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ISC and its partners organised the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) on 12-29 September 2023.
The role and contribution of science to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the central theme of the Summit. The objective is to develop and launch science collaborations to demonstrate global science mechanisms and activities to support the attainment of the UN SDGs, Agenda 2030 and Local2030. The meeting will also prepare input for the United Nations Summit of the Future, which will take place during UNGA79 beginning on 12 September 2024.
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Thursday, September 21 • 9:00am - 12:30pm
[VIRTUAL] From Brine to Building: Unlocking the Economic and Environmental Potential of Brine Discharge (210906)

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Countries bordering the Arabian Gulf rely heavily on desalinated water for life. An unfortunate bi-product of desalination is brine discharge, which has harmful effects on the Arabian Gulf ecosystem and marine life. Zero liquid discharge (ZLD) technologies have gained attention as environmentally acceptable solutions for brine disposal, particularly in inland areas.  However, traditional brine evaporation methods are energy-intensive and have significant carbon footprints.  Currently, there are limited viable solutions for brine discharge, and some commercial options are either infeasible or untested. In response to this challenge, Sandooq Al Watan, a private not-for-profit foundation based in the United Arab Emirates UAE), has launched the Re-Think Brine challenge in partnership with local industry and government partners, and regional university researchers.  The Re-Think Brine Challenge recognizes the need to address the environmental impact of brine discharge while also exploring its economic potential. This challenge aims to develop technologies that can transform brine discharge into commercially viable construction materials, contributing to the construction sector and the UAE's goal of sustainable development.  The expected impact of research outcomes from this challenge is significant. It includes protecting the Arabian Gulf ecosystem and marine life by minimizing harmful effects from brine discharge. The successful development of technologies for producing construction materials from brine discharge will foster an eco-friendly construction and real estate sector.
By fostering innovation and collaboration among scientists, researchers, and industry experts, this panel session will explore sustainable solutions for brine discharge, paving the way for a more environmentally conscious construction sector and contributing to the UAE's broader goals of sustainable development and water security.  The session incorporates research presentations from three finalists competing in the Re-Think Brine Challenge.  These researchers will showcase their ongoing projects, which explore various aspects of brine-based construction materials.  Following the research presentations, the moderator will facilitate the panel discussion, where researchers will share their experiences, insights, and the challenges they have encountered during the research process, shedding light on the potential benefits and implications of this innovative approach.  Local live and virtual attendees will gain firsthand knowledge of the cutting-edge research being conducted in the UAE, and have the opportunity to engage with the panelists through Q&A sessions to exchange their thoughts and ideas.

avatar for Shereen Mitwalli

Shereen Mitwalli

Onstage International
International Speaker and ModeratorShereen Mitwalli is an Egyptian–Australian–born and raised Moderator and Educator. Shereen is formally trained in TV & Live Presenting from ‘The Sydney Academy Film & Television’ in Australia and the prestigious ‘New York Film Academy... Read More →

avatar for Yasser Al Gargawi

Yasser Al Gargawi

Director General, Sandooq Al Watan
avatar for Faisal AlMarzooqi

Faisal AlMarzooqi

Khalifa University
Faisal AlMarzooqi is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Khalifa University. He received his PhD degree in Interdisciplinary Engineering from the joint program of Masdar Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015, with a focus on the application of membrane... Read More →
avatar for Kemal Celik

Kemal Celik

New York University Abu Dhabi
Kemal Celik is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at New York University (NYU) in Abu Dhabi and holds an appointment with New York University, Tandon School of Engineering, as a Global Network Assistant Professor. Professor Celik is the director of the Advanced Materials... Read More →
avatar for Mohamed A. Dawoud

Mohamed A. Dawoud

Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD)
Prof. Dawoud is a professor at National Water Research Center (on leave) and he is currently Water Resources Advisor with the Environment Agency - ABU DHABI, UAE. He graduated in civil engineering with an honor degree and got his Master's and Ph.D. from Ain Shams University through... Read More →
avatar for Thanigaivelan Arumugham

Thanigaivelan Arumugham

Khalifa University
Dr. Thanigaivelan Arumugham is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Center for Membranes and Advanced Water Technology (CMAT), Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dr. Arumugham holds a master’s degree in chemical science, and a Ph.D... Read More →


Ikko Tucker

Sandooq Al Watan

Thursday September 21, 2023 9:00am - 12:30pm EDT