The School of Engineering at the American University in Dubai hosted a seminar featuring a panel of experts to discuss the role of civil engineers in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations for the Year 2030. The event, which was organized in cooperation with the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Over 50 senior engineers in the country attended the session, along with AUD faculty members and civil engineering students. The panel consisted of five senior engineering professionals: Dr. Mahmoud El Burai, Chairman of the Middle East Sustainable Development Institute, Mr. Ghaith Tibi, Senior Consultant with Arup, Mr. Ladin Camci, Technical Development Manager for UK CARES, Ms. Jovana Lukac, Senior Structural Engineer with Robert Bird Group, and Mr. Paolo Testolini, Global Sector Leader with Woods Bagot.
AUD alumnus, Dr. Mahmoud El Burai, explained the role of the UN SDGs in improving global stability. “In September 2015, the United Nations issued the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), signed by 193 member nations. The 17 SDGs include targets for fighting poverty and hunger, raising the quality of education, improving health, supporting sustainable work and economic growth, building sustainable cities, along with other goals toward a more sustainable and civilized world,” he said. As part of the panel discussion, El Burai reviewed the three main pillars of sustainability: economy, society, and environment. He added, “The UAE is among the leading countries in implement frameworks to support the SDGs, and is one of the first countries to form a committee of 17 ministries to implement the SDGs and monitor their implementation at the national level. It has also established a ministry of climate change, and a private sector advisory board to work with the government on implementing the SDGs.
Mr. Mohamed Al-Dah, Survey Director at Dubai Land Department, described the engineering sector as a key stakeholder in implementing the SGDs. Al-Dah is a fellow and prominent member of the UAE branch of the Institution of Structural Engineers, which has been operating in Dubai for over 10 years. The organization has about 30,000 members worldwide, and is committed to implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This seminar is part of the ongoing strategic partnership between the American University in Dubai and the Institution of Structural Engineers to organize joint events to students, faculty, and the public, with the goal of bridging the gap between the academic and professional sectors in the UAE.