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AUS holds Second International Conference on Sustainable Systems and the Environment
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Salem Al Qassimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah opened the International Conference on Sustainable Systems and the Environment (ISSE14) at AUS today, February 12. The conference brought together researchers from around the world to share their research findings and address issues in sustainability research and education.
ISSE14 was organized by the AUS College of Engineering in collaboration with the Centre for Engineering in Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge.
"We are very fortunate to have a distinguished panel of international and national experts taking part in this forum," said AUS Acting Chancellor Dr. Thomas Hochstettler during his welcoming remarks. "Keeping in mind global trends as well as the international marketplace, the importance of focus of this conference cannot be underestimated. I truly hope this forum will engender a lively debate and lead to a rewarding and productive exchange of ideas."
Professor Malcolm Bolton of the University of Cambridge also spoke on the occasion. He highlighted the strong bond between AUS and Cambridge and talked about the crossover of research between the two institutions.
The keynote speakers at this year's conference were Harbinder Singh, Chief Performance Officer, Bee'ah; Sedat Kadioglu, Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Republic of Turkey; and Gil Penalosa, Executive Director, 8-80 Cities.
In their respective addresses, Harbinder Singh discussed Bee'ah's strategy towards achieving zero waste to landfill by 2015, Kadioglu talked about environmental projects in Turkey, and Penalosa discussed how healthy and vibrant cities could be created around the world.
"Sustainability is something we all need to adopt as a mission and this conference is bringing that need to life," said Dr. Leland Blank, Dean of the College of Engineering. "Though many of us want to be more sustainable, we may feel that it is not significant in our narrowly defined avenue of life. However, we cannot avoid it anymore and if we don't start being more conscious of our surrounding environment, we will find ourselves short of the most important resources including water, air or mobility. The organizers have put together an excellent conference and I am very pleased with our partnership with the University of Cambridge."
The conference attendees had an excellent opportunity to hear from researchers, academic experts, educators and practitioners about the latest developments in sustainable systems. The conference focused on a number of important themes and topics, which included sustainable transportation systems; sustainable sciences; sustainable design, construction and the built environment; infrastructure management; benchmarking sustainability; water and environmental systems; economic transparency; energy efficiency; wildlife conservation; and sustainable manufacturing.
Two plenary sessions and a post-conference workshop on sustainability mobility were also part of the event, which will continue until tomorrow, February 13.