Research taking place at NYU Abu Dhabi was center stage at the Third United Arab Emirates Undergraduate Research Competition, held at Abu Dhabi University on May 21.
More than 300 teams of undergraduates from around the UAE entered the competition with research projects spanning six categories: engineering; business administration; arts and social sciences; information technology; education; and natural and health sciences.
"This event encourages students to compete and learn science beyond the textbook, and apply it in real life to solve everyday problems," said NYUAD Assistant Chemistry Professor Dr. Wael Rabaeh, who was a mentor for one of three winning entries from NYUAD.
NYU Abu Dhabi Winners
First place in chemistry
Marieh AlHandawi (student from University of Sharjah whose research is taking place at NYUAD)
Mentored by Dr. Pance Naumov
Project: Stabilization of plant viral particles encapsulated in calcite crystals
Second place in chemistry
Tina Skorjanc, NYUAD Class of 2015
Mentored by Dr. Wael Rabaeh
Capstone project: Automation and high throughput screening for inhibitors of cancer metabolism using human Hexokinase II as a model
Third place in business administration
Petrus Layarda, NYUAD Class of 2015
Mentored by Professor Maximilian Mihm
Capstone project: Analysis of socially responsible stocks in a market portfolio
The competition is an important starting point in the early careers of students, said NYUAD Associate Professor of Chemistry Pance Naumov, and a chance to discover other research happening in the UAE.
"There's no other way for students to know what their peers are doing in terms of research at other universities.”
It's also an opportunity for students to experience the rigorous research process, he added, from hypothesis, to experiments, and then presenting findings and defending the results.
The event, in its third year, is sponsored by Abu Dhabi University under the patronage H.E Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Last year, Haoran Liang won a first prize for his Capstone project called "Smart Hybrid Polymer that Converts Humidity, Light, and Heat into Mechanical Work," which, as he explained at the time, means creation of a polymer that has "the ability to change its shape in response to different external stimuli."