Success Stories

Converting Waste into a National Treasure
Converting Waste into a National Treasure

Converting Waste into a National Treasure

In a matter of two decades, Doha’s skyline has gone from flat and tan to a jagged skyscraping forest of gleaming metal and concrete structures. Construction continues to boom across Qatar, yet it imports so many construction materials—also known as ‘aggregate’—that the projects are unusually expensive. A research team funded by QNRF and based in Qatar is on track to challenge the current supply practices and radically cut costs while maintaining quality and saving massive amounts of energy used to import heavy materials.
“What we are trying to do is convert waste into an asset and then inform the government here to give them an understanding of how this works,” said Dr. Khaled Hassan, General Manager of TRL Ltd., Qatar Science Technology Park, who is the Lead Principal Investigator (LPI) on a project to test the quality of re-processed waste material in new construction projects, including buildings, roads and other infrastructure.
Advancing the field of machine language translation to include Arabic
Advancing the field of machine language translation to include Arabic

Advancing the field of machine language translation to include Arabic

Over the past few decades, the Internet has removed a huge barrier between people and massive amounts of information. Every day, more and more becomes available, to anyone, anywhere, anytime, with the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. And yet just as this barrier roots itself in history, a new one reveals itself more than ever. Language.
It’s great to make information available. But what if it’s not in your language? Who will translate everything, and how could humans possibly keep up? Without the help of technology, they simply can’t. Yet, to be of real help, technology must cover the bases of the human mind related to languages. Researchers across the world are working in the field of Natural Language Processing - also known as NLP - to help computers learn languages and process them for translation, education and many other purposes.
Researchers making headway on decoding the Qatari genome
Researchers making headway on decoding the Qatari genome

Researchers making headway on decoding the Qatari genome

Genetic research has evolved from mapping the entire human genome to deciphering areas along it that relate to a specific disease. The next phase involves research localized to specific parts of the world in order to discover patterns in heritage and genetic susceptibilities to disease. A group of such projects based on the local Qatari population has so far yielded results that shine light on the specific ancestral background of the local population and also points to areas of the Qatari genome that could potentially allow prediction and intervention. These projects are led by Dr. Ronald Crystal, Chairman of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
“The basic goal involves trying to understand the structure of the genome of the Qataris and put that in context with the environment to see how we can use that information to help the population in terms of general health, understanding disease, developing appropriate therapies and so on,” he said.
Some of the first results Dr. Crystal’s team published resolved the broad genomic makeup of the Qatari population, which, as published, can be generally separated into three categories—referred to as Q1, Q2 and Q3. Q1 are largely Bedouins, Q2 are a Persian or South Asian mixture and Q3 are the African-derived Qataris. While these groups are not perfectly “pure” per se, they are distinct enough to categorize.
Advance in the genetics of hearing loss
Advance in the genetics of hearing loss

Advance in the genetics of hearing loss

Dr Paolo Gasparini, a medical geneticist and Head of Medical Genetics Department, University of Trieste, Italy, working with a group of Italian researchers, all of whom have long standing experience on the genetics of hearing loss, recently made headway in genetics research thanks to QNRF funding.
In collaboration with a team of investigators from Hamad Medical Center, Qatar (HMC), the research team identified the mutated gene associated with hearing loss. They also found mutations of that gene and of other genes, all related to characters and disorders typical of the Qatari population. The development has significant relevance not only for patients in Qatar, but also for patients worldwide because this gene has never before been associated with the disease.
Researchers in Qatar identify three-tier approach that could aid in preventing diabetes complications
Researchers in Qatar identify three-tier approach that could aid in preventing diabetes complications

Researchers in Qatar identify three-tier approach that could aid in preventing diabetes complications

Diabetes is a disease that has reached pandemic proportions in the GCC region, and Qatar is no exception. Almost one in five of Qatar’s population suffers from diabetes, with this figure expected to more than double over the next two decades. “The rate of diabetes is unbelievably high in Qatar, and it’s a very big problem. Each year we see more and more cases of a disease that, in many circumstances, can be prevented,” says Dr. Nasser Rizk, associate professor of human physiology, pathophysiology and endocrinology at the College of Arts and Sciences in Qatar University.
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Haya H Al Muhannadi
/ Categories: Publications

Emergence of fibrous fan morphologies in deformation directed reformation of hyperelastic filamentary networks

Author(s): Demirkoparan, H (Demirkoparan, Hasan); Pence, TJ (Pence, Thomas J.); Wineman, A (Wineman, Alan)

Recently, the authors generalized a theory for modelling the scission and reforming of crosslinks in isotropic polymeric materials to include materials in which elastic fibers are embedded in an elastic matrix. The fibers were assumed to dissolve with increasing deformation and then to immediately reassemble in a direction defined as part of the model. The model was illustrated in detail for uniaxial stretching along the direction of the fibers. Fiber reassembly was along the original fiber direction and did not result in a change in fiber alignment. The present work examines the implications of this model when the direction of reassembly is uncorrelated with the original fiber direction. In particular, the fibers are assumed to reassemble in the direction of maximum principal stretch of the matrix. The specific case is treated when the deformation is simple shear and the initial fiber direction is perpendicular to the direction of shear. The resulting fiber elongation with increasing shear results in fiber dissolution over a constitutively determined interval of the amount of simple shear. Newly formed fibers align in the current principal direction of maximum stretch, which is a direction that changes with the amount of simple shear. The resulting interval of alignment angles generates a fan-like fiber morphology at each material point. The formation and structure of the fan is described. In addition, the relation between the shear and normal stresses and the amount of shear is discussed, both during loading and unloading. It is shown that there can be a state of permanent set that is related to the original shape by triaxial extension and shear.

Author(s):  Demirkoparan, H (Demirkoparan, Hasan); Pence, TJ (Pence, Thomas J.); Wineman, A (Wineman, Alan)
Addresses:  [Wineman, Alan] Univ Michigan, Dept Mech Engn, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA; [Demirkoparan, Hasan] Carnegie Mellon Univ Qatar, Doha, Qatar; [Pence, Thomas J.] Michigan State Univ, Dept Mech Engn, E Lansing, MI 48824 USA
Source:  JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS, 68 (1): 37-56 SEP 2010
DOI: 10.1007/s10665-009-9357-0
Publisher:  SPRINGER
Funding Agency:  This material is based upon work that is partially supported by Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, under the sponsorship of the Qatar Foundation.
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