### Unactivated Alkyl Chloride Reactivity in Excited-State Palladium Catalysis

Aidana Gimnkhan
In the last centuries, transition metal chemistry beсome one оf the mоst іmportant tооls for synthesis of valuable organic compounds and different chemical transformations. In particular, transition metal catalysis are capable of forming novel cross coupling bonds. In this background, photocatalysis was developed later to create new chemical transformations by the irradiation with visible light. In this regard, the combination of transition metal catalysis and photochemistry is a breakthrough in catalysis that has provided impossible...

### On the Formation of Hydrogen Peroxide in Water Microdroplets

Nayara H. Musskopf
Recent reports on the formation of hydrogen peroxide (H$_2$O$_2$) in water microdroplets produced via capillary condensation or pneumatic spraying have garnered significant attention. How covalent bonds in water could break under such conditions challenges our textbook understanding of physical chemistry and the water substance. While there is no definitive answer, it has been speculated that ultrahigh electric fields at the air-water interface are responsible for this chemical transformation. This thesis documents the findings of our...

### Predicting Crop Yield Using Crop Models and High-Resolution Remote Sensing Technologies

Matteo Giuseppe Ziliani
By 2050, food consumption and agricultural water use will increase as a result of a global population that is projected to reach 9 billion people. To address this food and water security challenge, there has been increased attention towards the concept of sustainable agriculture, which has a broad aim of securing food and water resources while preserving the environment for future generations. An element of this is the use of precision agriculture, which is designed...

### Laser-Scribed Graphene Electrochemical Sensors for Health Applications

Tutku Beduk
Electrochemical sensing platforms including nanostructured materials have attracted increasing attention for diagnostic applications in recent decades. People in resource-limited places, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, continue to face problems finding high-quality medical treatment and technologies. This thesis aims to create affordable electrochemical-based point of care (PoC) diagnostic systems using laser-scribed graphene (LSG) material as the sensing platform. The use of LSG sensors for diagnostic purposes has been gaining attention. Compared to established methods for...

### The implications of allosteric sites on SH3-mediated signaling

Abdullah Aldehaiman
A remarkable number of cellular processes are mediated by kinases. Many of these signaling pathways involve sarcoma homology 3 (SH3) domain interactions. Due to the high number and sequence conservation of SH3 domains in proteins, the interactions between SH3 domains and their known binding motifs (proline-rich regions), are poorly selective. The resulting promiscuity in signaling could potentially lead to dysfunction and disease. Therefore, cells have evolved several mechanisms to enhance the specificity of SH3 interactions....

### Using LiDAR on a Ground-based Robotic Platform to Map Tree Structural Properties

Omar Andrés López Camargo
More efficient and reliable High-Throughput Field Phenotyping (HTFP) approaches are essential for the development of plant breeding and carbon storage studies, as well as the improvement of yield estimation in the food production sector. The use of ground-based platforms in combination with other data sources such as UAVs and satellites addresses constraints related to payload capacity restrictions and reduced below-canopy data collection. This study describes an early approach to the deployment of agile robots for...

### De novo genome-scale prediction of protein-protein interaction networks using ontology-based background knowledge

Kexin Niu
Proteins and their function play one of the most essential roles in various biological processes. The study of PPI is of considerable importance. PPI network data are of great scientific value, however, they are incomplete and experimental identification is time and money consuming. Available computational methods perform well on model organisms’ PPI prediction but perform poorly for a novel organism. Due to the incompleteness of interaction data, it is challenging to train a model for...

### Benthic Habitat Mapping of Thuwal’s Reefs Using High-Resolution Acoustic Technologies and Imaging Data

Marta A. Ezeta Watts
ABSTRACT Benthic Habitat Mapping of Thuwal’s Reefs Using High-Resolution Acoustic Technologies and Imaging Data Marta Andrea Ezeta Watts Remote sensing studies based on satellite and aerial imagery have improved our understanding of the morphology and distribution of several shallow reefs along the Red Sea Arabian coast and of the benthic assemblages associated to them (Bruckner et al., 2011; Bruckner et al., 2012; Rowlands et al., 2016). However, data concerning the deeper benthic assemblages' composition and...

### The Endogenous Protein Degradation System zif-1/ZF1 as a Selection Scheme for miniMos Insertions in Caenorhabditis elegans

Yasmine Soqrat
miniMos is a technique to generate random DNA insertions in C. elegans based on the Mos1 transposon. Transposition can be used in forward genetic screens to identify novel genes and regulatory elements. However, it has been challenging to develop protocols to generate the many miniMos insertions that are necessary for comprehensive genetic screens. One main challenge is to distinguish positive selection conferred by miniMos elements in multi-copy extra-chromosomal arrays, an intermediary step, from selection conferred...

### Underwater Optical Communication and Sensing Technology in Silent Ocean

Yujian Guo
Oceans cover 71% Oceans cover 71% surface of the earth and are rich in oil and gas resources, marine living resources, renewable energy, mineral resources. The depths of the oceans are often thought of as a silent world, but that was never the case, and oceans have become noisier as human technologies have advanced. Humans have not only added noise to the ocean; they have also eliminated natural sounds. One of the primary noise sources...

### Multifunctional Flexible Laser-Scribed Graphene Sensors for Resilient and Sustainable Electronics

Altynay Kaidarova
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is driven by cyber-physical systems, in which sensors link the real and virtual worlds. A global explosion of physical sensors seamlessly connected to networks is expected to produce trillions of sensors annually. To accommodate sustainable sensor production, it is crucial to minimize the consumption of raw materials, the complexity of fabrication, and waste discharge while improving sensor performance and wearability. Graphene has emerged as an excellent candidate material for its electrical...

### Vision Approach for Position Estimation Using Moiré Patterns and Convolutional Neural Networks

Nawaf Alotaibi
In order for a robot to operate autonomously in an environment, it must be able to locate itself within it. A robot's position and orientation cannot be directly measured by physical sensors, so estimating it is a non-trivial problem. Some sensors provide this information, such as the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Motion capture (Mo-cap). Nevertheless, these sensors are expensive to set up, or they are not useful in environments where autonomous vehicles are...

### An experimental investigation of the particle size distribution functions in ethylene based inverse coflow diffusion flames

Abdulrahman Jamalallail
Hydrocarbon combustion has been the primary source of energy which enabled technological leaps. Soot is a product of incomplete combustion which causes negative impacts on the environment and health. To combat these negative effects, it is important to understand the factors which promote soot formation and oxidation. Adding diluents to fuel streams assists in inhibiting soot formation via temperature effects, chemical effects and diluent transport properties effects. Increasing the oxygen content of the oxidizer increases...

### Investigation of heterologous expression of the non-ribosomal peptide blue pigment synthase and its activator from the nuclear genome of the model microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Manar Shlbi
The non-ribosomal peptide synthase (NRPS) blue pigment synthase (BpsA) has been shown in several heterologous hosts to mediate the production of the blue pigment indigoidine from two molecules of L-glutamine. Activation of BpsA is mediated by transfer of a coenzyme A (CoA) by a 4′-phosphopantetheinyl transferase (4′-PPTase). In this thesis, I explored heterologous co-expression of BpsA and the Pseudomonas aeruginosa 4′-PPTase (PaPcpS) and their co- localization to either cytoplasm or chloroplast stroma of the green...

### mm-Wave Radar-Based Indoor and Outdoor Parking Monitoring and Management

Yingquan Li
Multistory parking can accommodate a maximum number of vehicles in a limited space. However, in multistory and outdoor busy parking, it becomes challenging for drivers to find free parking slots, and they have to search in different parking lanes and floors. This results in the wastage of fuel and time and contaminates the atmosphere. To address this issue, the state-of-the-art solution exploits an optical sensor to detect if a car is present in the parking...

### Establishment of patient-derived iPSCs from fibroblast using integration-free and xeno-free reprogramming methods

Yiqing Jin
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have indefinite proliferation capability and can differentiate into different cell types. Somatic cells can easily reverse back to pluripotent state through the activation of reprogramming factors. iPSCs-derived organoids are widely used in regenerative medicine and disease modeling. Here, we performed an integration-free reprogramming method and xeno-free culture condition to reprogram patient fibroblasts and showed the resulting iPSCs are genuine pluripotent stem cells through detection of pluripotency markers and embryoid body...

### Synthesis, Modification, and Evaluation of MXene as a Novel Anode Electrode Material for Bio-electrochemical Systems

PEWEE DATOO KOLUBAH
Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) show promising prospects for recovering energy and chemicals from industrial and municipal wastewater. Despite the advances in the development of this technology, there is still a significant need for efficient electrode materials with high conductivity, hydrophilicity, and good biocompatibility to boost their performance and increase productivity. In this work, metal nanoparticle-two-dimensional MXene (W2N-Ti3C2Tx and Fe-W2N-Ti3C2Tx) composite electrocatalysts were synthesized using a simple impregnation method and deposited on carbon cloth (CC) to be...

### Sars-Cov-2 Intra-Host Evolution in Immunocompromised Patients for the Emergence of Variants of Concerns, Including Omicron.

Azari I. Bantan
Unexpected high mutations detected in new emerging variants of concern (VOCs) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), especially in the case of omicron, raises concerns and efforts to understand their evolutionary trajectory. Several hypotheses have been discussed in literature to conceptualize the source of their emergence, including intra-host viral evolution in immunocompromised patients. These patients grant opportunities for the emergence of new variants through a persisting virus winning against host immunity, and selection...

### Design, simulation, and modeling of MEMS angular acceleration inertial switch with tunable threshold

Raed L. Alahmdi
We present the design and analysis of a new type of MEMS inertia switch with a tunable threshold, which can passively sense angular acceleration. The designs have a big proof mass for inducing rotation due to the angular impacts and also flexible cantilever beams to tune the acceleration threshold. The proposed designs were simulated using COMSOL Multiphysics, analytically modeled, and numerically integrated using MATLAB. The results showed that the acceleration can be tuned from 0...

### Control Design for Alignment Problem in Optical Wireless Communication

Asem Ibrahim Alwan Al-Alwan
Optical wireless communication (OWC) offers many benefits over established radio frequency–based communication links. Particularly in, high-data services, high security, and license-free operation, OWC link are becoming an attractive solution for the next generation of communication systems. In OWC, precise alignment of the incoming beam is necessary to close the communication link. However, precisely aligning the beam between the transceivers is challenging due to the laser beam’s narrowness and external disturbances that can significantly reduce, destroy,...

### In Situ Formation of Grafted Silica Nanoparticles with Poly(Methyl Methacrylate)-Based Block Copolymers

Noor H. Albarbari
Silica (inorganic)-g-polymer (organic) hybrid materials with a large variety of functionality have been studied intensively because of the improvement in their physical and chemical properties (e.g., thermal, mechanical, electrical, magnetic properties, etc.) with respect to conventional organic and inorganic materials. 1–3 This research work introduces a new strategy based on in situ formation of poly(methyl methacrylate) block copolymer grafted silica nanoparticles. The thesis is divided into two major parts. In the first part, the atom...

### Cellular and Polymeric Membranes for Separation and Delivery Applications

Mram Z. Alyami
The primary focus of this research is to utilize cellular and polymeric membranes for biomedical applications: To date, several organic and inorganic materials have been used to synthesize nanoparticles (NPs). The question arises as to which criteria and design principles should be considered while selecting the best material. Based on the results of testing, three key roles of NPs have been identified. First, NPs need enough circulation time to reach their target. Then these NPs...

### Bioaugmentation as a Strategy to Engineer the Anodic Biofilm Assembly in Microbial Electrolysis Cell Fed with Wastewater

Microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) system is a potential technology that could treat wastewater while simultaneously generating H2 (green energy). MEC's electroactive bacteria (EAB) are essential microbes responsible for oxidizing organic pollutants (such as acetate) in wastewater using an electrogenesis process. Since EABs comprise the core of MECs, they are essential for maintaining functional stability (Coulombic efficiency (CE), current density, and pollutant removal) of MECs. The cause of EAB becoming dominant at the anode of MECs...

### A Decentralized Approach to Human-Robot Object Transportation Through the Control of a Catenary Cable

Juman AlAbdullatif
An important challenge for human-robot interaction is for both the human and the robot to agree on a model of motion. However, most applications require machine learning and heavy communication for the robot to be an active member in executing a joint task and adapt to human behavior. In this work, we develop a decentralized approach to control and track a catenary cable for object transportation in a human robot interaction scope. Our system is...

### Polyethylene Grafted Silica Nanoparticles via Surface-Initiated Polyhomologation: A Novel Filler for Polyolefin Nanocomposites

Reem D. Alghamdi
Silica nanoparticles (SiO2 NPs) were prepared and functionalized with polyethylene (PE@SiO2 NPs) using the surface-initiated polyhomologation (SI polyhomologation) technique. Polyolefin nanocomposites were fabricated later by melt mixing of different ratios of the as-prepared SiO2 NPs and PE@SiO2 NPs with linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) matrices. Firstly, SiO2 NPs were modified with different alkoxysilane ligands, dichloro(divinyl)silane (DCDVS), allyl trimethoxysilane (ATMS), and vinyl triethoxylsilane (VTES). Subsequently, thexylborane, an initiator for SI polyhomologation, was immobilized...

• 2022
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• Dissertation
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#### Affiliations

• King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
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