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The program

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About the Conferenece

The Conference:

This Conference is Organized after the successful completion of the Signature Project “Sustainability of Kuwait Built Environment” which was sponsored by Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences, KFAS. Sustainability of Kuwait Built Environment was the first MIT-Kuwait institutional Signature Project which was a collaborative and multidisciplinary research effort between MIT and Kuwaiti researchers aiming at the development of innovative methods and solutions for the sustainability of Kuwait's built environment. With a three level multi-scale approach of materials, buildings and urban neighborhoods, the effort represents a wide scope leadership activity in science and engineering through world class research.

The overall project approach includes three well defined, interrelated research focus areas with a multiscale approach involving construction materials, buildings, and cities:

  • Focus Area A: Innovative Materials (nano-engineered construction materials)
  • Focus Area B: Performance-based Engineering and Reliability
  • Focus Area C: Energy Efficiency and Life Cycle

The project activity at MIT spans the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Architecture, and Nuclear Science and Engineering. The participating research institutions in Kuwait are KISR and KU. The project has successfully promoted collaboration between MIT and Kuwaiti researchers as well as a strong interaction among the participating departments at MIT and between KISR and KU within Kuwait. The project involved 36 Kuwaiti researchers including 6 Co-PI' s and 23 MIT researchers including 6 Co-PI's.


The Signature Project:

Integrated knowledge developed from the project has led to synergetic results forming a fundamental basis for intellectual development contributing to education, industrial competitiveness and economic growth in Kuwait.

In Focus Area A, microstructural characterization work has been completed by all parties using advanced experimentation techniques. Computational material modeling studies have been completed in parallel with the experimental work including investigation on the atomistic mechanical behavior of C-S-H under mixed mode loading and multi-scale description of cement paste systems incorporating volcanic ash.

In Focus Area B significant work has been completed in ground motion simulation, development of a full scale finite element analysis model for the Al-Hamra Tower with extensive data processing algorithms, and GPS installation and data collection and processing. Seismic instrumentation design and planning for the Al-Hamra building has been accomplished.

In Focus Area C, the work has been completed in developing and adapting approaches to comprehensively model the operational and embodied energy content for buildings and neighborhoods in Kuwait City using the developed simulation models.

Benefits of the Project:

The benefits of this unique, multidisciplinary, multi-team project to Kuwait as well as to the general scientific community are many. We emphasize some highlights below:

  • Successful delivery of scientifically high quality research in broad but coherent areas of study concerning sustainability of Kuwait's built environment. The overall collaboration has contributed to expanding research vision with significant research and educational experience.
  • The knowledge and methodologies developed as a basis for real life implementation directly contributing to the industrial development and benefitting existing physical infrastructure for better performance and for building future infrastructure projects.
  • Extensive capacity building: The project has been effective in capacity building by training researchers, and students from Kuwait in performing sophisticated experimentation, high-fidelity computational modeling, sensing and data processing. Many students from Kuwait University have been closely engaged in the project, which also led to the initiation of a new post graduate program in material science and engineering at KU.
  • An essential added value of our project is to provide the intellectual framework and background for the required mechanisms for follow up projects for both continued scientific research as well as for technology transfer and startup activities contributing to industrial, economic, and. social developments in Kuwait.