El Sawy

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry


Brief Biography

El Sawy received his BSc, and MSc degrees from Al-Azhar University, Egypt, then moved to the University of Calgary (UofC), Canada, where he received his PhD in physical chemistry (electrochemistry). El Sawy received the Alberta Innovates Graduate Student Scholarship, PhD-NANO, for his proposal for core@shell nanoparticles and its fuel cells applications. During his PhD, El Sawy co-founded with his colleagues the University of Calgary Electrochemical Society Student Chapter. After his PhD, he joined Dr. Peter G. Pickup Group, at Memorial University, Canada, as a postdoctoral fellow, to work on the enhancement of direct formic acid fuel cell (DFAFC) performance by developing a new anode catalysts. After his fellowship, El Sawy joined Dr. Birss group at UofC to lead a research project on the development of ethanol electro-oxidation catalyst, along with exploring new research directions through his work on electrochemical sensors and redox flow batteries.  El Sawy co-authored many papers and book chapters and participated in several national and international conferences. El Sawy is a member of several professional organizations such as the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the Electrochemical Society (ECS), and the Material Research Society (MRS). Also, he voluntarily serves as a reviewer for these organization. El Sawy joined the Department of Chemistry at AUC in July 2017, as an assistant professor.


PhD in Physical Chemistry, September 2008 - July 2013: 
Under the supervision of Dr. Viola I. Birss, Chemistry Department, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Thesis title “Development of Nano-Structured Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Anodes."        

MSc in Physical Chemistry, May 2005 -  August 2007: 
Under the supervision of Dr. Hassan A. El-Shayeb, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University, Egypt. Thesis title “Corrosion Behavior of Magnesium and some of its Alloys in Aqueous Media."

BSc in Chemistry, September 1998 - May 2002:
Honor’s degree, Al-Azhar University, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Egypt.


  • E. El Sawy, S. Ketabi, P. Keyvanfar, X. Li, J. Young, and V. Birss, Electrochemical Energy Production Using Fuel Cell Technologies, Handbook of Industrial Chemistry and Biotechnology, Springer International Publishing, 13th Ed. (32), 2017 (Book Chapter)

  • E. N. El Sawy and P. G. Pickup, Formic Acid Oxidation at Ru@ Pt Core-Shell Nanoparticles, Electrocatalysis, 7, 477, 2016.
  • E. N El Sawy, H. T Handal, V. Thangadurai, and V. I. Birss, PtxIry Alloy Nanoparticles with Fully Tunable Bulk and Surface Compositions, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 4, 15400, 2016.
  • E. N. El Sawy, M. A. Khan, and P. G. Pickup, Factors Affecting the Spontaneous Adsorption of Bi(III) onto Pt and PtRu Nanoparticles, Applied Surface Science, 364, 308, 2016.
  • E. N. El Sawy, H. A. El-Sayed, and Viola I. Birss, Clarifying the Role of Ru in Methanol Oxidation at Rucore@Ptshell Nanoparticles, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 17, 27509, 2015
  • E. N. El Sawy, H. A. El-Sayed, and Viola I. Birss, Novel electrochemical fingerprinting methods for the precise determination of Pt shell coverage on Ru core nanoparticles, Chem. Comm., 50, 11558, 2014
  • E. N. El Sawy, H. M. Molero, and Viola I. Birss, Methanol Oxidation at Co-Electrodeposited Pt-Ir Porous Thin Films, Electrochim. Acta, 117, 202, 2014.
  • E. N. El Sawy and V. I. Birss, A Comparative Study of the Electrodeposition of Nanoporous Ir and Pt Thin Films, J. Electrochem. Soc., 160 (9), D386, 2013.
  • S. A. Gharaibeh, E. N. El Sawy, H. Molero, and V.  I. Birss, Electrochemical and Mass Change Study of the Growth of Poly-(o-Phenylenediamine) Films on Au Substrates, JES, 160 (6), H344, 2013.
  • E. N. El Sawy and H. A. El Shayeb, Corrosion behaviour of pure Mg, AS31, and AZ91 in buffered and unbuffered sulphate and chloride solutions, Corrosion Engineering Science and Technology, 46, 481, 2011.
  • E. N. El Sawy and V. I. Birss, Electrodeposited Pt-Ir thin films as DMFC anode materials”, ECS Trans., 28, 195, 2010.
  • E. N. El Sawy, H. A. El-Sayed, and H. A. El Shayeb, Corrosion of Mg, AS31 and AZ91 alloys in nitrate solutions,  J. Alloys and Compounds, 492, 69, 2010.
  • E. N. El Sawy and V. I. Birss, Nano-porous iridium and iridium oxide thin films formed by high efficiency electrodeposition, J. Mater. Chem., 19, 8244, 2009.
  • H. A. El Shayeb and E. N. El Sawy, Characterization of Nitrate Reduction with Magnesium using the pH change, Egypt. J. Chem, Special Issue (A. M. Shams El-Din), 47, 2009.

Research Interests

I am interested in exploring and developing research projects related to electrocatalysis, fuel cells, energy conversion and storage devices, electrochemical sensors, electrodeposition, corrosion, corrosion protection, and in general material science and its related electrochemistry.

Teaching Interest

I am interested in teaching physical chemistry and applied electrochemistry courses for the undergraduate and graduate level, using different teaching strategies like lecturing, demonstration, collaboration, and learning by teaching to best fit the student learning styles like auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning.