Research Areas in Engineering
The Department of Engineering is composed of faculty from different engineering disciplines: Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Oil & Gas Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil & Environmental Engineering.
All faculty members are highly active in research aiming at publication in well-known and prestigious journals, submission of research proposals to attract funding, and collaboration with the local industry and Government departments. Some of the areas of Department faculty expertise are described below in order to provide a taste of what we are doing in our research labs.
KEY RESEARCH AREAS IN ENGINEERING
- Signal Processing
Research activities in the field of signal processing include non-linear/non-Gaussian data fusion from multiple sensing modalities, Bayesian target tracking, Sequential Monte Carlo methods, Adaptive compressive sensing and processing, Adaptive waveform design. Applications include target tracking using various sensing types such as radar, image, forward looking infrared, received strength signal, and time delay difference of arrival for both electromagnetic and underwater acoustic signals.
- Power Engineering
Power Engineering is one of the most important disciplines in electrical engineering. It starts from the generation of electricity in the power station and extends to its transmission and distribution via the electric grid ending up to its utilisation mainly by industrial electric motors and machinery, as well as by domestic appliances serving peoples’ needs at home. The Department equipped with modern machines and power electronics training modules including various transmission line models provides training on:
- Power Systems Analysis
- Electric Machines
- Power Electronics
- Power Systems Protection
- Power Generation
Research is being conducted in the areas of:
- Design of Solid State Transformers
- Control of Electric Motors
- Design of Integrated Inductive–Capacitive component for electric power quality improvement
- Construction of an instant shooting results targeting system for snipers
- Material Characterization through Non-Destructive Optical Methods
Development and optimisation of photothermal techniques and their use in the characterization (thermal, electronic and optical) of advanced materials like semiconductors, thin film heterostructures and solar selective coatings. Photo induced thermal and electronic wave propagation analysis in layered structures and composites. Applications of photothermal instrumentation in hydrogen detection at ppm level.
- Computational Earthquake Engineering/Structural Dynamics
Earthquakes have always been critical or, in many cases, the most critical actions on civil engineering structures and, therefore, the science of Earthquake Engineering is one of the major areas of research in the science of Civil Engineering. The research interests of the Department’s faculty focus mainly on the utilisation of Computational Methods for the investigation of various dynamic problems in Earthquake Engineering, such as the seismic pounding problem of adjacent buildings, seismic isolation, seismic response of stacks of rigid blocks, etc. In addition, there is a strong interest in Computer-aided engineering, where numerical methods in combination with programming languages and the advances of modern technology can be utilised to deal with various engineering problems that few years or decades before were considered very challenging.
- VLSI and Embedded Systems
Design, Verification and Test of Very Large Scale Integration digital circuits. Develop algorithms for design automation and post-manufacturing microchip testing. Develop and programming of embedded systems, application specific development and software/hardware co-design. Design and verification algorithms using Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs).
- Medical Image Processing
The main interest is in image reconstruction from projections. Most of the work is on images of Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) where a number of techniques are used in order to compensate for photon attenuation. Both parallel-beam and fan-beam collimator geometries have been employed. Images reconstructed using attenuation compensation have demonstrated improved lesion detectability in both Bull’s eye plots and ROC analysis studies.
- Electromagnetics and Antenna Technology
Wireless communications play a vital role in today’s society. People are constantly using communication devices (e.g. smartphone, computer, TV) to transmit or receive information from colleagues, friends and relatives. Trillions of data are flying every second in the air or travelling through optical fibers or other means of transmission in order to reach their destination in “no time”. This information exchange among people is achieved through the propagation of electromagnetic waves in air or other materials at speeds close to that of light in vacuum. Electromagnetic waves are the vehicle onto which information, in the form of bits, is residing in order to travel long distances, sometimes through air, buildings, walls, and some other times through optical fibers and waveguides. The propagation of waves is governed by laws of Physics incarnated in the form of partial differential equations (PDEs). These PDEs can be solved using advanced numerical methods (e.g. the Finite Element Method or Method of Moments) to predict the behaviour of these waves under certain conditions and material settings. Here at the University of Nicosia, researchers specialised in this field are experts in solving such problems aiming at the characterization of electromagnetic wave behaviour. In addition, we are also involved in the analysis and design of antennas and microwave circuits which are key components in the generation and processing of electromagnetic waves.
Geomechanics is concerned with the mechanical responses of all geological materials, including soils and rocks. It includes the application of principles from petroleum, civil and geological engineering in understanding and explaining physical phenomena and mechanisms. Application of petroleum related geomechanics in routinely based on three main principles. The first is the postulation that a rock mass can be ascribed a set of mechanical properties which can be measured in standard tests or estimated using well-established techniques. The second is the assertion that the mechanical performance of the rock masses can be analysed using principles of classical mechanics or advance theories (e.g. poromechanics). Finally, the third one is the capacity to predict and control the mechanical performance of the rocks so as to solve practical problems. Such problems include hydraulic fracturing, sand erosion and prediction, wellbore strengthening, multiphase flows with applications in the CO2 geological storage and enhanced oil recovery (EOR). These practical problems are tackled either with computational methods like finite elements and finite volumes or with experimental analysis.
- Oil & Gas Engineering
At the programme in Oil and Gas Engineering, various research directions are pursued such as:
- Natural gas sweetening deals with improving prevailing processes associated with acid gas (e.g., carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulphide (H2S), etc.) removal;
- Oil & gas pipelines. Investigating the structural integrity and flow assurance aspects of submarine pipelines crossing active geological faults;
- Natural gas hydrates. Looking at the formation of gas hydrates and the role of natural gas diffusion including the heat transfer characteristics of the process;
- Liquefied natural gas (LNG). Analysing the generation of boil-off gas while factoring in novel thermal insulation materials including new storage tank geometries;
- Climate change and decarbonization. Examining plausible scenarios intended to lower the carbon footprint of fossil fuels while ensuring reliable, affordable and scalable energy sources;
- Eastern Mediterranean Oil & Gas. As part of teaching and research activities, we are engaged with the various aspects of energy developments in the East Med. These include exploration for oil & gas, development of offshore reserves, pipelines, LNG assets, compressed natural gas, synergies, etc.
- Mechanical Engineering
Research activities are in the fields of
- Thermodynamics & Heat Transfer,
- Diesel Engines & Gas Turbines, and
- Industrial & Marine Energy Systems.
Research experience is related to Models simulating the properties and behaviour of specific working fluids (fuels, refrigerants). The use of alternative liquid fuels in various types of diesel engines (biofuels, JP-8 aviation fuel, NATO Single Fuel). Simulation models of fuel injection, atomization and vaporisation (diesel engines and industrial furnaces applications). The effect of use of natural gas on operational and environmental performance of compression-ignition engines. The effect of fuel injection system characteristics on the operational and environmental performance of diesel engines. Techniques reducing pollutant formation in thermal engines. The effect of fuel-side and air-side oxygen addition on diesel engine performance and pollutant formation. Simulation models of waste heat recovery technologies for improving the efficiency of heavy-duty and marine diesel engines (EGR, combined systems with Rankine cycles). Simulation models for analysing engine dynamics, kinematics, friction losses and transient operation. Diesel engine and gas turbine simulation and diagnostics using computational models and onboard measurements. Virtual laboratories for educational and research purposes. Computational methods for the evaluation of innovative techniques in marine auxiliary systems.
Current and future activities include monitoring and optimisation of energy systems performance and emissions. Design and optimisation of heat recovery systems. Underwater unmanned and autonomous vehicles.