The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) has announced the agenda and panelists for the 4th International Rain Enhancement Forum (IREF). Set to run from 19 to 21 January 2020 at Jumeirah Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, the event will bring together leading international and national experts to discuss latest rain enhancement technologies and solutions to global water resource challenges, capacity building in rain enhancement, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its meteorology applications.
Hosted by UAEREP under the supervision of the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), IREF will feature several panel sessions and discussions along with announcing the UAEREP’s 2nd cycles’ projects’ results, and updates on the projects supported by the program. Commenting on the program’s preparations for IREF 2020, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of UAEREP, said: “In hosting IREF for the fourth year in a row, Abu Dhabi provides a dedicated platform for prominent international experts and scientist to discuss the latest developments in rain enhancement research across the globe. At UAEREP, we are proud of the UAE’s important contributions to this growing research area by providing crucial support for the awardee projects. “
She added: “I am confident that the Forum’s outcomes and recommendations will go a long way in improving the efficiency and accuracy of cloud seeding as a viable and sustainable alternative for conventional water resources. We also look forward to the event as an opportunity to strengthen our international partnerships and share experiences and lessons learned to address global water security challenges.”
During its three day run, the forum will feature several sessions. On the opening day, a panel discussion titled “Rain Enhancement and the Global Picture” will convene multiple international experts on the topics of rain enhancement and weather modification including Dr. Said Alsarmi, a leading GCC meteorology expert, Omar Al Yazeedi, Director of Research, Development, and Training at NCM, Prof. David Delene, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at University of North Dakota, and Steven Siems, Professor at School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University. On the same day, Dr. Deon Terblanche, Weather, and Climate Consultant at World Bank and former Director of Research at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) will present an overview of UAEREP awarded projects.
The packed agenda will also feature a session titled ‘Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent System Applications in Meteorology and Rain Enhancement’ with the participation of Prof. Ernesto Daimiani, Senior Director at Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems Institute at Khalifa University. The session will draw the participation of Prof. Eric Frew, Associate Professor at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA, Dr. Gary Thunen, Chief Scientist and Senior Fellow, Advanced Technology Center, Lockheed Martin Space, Dr. Campbell Watson, Research Staff Member at IBM Research, and Dr. Svante Henriksson, Senior Researcher at Finnish Meteorological Institute.
The second session on day one will discuss ‘Innovations in Rainfall Enhancement: Methodologies and New Insights’ with the participation of Dr. Steve Griffiths, Senior Vice President for Research and Development, Khalifa University, who will deliver the opening speech. Panelists include Prof. Linda Zou, a first cycle awardee and professor at the Khalifa University, Prof. Ali Abshaev, a second cycle awardee and Head of the Weather Modification Laboratory at the High Mountain Geophysical Institute of Russian Hydrometeorological Service and Prof. Maarten Ambaum, a research assistant to the second cycle awardee Professor Giles Harrison, professor of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Reading.
On day two a session titled ‘Advances in Numerical Modeling and Weather Forecasting: Application to Rain Enhancement’ will be headlined by Dr. Lulin Xue, a second cycle awardee and Chief Scientist of Hua Xin Chuang Zhi Science and Technology LLC, Dr. Edward Graham, lecturer and meteorologist at the Lews Castle College, University of the Highlands and Islands, Prof. Masataka Murakami, a first cycle awardee and professor at Nagoya University in Japan, Prof. Marouane Temimi, Associate Professor, Khalifa University, and Dr. Mukul Tewari, Research Staff Member at IBM.
Furthermore, day two will include a second session titled ‘Evaluation of Impacts of Rain Enhancement Efforts’ drawing the participation of Taha Ouarda, Professor and Chairman, Canada Research Chair in Statistical Hydro-Climatology at National Institute of Scientific Research, Prof. Hannele Korhonen, a second cycle awardee from Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Prof. Steven Siems, Professor of School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, Dr. Roelof Bruintjes, Co-Pi of UAEREP’s Second Cycle Awardee, Dr. Paul Lawson of SPEC Incorporated, USA.
Day two will wrap up with a session titled ‘Transitioning from Research to Operations in Rain Enhancement: A Case Study’. It will draw the participation of top panelists including Dr. Deon Terblanche, Senior Weather and Climate Consultant at World Bank and former Director of WMO’s Research Department, Dr. Roelof Bruintjes, Co-Pi of UAEREP’s Second Cycle Awardee, Dr. Paul Lawson of SPEC Incorporated, USA and Sufian Farrah, a meteorologist and cloud seeding expert at NCM. Furthermore, a poster session on field campaigns will highlight NCM’ cloud seeding achievements.
IREF’s busy schedule will continue its third day with a Town Hall Meeting on Determining Future Directions for Rain Enhancement Research and a panel discussion on Capacity Building in Meteorological Research and Operations. The session will kick off with the opening speech of H.E Dr. Behjat AlYousuf, a special advisor to the President of Zayed University and will be headlined by Prof. Abdallah Shanableh, Director of Research Institute of Sciences and, Prof. Cristina Flesia, Delegate of the Rector to International Relations and Relations with European Union at the University of Tor Vergata, Italy, Omar Al Yazeedi, Director of Research, Development, and Training at NCM, and Noor Al Shamsi, Weather Forecaster at NCM.
Hosted by Abu Dhabi, the International Rain Enhancement Forum (IREF) is a global platform that brings together leading international and national experts, researchers, scientists and stakeholders to tackle pressing water and sustainability issues worldwide.