The Group Members


BSc. Eren Großmann did his Bachelor Thesis on Helium separating MOF membranes – a wild idea of Alex! He is now eomployed as a HiWi with us, working on gas transport in crystalline and amorphous MOF thin films!

BSc. Svetlana Miliutina – Svetlana works on her Master Thesis with us and investigates dielectric responses in MOF materials with Alex. During her internship she worked on the the synthesis of novel MOF-glasses together with Oksana and Alex.

PhD Candidates

Ayisha Komal
Ayisha Komal completed her bachelor’s in chemistry at the University of Narowal (Pakistan) in 2019 and her master’s degree from COMSATS University Islamabad in 2022. During her graduate studies she worked with the “Membrane Systems Research Group” focusing on the synthesis of mixed matrix membranes for bio-fuel separation. From April 2023 on she started her work with the Knebel Group in an EU co-financed project together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies in Hermsdorf and the polymer chemistry at the University of Jena on MOF-based mixed matrix membranes.

Oksana Smirnova

Oksana Smirnova did her BSc in chemistry, and her MSc in nanosystems and nanomaterials at Saint Petersburg State University (Russia), where she worked with Prof. Dr. Alexey Povolotskiy in the scientific group of Prof. Dr. Yuri Tveryanovich in 2021. Additionally, she was employed as research engineer at Institute of Silicate Chemistry of Russian Academy of Sciences from 2020-2021. From September 2021 she joined the group of Dr. Alexander Knebel at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) and is working on gas transport in stimuli responsive MOFs on the Carl-Zeiss Foundation Project.




Group Leader

Dr. Alexander Knebel

Alexander Knebel studied Chemistry at the Leibniz University Hanover (Germany) and received his Dr. rer. nat. in Chemistry from Prof. Dr. Jürgen Caro at the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry (PCI) in 2018. He joined Prof. Dr. Jorge Gascon at the KAUST Catalysis Centre of the King Abdullah University of Science Technology (Saudi Arabia) for around half a year as visiting researcher in 2018, before he returned as postdoctoral fellow to the PCI at Leibniz University Hanover (Germany). In 2019 he then joined the group of Prof. Dr. Christof Wöll and the Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) as postdoctoral fellow (Germany), where he became Junior Sub Group Leader in 2020. In 06/2021, he got a Carl-Zeiss Foundation “Breakthrough” Fellowship and joined the institute of Prof. Dr. Lothar Wondraczek, the Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research (OSIM), at the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena as independent group leader. The next step for him is his habilitation over the next few years.




Bahram Hosseini Monjezi

Defended his PhD on 21.04.2023 in slightly under 3 years. He is the first finished doctor from the Knebel Group.

Bahram Hosseini Monjezi studied Chemistry at the Isfahan University of Technology (Iran) and received his master’s degree in 2012. After several years he returned to academia to do his PhD in the group of Alexander Knebel at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He focuses metal–organic framework mixed matrix membranes and thin films with luminescenct properties in the DFG funded Priority Program 1928  “COORNETs”.

Samira Savani

Samira joined the membrane company “Cellfion AB” in Sweden before finishing her PhD. All the best on your journey!

Samira Savani received her bachelor in chemistry in 2016 at Tabriz University in Iran and master in chemistry in 2021 from Koc University. During her graduate studies, she worked in the Kolemen Lab in the field of organic chemistry on the synthesis of molecules relevant for cancer therapy. She was developing metal-organic and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) for gas separation membrane applications. Outside the lab, she enjoys travelling, painting and learns coding.



Dr. Beren Sén – After working with Alex she graduated with Prof. Dr. Christof Wöll and was was hired by Vektor Pharma TF GmbH! Congratulations.

Master Students

BSc. Deniz Yilmaz – Deniz worked during her Masters’ internship courses with us on MOF glasses and their applications.

BSc. Shivangi Dhola – Shivanghi did her two internship courses with us and now works with Lothar Wondraczek next door and in close cooperation with us on MOF-glasses.

BSc. Aparna Binu Varghese – Aparna was working with Ayisha and Alex on MOF-based mixed matrix membranes and investigated nano-scaling of MOF-particles in her internship courses. She is now at the Fraunhofer IOF pursing her Master Thesis. Good luck and all the best for you!

Visiting Researchers

Dr. Orhan Sisman:  He was visiting the Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research from 11/2021 for 1 year and worked jointly with Wondraczek & Knebel in the field of MOF-glass within an exchange program from Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín, FunGlass Centre.

Dr. Surjyakanta Rana:  He was visiting the Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research from 03/2021 for 1 year and worked jointly with Wondraczek & Knebel on the controlled growth of metal-organic framework (MOF) on 3D printed ceramic structures by hydrothermal technique for gas separation application.