Success Stories

Optics research in Qatar gaining traction and entering collaborative phase
Optics research in Qatar gaining traction and entering collaborative phase

Optics research in Qatar gaining traction and entering collaborative phase

Compared to studies in the fields of biology and engineering, nonlinear dynamics might not be so obvious in terms of its worth. In reality, it is an area of physics research that permeates the natural world and a field integral to so many others. Dr. Milivoj Belic won the 2012 QNRF Research Team of the Year Award for his prolific contributions in this field, accounting for more than ten percent of Texas A&M at Qatar’s publications. His team’s specific focus is nonlinear optics, wherein they research the behavior of materials and laser light as they interact.
Brain disease links with toxic bacteria from Qatar’s deserts
Brain disease links with toxic bacteria from Qatar’s deserts

Brain disease links with toxic bacteria from Qatar’s deserts

A team of researchers is studying the ecology and toxin production of cyanobacteria, an ancient form of life that produces toxins linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
Optimising food demand and supply for Qatar
Optimising food demand and supply for Qatar

Optimising food demand and supply for Qatar

It will come as no surprise to anyone who regularly shops in Qatar’s supermarkets to hear that over 90% of the food on the shelves is imported from abroad, making the country extremely vulnerable to price hikes, embargoes and supply disruptions. Taking control of the food supply chain is known as ‘food security’ and it’s one of the most important challenges facing Qatar in the coming years.
That’s the view of Dr. Samsul Huda of the University of Western Sydney, Australia, who is head of a multidisciplinary international team examining how best to use Qatar’s resources to maximize domestic crop productivity within Qatar, but also looking at land purchasing and contract farming in resource-rich countries in temperate and tropical climates in Africa, Asia, and Australasia. Qatar produces only about 8-10 percent of food that it consumes, yet domestic production is significantly constrained by several factors; adverse climatic conditions, quality of soils, scarcity of irrigation water, inappropriate crop rotation, market constraints, and ineffective farming practices and subsidies.
“It’s initially a problem of perception”, explains Dr. Huda. “If you ask the average man on the street here, the response will probably be ‘there is no problem! I can get food whenever and wherever I want’”. However, when a country relies on external markets for its food, it could find itself in trouble should the exporting countries undergo instability, climatic changes, natural disasters, crop disease, or changes in political whims which mean that exports are restricted.

 

Molecular simulation keeps oil flowing at home and abroad
Molecular simulation keeps oil flowing at home and abroad

Molecular simulation keeps oil flowing at home and abroad

Hydrates are a big problem in the oil and gas processing industries. Hydrates are ice-like crystalline materials which make use the unusual environment within a pipe (high pressure and low temperature) to form on the inside of pipes used to carry hydrocarbons. They are usually composed of water molecules and ‘guest’ vapour, such as methane. These hydrate solids grow to such a size that they impede and ultimately block the flow of oil or LNG.
A group working at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) and led by Dr. Ioannis Economou, has gone back to basics to try and solve this problem, by using computational molecular dynamics. Theoretical concepts are applied to various molecules and mixtures of molecules, then supercomputers predict how these molecules and mixtures may perform at various temperatures and pressures within a pipe.
These simulations are over a timescale of hundreds of nanoseconds, which is significant at a molecular level, and can only be performed thanks to parallel processing on the high-performance computers at TAMUQ.
They found that you can prevent this formation of hydrates by knowing the temperature and pressure at which the hydrates form or melt. So if your process allows you to operate outside of this range of conditions, then the hydrates will not form. If you operate at a higher temperature, they won’t form, but if the temperature drops and the pressure increases, then they will form. Having the data and predictions allow you to know at which conditions you should operate. Not only is this useful in the hot regions of Qatar and the Middle East, it has immense practical applications in the colder conditions of the oil and gas industry of Alaska.
Raising concrete standards for oil and gas wells
Raising concrete standards for oil and gas wells

Raising concrete standards for oil and gas wells

Whenever a company finds a target to mine oil or gas, environmentalists and residents on that land throw their arms in the air. There is no disputing the potential damage these projects could cause the environment. A big reason for this is that the wells can leak. These wells are lined with pipe that is sealed by concrete. Researchers are now working on an evolutionary race between testing methods and material improvements to make leaking wells a thing of the past.

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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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