Energy and the environment are areas of major strategic planning and investment for Abu Dhabi and for the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision.
Specific priorities include renewable energy, reduction and efficient use of non-renewable sources, sustainable water management etc. The faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering performs research that responds to these challenges building on their considerable expertise in a wide spectrum of areas of science and technology that include:
- Solar and Renewable Energy
- Energy Storage and Hydrogen Production
- Clean Combustion and Carbon Utilization
- Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Cooling
- Desalination and Water Treatment
- Waste-to-Energy and Low-Grade Heat Recovery
- Deep Learning-assisted Smart Energy Systems
- Catalysis for Energy Conversion
The departmental faculty is in close collaboration with colleagues leading energy/environment-related research in other departments through the Energy/Environment Research Thrust in Khalifa University. The key departmental research themes include:
- Concentrated Solar Power and Heat Storage (Masdar Institute Solar Platform)
- Solar Thermal Energy and Light Absorption (Interfacial Energy Transport Laboratory)
- Artificial Intelligence for Clean Energy (Alibaba-KU Joint Innovation Laboratory)
- Electrochemical Energy Storage and Hydrogen Energy (Micro-processing Lab/Dynamic Battery Group)
- Low/No-Carbon-Trace Combustion and Emission Control (Laser Diagnostics Lab/Reactive Flow Modeling Group)
- Catalysis for Green Energy
- HVAC and Building/District Cooling
Lead: Dr. Nicolas Calvet
First solar platform in the UAE dedicated to applied Research & Development on Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Thermal Energy Storage (TES).
The MISP facility includes:
- A state-of-the-art solar iradiometer platform (SIMP)
- A 100 kW-hot oil loop (max 393°C) to test TES systems.
- A 100 kW-beam down solar concentrator (Max 600°C).
- A 40 kW-high flux solar furnace (max 1000 °C) from Wahaj Solar.
- A 4-ton molten salt direct absorption volumetric solar receiver/storage (developed in collaboration with MIT).
- A 1 MWh-concrete-based TES system from EnergyNest.
Major Equipment for Energy Device Fabrication: E-Beam Evaporation, Thermal Evaporation, Magnetron Co-Sputtering Deposition, and Atomic Layer Deposition
Photo: E-Beam Lithography
Major Equipment: Focused-Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy, Environmental SEM, Transmission Electron Microscopy, and High-Resolution TEM
Alibaba Cloud-Khalifa University Joint Innovation Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence for Clean Energy
Lead: Dr. TieJun (TJ) Zhang
Major Equipment: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Core Flooding System, Confocal Optical Microscopy and Microfluidic Imaging System, Micro-3D Printing System, and Industrial AI Operating System
Micro-processing Lab/Dynamic battery group
Lead: Dr. Daniel Choi
Major equipment: electrode punching machine, laminated aluminum film forming machine, ultrasonic welder, glove box system, and CVD system for growth of graphene
Combustion Laser Diagnostics Lab
Lead: Dr. Dimitrios Kyritsis
Lead Dr. Matteo Chiesa
Major Equipment: Sputtering machine, Hall System Machine, Atomic force Microscopes, High speed pulsed lasers
Khalifa University Catalysis for Green Energy (CGE) Lab
Lead: Dr. Kyriaki Polychronopoulou
This Laboratory includes:
- Fixed Bed computerized chemical microreactor for high Temperatures/pressures catalysis (PID, Micromeritics, GA, Atlanta, USA)
- Cirrus-2, Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer
- Autochem 2920 Chemisorption Uni (Micromeritics, GA, Atlanta, USA)
- 3Flex Physisorption Unit, Surface Area & Pore Size Analyser (Micromeritics, GA, Atlanta, USA)
- AccuPyc II 1340 Pycnometer (Micromeritics, GA, Atlanta, USA)
- Automatic Nanofibers production unit
- MARS 6 CEM microwave reactor/digestion system
- FRITSCH - Model PULVERISETTE 5/4 Classic Line - Planetary Mill