April 4, 2022,
Prominent international professors and eminent local speakers gathered at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) on the 23rd & 24th of March, 2022 to participate in the two-day workshop organized by the School of Engineering in collaboration with the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA)
The workshop, titled “Thermal Comfort Perceptions, Microclimatic Diversity and Climate Change”, witnessed a collective of academic experts from AURAK as well as renowned institutions from Germany, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Tunisia exchanging ideas with key industrial stakeholders in the UAE on the current state and future prospects regarding the concept of outdoor thermal comfort, climate change and microclimatic diversity.
The event commenced with a number of welcome speeches presented by Professor Ahmad Sakhrieh, Workshop Organizing Committee Chair – AURAK, Dr. Jan Friesen, AGYA Alumnus, and Dr. Mahmoud Abdel-Hafiez, AGYA Co-President.
The workshop featured five sessions packed with presentations and discussions among professors as well as industry experts on a wide variety of important topics covering “Human Centered Approaches for Well-being and Sustainability;” “Personal Cooling Vests to Improve Thermal Comfort of Active Humans in Hot Outdoor Climates;” “Biophysical Causes for Heat Formation and Identify Patterns of Urban Heat;” “Neighborhood Environment and Walkability Cities;” “Psychological and Emotional Effects of Climate Change;” “How Co-Creation is used as a Social Innovation Framework for Urban Planning Policy;” “The Theme of Green Strategies for Outdoor Thermal Comfort;” “Thermal Comfort and Architectural Design;” “The Ecological and Environmental Impacts of Desert Agroforestry Using Native Plants in Extreme Ecosystems;” “Water-Energy Sensitive Design Solutions;” “Combining Sustainable Growth and Climate Adaptation in the MENA Countries;” “Diurnal Radiative Cooling Impact in Mitigating Urban Heat Island Effect;” and “Utilizing Renewable Energy Systems for Outdoor Thermal Comfort”.
The last session concluded with a presentation given by RAK Municipality on Outdoor Thermal Comfort Projects in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
Scholars who delivered presentations during the workshop included: Professor Wolfgang Kessling, Transsolar Energietechnik in Germany; Professor Nesreen Ghaddar and Professor Kamel Ghali from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon; Professor Uwe Schlink and Dr. Jan Friesen from Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ in Germany; Dr. Mohammed Alkatan from Kuwait’s Public Authority for Applied Education and Training; Dr. Luise Fischer from the University of Leipzig in Germany; Dr. Mais Jafari from Technical University Dortmund in Germany; Dr. Ahmed Debez from Centre de Biotechnologie de Borj Cedria (CBBC) in Tunisia; Professor Jamil Al Asfar from the University of Jordan; Professor Ahmed Al-Salaymeh, President of the National University College of Technology in Jordan; and Dr. Liudmila Cazacova from the American University of Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE.
The Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA), was established in 2013, consisting of early-career researchers from a great variety of disciplines, half of which are based in Germany and half in Arab countries. AGYA brings together excellent scholars to address common challenges and develop solutions through sustainable research cooperation. The academy members implement joint research projects and initiatives at the interface of science and society with a focus on education, innovation, and science policy.
The American University of Ras Al Khaimah is a nationally and internationally accredited university, recognized by the Ministry of Education in the UAE as well as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in the USA. The university also has a 5-star rating by the QS international star rating system, while ranking as a Top 50 university in the MENA region. AURAK offers a total of 28 unique programs at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels across its three schools; the School of Arts and Science, the School of Business and the School of Engineering.