The UAE’s water and energy security will receive a major boost if the desalination plants can be linked to nuclear power. Nuclear desalination is a well-known technology and the number of plants currently operating across the world strongly indicates the advantage, according to Dr. Youssef Shatilla, Dean of Academic Programs, and Professor - Mechanical Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
The remarks followed the announcement by the editorial board of the prestigious international journal Desalination, naming Dr Youssef Shatilla and Dr. Ibrahim Khamis, Nuclear Power Technology Development Section, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as co-Guest Editors for a special issue dedicated to ‘Nuclear Desalination’. Dr. Nidal Hilal, Editor-in-Chief of Desalination, has announced that both luminaries have accepted the offer for the special edition that will be published in March 2014. This special issue will be open by the journal on 1 November 2012.
Dr. Shatilla said: “Since the creation of modern UAE, most of the water needs have been met through seawater desalination. The UAE is no stranger to the world of desalination as some of the largest desalination plants in the world are right here in our own backyard. Nuclear desalination is basically the same as conventional desalination, except for the source of energy, which comes from a nuclear power plant. Nuclear desalination plants have been deployed in various parts of the world ranging from developed to developing countries with commanding success. This gives confidence that such an undertaking, if implemented, will definitely be a huge addition to UAE’s water and energy security.”
Dr. Nidal Hilal, who is also Professor in Nano-membranology and Water Technologies at Masdar Institute, said: “Energy plays important role in both thermal and RO desalination technologies and looking into the future for providing alternative energies to provide sustainable clean water to places where it is needed. Therefore Desalination journal will publish a special issue on nuclear desalination in 2014 and has chosen Dr. Khamis from the Department of Nuclear Energy at the IAEA and Dr Shatilla from Masdar Institute, who has a doctorate of Science in Nuclear Engineering from MIT and well known in this field.
“The editorial board of Desalination is always looking into disseminating state-of-the-art research findings in very important water and desalination technologies to scientists and engineers around the world. The journal has recently completed a number of special issues, to be published early 2013, including, New Directions in Desalination, Membrane Distillation, Forward Osmosis, Radioactive Decontamination, Boron Removal and Nano-filtration.”
Dr. Youssef Shatilla has a DSc in Nuclear engineering from MIT, and has been a Visiting Professor at the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT since Spring 2007. From Fall 2002, he spent five years as an Associate Professor at the Department of Nuclear Engineering at King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Shatilla was also a Faculty Fellow at the Idaho National Laboratory for two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005. Before that, for about 10 years Dr. Shatilla was a Principal Engineer in the Core Engineering Department of the Westinghouse Electric Company, where he developed methods and software for nuclear reactor design applications.
Holder of a PhD in Chemical Engineering and a DSc in Nanotechnology and membrane separation from the University of Wales in the UK, Dr Nidal Hilal, has additional responsibility of working with the faculty to establish a Centre of Excellence for Water Technologies at Masdar Institute. Dr. Hilal has recently co-authored two major handbooks titled ‘Atomic Force Microscopy in Process Engineering: An Introduction to AFM for Improved Processes and Products’ and ‘Membrane Modification: Technology and Application’.
Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.