Presenting solutions to a wide variety of challenges, faculty members and students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) are displaying innovative, high-quality projects at the Innovation Week that began at Sharjah Book Authority yesterday, February 8. The event is part of UAE Innovation Month 2020 currently being held all across the country.
Renowned for its reputation in research and innovation, the university this year has brought five inventive solutions that highlight issues as varied as bacterial infections and desalination to optimization of photovoltaic energy systems.
Speaking about the university’s participation at the event, Dr. Mohamed El Tarhuni, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies at AUS, said:
“Our university’s continuous participation emphasizes the importance we give to promoting innovation and creativity among our students and faculty. It also highlights the engagement of students and faculty in research that can have significant impact on society and industry such as developing efficient water desalination solutions; IoT solar energy monitoring for smart cities; monitoring the quality of marine aquacultures; a system for biomass for biofuel production and waste minimization; and identifying molecules for the development of a new class of antibiotics that can defeat drug-resistant bacteria."
Dr. El Tarhuni added that the event also highlighted the university’s commitment to engaging with society in general and industrial challenges in particular. The projects on display throughout the week include:
· Novel Contact Lens Disinfectant For Targeted Killing Of Vision-Threatening Parasite – Developed by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Dr. Naveed Khan, Professor and Head of the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences; and Dr. Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui, Research Fellow, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, this project has developed a novel contact lens disinfectant that contains cellulose-targeting molecules that has proved effective in targeted killing of parasites. The contact lens market is a multibillion dollar industry globally and the number of contact lens wearers is on the rise. Therefore, a new class of contact lens disinfectant is of substantial import to human health.
· Cockroaches: Physicians’ Answer To Bacterial Infections – Developed by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Dr. Naveed Khan, Professor and Head of the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences; and Dr. Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui, Research Fellow, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, this project has identified several molecules in cockroaches that showed up to 100 percent kill of bacterial pathogens. These pathogens are potential new class of antibiotics that can thwart threats posed by drug-resistant bacterial superbugs. These findings are highly important for human and animal health.
· Forward Osmosis-Reverse Osmosis Desalination – Developed by the College of Engineering’s Dr. Amani Al-Othman, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering; and students Waed Hussain; Ranwa Alsadi; Abdullah Al Amin; Mai Alhussein; and Nada Allam, this project is a proposed process for water desalination using double membrane filtration. It is meant to promote production by using less energy as needed by conventional processes alone such as reverse osmosis.
· Online Monitoring And Efficiency Optimization Of Photovoltaic Energy Systems – Developed by the College of Engineering’s Dr. Rached Dhaouadi, Professor of Electrical Engineering; Dr. Imran Zualkernan, Professor of Computer Engineering; and Research Associates Salsabeel Shapsough and Mohannad Takrouri, this project presents the design and implementation of an IoT-based solar monitoring systems for citywide, large-scale distributed solar facilities in smart cities. The system uses low-cost hardware and IoT networking technologies to remotely perform and communicate IV curves from individual modules or strings in a remote facility. A prototype was implemented and used to evaluate soiling loss in Sharjah over the period of two months under harsh summer weather conditions. The prototype was able to successfully and reliably collect IV tracing and communicate it back to a cloud-based server for researchers to view and analyze.
· Development and Performance Analysis Of A Novel MOF-Based Composite For MEM Chemical Sensing Application – Developed by the College of Engineering’s Dr. Mehdi Ghommen, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Dr. Rana Sabouni, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering; and Bassam ElTaher, a student enrolled in the Biomedical Engineering master’s program; along with Dr. Eihab Abdel Rahman, from the University of Waterloo, this project focuses on fabricating and developing a MEMES Microbeam sensor coated with a composite porous material for fast detection of low mercury levels in water.
The Innovation Week in Sharjah runs until February 14.