RAKRIC Officially Opens New Building
April 20, 2017,
The American University of Ras Al Khaimah’s (AURAK’s) research facility, Ras Al Khaimah Research and Innovation Center (RAKRIC) today officially opened its new building at the center’s main facility in Jazeera Al Hamra.
The new building, which contains offices, conference and training facilities, as well as brand-new laboratories equipped with the latest technology, was declared open this morning by Prof. Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, AURAK president, in the presence of AURAK’s faculty and staff.
Prof. Mousa Mohsen, director of RAKRIC and dean of the university’s School of Engineering, gave a brief talk on the center’s history, its facilities, and the research currently taking place there. He highlighted how ownership of the facility was transferred to AURAK in 2014, and since then, a range of projects have been planned and developed in collaboration with its numerous partners.
RAKRIC’s main platforms include the world’s largest solar island, as well as testing facilities for photovoltaic cells, solar cooling, solar water desalination, and water quality. The center also aims to develop innovative solutions in the field of sustainability, with the university investigating light-weight, flexible solar panels as an alternative to the current model.
One project which is currently underway, and funded by the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, is a three-year study on the effect of the UAE’s climatic conditions on high solar reflective index materials. Another RAKRIC partner is the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) with whom the university is developing a method to cool solar-powered greenhouses more efficiently.
Prof. Mousa also pointed out that research RAKRIC also saw the university cited in a total of 16 journal publications throughout 2016, while he expects that number to increase this year.
Following a tour of the facility and its testing centers, Prof. Al Alkim spoke of his pride at having such a facility and encouraged interdisciplinary cooperation between the university’s schools to maximize its potential.
“The vision of our university is to become a leading institution in the region through the impact of our education and research. Whenever I visit RAKRIC, I am always impressed with the fantastic work which is being carried out by Prof. Mousa and his team. Renewable energy is the future and I fully believe that the work that we are carrying out in this area will ultimately improve the quality of life in this region and beyond.”