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Sharjah Ruler opens at American University of Sharjah international conference on water, energy and environment
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, UAE Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), opened the International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment (ICWEE 2011) at the AUS Main Building on campus this morning, November 14.
Organized in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), the conference promotes global collaboration among faculty, students, engineers and managers on ecological economics and water, energy and environment resources management.
In his opening remarks, AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath welcomed His Highness, distinguished guests, scholars and researchers from the region and abroad and members of the AUS community to the event. He said that the aim of the conference was to offer a forum for academics and researchers to address recent research results and to present and discuss related issues in energy, water and environment.
"The issue of global sustainability in order to meet the expectations and the needs of modern society is perhaps the most pressing challenge of our age. It is too much to expect that this one conference is going to solve the problems that we as humans face in regard to the issues under study. Nonetheless, one must not underestimate the importance of gatherings such as this. Scientific advancement is an incremental and communal endeavor. The products of this conference and the countless others held around the world are making progress is solving the challenges and problems that we all face. I am certain that the deliberations of this gathering will mark one more step toward the path of success," said Dr. Heath.
Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, Dean of the College of Engineering, then mentioned some of the critical questions that AUS aspires to answer. "What is the region's strategy beyond oil? Is nuclear energy a suitable option? What is the best way to capture energy and distribute it where and when it is needed? How can we solve the water shortage challenge? How can we increase the efficiency of solar based systems?" He reiterated that the challenges of water, energy and environment are tremendous and significant resources and efforts are needed to address them.
Khaled Al Huraimel, CEO of Bee'ah also addressed the gathering. "Bee'ah has embarked on a journey with the AUS to introduce opportunities for environmental research and development. This has led to the Bio-filter Project for the Removal of Air Pollutants from Waste Treatment and Industrial Facilities," he said. "We have also already begun building the framework to bring the very best environmental research supervisors, resources and faculty in order to help position Sharjah as the center for environmental change, thought and leadership," he said.
At the end of the opening ceremony, Sheikh Dr. Sultan was briefed by officials of the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) on the organization's efforts in finding alternative energy to run their vehicles. He inspected a SEWA dual system car, running on natural gas or petrol.
The opening ceremony was attended by Sheikh Salem Bin Abdulrahman Bin Salem Al Qassimi, Director of the Office of the Ruler in Sharjah; Sheikh Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Thani, Director of the Office of the President of American University of Sharjah; Salem Bin Mohammad Al Owais, Advisor at the Office of the Ruler in Sharjah; General Humaid Al Hededi, Commander General of the Sharjah Police General Headquarter; Khamis Bin Salem Bin Khamis Al Suweidi, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs; Sultan Abdullah Al Mualla, Director General of the Sharjah Municipality; Mohammad Dhiab Al Moussa, Advisor at the Amiri Court; and Dr. Amr Abdulhamid, Advisor to His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah for Higher Education. Also present were Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, the AUS Provost; Salem Yousef Al Qaseer; Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, Ali Shuhaimy, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management; and Dr. Cleve McDaniel, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, along with other senior university officials, faculty members and students.
The conference, which runs until Thursday, November 17, includes peer-reviewed technical presentations of over 300 papers, posters, short courses, industrial workshops and exhibitions for local and regional industries. Selected research papers will be published in a number of international journals, such as the International Journal of Environmental Engineering.
Keynote speakers include Dr. E.H. Hans G. Huber, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Huber Group, Germany; Mark Holtzapple, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, USA; and Antonio M. Baptista, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Director of the NSF Science and Technology Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction (CMOP), USA.
Co-chairing the conference are Dr. Raafat Alnaizy, Dr. Taleb Ibrahim and Dr. Nabil Abdel-Jabbar from the AUS College of Engineering and Dr. Yousef Alhayek of the UAEU College of Engineering. The conference is co-sponsored by the Canadian International Association for Sharing Knowledge and Sustainability; the Arab Academy of Science; the Islamic Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization; Abu Dhabi National Oil Company; Bee'ah; Dow Chemical; Huber; and Metito.