The American University in Cairo (AUC) and the Zewail City of Science and Technology have jointly established the Center for Nanoelectronics and Devices. Bringing together internationally renowned and published scientists from both institutions, the center’s work will focus on the design and analysis of consumer electronic devices and tiny sensors, built at the nanoscale of one billionth of a meter, opening the door for a wide range of applications including combatting disease, improving food production, purifying water and producing clean, renewable energy.
“Working on the creation of advanced electronic sensors and devices could help solve Egypt’s most pressing problems, from traffic to hepatitis C,” said Yehea Ismail, professor of electronics engineering and director of the center. “Once we are able to solve these immediate problems, we will have the capability to perform more far-reaching applications. Revenue from the electronics industry worldwide is more than $1 trillion per year and is mainly knowledge based. Therefore, building strong human capital in this field can help Egypt and the region attain a larger share in this industry, working toward the establishment of a technology and knowledge-based economy." The main focus of the center is to establish a strong link between academia and the industry in a variety of fields pertaining to nanotechnology. “Our aim is to develop a world-class center of excellence that is closely tied to the industry and is recognized internationally,” explained Ismail, who is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and editor in chief of the IEEI Transaction on VLSI Systems, a leading journal in the field. “This will not only give us visibility worldwide and open doors for funding, but it will also be of benefit to students, who will gain real-life exposure and better learning opportunities by working with companies in the field.” Highlighting the importance of this partnership, AUC Provost Medhat Haroun noted, “We are especially pleased that our first collaboration with Zewail City is in the area of nanoelectronics. Dr. Ismail has distinguished experience and proven innovations in nanoelectronics that will attract talented researchers of high quality.” The partnership is an initial step toward long-term cooperation between the two institutions. In addition to the exchange of researchers, the partnership includes fellowships for students and will capitalize on state-of-the-art resources available at both AUC and Zewail City, particularly in the area of biotechnology and biomedical diagnostics.
“Working with high-caliber scientists from AUC and abroad, and through the support of advanced research centers in both institutions, we will be able to conduct the type of applied research that Egypt and the region needs,” said Sherif Sedky, founding provost at Zewail City. “The distinctive factor is transferring research results to industries to develop novel applications that have the potential to revolutionize the way we live our lives. There are nanotechnology applications that may seem unimaginable now, but which may become integral parts of our lives later on.”