Three research projects between the United Arab Emirates University and Saudi universities

The United Arab Emirates University announced the launch of three collaborative research projects between researchers from the United Arab Emirates University, King Saud University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This research cooperation comes within the framework of the United Arab Emirates University’s endeavor to make efforts to expand international cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in several strategic areas, which would contribute to strengthening strategic research partnerships between universities in the two countries.

Prof Ahmed MuradProf. Ahmed Murad - Associate Provost for Research – pointed out that there are several joint research activities between the United Arab Emirates University and King Saud University, including a research entitled “Groundwater recharge from dams in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.” This project is devoted to the development of a new approach for recharging the groundwater by the rainwater that is collected behind dams. The project aims to determine the most effective method for recharging the aquifers and increasing the efficiency of dams, through reducing the evaporation losses, improving the quality of groundwater, and secure water supply. One site in both countries has been selected based on several criteria, including site-specific conditions, technical feasibility, and the extent of site readiness to implement the targeted recharge system and the accuracy of the available data. The two sites include Wadi Al-Bih Dam in the United Arab Emirates and the Hawtat Bani Tamim Dam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The project activities will be completed within two years, and the results are expected to contribute directly to enhance the recharge of groundwater systems and improving the water security index in the two countries.

Another important research is the "Effective conversion of solar energy using encapsulated organic dyes". This project aims to build new dye- sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) based on isolating of some common organic dyes in large particles of CB7 and on the surface of nanocrystalline titanium dioxide. This supramolecular approach reduces the frequency of recharging. In addition, it enhances cell efficiency, especially solid-state and semi-solid-state cells, in light of the limitations imposed by I− / I3−-based solar cells, thus producing photovoltaics that are more efficient, robust and cheaper. The current proposal is based on the fact that introducing the proposed dyes with the help of CB7 is a novel approach. It will pave the way for more uses of macromolecules to enhance solar cell technology.

Prof. Ahmed Murad elaborated that the third joint project between the United Arab Emirates University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is related to the "Microbial communities associated with wild and domesticated citrus". The project aims to study and characterize the microbial communities that play an important role in the ability of bitter melon to reproduce under dry conditions and to introduce functional studies of the microbes associated with bitter melon.  The project will verify this using the method of genetic transformation and transcription, as the comparison of the genetic transformation and transcription of wild bitter melon with cultured melon will enable us to identify the environmental microorganisms present in the environment of the bitter melon plant and the related methods of environmental stress conditions. The research will also provide insights and means to accelerate the cultivation of wild bitter melon and related studies aimed at developing and producing biodiesel on a large scale, improving water use efficiency in melons, and clarifying the importance of interaction between plants and microorganisms in desert environments. 

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Feb 9, 2021