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Keynotes

Kiflai Gebremedhin

Title: Transformational Solutions to Sustainable Development in Africa

Bio:

Dr. Gebremedhin is an International Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering, and a Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering (structures) from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Engineering (structures and environment) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, Faculty Fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, National Frame Buildings Association, and various honor societies. Professor Gebremedhin has had a tremendous and far-reaching career. He is nationally recognized for his research on diaphragm design of post-frame buildings, which became the basis for a national standard (ASABE/ANSI). His computer software (SOLVER and METCLAD) for the analysis and design of 2-D and 3-D frame structures including diaphragm action are widely used in the US. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. Dr. Gebremedhin has made several invited presentations nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of several awards for his outstanding teaching, research, advising, service, and leadership efforts. He also worked as a district engineer with the Ethio-Swedish Building Unit (E.S.B.U.) where he was responsible for the design, construction and supervision of elementary schools throughout Sidamo, Gamo Gofa and Bale.

Abstract:

It is imperative to accelerate the advancement of science and technologies to provide transformative solutions to effectively address the numerous challenges facing sustainable agriculture, food, and natural resource systems. The literature shows that pioneering discoveries in nanoscale science and engineering technology have revealed many promises in food, agriculture and natural resource systems. Engineers are better positioned to address these challenges. The presentation will highlight Africa’s development challenges particularly in the areas of water (scarcity), energy deficit and development of alternative and sustainable sources, new models in infrastructure development, food insecurity in the context of population growth (Ethiopia’s population is estimated to be144 million in 2030), climate change, and explore solutions for these challenges in a sustainable waywithout negatively impacting the environment. These are, indeed, the grand challenges for engineering in the 21st century

 

Dr. Samuel Lakeou

Title :  Solar Energy and its relevance for energy deprived rural areas

Bio:

Dr. S. Lakeou is Professor Emeritus since 2016 at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) where he was professor of electrical engineering at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Lakeou has served as department chairman at UDC for more than 20 years and has more than thirty years of academic experience. He has led the program of electrical engineering at UDC through several successful ABET accreditation reviews. Dr. Lakeou has also served as Assistant Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at UDC for 5 years.  He was the Director of UDC’s Center of Excellence for Renewable Energy (CERE) for 8 years. Dr. Lakeou received the BSEE and MSEE degrees from the University of Grenoble (a.k.a Universite Joseph Fourier), France, in 1974 and 1976 respectively. He received the PhDEE in 1978 (with Highest Honors, “Mention Tres Bien et Felicitations du Jury”), from the Ecole Nationale d’Electronique et de Radioelectricite de Grenoble (ENSERG) of the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble (France). In 1986, he took a two-year leave of absence from UDC to serve as Member of the Engineering Staff at the New Products Laboratory of RCA, where he was responsible of the design of a full custom VLSI chip design for high-end TV sets. He was the Principal Investigator of several research grants including NSF and NASA grants totaling more than $500,000. He was selected by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) as a Summer Faculty Research Fellow at the Naval Research Lab, in Washington D.C. for 8 consecutive summers from 1998. His research interests include applied superconductivity for IR detection; laser direct writing of electronic components and sensors; solar cell efficiency; and application of solar energy for rural and urban off-grid and hybrid utilizations. He has published more 40 technical and conference papers. He is a life senior member of IEEE.

Abstract

The presentation will include a cursory review of the recent achievements in solar module efficiency including various junctions and materials configurations. The share of solar energy in global energy production will be highlighted with emphasis on the disparity of solar energy production between the developed and developing parts of the world. It covers also an overview of the recent developments in the application of solar energy in urban and rural settings. A few solar energy projects resulting from the collaborative effort of Ethiopian universities and a local NGO will be described. Possible prospects for better utilization of solar energy for its practical applications in rural areas will be proposed.

 

Dr. Michael M. Moges

Title: Challenges and Opportunities of Irrigated Agriculture in Ethiopia

Bio:

Dr. Michael is Associate Professor of Hydraulic Engineering at Bahir Dar Institute of Technology-BDU. He receives his BSc degree in Hydraulic Engineering from Arba Minch Water Technology Institute, MSc degree in Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development from IHE Delft, the Netherlands and PhD from the University of Exeter, UK.

Dr. Michael specializes in the areas of River Engineering and Sediment Transport and has taught many courses both in undergraduate and graduate classes at Bahir Dar University and other Universities in Ethiopia. He has supervised over 60 MSc thesis, co-supervised PhD works and active in research, and professional engagements in Ethiopia. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. Dr. Michael has served Bahir Dar Institute of Technology in various capacities that include: Dean of School of Research and Graduate Studies; Chair of Hydraulic, Hydropower and irrigation Engineering. Currently, he is serving as Commissioner for the FDRE Irrigation Development Commission.

Abstract

In Ethiopia, agriculture is the single most domestic food supplier to the nation. The country has favorable agro-climatic conditions; adequate land and water resources as well as labor which are the major inputs to agricultural production. Paradoxically, this country has never been food self-sufficient over several years. The problem is becoming severe with growing population and degradation of the natural resources base. If the required resources are available, why is the country unable to be food self-sufficient?

Given the amount of water available, even while passing through the semi-arid, arid and desert areas, it is evident that the promotion of irrigation and other water development technologies at small, medium and large scale can provide an opportunity to improve the productivity of land and labour and increase production volumes. Consequently, the Ethiopian government is continuously increasing its investment in the sector. However, the extent of irrigation development, the location and performance of developed schemes, their positive and negative roles towards food security, national economy and the environment should be clearly understood. These stands to be a challenge for the sector and requires immediate attention at all levels.

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