News


Ground Floor Display – Fake News

Check out our new themed display all about “Fake News”. Combat misinformation with our selection of items.

The display is located outside the library elevators on the ground floor.

Featured Research – Dr. Oussama El-Kadri, CAS

The library is pleased to feature the influential and cutting-edge work of our AUS faculty researchers. In a newly launched library series, faculty from across the schools discuss their work and areas of research focus.

AUS Featured Researcher: Dr. Oussama El-Kadri, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, CAS.
oelkadri@aus.edu

People often think about rising global temperatures, but we also have to understand their effects, like rising sea levels and the impact on animal life. These are major issues that scientists are trying to work out. My work is part of this puzzle.

Dr. Oussama, wearing a labcoat, is holding a vial of bright red, translucent fluid and is pointing to it

Dr. Oussama shows some of his work in his lab.

Since joining AUS, my research has been directed toward clean energy and compacting environmental challenges such as the emission of radioactive species and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from nuclear and fossil fuel power plants. These are issues of interest to UAE’s national agenda, such as lower carbon emissions (UAE is a member of Paris Accord treaty committed to lower emissions from fossil fuel burning), nuclear power plant safety, and water safety and security. My research interests are also in line with the goals and objectives of the newly established research institutes at AUS: Materials Sciences and Engineering Research Institute (MSERI) and the Gulf Environment Research Institute.

On the academic side, my research endeavors give undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to engage in high caliber research projects and prepare them uniquely for their independent careers. I want these young, smart students to work and see what conducting research is all about.

The research that I am carrying out is based on the development of nanoporous materials for use in clean energy and environmental applications. These nanomaterials are based on “stitching” molecular building blocks (organic, inorganic) to form highly porous structures consisting of repeating units that are held together by very strong bonds. The porosity and chemical functionalities of these structures can be tuned by the use of various “linkers” that exhibit different lengths and decorated with heteroatoms such as nitrogen and oxygen coupled with particular synthetic routes. Accordingly, with the proper choice of linkers and synthetic routes, the porous frameworks can be tailored for specific applications.

Crystal Structure of an edible and biocompatible Metal Organic Framework (bMOF)

My expertise in porous materials was acquired during my stay at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Professor Omar Yaghi, one of the most cited chemists in the world. I was a member of a team that developed a series of 3-D edible and biocompatible Metal Organic Frameworks (bMOFs) from nontoxic metals and linkers. These bMOF materials can be utilized in drug storage and delivery, drying and flavoring agents in food, dietary supplements, gas storage, etc. A patent was granted in 2014 for the preparation and usage of bMOFs.

My AUS team has been collaborating with Professor Hani El-Kaderi’s research group in Virginia Commonwealth University to design and prepare highly porous organic polymers (POPs) that are capable of capturing radioactive iodine and small gas molecules. Recently, we reported on the design and preparation of highly porous polymers that exhibit surface areas as big as two tennis courts per gram and can capture and store significant amounts of iodine and carbon dioxide (one of the highest amounts by POPs reported to date). These research results were published in the ACS Applied Materials and Interface and the Journal of Physical Chemistry C, both highly reputable journals.

We are also designing porous materials to detect and remove heavy metal ions from water. Up to this point, we have successfully prepared chemosensors that have the ability to detect toxic metals such as mercury, lead, and thallium ions in water.

As AUS has continued to increase research funding, along with the establishment of the MSERI, my future research projects include the utilization of porous materials in Li-sulfur batteries, supercapacitors, and drug delivery.

Coursepack Deadline – Nov. 8

Faculty interested in a coursepack for the Spring 2019 semester should contact the Library as soon as possible at copyright@aus.edu. The deadline for coursepack submissions is Thursday, November 8, 2018.

Details about coursepacks can be found at http://library.aus.edu/faculty-resources/copyright-permissions-service/coursepack/

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ground Floor Display – Travel Literature

Check out our new themed display and escape to a new destination, or revisit an old favourite, with this selection of travel literature.

The display is located outside the library elevators on the ground floor.

Library tour iPad mini winner announced!

Congratulations to Biology major, Katia El-Meski! She is the lucky winner of a new iPad mini from the new student library tour prize drawing.

iPad draw winner Katia El-Meski with Associate University Librarian for Public Services Alanna Ross

 iPad mini draw winner Katia El-Meski (at right) with Associate University Librarian for Public Services Alanna Ross.

Thank you to all who participated.

Good luck to the new AUS students!

Honoring AUS Library’s Student Assistants – Spring 2018

This year the library recognizes nine graduating library student assistants who have worked tirelessly to provide ongoing support to you our users over many long and very busy semesters.

As is our tradition here in the library, all graduating students who have worked with us for 4 or more semesters select a book which now contains their name inscribed on a book-plate. Though only a small token, book-plates are a lasting reminder of the contribution each student has made to the AUS Library over the years. We thank each of you for your service and wish you all every success in your future careers.

Graduating Student Assistants were asked to consider the single most important thing that they have learned working in the Library. Here is what they said.

Dana Bou Fakhereddine (Mass Comm)
Book Selection: Why Did you Leave the Horse Alone? Call Number: PJ7820.A7 L513 2006

“On joining the library, I was a very shy person. However, after working there for five semesters and dealing with patrons, I gained more confidence. I started approaching students who were facing an issue or seemed lost. This taught me to take initiative. These soft skills that I acquired from working in the library benefited me a lot during my internships and will help me in my future jobs.”

Tanveer Chowdhury (Industrial Engineering)
Book Selection: A Dance with Dragons Call Number: PS3563 .A7239 D36 2011

“Choosing to work in the library was honestly one of the best decisions I made. I have learned so much and improved my technical skills, research as well as developed customer relationship while making sure I achieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. The most important thing I learned while working for 8 semesters is that every organization is defined by the quality of its services. The AUS library is continuously improving its services towards professional excellence and helping students since 1997.”

Sameed Khalid (Mechanical Engineering)
Book Selection: Faith Unity Discipline Call Number: UB251.P35 K5413 2016

“The single most important thing that I learned is about helping patrons. Customer service is something that I do by heart and I feel really privileged to have done it being a representative of the AUS Library.”

Nafeha Khan (Design Management)
Book Selection: Little Book of Screen Printing Call Number: TT273.W55 2011

“Working in the library as a student assistant for four semesters has been an extremely valuable learning and growing experience. If I had to choose the single most important thing I learned from working here, it would be the art of dealing with uncertainty. It is very important to say calm and focused when you are handling a situation you have never encountered before, and I’m grateful to the library for giving me this opportunity.”

Tahanun Chowdhury (Mechanical Engineering)
Book Selection: A Game of Thrones Call Number: MARTIN GAME

“I worked as a Student Assistant in the AUS Library for 7 semesters. I have always been passionate about helping people in any way possible. Helping students with technical issues, research, locating books etc. gave me great pleasure. However, the most important skill I acquired is the ability to manage my time efficiently. Managing time between my work and courses as well as travelling back to Ras Al Khaimah every day, where I live, was a major obstacle that I managed to overcome. Furthermore, interacting with different students with various backgrounds helped me develop my interpersonal skills which will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Hilal Al-Salih (Chemical Engineering)
Book Selection: The Millionaire Mind Call Number: HG222.3 S72 2000

“Throughout my 7 semesters of work as a student assistant in AUS library, I improved my time management skills. I had to balance between my tough engineering student life and my part-time job commitment. By working in the library I gained valuable insight also into what it is like to work in a busy environment. This will come in handy after graduation.”

Maisha Samiha (English Language and Literature)
Book Selection: The Complete Persepolis Call Number: SATRAPI COMPLETE

“The most important thing I have learned by working in the library is patience and empathy. The first step to helping people is to be prepared for the expected but also the unexpected. Being a Student Assistant has taught me to reason with people, which works well in any possible situation in the outside world. I joined as a Student Assistant with zero skills in adapting, but I am leaving as a graduate with better skills in empathizing.”

Owais Saqib
Book Selection: Catching Fire Call Number: PZ7.C6837 Cat 2009

“Working as a student assistant has given me a chance to work in a professional work environment. It has not only taught me to manage my time more efficiently, but it has also improved my interpersonal skills, such as communication and team work skills”.

Dina Al-Hamahmy
Book Selection: 1984 Call Number: PR60297.R8 N49 1977

“The most important thing that I have learned working as a Student Assistant in the AUS library is to always take responsibility for my actions and decisions, how to manage my time effectively to ensure that I maintain a balance between studying and working, and how to communicate courteously with patrons.”

Interested in working as a student assistant in the library?

You can find out more about the library’s Student Assistant Program here: http://library.aus.edu/about/student-employment/

Pictured below with the University Librarian Daphne Flanagan are (from left to right):
Picture of University Librarian Daphne Flanagan with Tahanun Chowdury, Dana Bou Fakkhereddine, Dina Al-Hamahmy, Sameed Khalid and Owais Saqib
Tahanun Chowdury, Dana Bou Fakkhereddine, Dina Al-Hamahmy, Sameed Khalid and Owais Saqib

Pictured below with the University Librarian Daphne Flanagan are (from left to right):
Picture of University Librarian Daphne Flanagan with Tanveer Chowdhury, Nafeha Khan, Hilal Al-Salih, and Maisha Samiha
Tanveer Chowdhury, Nafeha Khan, Hilal Al-Salih and Maisha Samiha

Featured Research – Dr. Serter Atabay, CEN

The library is pleased to feature the influential and cutting-edge work of our AUS faculty researchers. In a newly launched library series, faculty from across the schools discuss their work and areas of research focus.

AUS Featured Researcher: Dr. Serter Atabay, Associate Professor – Civil Engineering, CEN
satabay@aus.edu

image of Dr. Serter AtabayResearch is integral to the advancement and scientific rigor of my discipline. Research can forge connections between disciplines. It also enriches the educational experience of students who will one day become the next generation of researchers themselves. This is something that, through my own experience as a consultant working for over seven years for the UK’s leading specialists in flood risk and environmental management, and as faculty at AUS since 2008, drives my teaching practice.

I view teaching as a process of encouraging students to make connections between real world problems and the subjects that they study. I highlight the limitations of theory in real life applications, which provides students with different sets of challenges that can help reshape their way of thinking and enrich their undergraduate educational experience. I always encourage my students to question and justify their findings to improve their engineering judgement. This is crucial first step in life-long learning, but also a necessary skill in today’s work environment that students will very soon be entering following graduation.

It is important to me that I contribute to the advancement of my discipline by tackling interesting questions with innovative methods. My post-doctoral research, was an experimental study that formed part of a research and development project, titled “Scoping Study into Hydraulic Performance of Bridges and other Structures, Including Effects of Blockages at High Flows”. I collected data using different types of bridge models and roughness values in compound channel sections. This is a better representation of the natural environment and there appears to be no other data for similar shaped compound channels in the literature. My contribution within this area of specialization proved invaluable, not only for engineers, but also for software developers. The data, I collected, were used to develop the Afflux Estimation System, which was incorporated in “Infoworks RS” – one of the most commonly used river modeling software programs now used in the United Kingdom.

Having experience as a consultant has definitely enhanced my ability to perform research. My research focuses on real world problems, but also the needs of our region and this has helped shape the direction of supervision I provide for capstone projects and Master’s theses. Supervising students, my research interests have expanded into other areas including the modelling of infiltration rates and water quality modelling in coastal lagoons. In 2016, a conference paper with one of my students was awarded “Best Paper” by the Program Committee of the 18th International Conference on Agricultural, Environmental, Ecological and Ecosystems Sciences, in Rome. September 15~16, 2016.

Most recently, I was awarded the “Best Technical Note of 2018” by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for a paper published in the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, one of the most prestigious publications in Civil Engineering. Written in collaboration with Dr. Ali Osman Akan, former Head of the AUS Department of Civil Engineering, this paper extends a previously reported hydrologic study of vegetative filter strips to calculate sediment trap efficiencies. It presents a set of charts developed using predetermined numerical solutions to the governing equations for overland flow, infiltration, and mass balance of suspended sediments in overland flow. It aims to serve those working in the field including practicing engineers, local authorities, transportation departments, and urban planners. I am honored to have received such accolade and will accept the award in June during the Hydraulics and Waterways Council Luncheon and Awards to be held at the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2018 in Minneapolis, United States.

Banner access limited on library computers

Banner will be blocked from April 23 to May 7, 2018 on all library computers except those on the ground floor.

To register through Banner you can:

  • Use the library computers on the ground floor only.
  • Bring your laptop to use the wireless across campus.
  • Use the labs in the academic buildings.
  • Use your computers in the dorms OR at home.

Featured Research – Dr. Hamid Baghestani, SBA

The library is pleased to feature the influential and cutting-edge work of our AUS faculty researchers. In a newly launched library series, faculty from across the schools discuss their work and areas of research focus.

AUS Featured Researcher: Dr. Hamid Baghestani, Professor – Economics, SBA
hbaghestani@aus.edu

Mathematics has always fascinated me. In fact, when I discovered higher math in high school I was finally motivated to consider pursuing the subject at the university level. Ironically, I came to love mathematics as a ten-year-old boy when I worked with my father in building a small but beautiful neighborhood mosque in the southern part of Tehran, Iran. He was what we might term a “natural genius” – completely self-taught in merging mathematical and architectural principles. I didn’t realize that not everyone had this innate ability, for I did too. At the age of nineteen I supervised and financed the building of several apartments in Tehran over a period of three years, which are still in excellent condition after all this time.

image of Dr. Hamid BaghestaniWhen I was able to incorporate a love of math with my economics major at Qazvin College (in a small city near Tehran), I knew I had found my calling. After graduating, I made a short visit to a cousin studying at the School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, and after a weekend in Boulder, I knew the University of Colorado was the place for me. I earned both my M.A. and Ph.D. there, finishing in December 1982 with my degree in Economics.

In spring 1988, I joined the faculty of the Economics Institute (EI) in Boulder, an independent educational facility affiliated with the University of Colorado. It served graduate students who were accepted into Masters and Ph.D. programs throughout the world. The students came from such diverse places as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Malawi, Mexico, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. They came to study Economics taught in English as preparation for their graduate studies. In addition, as part of my assignment, the EI sent me to various countries to work with employees at central banks and universities to show them how to use econometrics to further the mission of their organization. Visiting Caracas, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Muscat connected me in a profound way with the lives of the people in those areas beyond the classroom.

Since the majority of my classes at the EI were scheduled for the summer, I worked part-time the rest of the year at several local universities: the Colorado School of Mines (Golden), Metropolitan State University (Denver), University of Colorado (Denver), and University of Denver. Even though I was only part-time, the students at Mines voted me Economics Professor of the Year – a plaque on the wall inscribed with my name and everything!

However, after 45 years of educational excellence, the EI closed its doors, and when I decided to pursue another academic position I received several offers, one of which came from the American University of Sharjah (AUS). I joined the faculty in January 2003, and it has been an excellent journey so far. My wife joined me in 2006 and taught at AUS from 2007-2014. Our daughter came over in 2009, earned her MATESOL degree in 2011, and taught at the university level from 2011-2016. Over the years we have been adopted by several stray cats who frequently “help” me with my writing next to the computer.

During 1991-1992, I had five papers published in Journal of Business, Journal of Forecasting, Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Macroeconomics, and Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics. Publishing in such prestigious journals provided wonderful momentum for the research aspect of my academic life. During my tenure at AUS I have published over 60 papers, with 12 in the process of review and completion.

My research focuses on macroeconomic modeling and forecasting, consumer behavior, energy economics, and financial markets. I believe forecasting is the ultimate test of a theory. An economic model is valid and thus of value if it helps generate accurate forecasts. As such, the majority of my published work is on testing theories by both modeling and forecasting major macroeconomic and financial indicators including energy prices. Another aspect of my research focuses on evaluating the accuracy of experts’ forecasts of economic growth, inflation, unemployment, consumption, saving, investment, budget deficit, exchange rates, and interest rates. I also employ state-of-the-art time-series econometric approaches to analyze the behavior of consumer survey data on business conditions, personal finances, buying attitudes, and expectations. Better understanding of consumer attitudes and expectations is indeed important in both economics and marketing.

My philosophy of education is to take students step-by-step through every concept I introduce. I work through the equations on the board and prefer not to use PowerPoint presentations. I enjoy relating with the class members and answering their questions. In addition, I view office hours as a further opportunity for interaction and extra help, not as a burden to fulfill. Attendance in class and turning in homework are essential for students to do well. I take my job seriously and spend a good portion of my time grading student homework, quizzes, and papers. This connection to student work helps me judge the pace of the class and reteach something if need be. In addition, I have spent an enormous amount of time preparing curricula for classes in which the textbook needed supplemental materials or the text was non-existent. Students have written that they used their notes from my classes both in their jobs and graduate school, which is very gratifying. An alumnus recently wrote, “Dr. Hamid is an amazing professor who makes one of the most avoided and feared subjects interesting, fun, and comprehensible.” I do try to use humor to liven up the class!

It has been quite a journey from being a little boy helping his father build a mosque to being a Full Professor at a world-renowned university.

Library tour iPad mini winner announced!

Congratulations to Eleen Diabat! She is the lucky winner of a new iPad mini from the new student library tour prize drawing.

Thank you to all who participated.

Good luck to the new AUS students!

View all news items

© 2018 American University of Sharjah. All Rights Reserved.