|25 March, 2020

NYU Abu Dhabi marks ten years of innovation

Ten years ago, NYU Abu Dhabi opened with an ambitious vision to become one of the world's great research universities, addressing complex challenges of local and global significance

NYU Abu Dhabi marks ten years of innovation

Abu Dhabi: Ten years ago, NYU Abu Dhabi opened with an ambitious vision to become one of the world’s great research universities, addressing complex challenges of local and global significance. 

Over the last decade of growth and accomplishment, the University has produced a number of remarkable innovations, ten of which include, in chronological order:

  • Putting it on Paper:

Researchers from the Division of Engineering have developed a new technique that utilizes filter paper to cryopreserve human cells, offering scientists an efficient alternative to conventional, long-term cryopreservation methods. This new approach produces comparable results but requires significantly less storage space and offers advantages over storing, managing, and distributing vials of cryopreserved cells.

  • Faculty lead: Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Mohammad A. Qasaimeh
  • Link to the story
  • Think Big Data:

Around the world, advances in the acquisition, organization, manipulation, and analysis of large quantities of information have created “a complete revolution” in recent decades, Professor of Economics Christian Haefke says. From physics to literature, research methods have been transformed. And professors are not alone in applying new tools to old problems. Governments, sports teams, social media companies, and others are equally enthusiastic. The consequences can be dazzling — and sometimes chilling.

  • Faculty lead: Professor of Economics Christian Haefke
  • Link to the full story
  • Robots to the Rescue:

NYU Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Airport Commission are working together on protecting the infrastructure at the city's international airport’s new terminal, and ensuring the safety of workers. A new, autonomous drone with a robotic arm has been developed to inspect inaccessible areas of the airport. This increases productivity, efficiency, and safety when accessing high spaces, and can lift heavy weights of up to 12 kilograms for a maximum duration of 40 minutes.      

  • Faculty lead: Program Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Anthony Tzes
  • Link to the video
  • Keeping Hackers at Bay:

NYU Abu Dhabi researchers have designed the Co-processor for Partially Homomorphic Encrypted Execution (CoPHEE), a microprocessor that provides support for data privacy using cryptography. CoPHEE is a first of its kind microprocessor aimed at mitigating data leakage and limiting the threats and vulnerabilities from hackers.

  • Faculty lead: Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Michail Maniatakos
  • Link to the story
  • A Touch of the Future:

The Applied Interactive Multimedia (AIM) research group at NYU Abu Dhabi is exploring the interface between man and machine. Working with interactive multimedia, the AIM lab is researching ways in which haptic feedback can influence emotions and mimic human touch.

  • Faculty lead: Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mohamad Eid
  • Link to the current projects
  • The Unhackable Chip:

Researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Design for Excellence (Dfx) lab have developed new innovations in computer chip technology that present landmark achievements in IT security.  Secured by a secret key so that only authorized users may utilize them and immune to reverse-engineering, ‘logic-locked’ computer chips will provide future users with new guarantees of security for their devices.

  • Faculty lead: Associate Dean of Engineering Ozgur Sinanoglu
  • Link to the full story (2017)
  • Space Data:

The Center for Space Science at NYU Abu Dhabi will open the Space Data Center (SDC), the first location in the UAE that acquires, archives, and processes selected scientific data sets from space missions. The SDC will host observations from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Kepler, among other space missions, that are essential to performing research in solar, stellar and planetary physics. This data has now been made publicly available by NASA as a matter of its policy, but infrastructure in the UAE is needed to analyze the data locally. The Space Data Center will build relevant capacity for facilitating pre-launch studies associated with the 2020 UAE Mars Hope mission.

  • Faculty lead: Co-principal investigator at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Space Science Shravan Hanasoge
  • Link to the story
  • Work Away from Home:

NYU Abu Dhabi students developed an app called Loga that could enable refugees to earn a meaningful wage by digitizing Arabic language documents using their smartphones. The Loga app converts Arabic text images into highly accurate transcriptions that can be copied, edited, and searched. Currently, millions of Arabic documents remain locked in image PDFs that can't be searched, copied, or analyzed. With Loga, refugees can remotely earn income by scanning Arabic print documents and converting them into digital text.

  • Faculty mentors: Associate Professor of Computer Science Nizar Habash, Lecturer of Engineering Design Matthew Karau, and Assistant Professor of Practice of Visual Arts Goffredo Puccetti
  • Link to the story
  • Smart Self-Healing Crystals:

The Smart Materials Lab at NYU Abu Dhabi has developed the first smart self-healing organic crystalline materials that can heal after scratching, damage, or breakage without any chemical or biological intervention. The crystalline materials rely on the ability of their own molecular structure to repair itself within a short period of time, and are able to recover their integrity using only slight amounts of pressure to heal — similar to human skin. The efficiency of recovery of the self-healing crystals surpasses some commonly used polymers and rubbers. These materials are thought to hold an untapped potential for future smart devices such as flexible smartphones, screens, and electronics that will repair themselves overnight after being accidentally damaged.

  • Leads: Associate Professor of Chemistry Panče Naumov and Research Scientist Patrick Commins
  • Link to the story
  • Brilliance on Display:

Four NYU Abu Dhabi students have developed an electronic touchscreen system to transform ordinary underpasses along the Corniche waterfront into bright canvases of LED public art. VersaTiles allows passers-by to express themselves on the walls of the underpass by pressure painting color patterns on a matrix of LED lights.

  • Link to the story


About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from more than 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

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