|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.
|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. Bassel will be serving on the Young Scientific Programme Committee in preparation for the 2016 Stockholm World Water Week.
|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).