Mustafa Arafa

Department of Mechanical Engineering 

Second Place Recipient of the Merit Award for Excellence in Research 2020-2021

Mustafa Arafa joined AUC in 2006. His research interests are in energy harvesting, dynamics, and mechanical design. His distinguished achievements in research have been recognized in his being twice the recipient of the State Encouragement Award in Engineering Sciences (2008, 2015).

Highlights of Arafa's research include his collaboration with professors and researchers from around the world, and publishing his research findings in outstanding and in the proceedings of respected conferences. Through fostering fruitful collaborations, his research team is growing, contributing to AUC’s image as a leader in cutting-edge research. His applied research cuts across a variety of sectors, which increases its potential social impact.

His primary area of research, as noted above, is in the field of harvesting energy, mainly from mechanical vibrations. Energy harvesting refers to the ability to extract small amounts of energy from ambient sources that would otherwise be wasted. The aim is to provide sustainable energy for low-power applications, such as remote sensors and wearable devices, in order to reduce their reliance on batteries or conventional power sources. As mechanical vibration is ubiquitous, his research focuses on how to extract useful energy most efficiently and to search for novel materials and devices for energy harvesting. His research is also concerned with developing novel sensors for various applications, such as strain, temperature, and motion. This is a cross-disciplinary area that involves dynamics, materials science, and design optimization. The aim is to develop next-generation sensors for higher sensitivity and lower cost, in addition to finding ways to integrate different sensors and to study the interplay among them.

Arafa has promoted cross-disciplinary research and has established strong partnerships with leading Egyptian and international institutions for maximum synergy. By reinforcing such strategic alliances in areas of mutual interest, greater benefits can accrue for the whole team, and a greater impact will be made on the broader scientific community.

His research into the design of triboelectric vibration sensors bridges the gap between materials science and dynamics. His research on vibration energy harvesting focused on a pressing problem in this field, associated with variable-frequency environments. Through research collaboration with a number of research teams, both locally and internationally, he has presented several solutions to this problem. These solutions include broadband devices and variable-frequency resonators.

In a world increasingly aware of the need to look for new energy sources, and to use energy more wisely, Arafa's research on energy harvesting, in particular, is having an impact. The use of sensors and devices in the Internet of Things (IOT) is making possible novel ways of powering devices without relying on disposable batteries. The quest for sustainable and clean energy sources for small power levels is driving the research into energy harvesting. More specifically, his research is paving the way to develop cheaper devices, which have can have a substantial impact in low- and middle-income countries like Egypt. His research efforts are also making it possible to “fine-tune” devices to suit application domains, enabling the penetration of wider markets. And discoveries and refinements in the area of energy harvesting have the potential to make a major contribution to environmental protection and sustainable development.

Arafa’s international colleagues attest to his research acumen and cooperative manner. His contributions to the field of energy harvesting are regarded as remarkable. His efforts have inspired many researchers to work on these topics. His colleagues note that his research has involved the use of novel materials, such as pyroelectric and triboelectric materials. These materials hold great promise for the future and have been subjects of intense research in recent years. Arafa’s research efforts have also contributed through notable modeling efforts as well as experimentation, and his research has been published in high-impact top-tier international journals, such as advanced energy materials and nano energy.

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