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Khalifa University Congratulates the First Emirati PhD Holder in Engineering in the UAE

Khalifa University Congratulates the First Emirati PhD Holder in Engineering in the UAE

Published: 28th of May, 2014

Mother of four is an expert in early lung cancer detectionDr. Fatma

Dr. Fatma Taher, the first Emirati to obtain their PhD from a university in the UAE, and who recently graduated from Khalifa University, is well on her way to becoming a world leader in the early detection of lung cancer.

Dr. Fatma Taher, who was born and raised in Dubai and is currently a mother of four, has been conducting groundbreaking work into early detection of lung cancer based on sputum color image analysis. Her work is based on a recent discovery by medical researchers that proved that analysis of sputum cells can assist in the successful early diagnosis of lung cancer, where the sputum analysis modality is considered the cheapest and most non invasive tool.

Dr. Taher’s area of interest is Image Processing, and after completing a Masters in cancer detection, she thought it was only natural to look into electronic methods of early cancer detection. Her current work deals with the attempt to design a computer-aided detection or diagnosis (CAD) system for early detection of lung cancer based on sputum color image analysis. Her hope is that this system will reduce the false negative rate and increase the true positive rate as much as possible and will reduce mortality rates from lung cancer. This would be a huge support to pathologists, allowing them to handle larger amounts of data, and detect a greater number of cases.

Dr. Taher has travelled to Bristol University to participate in similar research being conducted there, in addition she has spoken at several conferences, including, the IET conference which was held in London, UK, the ICIP conference which was held in Florida, USA and the ICECS conference which was held in Spain, in addition to many other international conferences which were held in the UAE. Dr. Taher has also received many awards for her research including, the prize for the best PhD excellence Award at Khalifa University’s “Leadership Day,” the Best Paper award at the BCS International IT Conference Towards 21st Century Innovations in Abu Dhabi, and the Best Paper award and first place at the PhD Forum of the 20th IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits, and Systems (ICECS).

Dr. Taher has had around 14 publications in international journals and conferences out of her PhD studies. Dr. Taher benefitted from the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Scholarship Program (Buhooth) Scholarship program, which offers Emirati’s interested in pursuing their graduate degrees competitive monthly salaries for full time students, health insurance for students and their dependents, all tuition fees, study expenses, international conference attendance expenses and job placement after graduation.

The University offers a variety of Masters Degrees in International and Civil Security, Information Security, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering. The University also offers several PhD specializations in engineering, including Mechanical, Aerospace, Nuclear, Biomedical and Robotics. These specializations add to the existing specializations in Communication, Computer and Electronic Engineering.

“The completion of Dr. Taher’s studies are not only a major milestone for Khalifa University, but a major milestone for the United Arab Emirates,” said Dr. Mohammed Al Mualla, Senior Vice President of Research and Development. “Khalifa University has been tasked with the job of educating the next generation of industry and science and technology leaders. In order to do this we have created, and are still in the process of creating, challenging undergraduate and graduate programs. The programs we offer were identified by the wise leadership of this country as essential to the development of the knowledge economy, and to the creation of a skilled national workforce dedicated to the advancement of the UAE. We are proud to play our part in the achievement of the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision.”

In addition to benefitting from Khalifa University’s high quality of education and scholarship opportunities, Dr. Taher, was also aided by Khalifa University’s culture of research and innovation. Khalifa University boasts several research centers and initiatives, including the UAE Advanced Network for Research and Education (ANKABUT), which connects educational institutions using a state of the art high-speed network. This network connects the UAE to other networks located in the United States, Europe, and Singapore and helps to facilitate the exchange of scientific information and research.

The University also manages the Etisalat BT Innovation Center (EBTIC), which is a specialized research center, the first of its kind in the region, and is based on a partnership between the United Arab Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, Khalifa University and British Telecom (BT). Since the Center was founded it has widely contributed to the patents filed by Abu Dhabi.

Other research centers include the Robotics Research Center, The Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC) and the Khalifa Semiconductor Research Center (KSRC).

Khalifa University offers several extensive undergraduate programs in Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering with a concentration in Power Systems, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Engineering with a concentration in Software Systems.