Department of Civil Engineering
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
University of Texas at Arlington, Texas, USA
Topic 1 : From Structural Components to Large-Scale Systems – Use of FRP for Smart Sustainable Infrastructure


Due to their light weight, tailorability and high durability in extreme environmental conditions fiber reinforced polymer composites materials provide significant advantages of use in civil infrastructure in applications ranging from repair and rehabilitation, to structural components, and entire structural systems. This paper provides examples of current use with a focus on durability, damage tolerance, and rapid installation/construction which in itself decreases the negative impact of construction on the environment and can enhance aspects of sustainability. Aspects of durability in harsh conditions including cold and fire as well as combinations of environments are discussed to demonstrate damage tolerance and extended life-times with low maintenance. The paper also describes concepts that through the integration of advanced technologies can be used to develop large infrastructure systems of the future that integrate multiple functionalities including smart systems enabling a very high degree of sustainability and environmental friendliness. The ideas enhance the concept of intelligent artificial building environments for the future through tailored materials-structure-systems interactions.


Vistasp M. Karbhari is a Professor in the Departments of Civil Engineering, & Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington where he served as the 8th President from 2013-2020.  He was previously at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the University of California San Diego.  Professor Karbhari is a renowned expert in the mechanics and manufacturing of composite materials, durability and degradation of polymers and composites, infrastructure rehabilitation and multi-threat mitigation.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); the National Academy of Inventors the National Academy of Inventors (NAI); the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); ASM International; the International Institute for Fiber-reinforced Polymers in Construction (IIFC); the International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure (ISHMII); ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute (SEI), and is an elected member of the European Academy of Science and Arts. 

Joseph Loring Professor of electrical engineering
Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute, USA
President, IEEE Power & Energy Society 2018 & 2019
IEEE President-elect Candidate 2021
Topic 2 : The Smart City Building Blocks and their Synergy with Smart Villages


A smart city relies on widely distributed smart devices to monitor the urban environment in real-time, collects information for intelligent decision making, and facilitates various services to improve the quality of urban living. The distributed network of intelligent sensor nodes, as well as data centers/clouds where sensor data are stored and shared, constitutes a smart city infrastructure. Participatory sensing plays an indispensable role in emerging initiatives of a smart city, which retrieves sensor data from groups of people or communities. The proliferation of personal mobile devices and development of online social networks make participatory sensing viable at a large scale but introduce many open problems at the same time. Smart cities address urban challenges such as pollution, energy efficiency, security, parking, traffic, transportation, and others by utilizing advanced technologies in data gathering and communications interconnectivity via the Internet. It provides real time and remote monitoring for different aspects of data management in areas such as transportation, communication, video surveillance, and sensors distributed throughout the city. Simultaneously, the Smart City building blocks like education, telemedicine, health care, IT applications, pollution management, etc. can be deployed in Smart Village initiatives to have a greater impact on the rural population throughout the world. This will support the world’s energy-impoverished communities by providing a comprehensive solution combining renewable energy, community-based education, and entrepreneurial opportunities through reliable electricity and internet connectivity.


Professor Saifur Rahman is the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech, USA where he is the Joseph R. Loring professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Millennium Medal winner.  He was the president of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) for 2018 and 2019. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. He has published over 150 journal papers and has made over five hundred conference and invited presentations.  In 2006 he served on the IEEE Board of Directors as the vice president for publications. He is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Power & Energy Society and has lectured on renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, energy internet, blockchain, IoT sensor integration, etc. in over 30 countries.  He is the founder of BEM Controls, LLC, a Virginia (USA)-based software company providing building energy management solutions.  He served as the chair of the US National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering. He has conducted several energy efficiency, blockchain and sensor integration projects for Duke Energy, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Energy and the State of Virginia. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech. 

School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science - USA
Topic 3 : Artificial Intelligence: Applications, Benefits, and Risks


Recently, interest and progress in artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning, have been booming, with new applications vigorously pursued across many sectors. It is impacting almost every aspect of modern society, from daily lives to business operations to how research is performed. This interest is fueled by the exponential growth in computing infrastructure, ever-increasing data availability, and technological breakthroughs in AI that have developed systems capable of performing increasingly sophisticated tasks and augmenting human capabilities in new and profound ways. As a result, companies have been making massive investments in AI-related projects. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), more than $50 billion was expected to be invested in AI systems globally in 2020, up from $37.5 billion in 2019. It forecasts that by 2024, worldwide investment is expected to reach $110 billion. This presentation discusses AI in two fields (medical and cybersecurity) as well as its benefits and challenges facing industry and researchers.


Dr. Naima Kaabouch is currently Full Professor, Director of the Artificial Intelligence Research (AIR) Institute, and Lead of Cybersecurity & Data Chain in the Research Institute For Autonomous Systems (RIAS) at the University of North Dakota. Her main research interests include artificial intelligence, wireless communication & networking, cybersecurity, sensing, and autonomous systems. She is the PI/CoPI/CoI of numerous grants funded by federal agencies and state sources, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), ND Chamber of Commerce, EPSCoR/NSF, and EPSCoR NASA. She is the author and co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed journal and proceeding papers, 3 pending patents, and the author of 4 research books and handbooks. She is also the recipient of numerous awards in research, education, and service, including the 2016 UND Outstanding Faculty Scholar in Research, Teaching, and Service in 2016; the Presidential Scholars Star Faculty in 2010; and the 2018 Outstanding Reviewer awarded by an international publisher. Dr. Kaabouch has advised numerous graduate and undergraduate students in her projects. These projects have resulted in several local, regional, and national awards. These awards include Several NASA Robotics Competition awards (NASA Joe Kosmo Award of Excellence in 2011, Second Place in 2013, 1st Place in the Outreach Component in 2016, 2d Place in the Presentation & Demonstration Component in 2016, 4th Place in the overall competition in 2016, 4th Place in the Mining Component in 2015), 4 IEEE Contest Awards (2006, 2010, 2011, 2012), 4 “Outstanding Senior Design Prototype Project” Awards (2010, 2011, 2013, college-level award), and Andrew Freeman Award (2012, college-level award).

Global logistics lead for Covid-19 vaccines and related supplies Vaccine logistics
Copenhagen Area, Danemark


With over 15 years of international experience in global procurement, logistics, shipping, freight forwarding and supply chain management, Mounir is currently leading the Covid-19 Global logistics in UNICEF SD. He also led UNICEF’s logistics in the global task force for COVID-19 response (2019-2020).

Previously, Mounir headed up the transport management team in UNICEF’s Supply Division. During this time, he designed and implemented and managed the global 3PL and freight forwarding set up and contractual arrangements that are used by UNICEF and 10 other UN agencies. As part of UNICEF’s strategy of promoting public-private partnerships, Mounir also led UNICEF’s work in developing partnerships with sea freight carriers and initiated the tri-partite partnerships with major airlines and the global 3PLs (2013-2018).      

Prior to joining UNICEF, Mounir worked for a variety of private sector companies in leading global supply chain roles across FMCG, global freight forwarding and shipping (2004-2013). He has a background in international trade and is an EMBA graduate from Copenhagen Business School 2021. 


Pr. Rajaa SAIDI
B.P. 6217 Rabat-Instituts Morocco

Pr. Brahim El Bhiri
Angles Rues Zerhoun, Ejoukak and Ait Brahim
Souissi, Rabat, Morocco


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