With the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh calling for an integrated climate-water-food policy, the research presented at the recent American University of Sharjah (AUS) Seventh International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment is particularly timely.
“This international conference aims to promote global collaboration among faculty, students, engineers and professionals in ecological economics, water, energy and environment resources management. It is a forum to discuss issues related to water regulation and policies, water resources, progress in water protection and remediation, desalination, wastewater treatment, energy, environmental impact, economic management, water resources development, environment, and sustainable developments in the region,” said Dr. Sameer Al-Asheh, Professor and Head of the AUS Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Sponsored by Beeah and chaired by Dr.Taleb Ibraim, Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering at CEN; the conference is a forum for distinguished international researchers to discuss recent research in the field. The conference this year featured three keynote speakers; nine presentation sessions, each including six presentations; and a poster competition.
In his keynote address titled “Inside Tomorrow’s Sustainable Smart Cities," Mohamed Alhosani, Chief Sustainability Officer at Beeah, shared Beeah’s vision of a sustainable future. He explored the role of industries connected with the Beeah Group businesses in shaping the sustainable, smart cities of the future.
In his presentation “A Vision for a Sustainable Middle East,” keynote speaker Professor Mark Holtzapple from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University discussed climate change and global mitigation measures through energy transition and the shift from fossil fuels to sustainable carbon-neutral energy. He noted that due to the wealth generated from fossil fuels, navigating energy transition can be challenging.
Professor Nidal Hilal, Global Network Professor at New York University Abu Dhabi, discussed global water shortages in his keynote address, titled “Towards a Bold New Paradigm in Nanomembranology: The Sustainable Water Challenge.” He demonstrated the effects of nanotechnology in membrane separation processes and its ability to provide the world with modern tools to further reduce the cost of water.
Seventy-five peer-reviewed presentations and technical papers on water, energy and the environment were presented at the conference, with several papers selected for publication in the Desalination and Water Treatment Journal of the AUS College of Engineering.
The conference also featured three main discussion sessions covering the themes of wastewater treatment chaired by Dr. Fatin Samara, Professor in Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at the AUS College of Arts and Sciences, who recently participated in COP27; sustainability chaired by Salwa Al Mouqatea, Associate Research Scientist at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.; and desalination chaired by Dr. Rana Sabouni, Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at AUS.
“The conference provided a wonderful opportunity for researchers to hear from the industry about the latest in the areas of water, sustainability and energy; refine their research in light of the conference discussions; look into new research ideas; establish collaborative research and speak directly to decision makers on the implementation of solid technological solutions for contemporary problems,” said Dr. Al-Asheh.
As a leading university in the region, AUS has built a strong reputation as a hub for research, scholarly and creative activities. AUS faculty are active researchers, making breakthroughs and discoveries in areas that impact society and the future, contributing to the body of scholarly knowledge. For more information on research being conducted in the College of Engineering, visit w.aus.edu/cen.