycerides and Fatty Acids to Hydrocarbons”. MITACS ELEVATE postdoctoral Fund, Solmaz Tabtabaei (PI; $57k), 2015-2016, for the project: “Development of a Solvent-Free Technology for Production of High Functional Protein Powders from Oilseeds and Grains”.


Summer Faculty Research Fellowship ($10,000), Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Howard University, June 2019NSF Research Initiation Award (RIA) ($300k), NSF-HBCU-UP-RIA, May 2019-April 2022Travel Grant Award ($1000), NSF Engineering CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop, April 2019Faculty Incentive Stipend Award ($2750), Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering and Architecture, Howard University, February 2019CEA Faculty Stipend Award ($5000), College of Engineering and Architecture, Howard University, January 2019 & January 2017Summer Faculty Research Fellowship ($10,000), Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Howard University, April 2017NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship – Canadian Federal Award, $90,000 (One of the Most Competitive Postdoctoral Fellowship), January 2016Life Catalyst Student Award, Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, June 2015Global Engineering Leaders Award, Engineering Grads to Watch, University of Toronto, June 2015 (…)MITACS Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship – Canadian Provincial Award, $57,000; November 2014Industrial Oil Products Division Student Award, American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS), May 2013Toronto Section Award, Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST), March 2013Doctoral Completion Award, University of Toronto, $5,000; March 2013Ontario Provincial Graduate Scholarships (OGS), $15,000; 2013-14Lachlan Gilchrist Fellowship Fund, SGS University-Wide Awards competition, University of Toronto, $8,000; August 2012School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Conference Grant, University of Toronto, May 2012Wallberg Research Fellowship Award, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Awards, University of Toronto, April 2012John Brown Award, Centre for the Environment (CFE), University of Toronto, April 2012School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Conference Grant, University of Toronto, May 2011Differential Fee Waiver Award (DFW), University of Toronto, $15,993; 2008-10

Related Articles

Refereed Articles

Vitelli M., A. R. Rajabzadeh*, S. Tabtabaei, A. Assatory, E. Shahnam and R.L. Legge (2020). “Effect of Hammer and Pin Milling on Tribo-electrostatic Separation of Legume Flour”.  Powder Technology (372): 317-324Tabtabaei*, S. (corresponding author), A.A. D’Archivio, M. Maggi, M. Brutus, D. Bajracharya, D. Konakbayeva, A. Soleimani, H. Brim, and H. Ashktorab (2019). “Geographical classification of Iranian and Italian saffron sources based on HPLC analysis and UV–Vis spectra of aqueous extracts” European Food Research and Technology, 245: 2435–2446;*, H., A. Soleimani, G. Singh, A. Amr, S. Tabtabaei, G. Latella, U. Stein, S. Akhondzadeh, N. Solanki, M. C Gondré-Lewis, A. Habtezion, and H. Brim (2019). “Saffron: The Golden Spice with Therapeutic Properties on Digestive Diseases” Nutrients, 11, 5, 943; DOI:10.3390/nu11050943Tabtabaei*, S. (corresponding author), D. Konakbayeva, A. R. Rajabzadeh, and R.L. Legge (2019). “Functional Properties of Navy Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Protein Concentrates Obtained by Pneumatic Tribo-Electrostatic Separation.” Food Chemistry, 283: 101-110. DOI 10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.01.031Tabtabaei, S., M. Vitelli, A.R. Rajabzadeh, and R.L. Legge (2017). “Analysis of Protein Enrichment during Single- and Multi-Stage Tribo-Electrostatic Bioseparation Processes for Dry Fractionation of Legume Flour.” Separation and Purification Technology, 176: 48-58. DOI 10.1016/j.seppur.2016.11.050Tabtabaei, S., B. Hijar, B.K. Chen, and L.L. Diosady (2017). “Functional Properties of Protein Isolates Produced by Aqueous Extraction of De-hulled Yellow Mustard.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 94: 149-160. DOI 10.1007/s11746-016-2922-6 Tabtabaei, S., M. Jafari, A.R. Rajabzadeh, and R.L. Legge (2016). “Development and Optimization of a Triboelectrification Bioseparation Process for Dry Fractionation of Legume Flours.” Separation and Purification Technology, 163:48-58. DOI 10.1016/j.seppur.2016.02.035Tabtabaei, S., M. Jafari, A.R. Rajabzadeh, and R.L. Legge (2016). “Solvent-free Production of Protein-enriched Fractions from Navy Bean Flour using Triboelectrification-based Approach.” Journal of Food Engineering, 174: 21-28. DOI 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2015.11.010Jafari, M., A.R. Rajabzadeh, S. Tabtabaei, F. Marsolais, and R.L. Legge (2016). “Physicochemical Characterization of a Navy Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Protein Fraction Produced using a Solvent-Free Method.” Food Chemistry, 208: 35-41. DOI 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.03.102 Tabtabaei, S., D.G.B. Boocock, and L.L. Diosady (2015). “Biodiesel Production from Mustard Emulsion by a Combined Destabilization/Adsorption Process.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 92(8): 1205-1217. DOI: 10.1007/s11746-015-2677-5Tabtabaei, S., D.G.B. Boocock, and L.L. Diosady (2014). “Biodiesel Feedstock from Emulsions Produced by Aqueous Processing of Yellow Mustard.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 91(7): 1269-1282. DOI: 10.1007/s11746-014-2448-8Tabtabaei, S., V.M. Ataya Pulido and L.L. Diosady (2013). “Destabilization of Yellow Mustard Emulsion using Organic Solvents.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 90(5): 707-716. DOI: 10.1007/s11746-013-2202-7Tabtabaei, S. and L.L. Diosady (2013). “Aqueous and Enzymatic Extraction Processes for the Production of Food-grade Proteins and Industrial Oil from Dehulled Yellow Mustard Flour.” Food Research International, 52(2): 547–556. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2013.03.005Tabtabaei, S. and L.L. Diosady (2012). “The Isolation of Yellow Mustard Oil using Water and Cyclic Ethers.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 89(5): 935-945. DOI: 10.1007/s11746-011-1971-0

Awarded Presentations

Thomas, J.*, D. Konakbayeva, S. Tabtabaei (2018). Enrichment of Oat Protein by Means of Gravity and Electrostatic Forces. AIChE Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, USA (Awarded 2nd place poster presentation, Undergraduate poster competition, Food, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology session).Tabtabaei, S.*, D.G.B. Boocock and L.L. Diosady (2013). Adsorptive Drying of Oil-Solvent Miscella by 4A Molecular Sieves for the Preparation of High-Purity Methyl Esters. 104th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Awarded the 2013 Industrial Oil Products Division Student Award).