Abu Dhabi, UAE: In line with its vision of building a world-class R&D hub in Abu Dhabi, ASPIRE, today announced four Visiting International Professorships (ViPs). With AED10 million of research funding, the program has attracted the highest-caliber researchers from leading global institutes to build international networks and further advance meaningful research in priority areas for the Emirate.
Khalifa University (KU) will host two ‘Established Researcher’ ViPs, who possess extensive international credentials in their research areas. Professor Hany Farag, with expertise in sustainable transport solutions, will join KU from York University, Canada. During his tenure at KU, he will collaborate on research focused on distributed energy resources, such as electric, gas, and hydrogen transport systems, to implement a unified smart energy framework.
The second ViP to be based at KU is Professor Huai Wang, from the University of Aalborg, Denmark, who holds expertise in the research field of power electronics. He will collaborate with peers at KU to address long-standing challenges in the reliability and operational efficiency of power electronic converters applied in energy systems using tools such as physics-informed Artificial Intelligence (AI). KU will provide both visiting professors with access to its best research teams to facilitate their efforts in achieving impactful solutions to key challenges in this area.
The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and Zayed University (ZU) are to host two ‘Rising Star’ ViPs. These professorships are aimed at mid-career scholars with established reputations in their focus areas; these awards will offer them the opportunity to scale up and further advance the scope of their research.
UAEU will host Professor Adriano Camps, a renowned global scholar working in remote sensing, microwave engineering, and GNSS-Reflectometry. Having established a small satellite facility at his home institution, the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, in Catalonia, Spain, Prof. Camps will share his extensive experience with both UAEU and the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Abu Dhabi, where the first satellite manufacturing facility in the UAEU is being set up in collaboration with Tawazun and Airbus.
Professor Jalel Ben Othman, from the CentraleSupélec of Paris-Saclay University, in Paris, France, will bring his expertise to ZU. His research focuses on intelligent transportation management, and he will work to revolutionize the transportation infrastructure in Abu Dhabi through optimized and efficient road management. He will employ technologies such as artificial intelligence, intelligent networking, connected and autonomous vehicles, and unmanned aerial vehicles to enhance transportation management in the Emirate.
Speaking about the announcement, Dr. Ray O. Johnson, CEO, Technology Innovation Institute (TII) and ASPIRE, said, “The ASPIRE ViP Program will bring some of the world’s leading researchers in their fields here to Abu Dhabi. Their work will help develop solutions to some of the most complex challenges we face in the UAE. This global collaboration and integration with Abu Dhabi’s R&D ecosystem will advance our research and deliver results with real-world impact in key sectors. I am very excited about these partnerships.”
Dr. Johnson, continued, “At TII, we look forward to collaborating with such eminent international researchers and sharing insights across the fields of energy, aerospace, mobility, and sustainability. TII’s advanced technology research centers are committed to partnering with like-minded peers from around the world to advance science and innovation. We look forward to welcoming them to Abu Dhabi’s thriving research ecosystem.”
Earlier this year, ASPIRE announced a AED200 million investment to fund three research institutes to enhance food security, biotechnology for precision medicine, and sustainable energy systems. The research institutes, located in UAEU and KU, will similarly facilitate collaboration between leading global research centers around the world and Abu Dhabi’s R&D ecosystem to advance the Emirate’s knowledge economy.
ASPIRE drives the creation of future transformative technologies as the program management pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC). ATRC is responsible for defining Abu Dhabi’s research and development strategy, consolidating funds for efficient investment, and driving policy and regulation. ASPIRE works in consultation with cross-sector industry stakeholders, universities, and research institutes to frame problem statements. It also launches grand challenges and international competitions to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. ASPIRE brings together exceptional people, ideas, resources, and technologies to solve complex challenges.