Research Centers

Research Centers

Khalifa University is home to the UAE’s leading research institutes and centers, where challenges of relevance to the region and world are addressed in a systematic and targeted manner by innovative researchers working together in world-class facilities. These research clusters will create the foundation for the University to become a global leader in use-inspired research. The University’s two major institutes are the Masdar Institute, under which primarily sustainability focused research centers are grouped, and the Petroleum Institute, under which primarily hydrocarbon production and exploration focused research centers are grouped.

Research Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment (ReCREMA)

ReCREMA was established to support the UAE and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in their advancement of a publicly-accessible atlas of solar and wind resources. The center also aims to develop regional knowledge and leadership in renewable energy assessment and mapping for the Arabian Peninsula and countries with similar climates, mainly in Africa.

Research Priority: Clean and Renewable Energy
Director: Dr. Hosni Ghedira

Nuclear Technology Center (NTC)

The Nuclear Technology Center (NTC) aims to address the present and future research requirements to support the UAE’s nuclear power program and help deliver safe, clean and efficient nuclear energy to meet the strategic UAE’s vision, while protecting the public, workers and the environment. The NTC’s mission is to conduct research to provide a risk-informed decision basis for the safe operation of the UAE’s nuclear power plants, while estimating the consequences should faults occur. Research in the thematic areas of Nuclear Safety and Systems, Nuclear Materials/Chemistry, and Radiation Safety in the Environment, will provide data for informed decision while innovation in methodology and practices will aim to minimize the risks of faults.

Research Priority: Clean and Renewable Energy
Director: Dr. Philip Beeley

Advanced Power and Energy Center (APEC)

The UAE has set many ambitious and strategic energy goals and launched many pioneering energy projects to achieve said goals. Achieving these targets requires the development of intellectual and human capital to provide innovative ideas and solutions for optimizing and advancing energy delivery and utilization. In response to this, the Advanced Power and Energy Center (APEC) aims to craft the future of electric energy systems allowing seamless and economical operation of high capacity renewable and clean energy resources while supporting hybrid AC/DC grids, and providing optimal architecture for smart grid and transportation electrification. APEC will cover a broad spectrum of pressing and important energy related issues under its themes of Renewable Energy Integration; Advanced Power Electronics Devices; Active Transmission and Distributions Systems; and High voltage and Dielectric Materials. It also supports KU’s development into a leading research-driven university in energy and a catalyst for producing the next generation of engineers essential for addressing industry power and energy needs in the years to come.

Research Priority: Clean and Renewable Energy
Director: Dr. Ehab El-Saadany

Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC)

The SBRC was established as a non-profit consortium at Masdar Institute to lead joint research and advancement of sustainable aviation biofuels. A key part of its research activity has been the initiation of a large-scale research program on alternative fuels derived from halophytic (saltwater tolerant) plants, called the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS).

Research Priorities: Clean and Renewable Energy; Water and Environment
Director: Dr. Alejandro R. Galvan

Center for Membranes and Advanced Water Technology (CMAT)

The UAE faces growing water scarcity challenges that require development and implementation of long-term, sustainable, and integrated capacity in water and membrane technologies that are resilient, energy-efficient, environment-friendly and cost-effective. The Center for Membranes and Advanced Water Technology (CMAT) has been established to meet this need. CMAT has three over-arching objectives: (1) Develop and transfer novel and relevant advanced membrane and water technologies, (2) Develop a sustainable framework for integrated, multidisciplinary research to tackle water challenges in UAE and GCC, and (3) Support local and regional stakeholders in the water sector through targeted training, capacity building and technology transfer activities. To fulfill its objectives, CMAT leads activities under four themes: Advanced Water Technologies and Hybrid Systems; Nanomaterials and Membranes; Energy Efficiency and Sustainability of Water Processes; and Technology Transfer and Capacity Building in Desalination and Water Technology. The center is working to create a viable ecosystem for relevant technology development and intellectual property transfer at KU, driving interdisciplinary novel membrane and water technologies research. It works closely with concerned UAE government bodies and local and regional stakeholders in the water sector, including the water industry and the public utilities providers, in addition to a growing network of international collaborations. The Center also aims to provide KU with a mechanism for engaging UAE industry and government in research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D) of innovative water-related technologies. It will focus on research that addresses ensuring adequate availability of water to meet society’s needs while addressing concerns of environmental integrity and economic viability.

Research Priority: Water and Environment
Director: Dr. Hassan Arafat

Petroleum Institute

Research Priority: Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

Center for Catalysis and Separation (CeCaS) Gas Research Center

Center for Catalysis and Separation (CeCaS)

The chemical processes of catalysis and separation play a critical role in the petrochemical industry that is at the heart of the UAE’s economy, and are also important in the development and functions of membranes, reactors, materials, and renewable energy. The Center for Catalysis and Separation (CeCaS) is the UAE’s only research center focused on addressing the broad industrial challenges relating to these processes. The center provides a multiscale integrated approach to solve scientific and engineering problems that spans across scales and disciplines through its research themes of: Catalysis for Energy and Chemicals; Separation and Adsorption Applications; and Multiscale Modeling. With its strong connections to industry and with international collaborators, the center aims to grow steadily, contributing to both, fundamental and applied research, serving the needs of KU and the region while also educating new generations.

Research Priority: Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production
Director: Dr. Kyriaki Polychronopoulou

Gas Research Center

The GRC was launched to develop, build and strengthen applied gas research capabilities. It also works to enhance the technology know-how of its main collaborator, Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Limited (GASCO) to address current and emerging gas challenges and promote the safe and efficient operations.

Research Priority: Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production
Director: Dr. Saeed Al Hassan

Research Priority: Aerospace (aero/astro)

Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC)

Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC)

ARIC was established to undertake cutting-edge research in aerospace engineering. The center also acts as a global research hub – collaborating with leading universities across the world, developing research opportunities over a broad spectrum of areas, and assisting technology transfer and innovation possibilities across the aerospace sector.

Research Priorities: Aerospace; Robotics, AI and Data Science; Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
Director: Dr. James Westley Cantwell 

Healthcare Engineering Innovation Center (HEIC)

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is currently the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the UAE. The Healthcare Engineering Innovation Center (HEIC) seeks to develop novel methodologies, devices, and tools for the diagnosis, intervention/treatment, and rehabilitation of the wide spectrum of health challenges associated with CVD. Research at HEIC takes place under the themes of: Diagnostic Engineering; Minimally Invasive Therapeutic Engineering and Rehabilitation Engineering. It collaborates with leading healthcare providers/regulators in the UAE to define and build population-specific, clinically implementable innovative approaches and engineering solutions. The center also has the framework to tackle other relevant health challenges in the UAE. HEIC provides advanced research and training opportunities in healthcare technology for highly qualified graduates from top universities in the UAE and overseas.

Research Priority: Healthcare
Director: Dr. Cesare Stefanini

Center for Biotechnology (BTC)

The Center for Biotechnology (BTC) responds to the focus on priorities established for national healthcare sector formalized in the UAE Vision 2021. BTC’s research priority focusses on understanding and describing risk factors that impact on the major chronic diseases of the UAE population, in particular diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.  The center has added Functional Biology to its thematic areas of Genomics and Bioinformatics, to fully cover the discipline of Molecular Biology. This strategic addition provides the capability to study the functional relevance of novel disease associations that are identified. BTC operates a state-of-the-art laboratory to assist it in its quest to improve the body of information on genetic predisposition to diseases that are common in the various ethnic groups of the middle east.  In pursuit of its research objectives, the center continues to develop collaborative partnerships with local and international research groups in academia and in the clinic.

Research Priority: Healthcare
Director: Dr. Habiba Alsafar

Center of Excellence on Integrated Photonics

The Center of Excellence for Integrated Photonics was established to develop advanced silicon photonics components needed to support the transfer of massive amounts of data within data centers with high energy-efficiency and at a low cost. Its goal is to improve the energy efficiency and speed of data transmission within data centers by advancing photonics-electronics integrated systems so that the people, cars, devices, and cities that rely on that data will be able to access it instantly.

Research Priority: Information and Communication Technologies
Director: Dr. Jaime Viegas

Center of Excellence on RF/5G Communications

The Center of Excellence on RF/5G Communications was established to develop transceivers equipped with integrated circuits embedded with hundreds of antennas capable of high-speed data transfer at the bandwidth frequencies being opened up for 5G networks. This includes the 28 GHz, 38 GHz and 73-76 GHz radio frequency bands.

Research Priority: Information and Communication Technologies
Director: Dr. Mihai Sanduleanu

Emirates ICT Innovation Center, funded by Etisalat, BT, and Khalifa University, and supported by ICT Fund (EBTIC)

EBTIC was established to be an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) research and innovation center. It aims to advance intelligent systems technologies for the Next Generation Networks (NGNs) and NGN-enabled ICT applications and services, in order to put in place the support infrastructure to facilitate, develop and enable the Digital Networked Economy in the UAE and beyond.

Research Priority: Information and Communication Technologies
Deputy Director: Dr. Nawaf Al Moosa

System-on-Chip Center (SoCC)

The need for specialized electronic devices has been the emerging trend in research and industry especially for restricted technology (high frequency), mobile and Internet-of-Things, Artificial Intelligence, and security. The System-on-Chip Center (SoCC) responds to that need by acting as the only center in UAE with a comprehensive range of expertise that can deliver integrated SoC solutions for various applications targeting near market research. Initial engagement and   partnership with Emirates Technology and Innovation Center (ETIC), it seeks to address the SoC needs of industry in defense and civil applications. Future collaboration with local centers and industry to deliver electronics hardware solutions is one of the center priority.  The SoCC aims to be a world-leading research center in high performance, energy efficient, small form factor, and low cost electronic systems through innovation in low power digital processing, wireless communications, power management and sensor technologies. Research at SoCC takes place under the themes of: Energy Harvesting and Power Management; Sensors; Hardware Accelerators; and Wireless/Fiber Optics/Broadband Communications.

Research PriorityInformation and Communication Technologies (ICT)
Director: Dr. Baker Mohamad

Research Priority: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science

KU Center for Cyber-Physical Systems (C2PS) KU Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems (KUCARS)

 KU Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems (KUCARS)

Robotics and autonomous systems will play a key role in the UAE’s Fourth Industrial Revolution, a strategic roadmap for which was unveiled in 2017 to position the country as a leader in innovation and future technologies. Robotics will also play a vital role in the UAE’s AI Strategy unveiled in October 2017. In support of this vision, the KU Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems (KUCARS) will integrate robotics related research activities at Khalifa University, to address some of the cutting edge R&D challenges in robotics. KUCARS will focus on three frontier robotics application themes: Robotics for Extreme Environments; Robotics for Industrial Applications; and Robotics for Infrastructure Inspection. The core mission of KUCARS is to carry out world class research and development in robotics evidenced through high quality research outputs, robotics-based innovation leading to entrepreneurial activities, engaging with local and international industry to tackle high impact societal problems, and developing human capacity in the UAE to support this vital economic sector.

Research Priority: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science
Director: Dr. Lakmal Seneviratne

KU Center for Cyber-Physical Systems (C2PS)

People and businesses increasingly manage their activities via networked devices, giving rise to Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) the converge the physical and digital worlds. In this Internet-of-Everything (IoE) world, CPSs also generate and transmit massive amounts of data across networks, resulting in the need for cybersecurity to ensure that transactions can be trusted. The Center for Cyber-Physical Systems (C2PS) builds on the notion that society will continue to evolve around the IoE, driven by transformation of data into actionable knowledge via computing hardware and emerging computer science approaches such as Deep Learning. Hence, the center is organized around themes of Cybersecurity, Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, Networks and Communication Technology, and Computation Architectures. Researchers at C2PS seek to deliver disruptive innovation in sectors that include energy, transportation, logistics, healthcare and manufacturing.

Research Priorities: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)/ Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science Director: Dr. Ernesto Damiani

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