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CARES is partnering with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Dar Al-Hekma College, a private women's college in Jeddah, on research that will aid the development of a sustainable engineering infrastructure and the adoption of sustainable technologies and practices within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is currently geared towards the production of petroleum products. Petroleum is a finite resource that could be more highly leveraged with sustainable engineering. This research project will develop a platform from which KAUST- Dar Al-Hekma- UC Berkeley faculty can develop recommendations for reducing KSA's economic dependence on this resource and a strategy for future research excellence in the areas of renewable and sustainable energy and technology.
It should be noted that sustainability is a relatively new word in the Arabic vocabulary. Although the concept of sustainability is possibly indigenous to much of the Middle East through the building practices of traditional dwellings and settlements, the meaning of sustainability in the current Saudi context remains ambiguous. This project will seek to understand what sustainability means in both cultural and environmental terms. It will also seek to address what aspects of the global sustainability discourse are relevant and appropriate for the Saudi context.
To accomplish the aforementioned goals, CARES has created a specialized team called CARES4KSA to work with members of KAUST and Dar Al-Hekma College to:
- Conduct user needs assessments of individuals, communities, and universities within the KSA in areas of sustainability.
- Develop sustainability metrics to evaluate the sustainability of individuals, communities, and universities within the KSA.
- Identify sustainability assessment tools to quantify the current sustainability levels and the energy consumption, water consumption, and climate changing GHG emissions associated with the activities of individuals, communities, and universities within the KSA.
- Develop a technology and infrastructure roadmap in the areas of sustainable energy, carbon management and water utilization (e.g., solar cells, solar hot water heaters, grey water, wind turbines, energy-efficient consumer products) for the KSA
- Create an online system that will contain a database of the research findings, recommendations, and suppliers within the Middle East to enhance the implementation of sustainable solutions proposed by this research project in the KSA.
The CARES4KSA team is evaluating the feasibility of implementing solar photovoltaic systems, solar hot water heaters, wind turbines (off, near, and on shore), and grey water recycling technologies in communities near Dar Al-Hekma College. The team will also be conducting return on investment (monetary and GHG emissions) assessments and will be reviewing user needs results with colleagues at KAUST and Dar Al-Hekma College.
- Ryan Shelby, Team Lead, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Researcher
- Maha Haji, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Student Researcher
- Juan Yorba, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Student Researcher
- Pitch (Pete) Panitchayangkoon, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Student Researcher
- Alissa Neuhausen, Civil Engineering Undergraduate Student Researcher