Calendar

Research Project By Departments

Research Project By Departments

  • Aerospace Engineering

    • Novel Micro/Nano‐Architected Metamaterials for Thermal Management

      Faculty Name : Rashid K. Abu Al-Rub

      Department : Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      The increased demand for higher power density in electronic devices is limited by the ability of the device to dissipate the generated heat associated with the power density increase. The performance of electronic devices deteriorates significantly with the increase in heat. For this purpose, electronic devices are equipped with thermal management systems such as heat sinks. This project aims to develop an additively manufactured (3D printed) very porous open‐cellular micro/nano‐architected multi‐functional metamaterials that can be used effectively as heat sinks. In this project, the material’s internal micro/nano‐architecture will be based on the mathematically‐known triply periodic minimal surfaces. If successful, this project will advance the current practice in making heat sinks for cooling electronic devices and will add significant contribution to the area of thermal management.

    • Development of Two-Dimensional Heterogeneous Materials for Applications in Energy Storage, EMI Shielding, and Biological Sensors

      Faculty Name : Kin Liao

      Department : Aerospace Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area :Clean and Renewable Energy, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      The primary objectives of this project are to develop novel two-dimensional (2D) materials known as van der Waals heterostructures (VDWHSs), and to explore their applications in aerospace, energy, and healthcare sectors. In this project, researchers will synthesize and refine existing synthetic methods and then study the physical properties of a spectrum of 2D materials. They will examine the fundamental physical properties of various combinations of these 2D materials, leading to functional VDWHSs, to develop methods to assemble 2D heterogeneous solids into 3D structures. The goal of the project is to explore potential applications of VDWHSs for electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding for flying and/or naval vehicles, supercapacitors, and strain and biological sensors.

    • Minimization of Voids in Composite Aero-Structures Manufactured by Out-of-Autoclave Techniques: From Fundamental Science to Full Industrial Application

      Faculty Name :Kamran Ahmed Khan

      Department :Aerospace Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Aerospace, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      Out-of-Autoclave (OoA) composite manufacturing is an alternative to the traditional high pressure industrial process used by aerospace manufacturers to make composite materials. This project investigates the effect of different processing conditions and process parameters on the physics of formation, and transport of voids in OoA processing. Using the results, researchers will create effective methods for void-removal during the manufacture of an actual part in a UAE-based industrial environment. This project will also develop a novel modeling technique and process parameters on the evolution of void content at different stages of the manufacturing process, contributing to its ultimate goal of advancing the UAE’s aerospace sector by supporting the manufacturing of cost-effective, advance composite aero-structures with improved quality and performance.

    • Trajectory Design and Optimization for Space Applications

      Faculty Name : Elena Fantino

      Department : Aerospace Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Aerospace

      The investigations proposed in this plan pertain to the area of Astrodynamics and Space Mission Design. They address relevant questions regarding the design of the next space missions in the neighborhood of the Earth and in interplanetary space. The software and the know-how developed through this project will form part of the resources of the research group in astrodynamics at Khalifa University, while the expertise produced through the project will be an asset to the University in the form of technical support to the space projects of the UAE.

    • Design of Trajectories to Explore the Giant Planets

      Faculty Name : Elena Fantino

      Department : Aerospace Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Aerospace

      Robotic exploration of planets in our outer solar system requires advances in trajectory design to solve difficulties in achieving gravitational capture and the need for fuel- and time-efficient strategies to position the spacecraft in scientifically-useful orbits around the planets and their moons. This project will tackle these important challenges by designing trajectories based on low- and high-thrust orbital maneuvers in multi-body models. The research tools will include gravity assists (with planets and moons) and low-energy structures pertaining to Dynamical Systems Theory. The project also intends to produce strategies to facilitate the gravitational capture of spacecraft around the giant planets; time- and fuel- optimal trajectories to explore their satellite systems.

    • Closed-Loop Control of 3D Turbulent Wakes

      Faculty Name : Vladimir Parezanovic

      Department : Aerospace Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area :Aerospace, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      Exponential increases in computing power and miniaturization have allowed for innovations in control of the atmospheric disturbances that form behind an aircraft as it passes through the air, known as turbulent wakes, in closed-loop flow control. This project aims to develop innovative and practically applicable methods and devices for flow control. In particular, the reduction of drag of bluff bodies -- which is any object that has separated air flow over a substantial part of its surface -- is a major challenge for the transport industry due to increasing need for reducing fuel consumption and carbon pollution. The research will be focused on wind tunnel tests of a generic terrestrial vehicle model in conjunction with synthetic jet actuators and pressure sensors to enable the closed-loop control of the 3D wake phenomena. This research aims to contribute to the UAE's aerospace and aviation sectors.

  • Biomedical Engineering

    • Design and Optimization of a Biomimetic Lymph Node

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Cesare Stefanini

      Department : Biomedical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare, Robotics, AI and Data Science

      The biomimetic lymph node team is working to bring their patented design of a microfluidic device for generating an in vitro lymph node towards the implementation phase. The project(s) is multidisciplinary and looking for mechanical or biomedical engineering, cell biology or immunology trained candidates with thesis work based on various aspects of optimization and validation of a high-throughput micro-bioreactor for immunological studies. The candidate will be hosted by the Biomedical Engineering Department with in-house microfabrication facilities, cell and molecular biology space, and new confocal microscopy facilities.

    • Establishment of a Salicornia Breeding Program at Masdar Institute

      Sponsor : Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium

      Faculty Name : Hector H. Hernandez

      Department : Biomedical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy

      The SBRC project is seeking a highly motivated PhD student to participate in an externally-funded Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) that combines biofuel feedstock cultivation with aquaculture production and mangrove silviculture. The candidate will be expected to conduct bench level molecular techniques, provide support for our plant biology research projects. Responsibilities will focus on supporting molecular characterization of target genes, marker development, sequencing applications, cloning and transformation techniques. The research project requires teamwork with an international multidisciplinary team of plant and molecular biologists and bioinformatics scientists as well as the capacity to work independently.

    • Improving In Vitro Culture Conditions for Human Epidermal Stem Cells By Understanding RNA Methylation

      Faculty Name : Abdulrahim Sajini

      Department : Biomedical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Data Science

      Harnessing adult stem cells (SC) for regenerative medicine is a global initiative that holds great promise in saving lives. However, we are yet unable to utilize human epidermal SCs for regenerative applications, as cultured SCs lose their plasticity due ignorance of the natural biology of SC during self-renewal. This project poses to expand and exploit a novel discovery relating to connecting non-coding vault RNA methylation by NSUN2 with epidermal SC self-renewal to improve in vitro culture conditions. The goal of the project is to decipher this mechanism in more detail and recapitulate it in culture to expand healthy epidermal SCs for regenerative applications. A collaboration with the University of Cambridge has been already established to carry out such experiments in due course.

    • Layer-by-Layer Multiplexing of 3D Cardiovascular Tissue-based Biosensor for Drug Discovery

      Faculty Name : Vincent Chan

      Department : Biomedical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare

      This project aims to support the development of an innovative and robust biosensor that can simultaneously promote the physiological functions of human vascular tissues while hosting an embedded mechanical transducer to advance identification of effective and affordable cardiovascular disease drug candidates. It will do this by leveraging the latest biomaterial microfabrication, 3D bioprinting, mechanobiology and fiber optics sensor advances to develop a 3D tissue-based biosensor with expandable multiplexed readout. This project will also advance scientific ability to design novel multifunctional biomaterials equipped with both tissue regeneration capabilities and multiplexed biosensing elements for various types of mechanobiological and pharmacokinetic measurements in situ.

  • Chemical Engineering

    • Data Analytics in the Gas Processing Industry and Applications to Predictive Maintenance and Optimized Operations

      Sponsor : ADNOC

      Faculty Name : Ali Elkamel

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production / Data Science

      This project deals with modeling, optimization, process monitoring, and predictive maintenance in the gas process industry. Several data mining techniques will be employed. Process measurements and product quality values or performance measures of past successful operations will be collected in a matrix of data; and pre-processed through time alignment, centering, and scaling. The pre-processed data will then be validated through data reconciliation and then transferred into lower dimensions to produce latent variables and their values during successful operation. Following the identification of latent variables, empirical models will be built and cross-validated so that they can represent the operation of the plant or piece of equipment.

    • New Comprehensive Model for fouling Propensity Prediction: A Reliable Measure for Fouling Monitoring and Prediction Aiming to Enhance the Performance of Water Desalination Plant

      Sponsor : DEWA

      Faculty Name : Emad Alhseinat

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Water and Environment

      Fouling is a major challenge facing membrane technologies. In this project, a new approach to tackle fouling will be developed for assisting and predicting the onset of fouling propensity. The new approach will be applicable in practical situations and can be developed to a user-friendly program.

    • Deterioration of Solvent Quality and Foaming Problems in a Gas Sweetening Unit

      Sponsor : Gas Research Center

      Faculty Name : Fawzi Banat

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Solvent degradation and foaming are the most severe operating problems of natural gas sweetening units. Currently, ADNOC Gas Processing Company (Abu Dhabi) is using aqueous methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) as solvent to scrub H2S/CO2. The organic acid anions as heat stable salts, organic degraded products such as monoethanolamine, diethanolamine, etc., metal ions including hydrocarbons are considered to be major contaminants present in MDEA solvent. Adsorption is mostly applied technology to regenerate MDEA. Novel polymeric composite adsorbent were used in continuous adsorption process in laboratory to remove contaminants, which subsequently removes foaming. In response to this challenge, this project looks to scale-up of adsorption column and foam modeling. Scale-up of Laboratory adsorption column to Industrial scale requires successive steps to proceed further. Foam modeling is also another useful technique to identify foaming which requires special attention on the physical properties of the MDEA solvent. The findings of this research could contribute to the industrial scale-up for the purification of lean MDEA as well as foam modeling

    • Colloidal Gas Aphron (CGA): A New Technology to Remove Total Contaminants including Oil from Produced Water using Froth Flotation

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Fawzi Banat

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Water and Environment

      It is estimated that 241 million barrels of produced water associated with oil and gas operations are generated globally every day and are expected to grow by 21% to 292 million barrels by 2020. With the combined factors of ageing reservoirs, tightening government regulations and new enhanced oil recovery methods, the importance of maintaining a thorough and reliable produced water treatment process has never been higher. This project will therefore focus on developing an efficient, cost-effective, environmental friendly and sustainable water treatment system, which will have significant and positive outcomes while minimizing the adverse impacts on the environment. More specifically, the quality of the treated effluents should remain high to meet the in-situ utilization requirements. The removal of particulates, heavy metal ions, anions, salinity including oil will be the main focus of this project using Colloidal Gas Aprons (CGAs), a new technology for Froth Flotation.

    • Hybrid CO2 Capture

      Sponsor : Gas Research Center

      Faculty Name : Georgios Karanikolos

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Efficient carbon dioxide (CO2) capture is of paramount importance for the refining and gas industries in Abu Dhabi, due to global climate change resulting from the ever increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere as well as the potential CO2 offers to enhance the recovery/production of crude oil. Large volumes of CO2 are needed for enhanced oil recovery, which may not be readily available and in some cases even fossil fuels are burnt simply to generate it. Reduction of CO2 emissions is directly influenced by the efficiency through which carbon can be captured. In response to these challenges, the project aims to develop energy-efficient and sustainable solutions based on hybrid capture using bi-phasic sorption systems.

    • Novel Highly Selective Nanocomposite Adsorbents for High Capacity CO2 Capture from Tail Gas and Cost‐Effective Regeneration for EOR use

      Sponsor : ADNOC R&D

      Faculty Name : Georgios Karanikolos

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) becomes more and more important in the UAE to maximize oil production. Carbon dioxide (CO2), as a major EOR medium, results in a significant cost in the oil extraction process. The Tail gas from the sulfur recovery units contains a significant amount of CO2 (~20 vol. %) that is currently wasted, at the same time polluting the environment and contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions. The project aims to develop a highly‐efficient technology, based on adsorption, and novel nanostructured adsorbents that will be able to capture the waste CO2, and regenerate with minimal energy consumption making it available for EOR. The novel technology is anticipated to result in significant reduction of EOR cost against the increasing demand for CO2‐EOR operations in the UAE, by turning tail‐gas waste CO2 into a valuable source, while preventing its release into the environment.

    • Membrane- and Adsorption-based Gas Separation Under Magnetic Field

      Sponsor : Gas Research Center

      Faculty Name : Georgios Karanikolos

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Almost 15% of the global energy is currently used for gas separation and purification, out of which, only a small fraction is dedicated to the actual separation due to thermodynamic limitations. That is why energy-conservation strategies are needed to significantly reduce energy requirements and cost of gas separation processes. This project aims at systematically investigating and establishing the concept of using magnetic field in order to enhance the performance of membranes and adsorbents for gas mixture separation, thus facilitating the evolution of these systems into large scale application.

    • Novel hybrid TiO2-Cu2O/Graphene Composites for Photocatalytic Conversion of CO2 into Fuel

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Giovanni Palmisano

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy

      This project deals with new composites based on TiO2-Cu2O supported on graphene, to be applied to carbon dioxide (CO2) photo-conversion into fuel under solar light irradiation. After a thorough characterization of materials, bench scale micro-reactors will be used to convert CO2 to value added products as methane.

    • Activity Loss of Zeolite-Based Materials in Natural Gas Drying: Simulation and Mitigation

      Sponsor : Gas Research Center

      Faculty Name : Maryam Khaleel

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Removing contaminants from production gas often requires several cleaning steps, one of them a drying process, whereby water vapor is removed from the gaseous streams and condensate fractions. Drying takes place at low temperature, about 30°C, using molecular sieve based adsorbents. The adsorption capacity of the drying beds is limited though and they need frequent regenerations, usually once a day, at high temperature to desorb the captured water vapor. Over time, the drying material loses its efficacy due to this high temperature step and eventually it must be replaced. Replacement is expensive, so there is a strong desire to extend the operational life of these molecular sieves. This project is geared towards generating an understanding of the mechanism of performance deterioration by analyzing fresh and spent desiccant samples. Further studies include mimicking plant operation in the laboratory using dedicated equipment and the development of novel drying materials with improved properties.

    • Cathodic Protection Testing Site – Enhancement Work and Research Projects

      Sponsor : Gas Research Center

      Faculty Name : Ricardo Nogueira

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      This project seeks to improve on the Cathodic Protection Testing Site developed through an earlier project. Cathodic protection is an important technique to reduce external corrosion on pipelines. To improve the testing site, new material will be supplied and new components, cable termination and testing with minimum 15 years guarantee will be installed. This will help reduce the challenges posed by various factors such as discontinuity in the pipe line, stray current effects, current leakages, soil resistivity variations, improper location of anodes etc.

    • Multi-Scale Mechanisms for Wettability Alteration: Insight in the Development of Wettability Inversion Strategies

      Sponsor : ADNOC

      Faculty Name : Saeed Al Hassan

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      The objective of this project is to understand the wettability of carbonate rocks at different length scales; which include atomic-, molecular-, nano- and micro-scale. Wettability alteration for carbonate reservoirs using low salinity water is a complex phenomenon and requires understanding at the above four levels to better design a reservoir production strategy for enhanced oil recovery. The project deals with computational methods to predict interaction between water and carbonate surface as well as studies using atomic force microscopy (AFM), molecular dynamics and classical core flooding.

    • Nanostructured Three -dimensional (3D) architectures of 2D Materials as an Efficient Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Production

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Saeed Al Hassan

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy

      This project aims to fabricate an electrocatalyst composed of hierarchical and nanostructured 3D hybrids of 2D metal dichalcogenide and hetero atom doped graphene derivatives. The project will demonstrate the technical feasibility of hydrogen generation through electrochemical water-splitting.

    • Water Treatment Using Novel Green Solvents

      Faculty Name : Enas M AlNashef

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Water and Environment

      This project proposes the use of Ionic Liquids (ILs)/ Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) for the extraction of different types of halogenated hydrocarbons from industrial wastewater. Many parameters that might affect the extraction will be investigated, e.g. temperature, chemical structure of IL, solvent/water ratio, etc. The results of lab scale experiments will be used for the selection of potential candidates of ILs/DESs that will be used in the extraction using semi pilot plant rotating disk extraction column. The parameters of extraction will be optimized. This project will support the UAE’s water conservation and water reuse goals.

    • Development of Smart Glass with Self-Cleaning and Infrared-Shielding Properties for Energy-Efficient Buildings

      Faculty Name : Giovanni Palmisano

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy

      This project aims to develop and optimize a new generation of multifunctional smart glazing materials to improve the energetic efficiency and overcome the main limitations of the traditional electrochromic smart windows, at the same time ensuring a self-cleaning behavior of the glass thanks to the sunlight-activated photocatalytic degradation of adsorbed pollutants, along with superhydrophilicity which enables to easily wash away residuals. The low-cost and reliable hybrid strategy, here proposed, would allow to block heat from entering the building, thus dramatically reducing the costs associated with air-conditioning in hot countries, at the same time facilitating the cleaning procedures of glass facades. The successful outcome of this research would definitely strengthen the position of UAE as a prominent country promoting innovation and sustainable development.

    • Morphology Engineered Nanocatalysts for Sulfur Gases Hydrogenation

      Faculty Name : Yasser AlWahedi

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      In this project, a new class of nano-engineered catalysts encapsulated with a protective layer is being explore. The active material of this catalyst will make up the majority of the catalyst’s mass, compared to typical catalyst, where the support takes up 80% of mass of the catalyst. Increasing the active material content from 20% to 50% would lead to a 2.5 times enhancement in productivity for the same system. A capable of catalyzing the hydrodesulphurization function at temperatures lower than 150C will be in great market demand, considering the savings in heating duties and removal of equipment. The project aims to implement an innovative approach to control the morphology, crystal structure and size of the nanocatalyst.

    • Valorization of Agro-Industrial Wastewaters into Platform Chemicals by Coupled Microbial Fermentation and Advanced Solvents Extraction

      Faculty Name : Jorge Rodriguez

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Water and Environment

      Significant ongoing research efforts focus on the development of novel bioprocesses to recover chemicals and energy from waste water. This project aims to develop an economically feasible production and recovery method for volatile fatty acids (VFA) as valuable platform chemicals, at high concentration and purity, from agro-industrial hydrolyzed bio-waste. To achieve this, natural mixed microbial culture fermentation reactors will be integrated with in-situ product recovery via Deep Eutectic Solvent and extraction.

    • Combined Extractive Dearomatization, Denitrogenation and Desulfurization of Diesel Using Novel Solvents

      Faculty Name : Maaike C. Kroon

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Diesel is typically produced from light or heavy gas oil or light cycle oil (LCO), but the high aromatic content, especially in the Gulf region, can be a challenge when aiming to meet cetane requirements. In order to improve diesel quality and to increase the efficiency of the hydrodearomatization (HDA) process, this project looks to selectively remove the sulfur- and nitrogen-containing aromatics from diesel beforehand using a new solvent as the extractive agent. This allows removal of the aromatic compounds from diesel at less demanding conditions and without any hydrogen consumption, making the process much more energy- and cost-effective. This project could support the development of a far more efficient and cost-effective crude processing and diesel production method, with direct economic benefits for the UAE.

    • Novel Materials for Clean Energy Applications

      Faculty Name : Maryam Tariq Khaleel

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      This project deals with the development of novel materials with tailor-made properties for energy in order to advance in the fields of carbon capture by adsorption and electrical energy storage through next-generation batteries. It deals with the rational design, synthesis, characterization, testing, modeling and optimization of novel materials, based on local carbon natural sources (i.e. date seeds), for CO2 capture from energy intensive and industrial sources and for electrical energy storage. We propose to synthesize these materials following innovative approaches, targeting the desired properties of the materials and testing them under simulated process conditions. The project involves worldwide experts in materials development and characterization, molecular and process modeling, CO2 capture, UAE national faculty and young UAE national researchers.

    • Fuel Formulation for Clean Combustion: Simultaneous Reduction of Particulate Matter, NOx and CO Emissions

      Faculty Name : Abhijeet Raj

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Water and Environment

      The UAE has a high level of particulate matter emissions from sources such as vehicles and industries, which impinge on human and environmental health. With increasing industrial investment and population, these levels are expected to rise further. In response to this challenge, this project focuses on a novel method to develop additives for fuels to reduce the amount of particulates they produce. Such an additive would increase soot oxidation inside the engines, and consequently, reduced soot emission, and facilitate faster regeneration of particulate filters if they are used to capture soot. The proposed additive also needs to ensure no new pollutants are produced and the fuel energy density is maintained. The availability and cost of the materials required for the additive should also be addressed.

    • Hydrogen Diffusion and Corrosion Behavior of Advanced High Strength Steels for Oil and Gas Transportation Pipelines

      Faculty Name : Akram Al Fantazi

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production; Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      High-strength low-alloy steels (HSLA) are extensively used in oil and gas transportation pipelines because they provide an economic advantage due to their low price-to-yield strength ratio. The application of linepipe steels has been increasing to complete major projects that are required as a result of the increased global energy demand. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of aggressive service environments on the hydrogen diffusion and corrosion behavior of advanced linepipe steels for oil and gas transportation pipelines. Systematic laboratory studies will be carried out that will involve immersion, weight-loss, electrochemical polarization, thermal desorption and electrochemical spectroscopy, and permeation tests. Based on the experimental results, a more complete understanding of corrosion and hydrogen diffusion as a function of operating environment and steel grade/microstructure will be established.

    • Metal-Matrix Nanocomposites of Boron Nitride Nanotubes

      Faculty Name : Ali Al Hammadi

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      It is believed that metal additive manufacturing will bring about the third industrial revolution in the aerospace industry. However, use of metal additive manufacturing in aerospace faces an obstacle in the interlayer bonding between metal particles. This causes metal structures such as airplane wings to have fewer flex cycles. Boron nitride nanotubes are fine nanostructures that have the promise to address these problems whilst performing at temperatures higher than 900C. Using a model analogous to that of sulfur in vulcanized rubber, this startup intends to use boron nitride nanotubes to tailor the strength of titanium, aluminum, stainless steel and its alloys used for manufacturing aerospace materials. A patent on nanostructure/ceramic alloys is expected through this startup, which also intends to supply products to aerospace companies within with more than 60% efficiency.

    • Green Process Systems Engineering

      Faculty Name : Ali ElKamel

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      This research will address the challenge of designing and managing chemical and biochemical processes in a sustainable and safe way. This project aims to develop integrated computer-aided methodologies for green process systems engineering. It will achieve this by extending the traditional Process Systems Engineering (PSE) approach through the incorporation of environmental impact assessment tools, life-cycle analysis, sustainability metrics, and inherent safety concepts. The consideration of economics along with concepts of green engineering is essential in order to preserve profitability; otherwise investment will not occur and environmental protection will be eroded. A number of case studies from the UAE will be considered to illustrate how the findings of this research can lead to greener and profitable designs and/or production operations.

    • Thin and Highly Selective Molecular Sieving Membranes for Cost Effective Hydrogen Purification

      Faculty Name : Maryam Tariq Ahmed Khaleel

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Advanced Materials and Manufacturing; Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Hydrogen is a potentially cleaner energy to replace fossil fuels. However, produced hydrogen tends to contain impurities, removal of which usually takes place through various industrial processes. Membranes to filter impurities from produced hydrogen have also been commercialized but the available ones are either expensive or cannot meet the H2 purity required by fuel cells. Carbon and zeolites are being studied as possible membrane materials for cost effective H2 purification. The objective of this project is the preparation of thin and highly selective molecular sieving zeolite. This challenge will be tackled through synthesis of nano-sized zeolite crystals from inorganic routes to be used as seeds for thin membrane growth. Support for this project would enable establishing research on separation using zeolite membranes at KU. This project could also capitalize on the hydrogen produced in the UAE through steam reforming and water-gas shift reactions.

    • Continuous Production of Fatty Acid Methyl esters in Microfluidic Devices from Waste Oils

      Faculty Name : Nahla Al Amoodi

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Water and Environment; Clean and Renewable Energy

      This project studies the performance of combined systems that join microreactors and separators for process engineering applications. A specific application of interest is the immiscible liquid-liquid system, which is key to numerous industrial reactive processes. Current studies focus on the design of the microflow reactors and microflow separators as stand-alone operations. This project seeks to study the coupling of microflow reaction and separation in a single process flow network by designing microfluidic devices with in-situ separation and integrating them. The study will be based on the production of fatty acid methyl esters from waste oil, which turns a waste product into a valuable chemical used for making detergents and biodiesel. This area of research supports the UAE's commitments to waste management and renewable energy.

    • P1: Optimal Design of a mixed Temperature/ Pressure Swing Adsorption System.
      P2: Novel Ni2P Coated with Mesoporous Silica as a Catalyst for SO2 Hydrogenation

      Faculty Name : Yasser AlWahedi

      Department : Chemical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Gas separation is a key process in the oil and gas industry. One way to separate gas is through a mixed temperature/pressure swing adsorption system. Optimizing the design and operation of such a system is a challenging problem. This seed project aims to develop a comprehensive methodology for the design of the rapid pressure and temperature swing natural gas dryer unit capturing all the relevant physics. A second phase of the project will focus on the development of a novel catalysis for hydrogenation. Catalysts tend to be composed of an active material and a support. Though the support does not contribute directly to the catalytic function, it typically takes up 80% or more of the catalyst’s weight. Increasing the active material content from 20% to 50% would lead to a 2.5 times enhancement in the catalyst’s productivity. To achieve such an increase, this project seeks to investigate a new class of nano-engineered catalysts encapsulated with a protective layer whereby the active material comprises the majority of the catalysts mass.

  • Chemistry

    • Isolation, Characterization and Cloning of Novel Β-Glucosidases from Fungi Species Isolated from UAE Mangrove Sediments

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Ahmed Yousef

      Department : Chemistry

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean Renewable Energy / Advanced Materials

      The ultimate goal of this research project is to identify alternative industrial grade ß-glucosidases from fungi indigenous to the UAE mangroves. Once purified, these enzymes could be used to process plant biomass for biofuel production as well as for other processes that require breakdown of cellulose.

    • Advancing the Pre-treatment Technology for RO Desalination Using Solar Photocatalysis

      Sponsor : DEWA

      Faculty Name : Maguy Abi Jaoude

      Department : Chemistry

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Water and Environment

      This proposal aims to tackle the unfavorable multiplexity of conventional antifouling measures currently deployed for the pre-treatment of reverse osmosis desalination feeds. The main idea is to replace some of the cumbersome preventive anti-biofouling treatment steps with a standalone supported-photocatalysis mechanism that operates with concentrated sunlight and that can be networked with the main installation for use during daytime operation. Advancing the solar photocatalytic process through the design of a physical reactor aimed at making appropriated and optimal use of the available radiant solar energy is the main target for introducing an alternative technology for biofouling control

    • Phytochemical Screening Program Aimed to Identify Bioactive Metabolites that have Application in Health

      Faculty Name : Lina F Yousef

      Department : Chemistry

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare

      The UAE has many native plants with unique and bioactive metabolites with potential commercial applications in health, food and environmental related industries. This project is focused on collecting a wide range of drought-resistant and salt-tolerant plant species from various regions of the UAE to extract phytochemicals and evaluate plant extracts for their anticancer potential, and identify metabolites in the extracts with pharmaceutical potential using structure characterization. This work may lead to additional patents filed in the health space. The work can be the basis for drug discovery and the establishment of pharmaceutical and biotechnology spin-off companies in Abu Dhabi, creating jobs and contributing to a diversified economy in the UAE.

    • Integrated Management of Organic Waste in UAE – IMOWU

      Faculty Name : Jens Ejbye Schmidt

      Department : Chemistry

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Water and Environment

      This project investigates the conversion of organic waste from the UAE into high-value (bio)products. The project has four tasks; task 1 concerns the supply chain assessment; task 2 investigates the organic waste conversion; task 3 looks at down-processing for the effluents from the different technologies investigated in task 2; and task 4 assesses the technological and economic feasibility in addition to the sustainability aspects of the suggested integrated technologies. The final outcome of the project is the development of sustainable integrated solutions for the treatment of organic wastes in UAE, starting from the supply chain to the conversion of the organic wastes into high value products, advanced polymeric materials, biofuels, energy (power) and fertilizers.

    • Green Chemistry 2.0: Integrated Biochemical and Mechanochemical Methods for the Environmental Remediation and Recycling of Persistent Organic Waste Pollutants

      Faculty Name : Sharmarke Mohamed

      Department : Chemistry

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Water and Environment

      This project will deploy synthetic biology techniques to bioengineer UAE-native microbial organisms with high metabolic capacity to biologically process persistent organic pollutants (POPs) produced by a range of UAE industries including the oil and gas, construction and fine chemicals sectors. Specifically, the biologically treatment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using microbial organisms will allow for the characterization and isolation of secondary metabolites that can be used to aid the degradation of PAHs found in municipal solid waste. Through this project a novel biosurfactant catalyzed mechanochemical remediation process will be developed to aid the breakdown and synthetic functionalization of PAHs.

  • Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering

    • Multi-sensor Low-Atmosphere Optical Properties Characterization for Concentrating Solar Technologies Efficiency Assessment in Dusty Hyper-Arid Regions

      Faculty Name : Annalisa Molini

      Department : Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and renewable Energy, Water and Environment

      Concentrating solar technologies (CSTs) are among the most promising technologies for achieving a sustainable energy balance. For the UAE to be able to plan and develop successful CST plants it must have access to accurate characterization of surface solar resources. Additionally, dusty hot climates face obstacles in the efficiency of CSTs due to loss of available light caused by atmospheric scattering and absorption by aerosols and water vapor. That is why this project is focused on developing a well-integrated set of reliable tools comprising meteorological instruments/procedures for the analysis and the assessment of CST’s efficiency in dusty and hot deserts under present and future climate constraints.

    • Warm Rubberized Asphalt Concrete: The Green Solution to UAE Road Infrastructure

      Faculty Name : Athanasios Skarpas

      Department : Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, Water and Environment

      The Warm Rubber Asphalt Concrete (WarmRAC) project looks to combine Crumb Rubber Modified Bitumen (CRMB) and Warm Asphalt Mixes (WAM) technologies to produce asphalt concrete mixes with the mechanical and environmental advantages of both. The resulting pavement is expected to significantly reduce the current UAE’s scrap tire stockpiles, lower asphalt plant energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced odors from mixing operations and reduced workers' exposure to asphalt fumes. At the same time, it will enhance the performance of asphalt by increasing its resistance to high temperature permanent deformation, the main cause of damage in UAE, by at least 50% which will result to significant reduction of budgets for road repair, reductions in road closures for repair and hence reduction in traffic congestion.

    • Site-Specific Bone Quality Assessment for In-Vivo Diagnosis of Osteoporosis

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Tae Yeon Kim

      Department : Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare

      This project seeks to develop a diagnostic scheme for noninvasive assessment of osteoporosis by direct measurement of bone mechanical properties using a granular crystal sensor. It seeks to do this by introducing the reduction of elastic modulus as a bone strength marker and focusing on applying the diagnostic scheme to the proximal femur.

    • Air Traffic Noise Monitoring with ADS-B Signal, GIS, and BIM

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Young-Ji Byon

      Department : Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Water and Environment / Information and Communication Technologies

      Air traffic noise are expected to increase as air traffic increases in the UAE, making the need to monitor and assess air traffic noise levels in the vicinity of the UAE’s airports and nearby regions important to assess the impacts on residential and commercial zones. This project proposes the use of a live geographic information system (GIS) layer in a raster format to accumulate the noise in a quantifiable unit of decibels in associated cells for various tempo-spatial analyses of air traffic noises. In order to more accurately account for the noise on the ground surface, digital elevation model (DEM) integrated with building information modeling (BIM) can provide exact geometry of noise projection on particular residential or commercial buildings.

    • Application of Fiber Optic Sensors for Underground Pipeline Monitoring

      Faculty Name : Tadahiro Kishida

      Department : Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production; Artificial Intelligence (AI)

      Advancements in fiber optic technologies have allowed for the development of fiber optic sensors to measure acoustic waves. These sensors can monitor the leakage of pipes and wells by detecting the acoustic signals from liquid and gas flows, to reduce line losses, improve security, and reduce operational costs. There is potential to use fiber optic cables to monitor underground pipelines of drinking water, sewage, water, and gas. This project investigates the instrumentation of fiber optic sensors on underground pipelines. Variation of strain and acoustic signals are monitored using DTS and DAS, respectively. These signals are evaluated to construct the urban dense network for sustainable development and social security, which is the main challenge of this proposal.

  • Earth Sciences

    • A Novel Surveying Configuration and New Imaging Algorithms of Electrical Resistivity Tomography for Assessment of Groundwater Resources in Abu Dhabi

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Bing Zhou

      Department : Earth Sciences

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Water and Environment / Robotics, AI and Data Science

      Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) is a common subsurface-imaging technique for assessment of groundwater resources, but it is not ideal for identifying anisotropic aquifers, where the hydraulic conductivity shows differing horizontal and vertical flows. This project aims to develop a novel ERT configuration that integrates the advantages of traditional electrode configurations, and is implemented by a multi-channel system for efficient and automatic acquisition of massive data in field. Secondly, basing on the new surveying configuration, the project tackles the problems of the anisotropic aquifers to develop new imaging algorithms and computer software. Researchers will also conduct synthetic and field experiments to examine the capability of the new techniques and make it become an advanced subsurface-imaging tool for assessment of groundwater resources in Abu Dhabi.

    • Seismic Anisotropic Viscoelastic Tomography Using Multi-Arrival Travel Times and Full-Waveform Spectra for Imaging Carbonate Reservoirs

      Faculty Name : Bing Zhou

      Department : Earth Sciences

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production; Mathematics

      This project aims to develop new subsurface-imaging techniques capable of dealing with anisotropic viscoelastic rocks and producing high-resolution images of carbonate reservoirs. To archive this goal, two seismic imaging techniques will be incorporated: multi-arrival seismic anisotropic viscoelastic tomography (MA-SAVT) and frequency-domain seismic full-waveform inversion (FDS-FWI) in anisotropic viscoelastic media. In addition, the combination of FDS-WFI with MA-SAVT will yield high-resolution images of carbonate reservoirs. After this project, MA-SAVT and FDS-FWI will become applicable for not only the traditional hydrocarbon exploration and mineral prospecting, but also for archaeological mapping, groundwater assessment, geohazard prediction and civil engineering.

  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

    • Real-Time UHF Imager

      Faculty Name : Mohammed Abou Khousa

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      Handheld real-time high-resolution imagers with low-cost hardware is a long sought-after goal for inspection in wide range of industries involving aviation and energy. Such an imager would have the convenient utility and speed of an optical video camera with added value of seeing through optically-non-transparent dielectric materials such as composite structures, thermal barriers, and concrete. In this project, a novel handheld real-time super-resolution imager is proposed, capitalizing on highly integrated array of sensors working in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio band to produce inspection images at video rates. Unlike all previously developed microwave imaging systems, the proposed imager provides a powerful screening tool and cost-effective solution for dielectric material inspection. The deliverables will include a proof-of-concept prototype and benchmarking imaging results on industry-relevant samples.

    • A Techno-Economic Assessment of Solar Thermal Energy Project: A Case Study from Ghantoot

      Sponsor : MI-Masdar

      Faculty Name : Ameena Al-Sumaiti

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean Renewable Energy / Data Science

      This project aims to conduct a data analytics study on real solar thermal collectors operating in the Ghantoot area of the UAE. It will analyze energy production, heat losses and energy efficiency of the collectors. The project will compare the solar thermal collectors from the operational aspect as well as the economic aspect. Research will involve data analysis, regression analysis, and economic analysis.

    • Intelligent Water-Energy Micro Nexus

      Sponsor : MI-Masdar

      Faculty Name : Ameena Al-Sumaiti

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Water and Environment

      Efficient and secure water and energy services are essential commodities demanded in all types of communities. Water supply, seawater desalination, groundwater pumping, and wastewater treatment account for a considerable amount of total energy use in cities like Abu Dhabi, and energy production may entail water cooling systems, as can household thermal regulation.In this project, the interaction between electricity and water distribution systems will be investigated. This project will benefit Abu Dhabi’s long-term economic vision set by the Regulation and Supervision Bureau in 2013 to improve the overall efficiency and security of the entire energy-water nexus in smart grid.

    • Efficient image classification using deep neural networks and sparsity-inducing transforms

      Sponsor : ICT Fund

      Faculty Name : Hasan Al Marzouqi

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare / Robotics, AI and Data Science

      Deep neural networks have improved the state-of-the-art in many artificial intelligence problems. This development opens the door for new solutions of long-standing research challenges. In this project, researchers are developing systems for melanoma (skin cancer) detection and general image classification using deep learning methods. Applications include the development of mobile apps for melanoma detection.

    • Low temperature PEM fuel cell modeling and control for mobile applications

      Sponsor : ICT Fund

      Faculty Name : Igor Boiko

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Information and Communication Technology

      Low temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is an electrochemical device that sustainably provides energy without gas emissions, with potential deployment in stationary or mobile applications. This project aims to solve several important problems relating to control of PEMFC systems. To do this it will develop a detailed non-linear model of the PEM fuel cell; develop and design a model-based control of a PEMFC system to achieve simultaneous optimization of efficiency and safe operational modes for the fuel cell and its auxiliary components under parametric uncertainty; and implement the complete system and experimental testing on a mobile application.

    • Scale monitoring in oil pipelines using graphene sensors

      Sponsor : ADNOC

      Faculty Name : Irfan Saadat

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbons Exploration and Production

      This project is about developing Graphene based sensors that can be integrated into monitoring system that can be used in hostile environments. In this case to detect scale deposition into pipelines and other oil/gas installations. The objectives is to fabricate the graphene based sensors using Masdar Campus Clean Room tool set and then characterize them for scale monitoring and field like condition is SAN campus facilities.

    • High Resolution TEM Metrology Applied to Understand Physical Properties of CMOS Technology

      Sponsor : SRC MEESIII, GlobalFoundries

      Faculty Name : Irfan Saadat

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      This project is an SRC funded project with GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF) as external collaborator. The project tackles the characterization of 22fdx technology (UTBB FDSOI MOSFET), with focus on condensated SiGe pFET channel. It is believed that the SiGe epitaxy layer plays a critical role in the Si-Ge HBT performances (Ft and Fmax). The strain at the interface of epitaxial heterolayers resulting from the processing as well as the dopant segregation and faceting are the key parameters controlling the performance of the future SiGe BiCMOS, which requires characterization at nanoscale using HRTEM. The characterization of the SiGe base film as it relates to establishment of an analytical model which describes the impact of the doping profile, segregation and lattice strain on the RF performance of the SiGe HBT transistors. This will be conducted through the design of fundamental experiments which seek to extract the key parameters that influence the strain in the SiGe layer and then using multiphysics simulation software (COMSOL) along with device modelling to develop a model that links the nanoscale attributes to the RF performance. The project will employ extensive use of Electron Microscopy techniques (FIB and TEM) along with simulation tools.

    • Application of Model Predictive Control on Compressors

      Sponsor : ADNOC

      Faculty Name : Khalifa Al Hosani; Igor Boiko

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Centrifugal gas compressors are employed in a wide range of industrial applications, particularly for gas transportation, extraction and processing. Compression is an inherently energy-intensive process, with well over 90% of operating costs spent on energy, thus small improvements in efficiency therefore have a significant impact on the operating costs. At the same time, compressors are critical components in natural gas installations, meaning even short downtimes also have a large economic impact. This project focuses on applying a model of predictive control on compressors to reduce downtime caused by mismanagement and excessive energy consumption from inefficient operation.

    • Type of Mood: A Novel Mental Health State Recognition of Young Adult in UAE

      Sponsor : Al Jalila Foundation

      Faculty Name : Leontios Hadjileontiadis

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare

      The Type of Mood project tries seeks to find features from the keystroke dynamics of smartphone typing that objectively express the user’s mental health state to identify depression symptoms of young adults in the UAE through those dynamics keystroke features. Type of Mood is the first study of this kind in the UAE.

    • Center of Excellence in Integrated Photonics (CEIPH)

      Sponsor : GlobalFoundries/ Semiconductor Research Corporation

      Faculty Name : Marcus Dahlem

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :


      Focus Area :

      The project focuses on developing key photonic and optoelectronic building blocks (efficient fiber-to-chip couplers, low-loss waveguides and crossings, optical switches, electro-optic modulators, WDM systems, optical delay lines, photodetectors) and respective CMOS transceivers (drivers, modulation formats, phase and frequency detectors) for enabling >400 Gb/s optical data interconnects.
      The main objectives of the project are:
      - Address the R&D needs of GlobalFoundries in the area of Integrated Photonics
      - Mirror the industry roadmap for short reach (500 m) data center interconnects, according to the IEEE 802.3bs standard (200 Gb/s and 400 Gb/s Ethernet Task Force)
      - Evaluate and design technology for photonics drivers and circuits with a speed >400 Gb/s, using a 8x50 Gb/s SMF
      - Provide a silicon baseline flow to construct monolithic electronic-photonic integrated circuits (EPICs)

    • Smart Sensors for Catalytic Bed Reactors Refinery

      Faculty Name : Mihai Sanduleanu

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      In order to better understand the oil refining process there is a need to develop a radial and axial map of temperature, pressure and local voidage profile (liquid and gas volume fraction) or wettability. As the radial and axial map is related to different positions within the reactor, localization is needed. This project aims to create such a map of temperature, pressure and local voidage profile in fixed bed and slow moving bed reactors. In order to achieve this main objective, some catalyst particles will be replaced by a smart sensor. This is a wireless, sensor node embedded together with temperature, pressure, localization sensors in a cocoon or package that should withstand the harsh environment conditions present in a reactor. The wireless sensors communicate with each other organizing themselves in a wireless sensor network, sending the data provided by sensors to an external terminal.

    • Black Powder ─ Detection and Transportation in Gas Transmission and Distribution Systems

      Sponsor : GRC

      Faculty Name : Mohamed Alshehhi

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      "Black powder is a contaminant composed of iron sulfides and iron oxides and poses a major operational problem for the natural gas industry because it can cause corrosion, damage equipment and reduce gas flow through pipes. To address the challenges of black powder, this project seeks to conduct an industry review of the latest best practices to address how to predict transportation and deposition of black powder. This objectives will be achieved through:
      - Developing a model to predict the transportation of the black powder in ADNOC Gas Processing pipeline network,
      - Developing a detection device based on microwave technology.

    • Machine Learning using Mathematical Morphology

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Panos Liatsis

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Aerospace / Information and Communications Technology

      Mathematical morphology is commonly employed to process and analyze mathematical structures in images and is based on set theory. The proposed research will develop the theory of morphological classifiers and establish novel machine learning systems in the application area of securing space assets.

    • MeznSat – A greenhouse gases mapping CubeSat from UAE

      Sponsor : UAE Space Agency

      Faculty Name : Prashanth Reddy Marpu

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Water and Environment / Information and Communication Technologies

      Khalifa University is working in collaboration with the UAE Space Agency on developing a new satellite that will study methane and carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. Using a shortwave infrared detector, the CubeSat will measure the abundance and distribution of methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It will also provide valuable insight into the concentration of nutrients in the coastal waters of the Arabian Gulf, which allows for accurate predictions of algal blooms and supports the timely implementation of relevant precautionary measures.

    • ELECTROSKIN: Tactile Sensing for Enhanced Robotics Interaction

      Faculty Name : Panos Liatsis

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Robotics, Articifial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science; Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

      This project is focused on the development of skin for robots, as skin plays a key role in the interpretation of touch in robotics as a vast, unresolved research challenge that plays a key role in the further development of human–robot interaction (HRI). A robot that is able to feel, understand and respond to touch in accordance with human expectations could lead to more meaningful and intuitive HRI. In turn, an advanced set of perceptual abilities, including touch, can lead to major breakthroughs in novel autonomous learning and interaction strategies to enable seamless interaction between robots and humans.

    • Development of Adaptive Control Based on Non‐Parametric Autotuning for Grid‐Connected Converters

      Faculty Name : Igor Boiko

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy, Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

      The volume of grid connected voltage source converters (VSC) in the power system industry is increasing at a rapid rate, as they are essential for integration of renewable sources to the grid, high voltage DC transmission systems, interconnections of AC grids and regenerative industrial drives. There is a need to develop control methods that have some adaptive properties to address varying operating modes, which may include PID controller tuning methods and adaptation algorithms. In response to this need, this project aims to develop an adaptive control based on non‐parametric auto‐tuning for a grid‐connected VSC. Also, gain scheduling is planned to be designed to ensure optimality over a wide operational range.

    • Stability Assessment, Visualization and Enhancement (SAVE) Tool for UAE Power System with Renewable Energy Integration

      Faculty Name : Mohamed El Moursi

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Robotics, Articifial Intelligence (AI), and Data Science

      Power system stability is one of the most important issues for secure and reliable power network operation. That is why this project is focused on developing a prototype for a commercial (offline/online) tool (for the power system operator) that will facilitate effective power system Stability Assessment, Visualization, and Enhancement (SAVE). The SAVE tool will utilize real time measurements and full system observability to reliably determine stability margins in the presence of uncertainty resulting from renewable energy power generation and load demand, and will enable small and large signal stability assessments. The SAVE tool will be validated for ADWEA power system operation. The project will be conducted with the active collaboration and support from ADWEA, TRANSCO and Manitoba Hydro International.

    • Active Nanoscale Metamaterials

      Faculty Name : Jaime Viegas

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      Augmented reality systems have been rapidly advancing in recent years, providing methods to project visual data to one’s field of view, but the size and costs of the lenses that make up these systems are still limiting performance elements that need to be improved. In response to this, this project proposes to overcome the limitations of size, cost and performance of conventional optical systems by employing optical metamaterials, in particular, tunable nanoscale metasurfaces. The goal of the project is to demonstrate that using a hybrid fabrication approach undertaken using equipment in a regular university lab, an adequate geometry and judicious selection of materials, the performance of tunable metasurfaces can be pushed into the visible range and to video refresh rates.

    • Strategic Social Network Analysis to Enhance Security and Privacy

      Faculty Name : Talal Rahwan

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Security; Humanities and Social Science

      The security of online social networks has been called into question recently due to security breaches and misuse of data. This project asks the following research questions: How do criminals and terrorists strategically manipulate their online data to evade the existing tools of social network analysis? Under which conditions can such tools be made strategy proof? Driven by these questions, we propose a new paradigm in social network analysis, whereby the strategic behavior of network actors is explicitly taken into account. On top of the theoretical analysis of the new paradigm, we propose to develop a dedicated software package. While the project’s main focus is on applying our results in the context of terrorist and criminal networks, we will also study them in the business context.

    • Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis Using Deep Learning Techniques and Texture Analysis.

      Faculty Name : Hasan Al Marzouqi

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare

      Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) can prevent costly and inappropriate procedures and allow for earlier treatment of symptoms. MRI hippocampal texture properties were recently found to be correlated with cognitive impairments and conversions from mild-dementia to AD. In this project, we will develop new texture markers based on state-of-art methods in texture classification and characterization. The developed approach will utilize 3D directional transforms such as Gabor wavelets, curvelets, and contourlets. We will also investigate recently proposed methods based on deep learning network architectures. The goal of this faculty startup project is to develop quantized measures of textural properties in brain scans for use in the early diagnosis and assessment of neurological diseases. Specifically, we will use developed quantized textural measures in the early diagnosis and assessment of cognitive impairment in AD.

    • Design and Implementation of an Improved Electric Vehicle Powertrain and Wireless Charging Systems

      Faculty Name : Jamal Al Sawalhi

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Information and Communications Technology

      The UAE intends to develop suitable infrastructure for autonomous electric vehicles under the “UAE Green Agenda 2015-2030”, and requires at least 25% of vehicles on road to be electrically propelled vehicles by 2030. In line with achieving a sustainable UAE green economy, this project aims to establish a state-of-the-art research facility in the broad area of transportation electrification. The research focus will be initially on electric vehicles (EVs), which requires understanding and integration of many disciplines such as high performance power electronics, electric propulsion motors, energy storage systems, artificial intelligence, etc. In the next two years the project will also focus on research and development of highly efficient modular electric powertrain systems, and research and development of highly efficient compact inductive Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) system for EVs.

    • Synchronous Generators Stator Ground Fault Detection Using Artificial Intelligence

      Faculty Name : Khaled Al Jaafari

      Department : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy; Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Data Science

      Synchronous generators remain vulnerable to ground faults in numerous ways, which is why they must be protected against internal as well as external faults with a reliable protection scheme that is dependable so it preforms correct protection action in response to a fault. In addition, it must be secure so that the protection will not operate for system transients. In this startup, the problem will be looked at from the machine electromagnetic prospective. The machine voltages and currents will be analyzed searching for a unique signature of the stator winding faults. One of the main objectives of this project is to build an experimental setup that mimics the real power system, from generation through distribution, till it reaches a residential load using the existing TERCO system in the ECE department. The results acquired from the simulation will be compared to the results obtained from the experimental setup. 

    • Advanced Technologies for Intelligent Transportation

      Faculty Name : Paschalis Sofotasios

      Department : Electrical and Computer Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

      Visible light communications (VLC) offer a breakthrough in fast data transmission and ubiquitous connectivity. However, the deployment of robust intelligent transport systems and VLC systems requires effective solutions to critical practical issues and challenges. This project aims to propose novel channel models for realistic and accurate characterization of mobile-to-mobile communications in radio frequency, millimeter wave and outdoor VLC scenarios. It also intends to quantify the physical layer security issues in these communication scenarios and introduce effective countermeasures. The project includes investigation of the integration capabilities of outdoor visible light communications systems in the current network infrastructure as well as development of optimization strategies that can meet specific quality of service requirements in terms of target errors, data rate, and physical layer security.

  • Mechanical Engineering

    • Intelligent Slip Sensing System using Dynamic Active-Pixel Vision Sensor for Manufacturing Automation

      Faculty Name : Dongming Gan

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science

      Automatic manufacturing is the future trend of modern industry and a focus sector of the UAE. Considering the limitations of existing slipping detection sensors and the recently developed event-based dynamic pixel camera with 1-ms-responding mechanoreceptors and very low power consumption (10mW) in manufacturing automation, this project aims at proposing a new concept of using dynamic cameras for slip detection and developing related algorithms and embodiment methods for effective grasping and manipulation in manufacturing automation. The outcomes will lead to a new robotic grasping system with capability of real-time slip detection, tracking, object manipulation control and object feature perception.

    • Solar Activated Thermo-Responsive Polymer for Atmospheric Water Collection

      Faculty Name : Ali Al Alili

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy, Water and Environment

      In line with Abu Dhabi's Vision 2030 plan to reduce the stress on water resources, this project aims to investigate the utilization of solar energy to power an innovative atmospheric water collection device. The main objective of this research is to design and fabricate a cost effective, environmental friendly, self-powered atmospheric water collector. The proposed technology does not need to operate at very low temperatures allowing many cooling technologies to be used. This also allows the cooling system to operate more efficiently and avoid the problem of freezing the water.

    • Novel Micro/Nano‐Architected Metamaterials for Thermal Management

      Faculty Name : Rashid K. Abu Al-Rub

      Department : Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      The increased demand for higher power density in electronic devices is limited by the ability of the device to dissipate the generated heat associated with the power density increase. The performance of electronic devices deteriorates significantly with the increase in heat. For this purpose, electronic devices are equipped with thermal management systems such as heat sinks. This project aims to develop an additively manufactured (3D printed) very porous open‐cellular micro/nano‐architected multi‐functional metamaterials that can be used effectively as heat sinks. In this project, the material’s internal micro/nano‐architecture will be based on the mathematically‐known triply periodic minimal surfaces. If successful, this project will advance the current practice in making heat sinks for cooling electronic devices and will add significant contribution to the area of thermal management.

    • Development of Two-Dimensional Heterogeneous Materials for Applications in Energy Storage, EMI Shielding, and Biological Sensors

      Faculty Name : Kin Liao

      Department : Aerospace Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area :Clean and Renewable Energy, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      The primary objectives of this project are to develop novel two-dimensional (2D) materials known as van der Waals heterostructures (VDWHSs), and to explore their applications in aerospace, energy, and healthcare sectors. In this project, researchers will synthesize and refine existing synthetic methods and then study the physical properties of a spectrum of 2D materials. They will examine the fundamental physical properties of various combinations of these 2D materials, leading to functional VDWHSs, to develop methods to assemble 2D heterogeneous solids into 3D structures. The goal of the project is to explore potential applications of VDWHSs for electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding for flying and/or naval vehicles, supercapacitors, and strain and biological sensors.

    • Additive Manufacturing of Multifunctional PEEK Composites for Biomedical Applications: Characterization and Modeling to Innovative Product Design – A Holistic Approach

      Faculty Name : Kumar Shanmugam

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, Healthcare

      Advancements in fiber optic technologies have allowed for the development of fiber optic sensors to measure acoustic waves. These sensors can monitor the leakage of pipes and wells by detecting the acoustic signals from liquid and gas flows, to reduce line losses, improve security, and reduce operational costs. There is potential to use fiber optic cables to monitor underground pipelines of drinking water, sewage, water, and gas. This project investigates the instrumentation of fiber optic sensors on underground pipelines. Variation of strain and acoustic signals are monitored using DTS and DAS, respectively. These signals are evaluated to construct the urban dense network for sustainable development and social security, which is the main challenge of this proposal.

    • An Intelligent, Resilient and Reliable Integration of Renewable Energy Resources for Smart Grid in Abu Dhabi

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Ali AlAlili

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean Renewable Energy / Data Science

      Abu Dhabi faces the challenge of balancing its population growth and desire for sustainability, particularly in relation to carbon emissions. Renewable energy offers a solution that allows the emirate to continue to urbanize while respecting emissions restrictions. In order to achieve widespread renewable energy uptake, the energy distribution grid needs to be intelligent, self-healing, and resilient to handle increasing electricity demands with seasonal variations. This proposed project aims to identify key factors for effective implementation and management of Abu Dhabi’s smart grid. It also tries to find state-of-the-art technologies that should be encouraged and demonstrated for the Emirate.

    • Automated Robotic Assembly in Aerospace Manufacturing

      Sponsor : Strata-ARIC

      Faculty Name : Cesare Stefanini, Jorge Dias, and Dongming Gan

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Aerospace / Robotics, AI and Data Science

      This project aims to address robotic construction and assembly in the aerospace sector, by develop enabling methodologies and platforms to automate tasks in a number of industrial applications where large-size structures are involved. On board manipulators, advanced robotic design, control and sensing will be developed for new generations of industrial robotic systems for flexible, jig-less manufacturing. The proposed research has high potential impact both from a scientific point of view, due to its novelty and to state-of-the-art research facilities available in the ARIC center, and for industrial exploitation.

    • Development of Novel MEMS Gyroscopes and Magnetometers for Miniaturized Space Attitude Control System

      Sponsor : UAE Space Agency

      Faculty Name : Daniel Choi

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Aerospace / Robotics, AI and Data Science

      In this project an innovative, affordable, miniature, low-power, navigation-grade integrated gyroscope and magnetometer for Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) are being developed for an attitude control system that applies micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology to achieve the performance, size, power, sensitivity, and cost objectives of space and other commercial applications. Development of this project is well aligned with UAE Space Agency’s Science Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Component as below – (Level 1) 8. Science Instruments, Observatories and Sensor Systems/(Level 2) 8.3 In-situ Instruments and Sensors/(Level 3) 8.3.3 In-situ (Other) – Inertial Measurement Unit under the Initiative of 4.b.2. Communication, Navigation, and Orbital Debris Tracking and Characterization.

    • Biofuel Energy Conversion Through Electrostatics

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Dimitrios Kyritsis

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy / Robotics, AI and Data Science

      This project combines experimental and computational research to establish the scientific and technological fundamentals of electric control of biofuel combustion. One research objective is to determine the effect of intense electrostatic fields on flame stability, flame structure, and extinction characteristics. The project also intends to provide a prototypical, electrically controlled burner as well as a high-fidelity code, which will be validated by extensive high-accuracy data, so that it can be used for the design of electric fields for combustion control. This will constitute a scientific breakthrough in that electric charge will be added to mass, momentum, and energy as a physical quantity of relevance to reactive flow.

    • A Novel Bio-Inspired Adaptable Compliant Exoskeleton for Smart Lower Limb Rehabilitation

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Dongming Gan

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare / Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      This project combines multidisciplinary engineering and clinical expertise to design, develop and validate a novel bio-inspired adaptable compliant exoskeleton, as a tool for effective and reliable rehabilitation/assistant of walking.

    • High Efficiency Waste Heat Recovery System Utilizing Advanced Microchannel Heat Exchanger Technology

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Ebrahim Al Hajri

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy / Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      The industrial sector accounts for almost one third of the total energy consumed in the world and the same proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. About 20-50% of industrial energy is lost as waste heat in the form of exhaust gases, heated surfaces and product. Recovery of this abundant waste heat from industrial processes can lead to substantial improvement in energy efficiency in various energy conversion processes and subsequently significant reduction of the carbon foot print, operational and capital equipment expenses. In response to this potential, this project intends to demonstrate the applicability of micro surfaces and microchannels for performance improvement of absorption cooling systems, with the specific application of high efficiency conversion of waste heat into process cooling and waste heat recovery applications. It also aims to build microchannel-enhanced heat exchangers for a scaled up loop and demonstrate their operation in a technology demonstration unit.

    • Waste Vegetable Oil Biodiesel: Towards Optimal Production, Feasibility and Deployment

      Sponsor : MI-Masdar

      Faculty Name : Isam Janajreh

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy

      Biodiesel is an altered form of long chained vegetable or algae oil/animal fat/recycled cooking oil, and presents a sustainable fuel option to offset fossil fuel use in diesel engines or be upgraded to be used as jet fuel. In this work a selected student will complement previous work on the production of biodiesel by transesterification of waste cooking oil (WCO) under different process settings in the quest of reaching optimal yield and by using our newly patented continuous reactor. They will assess the properties of the produced biodiesel following and setting up several standard ASTM tests, i.e. flash point, density, viscosity, acid value, heating value, boiling point, and T90) and compared to petro diesel. They will also carry out techno economic feasibility for mass production of biodiesel using Abu Dhabi as case study and will use their workshop skills to develop a small scale pilot plant for biodiesel production.

    • Direct Contact Membrane Distillation Technology for the Oil Industry Application

      Sponsor : Takreer

      Faculty Name : Isam Janajreh

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Development of the contact membrane distillation technology for the oil industry entails synthesizing and characterizing of a new selective oil/water separation membrane and assessing its separation performance through exhaustive experimentation and parametrical sensitivity analysis. Accurate high fidelity Navier-Stokes flow models of non-isothermal conjugated heat transfer will also need to be developed and these models will need to be validated through the development of a working and instrumented direct contact membrane module and later fitted as a demonstration unit.

    • Automatic Drilling in Aerospace manufacturing

      Sponsor : Strata-ARIC

      Faculty Name : Jorge Dias, Cesare Stefanini, Dongming Gan

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Aerospace / Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      This project will develop an advanced robotic system for automatic drilling in aerospace manufacturing. Highly precise drilling will be performed based on advanced robotic manipulation, laser metrology, visual sensing and systems control.

    • Impact of Pore-Scale Wettability Changes on Three-Phase Relative Permeability Characterization in Carbonate Reservoirs

      Sponsor : ADNOC

      Faculty Name : TJ Zhang

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Understanding the subsurface multiphase flow and fluid trapping mechanism of carbonate reservoirs is of critical importance in harvesting natural energy resources. Traditional core-scale experimental studies are not able to reveal the complicated petro-physical mechanism in heterogeneous carbonate reservoirs with variable wettability conditions. By utilizing the micromodel 3D printing, microfluidic flow imaging, Lattice-Boltzmann modeling, and high-pressure core flooding technologies, we aim at systematically studying the impact of pore morphology, rock mineralogy and surface wettability on multiphase microfluidic flow and relative permeability, which will ultimately contribute to the enhanced oil recovery from carbonate reservoirs in Abu Dhabi.

    • Novel Design Strategies of Bimetallic Nano-Catalysts for Enhanced Dry Reforming of Methane (DRM) Performance towards Synthesis Gas Production

      Sponsor : ADEK

      Faculty Name : Kyriaki Polychronopoulou

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      Reducing its increasing and relatively large carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is a goal of the UAE. This project seeks to use waste CO2 to convert natural gas (mostly methane, CH4) into synthesis gas (Syngas, H2+CO) and hydrogen (energy carrier) using dry reforming of methane (DRM) reaction. Using CO2 to produce Syngas will not only reduce the CO2 emissions in the UAE and Middle East, but it will also create a new economy, as Syngas can be converted to added-value chemicals (e.g. hydrocarbons) through Fischer-Tropsch (FT) industrial process. So far there is no commercial catalyst for DRM process as the studied catalysts suffer from severe deactivation due to carbon deposition or from parasitic (unwanted) reactions. This research aspires to deliver highly active bimetallic nanocatalysts in which electronic and geometrical topology (relative location of the different components of the catalyst: metal; support; promoter) will be finely tuned by adopting independent synthetic approaches.

    • Firefighting Unnamed Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

      Sponsor : EMAAR

      Faculty Name : Lakmal Seneviratne

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Security

      Standard fire-fighting techniques are inadequate to rapidly respond to fires in tall high-rise buildings. This project will develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for firefighting in urban high rise buildings. The UAV will carry a fire extinguisher up to 10-kg, detect and reach fire locations up to 800m high and deliver fire extinguishing material on target.

    • 3D Tracking of UAVs Based on Deep Learning

      Sponsor : MBZIRC

      Faculty Name : Lakmal Seneviratne

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Security

      This project will develop a system to track an unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) moving in 3D, based on deep learning. The tracking system will take as input RGB-D data, to robustly estimate the position and orientation of the UAV in real-time. The proposed 3D body tracking system will focus on improving estimation robustness and precision. This project is related to MBZIRC 20202 Challenge 1 (www.mbzirc.com).

    • High Disturbance Rejection for Small UAVs in Fire Fighting Scenarios

      Sponsor : MBZIRC

      Faculty Name : Lakmal Seneviratne

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Security

      Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are subject to high external disturbances, such as wind and recoil forces, during firefighting missions. These disturbances will affect the performance and navigation capabilities of the UAV. This project will develop a robust controller to reject the external disturbances, in order to improve the performance of the UAV during firefighting missions.

    • Environmental Gas Dispersion Modelling

      Sponsor : ADNOC

      Faculty Name : Peter Rodgers

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      This project seeks to develop an accurate computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based atmospheric gas dispersion modeling methodology and implement it in actual sour hydrocarbon production fields. The predictions obtained for accidental hazardous gas releases will serve as input to the development of hydrocarbon process facilities emergency response plans.

    • Environmentally Friendly Refrigeration Cooling

      Faculty Name : Tiejun Zhang

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area :Water and Environment; Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      Refrigerants currently used in air conditioning units and chillers have very high global warming potential, and must be phased out starting 2019 according to the global Kigali Amendment. Most cooling systems are based on vapor compression refrigeration cycle (VCC). This project aims to design, characterize and analyze VCC cooling systems, ranging from materials level to device and cycle levels, by combining nanotechnology and advanced modeling techniques. The resulting VCC system is intended to achieve much higher coefficient of performance by shifting the cooling load from daytime to nighttime and enhancing waste heat dissipation with radiative cooling; in addition, the low GWP refrigerants will considerably reduce the carbon footprint of cooling systems.

    • Reconfigurable Soft Robotics for Underwater Locomotion and Manipulation

      Faculty Name : Federico Renda

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Data Science

      A trend is being witnessed in robotics research towards reconfigurable robots that are able to dynamically adapt their structures to accomplish complex tasks. Responding to this trend, this project aims to develop innovative solutions for robotic locomotion and manipulation by combining the positive assets of both fields, providing robust, adaptable, dexterous, safe and low-cost robotic solutions. In particular, two kinds of modular soft robots are envisaged: a novel underwater locomotion and manipulation mechanism based on a multi-flagella paradigm, and a versatile soft robotic manipulator based on reconfigurable modules. The originality of these approaches, and the challenges they confront, will guarantee a strong impact to both the academic and industrial fields in terms of highly cited scientific publications and disruptive industrial applications in innovative manufacture and maintenance processes

    • Hydrogen Embrittlement of Aluminum Alloys

      Faculty Name : Grigorios Chaidemenopoulos

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Aerospace, Advanced materials and manufacturing

      Corrosion presents a major threat to the structural integrity of aluminum structures in the aircraft, marine, automotive and hydrogen storage sectors. Hydrogen penetration and trapping in high-strength alloys is a particularly challenging problem in aluminum corrosion, as it causes the metal to become brittle and prone to breakage. Previous research has identified the critical hydrogen trapping sites in a valuable aircraft alloy -- AA2024. This faculty startup seeks to investigate further trapping states related to the strengthening phases in the alloy and their relation to hydrogen embrittlement. It has an innovative focus on integrating the description of corrosion-induced hydrogen embrittlement in aluminum alloys based on the correlation between corrosion, microstructure and hydrogen trapping in microstructural sites as they relate to embrittlement, which may lead to mitigation rules for hydrogen embrittlement in aluminum alloys.

    • Obesity and Low Back Pain in the UAE: Towards a Novel Subject Specific Diagnostic Tool

      Faculty Name : Marwan El Rich

      Department : Mechanical Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare; Robotics,Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Data Science

      Both obesity and lower back pain (LBP) are considered among the fastest rising 21st century health problems, plaguing the lives of millions of individuals and imposing huge health and socioeconomic challenges worldwide. Although obesity has been associated with LBP prevalence, its causative role and underlying mechanisms, key data for prevention and clinical management, remain largely elusive. The project intends to develop the following: an MRI-based database of physiological trunk muscle parameters for normal-weight and obese individuals with and without LBP in the UAE; a subject-specific MSK model of the upper body to evaluate muscle forces and spinal loads; a detailed FE model of the lumbar spine to predict spinal load-sharing, stress/strain profiles of the spinal structures; and a novel user-friendly interface diagnostic tool that can predict patient-specific spinal loads, muscle forces and joint load-sharing to be used by clinicians for the assessment and management of LBP.

  • Industrial and Systems Engineering

    • Additive Manufacturing in Spare Parts Logistics

      Faculty Name : Andrei Sleptchenko

      Department : Industrial and Systems Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Supply Chain and Logistics

      Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, is one of the most innovative manufacturing technologies nowadays. To support its development, this project will create decision support models to optimize the supply chain when using AM for spare parts, and construct life cycle costing models at a part level to show under which conditions AM has a true advantage over traditionally manufactured parts. These models will help the maintenance providers in selecting parts appropriate for AM, and to ultimately increase overall system availability, while lowering service costs. The overall objective of this research is to examine the impact of AM on the local industries and maintenance suppliers, especially in terms of equipment availability, production efficiency, safely and general cost reduction.

    • Integration of Renewable Energy in Key Industrial Sectors of the UAE

      Faculty Name : Sgouris Sgouridis

      Department : Industrial and Systems Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      In order to achieve meaningful renewable energy integration, it is important to consider how the UAE’s industries can integrate renewable energy in their operations and in what forms. In support of this, this project by exploring how to move UAE industries from reliance on natural to renewable resources and entry in the market for certified low-carbon materials. The project intends to determine the amount and types of renewable energy needed to satisfy a significant portion of UAE industry; corresponding industrial process adaptation to better integrate variable renewable energy; and an optimal portfolio of dedicated generation by industry and estimates for the impacts of different levels of renewable energy to the cost profiles of industrial production.

    • Real-Time UHF Imager

      Faculty Name : Andrei Sleptchenko

      Department : Industrial and Systems Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Supply Chain and Logistics

      Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, is one of the most innovative manufacturing technologies nowadays. To support its development, this project will create decision support models to optimize the supply chain when using AM for spare parts, and construct life cycle costing models at a part level to show under which conditions AM has a true advantage over traditionally manufactured parts. These models will help the maintenance providers in selecting parts appropriate for AM, and to ultimately increase overall system availability, while lowering service costs. The overall objective of this research is to examine the impact of AM on the local industries and maintenance suppliers, especially in terms of equipment availability, production efficiency, safely and general cost reduction.

  • Mathematics

    • Single Quantum-Dot Based Nano-Memory Devises with a New Fabrication and Characterization System

      Faculty Name : Moh'd Rezeq

      Department : Mathematics

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

      This project responds to the increasing challenge of meeting growing memory storage requirements of rapidly shrinking electronic devices. The project presents an alternative nano-memory device with a new structure and mechanism to overcome known device limitations. It also proposes an experimental procedure for fabricating and testing the basic unit cells. Another aim is to develop a new technical procedure for fabricating such novel memory devices at a large scale using the state-of-the-art nanofabrication facility available at Khalifa University. The project responds to Khalifa University’s goal of supporting the Abu Dhabi 2030 plan to create efficient energy systems and new technologies.

    • Nucleation of Large-Scale Protein Crystals from Nanoparticle Seeds

      Faculty Name : Matthew Martin

      Department : Mathematics

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Healthcare

      Proteins can function as enzymes to catalyze biochemical reactions, bind to molecules they transport and release them at the right location, and even provide the structural components that give cells and tissues their mechanical properties. However, the atomic structure of many proteins is unknown. To address this gap, light scattering and extinction methods will be used to monitor the attractive potential between proteins near crystallization in situ. Specifically, it will explore protein phase behavior while carefully controlling the concentration of protein, salt, and nanoparticles, as well as by tailoring the nanoparticle surface to maximize crystal growth. This research is relevant to drug development, disease research, and healthcare.

  • Nuclear Engineering

    • Neutronic Optimization of the Prismatic-Core Advanced High Temperature Reactor Coupled with a Thermal Energy Storage System

      Faculty Name : Saeed AlAmeri

      Department : Nuclear Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy

      This project is a continuation of a previous work, where a Prismatic-core Advanced High Temperature Reactor (PAHTR) was designed to be coupled with a phase change material (PCM) based thermal energy storage (TES) block. This iteration will focus in the reactor physics side of the PAHTR to enhance the reactor core neutronic parameters, which includes fuel concept and power distribution optimization, fuel management, flattening the reactivity swing during burn-up, and reactivity feedback coefficients of the optimized design. The control system mechanisms of the PAHTR will also be investigated.

    • Thermal Hydraulic Investigation of a Coupled Nuclear Reactor with Latent Heat Storage System

      Faculty Name : Ahmed K. Al Kaabi

      Department : Nuclear Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Clean and Renewable Energy

      This startup is focused on coupling a Prismatic-core Advanced High Temperature Reactor (PAHTR) cooled by a molten salt, FLiBe (mixture of lithium fluoride and beryllium fluoride), with a phase change material (PCM) based thermal energy storage (TES). This research will focus on calculating the thermal hydraulics parameters (temperature distribution, pressure drop, and flow) of the overall system, taking into consideration the neutronic parameters of the reactor. This research aligns with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, which supports exploring new ways to generate electricity with low carbon footprint. It also supports the Reactor Design and Analysis Group (RDAG) within the KU Nuclear Department in its efforts to develop advanced nuclear reactor systems.

  • Petroleum Engineering

    • Prediction and Modeling of Micro-Emulsion Phase Behavior for ASP Flooding of Carbonate Reservoirs

      Sponsor : ADNOC

      Faculty Name : Ali AlSumaiti

      Department : Petroleum Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

       

    • An Evaluation of the Potential of Smart Water flooding to Enhance Oil Recovery from Asab Field

      Sponsor : ADCO

      Faculty Name : Mohammed Haroun

      Department : Petroleum Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      service agreement - no abstract

    • Reservoir Rock Characterization of Cretaceous Carbonates

      Faculty Name : Mohammad Al Suwaidi

      Department : Petroleum Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      This project aims to solve the challenges in reservoir rock characterization in the Cretaceous Thamama group of formations in the UAE, which is the highest hydrocarbon producing group of formations in the country. Reservoir quality and heterogeneity distribution in these formations is a significant challenge in the oil and gas industry in the region, as predicting its quality helps minimize the risk, the time and the investment put to extract hydrocarbon in these formations. The approach and methods to this project include petrography, chemostratigraphy (stable isotopes), fluid inclusions, chemical compositional analysis of rocks, and textural analysis of ancient and recent carbonate sediments. Abu Dhabi Sabkha and offshore sediments will be studied to build depositional models to be used as analogues of ancient Thamama group.

    • Evaluation of the Injectivity and Adsorption Characteristics of Polymers for EOR Applications

      Faculty Name : Waleed AlAmeri

      Department : Petroleum Engineering

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

      In an earlier study, several polymer samples were evaluated for their suitability for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications in typical Middle East conditions. This study will focus on two important aspects of polymers in this use case: adsorption and injectivity behavior. The results of the related experiments will explain the effect of salinity, temperature, molecular weight, inaccessible pore volume, static and dynamic adsorption and overall oil recovery in polymer and surfactant polymer injection schemes. The outcomes be a set of suitable polymers for given reservoir conditions and a recommendation of quick screening of polymer selection protocol.

  • Petroleum Geosciences

    • Regional Thamama-B Diagenesis

      Sponsor : ADNOC

      Faculty Name : Stephen Ehrenberg

      Department : Petroleum Geosciences

      E-mail Address :

      Focus Area : Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production / Data Science

      Regional compilation/analysis of geologic & petrophysical data from the upper reservoir zone of the Kharaib Formation (Lower Cretaceous limestone) in Abu Dhabi oilfields

Sort by Focus Sectors