Research Team

Faculty

Professor Rabi H. Mohtar (Google Scholar)
Professor Mohtar is an Endowed Professor, Texas Engineering Experiment Stations (TEES), Texas A&M University, Departments of Civil and Biological/Agricultural Engineering. Mohtar’s research addresses global resource challenges: developing the Water-Energy-Food Nexus framework linking science to policy, characterizing soil-water medium using thermodynamic modeling, non-traditional water applications for sustainable integrated water management. He pioneered the development of a conceptual and modeling framework for the Water–Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus in an effort to better understand the interrelationships and explore their implications. He uses a quantitative framework to assess sustainable resource allocation tradeoffs, aiming to provide effective tools to empower dialogue between policy makers and scientists. Mohtar has developed programs for the evaluation of environmental impact of land use and water management; developed innovative soil and groundwater remediation technologies, and applied numerical methods to biological engineering system, characterizing the soil water medium at the pedon, field, and watershed scales. He has designed and evaluated international sustainable water management programs addressing population growth and water shortage conditions in arid climates. His research has resulted in improved methods for environmental and natural resources engineering, many of which have been adopted by other professionals and agencies internationally. Mohtar has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, refereed conference proceedings, books and book chapters. He is a distinguished alumnus of American University of Beirut (2014), recipient of the Ven Te Chow memorial award, International Water Resources association (2015) and Kishida International Award (2010), Mohtar served World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils on Water Security and on Climate Change (2009-2014), is a governor of World Water Council (2012-present).
erik_219 Professor Erik F. Braudeau (Research Gate)
Professor Braudeau, Honorary Scientist at Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Bondy, France, is an adjunct faculty at Texas A&M Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Braudeau holds a Ph.D. (Faculté d’Orsay, Orsay-France, 1975) in organic chemistry. Erik has more than 25 years’ experience in soil mapping, soil physical characterization and modeling at the ORSTOM/IRD (French Research Institute for the Development). Since 1979, Dr. Braudeau has held research positions in Africa (Congo, Senegal, Tunisia) and Martinique (2003-2006). He lead the laboratory of Hydrostructural Pedology in the IRD research center of lle de France (2008-2011), at UMR BIOEMCO, where he developed methodologies for soil characterization, mapping, and modeling its hydrostructural properties. Until his official retirement in 2014, Erik served as the principal investigator of the integrative environmental modeling group at Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI)-Qatar Foundation-Qatar (2011- 2014).

Visiting Scholars

A_DEGIRMEN-1 Professor Adnan Degirmencioglu (Research Gate)
Professor Degirmencioglu is a visiting scientist at Texas A&M University’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Degirmencioglu’s expertise is in power and machinery, focused mostly on Dimensional Analysis, Mathematical Modelling and Optimization. He teaches Undergraduate Courses in Statics & Dynamics, Strengths of Materials & Machine Components, and graduate courses in Mathematical Modeling Applications, Advanced Soil and Plant Mechanics and Power transmission Mechanics. Degirmencioglu has published 12 peer-reviewed papers and attended many international conferences, giving 35 oral presentations. He has held various administrative roles at Ege University, most recently, as chairperson of the Department of Agricultural Engineering & Technology (2009-2011). Adnan joins the Texas A&M WEF NEXUS team to conduct a study titled “Strategic Planning of Natural Resources: Dynamic Modeling of Water, Energy and Food Nexus for the Gediz Basin- Turkey”.  The work is expected to help enable a Nexus case for the country of Turkey in the future. He holds a B.S. (1983) and M.S. (1985) in Agricultural Machinery from Ege University, Izmir-Turkey, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (1997).
martin_219 Martin Keulertz, Ph.D. (Google Scholar)
Martin is a post-doctoral research associate in the Department for Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University where he works on  policy aspects of the water-energy-food nexus. Dr. Keurletz holds a Ph.D. at King’s College London, University of London (2013). His previous research addressed foreign direct investment in agriculture, and took him to 20 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa. Martin’s research interests include water, energy and food policy, agricultural subsidies, natural resources cost accounting and international agricultural trade. He has published 15 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and also enjoys organizing academic conferences to promote networks between scientists, policy-makers and private sector decision-makers.
SangHyunLee1 Sang-Hyun Lee, Ph.D.
Sang-Hyun is a visiting scientist at Texas A&M University’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in Rural Systems Engineering at Seoul National University, where his work focused on agricultural water use and demand, the water footprint, and virtual water trade. Dr. Lee’s current research interests lie in the water, food and trade nexus, with emphasis on consideration of the relationship between factors such as water footprint, virtual water trade, global drought, and climate change. Sang-Hyun applies the water footprint and virtual water trade concepts as useful connecters to the water, food, and the trade nexus: virtual water trade analysis, viewed from a network approach, helps explain the relationship between trade and drought. Dr. Lee’s research has persuaded him that understanding both the crop water-use process and network approach tools (system dynamics and GIS) is essential to grasping how these factors interact with water management in complex systems.

Research Staff

amjad_219 Amjad Assi, Ph.D. (Google Scholar)
Amjad is a Research Associate at Texas A&M University (BAEN). Assi’s work with the multi-scale hydrology group at Purdue University and as a graduate research associate with Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Qatar Foundation, was instrumental in providing the heretofore missing conceptual linkage between the soil organization and its hydraulic functionality by identifying a set of physical parameters each of which quantifies specific physical and structural properties of soil medium. Amjad is helping to establish a a soil hydro-structural characterization laboratory at Texas A&M University, similar to that which he helped establish at QEERI. Dr. Assi was the 2013 outstanding graduate student of Purdue’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. His work directly addresses the twin critical issues of food security and water security: primary global challenges, most profound in arid regions, where local food production must be managed under particularly harsh environmental conditions. His primary research interests with the NEXUS research group is to develop a methodology for better accounting of Green Water, hydro-structural characterization of the soil-water medium at the pedon, field and watershed scales, and the impact of water reuse on the hydro-structural characteristics of the soil medium. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering from Birzeit University, Palestine. His Ph.D. is from Purdue University (2014).  While in Palestine, Assi was an engineer with the Palestinian Hydrology Group, Ramallah, where his work addressed watershed management and modeling, environmental assessment of pollution sources on water resources, vulnerability and risk management and mapping, conventional water sources rehabilitation and development, groundwater artificial recharge, and hydrological monitoring.
Daher_new Bassel Daher, M.SE. (Google Scholar)
Bassel is a Research Associate at Texas A&M University’s WEF Nexus Research Group. Daher’s work focuses on policy-oriented research in the areas of natural resource management, environmental sustainability, and resource security. His specific interest lies in developing Water-Energy-Food Nexus solutions that respond to biophysical, socioeconomic, governance, and financing constraints at different scales (global to household). He specifically focuses on three areas: 1) spatial and temporal modeling of trade-offs between competing, resource demanding, sectors, and quantifying the risks associated with ‘business-as-usual’ growth trends; 2) modeling stakeholder behavior, interaction, interests, power dynamics, goals and values, and he uses game theory as a basis to develop a framework for constructing “games” that act as a tool for assessing the potential and feasibility of different case-specific resource allocation problems; and 3) Daher is interested in examining different governance structures and financing mechanisms that would be suitable for mobilizing “resource nexus solutions” at different scales. Daher plans to explore these areas further during his PhD work at the Water Management and Hydrologic Sciences Program at Texas A&M University. Daher also developed a scenario-based framework for integrative planning for national resources, and based on the developed framework, he designed a tool (WEF Nexus Tool, wefnexustool.org) that allows scientists and policy makers to create and assess scenarios which define different national resource allocation strategies. After leaving Purdue, Daher joined Qatar Foundation where he used the established framework to help quantify the resources needed for possible food self-sufficiency goals in Qatar, and provided an understanding of the constraints that might surface, particularly in extremely arid areas. Daher has recently contributed to multiple chapters of the UN Global Sustainable Development Report and coauthored a book on “Renewable Energy and the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus” for the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Rami Rami Jabakhanji, Ph.D. (Google Scholar)
Rami is a Research Associate at Texas A&M University Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAEN). His current research focus is on the development of a numerical model that integrates a peridynamic formulation of moisture flow based on the pedostructure concept, with a peridynamic mechanical model for soil deformation and cracking. The model will allow researchers to analyze the interactions between soil desiccation cracks and water and contaminants’ infiltration and flow. Understanding these interactions has many potential applications in water resources, environmental engineering, agriculture and geotechnical engineering, including: more efficient irrigation planning, more accurate dosing of applied nutrients, more accurate evaluation of the movement of pesticides and pollutants in the soil and their risk to ground water contamination, and an improved failure assessment of slope stability and clay barriers. Rami studied Civil Engineering at the American University of Beirut and earned his PhD in multi-scale hydrology at from Purdue University, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (2013).

 

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