08 November, 2017
The 2-day event provided a platform for both WDRC and its industry partners to discuss and review the latest research and best practices in water desalination and waste water treatment; highlighting research translation gaps and the needs for further research and development. This year's theme was "Opportunities and challenges towards water security".
More than 50 participants attended the event including KAUST participants, delegates from various government agencies such as the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA), Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) and National Water Company and key industry partners like Saudi Aramco, Dow and Nalco.
The first day featured a keynote speech from Prof. Mark Tester, Professor of Plant Science at KAUST. His talk titled "Unlocking seawater for agriculture" showcased his collaboration with WDRC faculty, Prof. Matthew McCabe in employing drone technology for his field research observations. Prof. Mark also presented his work on the sequencing of the quinoa genome which has tremendous potential to solve world hunger.
There were also exciting and engaging presentation of select and current research projects by WDRC faculty and researchers while more than 30 WDRC postdocs and Ph.D. students got a chance to display their research projects in a poster exhibition.
Prof. Juan Carlos Santamarina, Associate Director of the Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center at KAUST presented the keynote speech on the second day. His talk titled "Towards a sustainable energy system (H2O-compatible)" highlighted the need for scientists to seek solutions to alleviate the great imbalance in energy consumption happening in the world.
Participants had opportunity to hear Dr. Abdulrahman Salim Al Sobaih, Water Consultant, at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) give a talk about the agency's water research collaborations with different companies, in and out of the kingdom in response to the Kingdom's Vision 2030. He also used the opportunity of this year's CIAP meeting to announce various career opportunities at MEWA for recent WDRC graduates and PhDs in their final year.
Finally, we used the occasion to present Mr. Paul Buijs to our Industry partners. Paul will be joining the Center in January 2018, as Center Liaison Officer and he will be actively promoting WDRC's industry outreach and engagement.