Monday 16, May 2016

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced its that graduate students won nine out of the total of 20 best paper awards at the UAE Graduate Students Research Conference (GSRC) 2016 in Abu Dhabi.

The awards Masdar Institute students received included two in the categories of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, as well as one each in Civil Engineering, Computer & Information Science, Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Energy, and Micro/Nano Systems.

On the occasion of the awards, Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost of Masdar Institute, said: “Our students have contributed to Masdar Institute’s track record of achievement through their GSRC awards, which also demonstrated their own cutting-edge research prowess. I congratulate those who won awards for their papers and brought further pride to Masdar Institute.”

The winning Masdar Institute papers were submitted by the following nine teams composed of students, post-doc researchers and faculty: Afra Alketbi, Jin You Lu and Dr. TieJun Zhang; Tala El Samad, Mohammed Hussain and Dr. Isam Janajreh; Nazek El Atab and Dr. Ammar Nayfeh; Abdallah Dindi, Dang Viet Quang and Dr. Mohammad Abu Zahra; Corrado Garlisi, Gabriele Scandura and Dr. Giovanni Palmisano; Sokratis Papadopoulos and Dr. Elie Azar; Miguel Diago, Juliana Beltran Torres, Benjamin Grange, Victor Gutierrez Perez and Dr. Peter Armstrong; Zaid Almahmoud and Dr. Khaled Elbassioni; and Lama Mahmoud, Boor Lalia and Dr. Raed Hashaikeh.

A total of 220 papers were presented by all universities at the interdisciplinary academic event, which aims to share the research being conducted at universities across the UAE and their international partners. The conference was organized by the UAE University from 27-28 April in collaboration with Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Zayed University, Masdar Institute, Petroleum Institute, American University Of Sharjah and the University of Sharjah. Papers were accepted in several categories under ‘Arts, humanities & social sciences,’ ‘Clinical, pre-clinical, health & life sciences,’ as well as ‘Engineering, information technology & physical science,s’

Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President for Research and Interim Associate Provost , Masdar Institute, was on the GSRC 2016 steering committee, while Dr. Mohamed Sassi, Dean of Faculty, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was on the organizing committee. The GRSC Technical Program Committee also included several Masdar Institute faculty members.

Masdar Institute students had presented a total of 67 papers, many of which has multiple student co-authors, in the areas of advanced technology, energy, water and the sustainability areas for review and oral presentations.. Each paper was reviewed and scored by three experts, while both the chair and/or the co-chair of each conference session provided scores for the oral presentation of the student. The combined four or five scores were used to form the rating for each orally presented paper. The top twenty rated papers were given best paper awards during the closing ceremony.

Some of the locally and regionally-relevant research papers presented by Masdar Institute students included an evaluation of the different models for forecasting the mean and volatility of UAE wind speed, a study on the impact of seasonal weather changes on surface visibility due in Abu Dhabi, mapping of coral reef environment in the Arabian Gulf using multispectral remote sensing, and research assessing depletion of groundwater resources by excessive exploitation in the Al Ain region.

Other papers included energy and ‘exergy’ analysis of the variable refrigerant flow in air-conditioning systems, opportunities to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and save energy in aluminum smelting, assessing the stability of inkjet-printed Carbon Nanotube (CNT) films for scale-sensing applications in the oil and gas sector, analyzing the characteristics of extreme temperature events in the Arabian Gulf region, and applying remotely sensed data to analyze the inter-annual and seasonal variability as well as changes in total water storage and precipitation for the Arabian Peninsula.

The GSRC provides opportunities for graduate students to share their research work amongst themselves, receive scholarly feedback, and network professionally. The event also enables graduate students to showcase their innovative ideas and projects to various sectors of industry and government, and receive feedback on practical aspects that may enhance the value of their research. Prospective graduate students also learn about the different research opportunities available at the participating academic institutions. Speaking at the ‘Forum on Graduate Studies’ side event on the first day, Dr. Youssef Shatilla, Dean of Academic Programs, briefed the audience about Masdar Institute’s interdisciplinary academic programs.

As of January 2016, Masdar Institute has published over 1,000 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and presented more than 600 conference papers. With such increasing number of innovative research, Masdar Institute’s students and faculty continue to cement its status as a leader in intellectual capital development in the UAE.