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22 February 2009


Research centre for advanced materials on way

Research centre for advanced materials on way A sophisticated research facility for advanced materials will be set up by 2010, it was revealed at the inaugural session of the first International Workshop on Advanced Materials (IWAM- 09).

The three-day workshop opened yesterday (February 22) at Hotel Al Hamra Fort under the patronage of Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK).

The symposium, organised by the Ras Al Khaimah Centre for Advanced Materials (RAK- CAM), is being attended by world’s leading materials scientists and around 100 researchers from 20 countries.

“The construction of a stunning 7500 sq mt building for RAK-CAM will begin in early 2009 at a site close to the Emirates Road. By early 2010, the facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment such as electron microscopes, x-ray diffractometers, optical spectrometers and so on,” Sheikh Saud said.

He said that the scope of RAK-CAM embraces materials science in its broadest sense, from well- known construction materials like concrete and glass, to sophisticated materials that underpin the function of solar cells, catalytic converters, computers and cell phones.

“RAK-CAM will play a number of roles as its programmes develop over the next five years, including the pursuit of world class scientific research here in RAK, providing facilities and support for local industries, and offering training and educational opportunities for young people in the community who are interested in science,” he said and added that a world class scientific advisory board, under the chairmanship of Prof Anthony K Cheetham of the department of materials science at the University of Cambridge, has been established for RAK–CAM.

Prof Samy El- Shall, who was recently appointed as the director of RAK-CAM, said that nanotechnology and nanomaterials would be in the forefront of research at RAK-CAM, along with cutting- edge research in organic hybrid materials, structural materials, magnetic materials and advanced materials for use in energy, water purification and environment.

“Our strategy is based on selecting a research area and hiring the most qualified researchers in the world to accomplish the project and making sure that the research team is equipped with state- of –the- art tools in an inspiring and nice facility. RAK-CAM will in the first phase create eight interdisciplinary research groups, each consisting of 4-5 scientists including post doctoral researchers and visiting professorship from across the world,” he said.

“RAK-CAM has already started providing the `Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi Research Fellowship’ to support post doctoral research. Currently Sheikh Saqr Fellowship programmes are being held in Bangalore, University of Pennsylvania, University of Cambridge and Virginia Commonwealth University,” Samy El- Shall said and added that the purpose of the fellowship was to further scientific research and help create a permanent research team at RAK-CAM.

RAK-CAM would also establish research initiatives for undergraduate students in the region thereby enabling them make use of the advanced laboratory facilities at RAK-CAM, apart from special programmes for science teachers and high school students in the region. – TradeArabia news Service

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