Wayne State Highlights Alternative Energy Breakthroughs at March International Conference in Egypt

HURGHADA, EGYPT - Wayne State University was a key participant and one of many prestigious international research universities presenting technology breakthroughs at the 11th Biennial International Conference on Energy and the Environment in Hurghada, Egypt, March 15-18, 2009.

As one of the founders and co-sponsors of the bi-annual conference, WSU presented in concert with Egyptian Ministries of Environmental Affairs, Electricity and Energy, and Higher Education and Scientific Research, promoting the adoption of international policies and technologies that further worldwide energy conservation goals.

Dr. Irvin Reid, former president of Wayne State, and WSU College of Engineering Dean Kummler, were part of the Wayne State delegation of more than eight faculty experts and leaders, and four graduate students.

Wayne State’s initiatives, research and development in alternative energy technology, environmental engineering and solid waste management has stimulated collaboration with its Egyptian counterparts since the Conference began in 1988. The WSU activities include:

• The first M.A. degree in alternative energy technology, which began in January of 2004;
• The creation of the National Biofuels Energy Lab in 2006 led by WSU research engineers to address the challenges, including formulation, of creating national standards for new fuels derived from biomass.
• A growing relationship with NextEnergy of Michigan, a non-profit created by the state to promote economic development and diversification by facilitating alternative energy research, design, manufacturing and commercialization for stationary, potable power and automotive use.
• The Automotive Research Center directed by noted diesel engine expert Naeim Henein, professor of mechanical engineering, that continues with pioneering research and improvements in the efficiency of diesel engines.

WSU College of Engineering Dean Ralph Kummler established WSU’s original educational link to Egypt, and ultimately, established the Cairo conference via two students who attended WSU more than twenty years ago. Since that time the conference has evolved to become a world renowned forum on global energy and environmental issues. “The conference has evolved since when it focused on renewable energy; environmental papers were added a decade ago,” Kummler said. “Now we discuss “green energy.” This year’s presentation by Dr. Simon Ng’s on biofuels research at WSU’s National Biofuels Energy Lab is a good example.”

In his opening remarks, former WSU President Irvin D. Reid said, “The current economic and environmental crises are an opportunity to rethink our approaches of the past century and more (or lack of them). We gather at this conference to redouble our efforts, and bring others aboard, to face these economic and environmental challenges.”

Faculty and graduate student presenters at the conference included: Dr. Naeim Henein, professor, mechanical engineering; Dr. Nabil Chalhoub, professor, mechanical engineering; Dr. Ming Chia Lai, professor, mechanical engineering; Dr. Mumtaz Usmen, associate dean, research; Dr. Simon Ng, professor, chemical engineering, and director, National Biofuels Energy Lab; Nassim Khaled, Mohannad Al-Hakeem, Ihab Grace and Rafik Rofail, graduate students.

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