DUBAI - The Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Scientists, MBRAS, has announced the list of finalists for the third round of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment.

The five finalists include scientists and scholars who have made a significant scientific contribution.

Celebrating and encouraging scientific competencies in the UAE, the Medal allows scientists to showcase their capabilities by leveraging the wide array of opportunities offered by cutting-edge technologies. This will enable them to develop vital sectors and support advanced sciences in order to come up with innovative solutions to current and future challenges and harness such solutions to serve humanity and build a better world for future generations.

Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences stated that the UAE Government seeks to provide a nurturing environment for scholars of great scientific achievements as reflected in the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. She noted that the ultimate goal is to engage talents and competencies to further develop sciences and scientific research, which will also achieve the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021, the National Advanced Sciences Agenda 2031, and the UAE Centennial Plan 2071

"The Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment reflects the keenness of the UAE Government to create a supporting environment for advanced sciences in the UAE, and to leverage innovative ideas and capabilities in its attempt to build the future and support the country’s evolution towards a sustainable and knowledge-based economy. This can be attained by extending support to the scientific and research movement and nurturing a generation of scientists and researchers who can utilise the latest innovations in science and technology to serve society and enhance the UAE’s status as a global lab for future technologies," Al Amiri said.

She added, "Granting the Golden Visa to winners of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment paves the way towards creating a stimulating environment conducive to advancement in various scientific research and knowledge fields. The move also underpins the UAE’s approach to support development efforts, attract accomplished talents, competencies and researchers and encourage them to contribute to the UAE’s overall economic growth and promote its leading position as a hub for scientists, innovators and researchers." Following a rigorous process, the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment finalists were chosen from a long list of nominees from Khalifa University, UAE University, New York Abu Dhabi University, University of Sharjah, American University of Sharjah, Gulf Medical University in Ajman and Dubai Police. The finalists were evaluated by a specialised committee that included a group of top scientists and experts from different scientific fields from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the United States.

A panel from the Emirates Scientists Council also interviewed each of the nominees. The panel included: Sarah Al Amiri, who is also the Chairperson of the Emirates Scientists Council; Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Director and the Executive Vice President of Khalifa University of Science Technology; and Professor Dr. Ghaleb Ali Al Hadrami Al Breiki, Acting Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Provost of UAE University.

The winners of the third round of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment will be announced in February 2020, and will be granted the UAE Golden Visa along with their family members.

Nomination for the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment is based on a set of strict criteria. Eligible candidates must be renowned scientists whose research has had a positive impact on the UAE and is aligned with the country’s vision. They must be active members in the UAE scientific community and have showcased a recognisable commitment to the development of young scientists and researchers through knowledge transfer. They must also be experts and a reference in their scientific field, both locally and internationally.

The Medal for Scientific Distinguishment covers advanced research in several scientific disciplines, like Aerospace Engineering, Agricultural Biotechnology, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Clinical Medicine, Computer and Information Sciences, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Food Sciences, Health Sciences, Material Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Nanotechnology, Petroleum Engineering, and Physics.

Khalifa University accounted for 35 per cent of the finalists, UAE University 26 per cent, and New York Abu Dhabi University 22 per cent.

The following list of finalists for the Medal includes five leading scientists whose contributions and scientific breakthroughs have had a significant impact on the scientific community and the advanced sciences sector.

Ehab El Saadany ~ Significant Patents and Contributions El Saadany is Director of the Advanced Power and Energy Research Centre and a Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Khalifa University of Science and Technology and Adjunct Professor at the ECE Department, University of Waterloo, Canada. He is the author of more than 420 top tier international journals and conferences publications with three US patents.

Professor El Saadany graduated 26 PhD and 20 Master students and supervised over 20 Postdoctoral fellows and visiting professors. He raised over $13M in research funds from different federal, provincial and industrial entities internationally and nationally.

Rashid K. Abu Al Rub ~ Developed Futuristic Prototypes Professor Abu Al Rub is the Chair of Aerospace Engineering Department, and the Director of Digital and Additive Manufacturing Centre at Khalifa University of Science and Technology. His primary research field of interest is the development of macro-mechanics-based constitutive models and computational tools, as well as digital design, additive manufacturing, and 3D printing.

Professor Abu Al Rub has published one book and over 300 publications in archival journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. He is responsible for a budget of more than $30 million and was selected in 2007 among nine leading scientists in the US by National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. He is one of the members of the US National Science Foundation - International Institute for Multifunctional Materials for Energy Conversion.

Lourdes Vega ~ Science for Sustainable Products Professor Vega is the Director of the Research and Innovation Center on CO2 and Hydrogen (RICH Centre) at Khalifa University and a Professor in Chemical Engineering with academic positions in the USA (University of Southern California, Cornell University); Spain (University of Sevilla, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, National Research Council of Spain); and the UAE.

Professor Vega’s scientific work has been directed towards the combination of fundamental and applied research focused on sustainable processes and products. These include recent work such as new refrigerants, water treatment, removal of contaminants and CO2 capture and utilisation. She is the author of more than 200 scientific papers and five patents, and she raised more than $50 million as principal researcher grants. She serves as an editorial board member in five scientific journals and five international conference committees.

Bassam Ali ~ Developing Molecular Medicine Fields Professor Bassam Ali is the Leader of the Molecular and Genomics Laboratory and the Professor of Molecular and Genetic Medicine at UAE University. His research is focused on the identification of disease genes and mutations responsible for rare recessive disorders in Arab populations, and suggesting diagnostic and treatment means. He is the author of more than 80 articles in international prestigious journals and conferences.

Professor Ali is on the editorial board of several international scientific journals and an expert reviewer in several biomedical journals. He also supervises 11 PhD and 7 Masters students.

Mohammed ElMoursi ~ Renewable Energy Systems and Electronics Mohammed ElMoursi is a Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, EECS, at Khalifa University of Science and Technology. He specialises in renewable energy integration and Smart Grid development. He also leads the Renewable Energy Integration at the Advanced Power and Energy Centre, APEC, research theme. Dr. ElMoursi has two US patents and is the author of more than 140 papers published in prestigious international journals and conferences.

The evaluation process for the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment consisted of three stages. In the first stage, registration for the submission of applications from nominees was opened, allowing UAE-based scientists to participate, as well as receiving nominations from universities and research institutions. Nominees were evaluated based on the Medal’s initial criteria, notably specialisation, years of experience, application of scientific output and global impact of research.

In the second stage, nominees were evaluated by an international panel consisting of leading experts by looking at the nominees’ global impact on their respective fields. The third stage consisted of final interviews conducted by the Emirates Scientists Council to assess the role of the nominated scientists/researchers and their contributions to scientific research in the UAE, as well as the extent to which their contributions are aligned with the National Advanced Sciences Agenda. The interviews were also designed to identify the impact of nominees and their research on the UAE scientific community, their contribution to the development of young scientific competencies and how their research findings are employed to solve scientific challenges in the UAE.

Launched in 2017, the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment is one of the initiatives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It aims to recognise scientists, researchers and experts’ outstanding achievements and unique contributions in various scientific fields and to promote their prestigious status within the community. It is also designed to create a stimulating environment that boosts innovation and scientific research and nurtures a new generation of Emirati scientists and researchers.

The first two rounds of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment featured numerous nominations from the scientific community across several research disciplines, such as medicine, engineering, biology, genetics, geology, psychology, materials science, physics, robotics, neurology, water technologies, nanomaterials, and many others.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.