• Ramdan Kareem 2017

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Research

Priority Lines of Research

The SCIS research group members are engaged in interdisciplinary research focused on the following four the priority lines of research: 

1. Water and Environment Infrastructure Systems

  • Drainage, flooding, and drought
  • Integrated coastal zone management
  • Pollution monitoring and control
  • Water and wastewater treatment and reuse
  • Recovery and reuse of energy and material resources from waste
  • Environmental impact assessment and risk analysis


2. Transportation, Pavement and Geotechnical Infrastructure Systems

  • Traffic safety, operation, and management
  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Sustainable & green transport & pavements
  • Soil contamination and remediation


3. Sustainable Strategies in Infrastructure Systems

  • Renewable energy sources
  • Urban heat island mitigation
  • Recycle materials in green buildings
  • Energy harvesting
  • Sustainable systems design
  • Water conservation and grey water recycling
  • Quality Assurance and Integration of Sustainability in Engineering Education


4. Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing

  • Underground water mapping
  • Geotechnical hazard mapping
  • Spatio–temporal Analysis for  Transportation Infrastructure Growth
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM) in GIS.


On-Going Research Projects

1. Title: Inhibition of Biogas Production from Sewage Sludge Co-Digested with Date Palm Seeds and Antibacterial and Anticancer Characteristics of Date Seed Extracts
 Principal Investigator: Abdallah Shanableh
Sponsor: University of Sharjah
Abstract: This project is an extension of a recently completed graduate research project supervised by the principal investigator in which initial enhancement and delayed inhibition of biogas production from sewage sludge co-digested with two types of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) seeds was observed.  The limited scope of the study did not permit assessment of the causes of inhibition of biogas production (i.e., antibiogas) nor were the causes reported in the available literature.  On the other hand, date seeds are known to posses antibacterial characteristics against select types of gram negative and positive disease causing bacteria. Furthermore, information is neither available on the anticancer characteristics of date seed nor on the relationships among anticancer, antibacterial and antibiogas characteristics of date seeds.  Therefore, this study is meant to assess the antibiogas characteristics of date seeds as well as identify relationships between antibiogas, antibacterial and anticancer characteristics of the seeds.  Furthermore, the study is meant to identify potential for extraction and recovery of potential antibiogas, antibacterial and anticancer ingredients from date seeds and use the detoxified seeds to enhance biogas production from sludge.  To achieve the objectives of the study, we assembled a research team with extensive expertise in the fields of environmental engineering, biotechnology and pharmacy to conduct the study from an interdisciplinary perspective.  
 
2. Title: Quality Assurance in Engineering Education. A Joint Project with Colleagues from the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Principal/Co Investigators: Abdallah Shanableh (Key person from UoS)
Sponsor: European Union
Abstract: The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the University of Sharjah (UOS) are proposing collaboration in the area of engineering education, specifically quality assurance in engineering education through mutual collaboration. The proposed collaboration involves three major activities, which are: (1) developing a common framework for quality assurance and continuous improvement of engineering education programs that reflects the experience of both institutions and points a way forward for continued collaboration; (2) organizing two professional events on quality assurance in engineering education through mutual collaboration at KTH and UoS to present and discuss the agreed framework with wider audiences at both institutions; and (3) exploring potential for developing collaboration in the area of post-graduate engineering education, including joint programs, joint research projects, and joint supervision of MSc and PhD students. Quality of education, especially engineering education, is high on the agenda of the two universities, KTH and UoS. As the UoS continues to expand and improve its engineering programs, it is set to greatly benefit from the long and vast experience of KTH in the area of quality in engineering education. Similarly, KTH is set to tap into the great demand for engineering education in the GCC, especially postgraduate education.
 
 
3. Title : University of Sharjah Seismic Observatory
 Principal/Co Investigator: Abdallah Shanableh (Coordinator from UoS)
Sponsor: University of California at San Diego, Office of His Highness, Ruler of Sharjah, and UoS
Abstract: The University of Sharjah Seismic Station (UOSS) was established according to an agreement signed between the University of Sharjah (UOS), the University of California at San Diego, and the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS).  The UOSS was inaugurated on 20th March 2011 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi, member of the Supreme Council of the UAE, Ruler of Sharjah, President of the University of Sharjah.  His highness proposed the location of the station in Wadi Al-Helo in Sharjah.
The UOSS was established to advance international scientific collaboration on seismology through contributing high quality and open access data to the scientific community for research and education on earthquake hazard mitigation.  Likewise, the data is available to the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning Centers to provide early warning to countries bordering the Indian Ocean should earthquake similar to the one that struck Sumatra and the Andaman Indonesian Islands in 2004 occur and cause a tsunami.
 
 
4. Title: Influence of Particle Morphology on Strength Properties of UAE Carbonate Sands
Principal Investigator: Maher Omar
Sponsor: University of Sharjah
Abstract: The constitutive behavior and deformation characteristics of uncemented granular materials are to a large extent derived from the fabric or geometry of the grain structure and inter-particle friction resulting from normal forces acting on particles or particle groups. We propose to acquire accurate quantitative measurements of particle shape and sphericity from high-resolution 3D synchrotron micro computed tomography (SMT) images of UAE carbonate sand particles complemented by triaxial experiments. These measurements will allow us to assess the influence of particle morphology on friction, dilatancy properties, critical state, and strain localization of sand. Our work will answer key fundamental questions about intrinsic particle properties that affect friction, and dilatancy properties of granular materials, and this increased understanding will spur the development of new theories dealing with predicting the constitutive behavior of granular materials using the micro-mechanics approach.

5. Title: Digital Mapping of Groundwater Potential Zones in Sharjah/ UAE using Remote Sensing Data and GIS. 
 Principal Investigator: Rami Al-Ruzouq
Sponsor: University of Sharjah
Abstract: In United Arab Emirates (UAE) domestic water consumption has increased rapidly over the last decade. The increased demand for high-quality water, create an urgent need to evaluate the groundwater production of aquifers. The development of a reasonable and efficient model for groundwater potential is therefore crucial for future systematic developments, efficient management, and sustainable use of groundwater resources.  The objective of this study is to map the groundwater potential zones in northern part of UAE and assess the contributing factors for exploration of potential groundwater resources. Remote sensing data and geographic information system will be used to locate potential zones for groundwater. Various maps (i.e., base, soil, geological, Hydro-geological, Geomorphologic Map, structural, drainage, slope, land use/land cover and average annual rainfall map) will be prepared based on geospatial techniques. The groundwater availability of the basin will qualitatively classified into different categories based on its hydro-geo-morphological conditions and Analytical Hierarchy process (AHP) spatial model. The land use/land cover map will be also prepared for the different seasons using a digital classification technique with a ground truth obtained from previous published work or field investigation.

6. Title: Modeling and Mapping of Road Traffic Noise in Sharjah City. 
 Principal Investigator: Khaled Hamad
Sponsor: University of Sharjah
Abstract: Noise from transportation is one of the world's most prevalent forms of environmental noise that negatively affects human health. Specifically, roadway traffic is the most common source of transportation noise. Traffic noise can have adverse impacts on human health in places where noise levels exceed unacceptable thresholds.  Therefore, it is important to study and quantify the environmental noise in our own region in general and UAE in particular, where standards and assessment for environmental noise are still lacking.A relatively new concept to quantify the impacts of environmental noise is Noise Mapping. These maps can show how environmental noise varies across the space, how many people are affected by this noise, and how it can be mitigated. Furthermore, it allows researchers and policymakers to identify locations that are subject to excessive noise levels (noise hotspots) and if there are individuals residing in those affected areas. This will make it easier to take necessary steps to reduce noise levels in order to protect the public health.

This research project aims at studying road traffic noise in the City of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, namely modeling, quantifying and mapping such noise affecting the human health. The proposed work will be the first of its kind to model and map traffic noise not only in the City of Sharjah or UAE but the GCC region as well. The resulting model will take into consideration the unique characteristics of Sharjah; thus, it will be different than models developed with European or North American conditions.


7. Title: Development of Intensity-Duration-Frequency relationship for Sharjah city under changing climate
Principal Investigator: Mohsin Siddique
Sponsor: University of Sharjah
Abstract: The present study aims at development of IDF relationship for the Sharjah City using available historic rainfall time series data. In addition, study will also extract the possible variation in rainfall data due to changing climatic and its impact on local IDF relationship. Moreover, IDF parameters of empirical equations for the gauged and un-gauged locations will be determined and isohyet maps for Sharjah City will be generated using GIS.
 
7. Title: Development of Weather, Soil, and Traffic Database for the Implementation of Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design in Sharjah
 Principal Investigator: Waleed Zeiada
Sponsor: University of Sharjah
Abstract: The recently introduced Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) and the associated design software known as AASHTOW are Pavement ME Design, provides a state-of-practice mechanistic-empirical pavement design methodology. The implementations and calibration of the MEPDG has been recently attempted by various agencies throughout the entire world and replaced the empirical American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) 1993 pavement design method. The MEPDG methodology is based on pavement responses computed using detailed traffic loading, material properties, and environmental data. The main objective of this proposed research is to develop a database of local subgrade material properties, environmental factors, and traffic information for the city of Sharjah. This is considered as a first step toward the implementation and calibration of MEPDG for the city of Sharjah conditions to enhance the design process, improve the pavement performance, and consequently reduces the highways construction cost.

8. Title: Deployment of Non-Destructive Technologies in Condition Assessment of Concrete Bridge Infrastructure
 Principal Investigator: Saleh Abu Dabous
Sponsor: University of Sharjah
Abstract: Concrete bridges are important element of transportation infrastructure system since they support the modern society, serve the public, and sustain economic development. It is essential to maintain bridge infrastructure within acceptable levels of safety and serviceability. Roads and Transport Authorities work to manage and maintain bridge assets by implementing bridge management procedures and utilizing bridge management systems (BMSs). Bridge condition assessment and condition rating are important steps in bridge management. Condition assessment is typically completed through bridge inspection in which bridge inspection teams visit the bridge site and visually inspect the bridge elements to identify defects and deterioration and to quantify their extent. This traditional procedure has drawbacks and limitations including safety of the inspection team, traffic disruption, and bridge elements accessibility limitations. Emerging non-destructive technologies have potential to facilitate the inspection process and to enhance the accuracy of the condition assessment process. This research will study the potential of deploying three non-destructive and non-contacting technologies in bridge condition rating and monitoring. The technologies are Ground Penetrating Radar, IR Thermography and Close-Range Photogrammetry. The proposed research will attempt to address challenges related to deploying these technologies such as data storage and analysis, linking test results to bridge condition assessment and condition rating and integrating results from the different technologies to enhance bridge condition rating process and linking it to appropriate maintenance, repair and replacement (MR&R) strategies. The main contribution of the research is an integrated bridge condition rating method with potential to improve the efficiency of the bridge management decision making process. 

9. Title: Decision Support System for Condition Assessment of Transportation Infrastructure in the UAE
 Principal Investigator: Saleh Abu Dabous
Sponsor: University of Sharjah
Abstract: Civil Infrastructure Systems are important elements of a modern society serving public and supporting economic activities. It is essential to maintain these systems within acceptable levels of safety and serviceability. Transportation Infrastructure including roadways, highways and bridges are major items of Civil Infrastructure. Roads and Transport Authorities work to maintain Transportation Systems at an acceptable level of safety and serviceability. These authorities are required to make important decisions regarding maintaining and repairing transportation assets. Decision Support Systems (DSS) can help transportation authorities in making efficient decisions to manage their vast assets.  This research aims toward collecting requirements for a DSS for infrastructure management in the UAE and developing condition assessment and rating system for transportation infrastructure in the UAE.  ​