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03 July 2019

NDU HOSTS 4TH ACTEA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

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July 3-4, 2019 – Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) held its 4th international conference on Advances in Computational Tools for Engineering Applications (ACTEA) as part of its ongoing collaboration with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The conference opened with a welcome speech by Dr. Elie Badr, Vice President for Academic Affairs at NDU. Dr. Badr reflected on how far computation has come over the last 30 years, and their current ubiquity: “It is important that we as a society of researchers understand just how important computing and computational tools have become, and how essential it is for the next generation of researchers to really understand and be able to use computers and computational tools effectively -- not just as passive users, but as active creators of new technology.”

Dr. Badr also reflected on NDU’s emphasis on high quality research saying: “According to the latest SCOPUS statistics, in 2018 we produced a large number of papers published in highly ranked journals and international conferences. Moreover and again according to the 2020 QS ranking, NDU ranked third nationally in the citation per faculty indicator among the scores of universities that operate in Lebanon.”

This year’s keynote speakers were Dr. Chadi Assi, a senior member of the IEEE, and Tier I University Research Chair at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada; and Dr. Essam Khalil, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Cairo University and fellow of ASME, ASHRAE and AIAA.

Dr. Assi’s talk, “Edge Computing for IoT-enabled Smart Cities”, discusses the requirements of modern communications infrastructure, particularly in relation to the internet of things (IoT). He covers the need for strict quality of service and limited energy devices for modern computing, and the viability and limitations of current solutions. Dr. Assi examines the use of edge servers which are physically located within the same network as the IoT – as opposed to the large server rooms on which the bulk of the internet is stored – as a means of providing quicker, easier processing of the vast amounts of data needed to maintain large IoT networks, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in cellular networks to enhance the capabilities of edge computing.

Dr. Khalil’s talk, “Computer Simulation of Air Distribution and Thermal Comfort in Energy Efficient Buildings” is an overview of the different techniques available in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with an emphasis placed on its application. Dr. Khalil covered two different uses for CFD in his presentation. The first was its use in predicting the air flow regimes, turbulence characteristics, air temperature, and relative humidity distributions in enclosed spaces in order to design more efficient spaces for the purposes of air conditioning. The second is the use in aerospace systems, specifically using CFD models to research increasing comfort on commercial airlines.

Full biographies of the keynote speakers, along with summaries of their talks can be found here.

Throughout the conference, panels comprised of academics from around the world presented their findings on the latest advancements in computational tools and techniques and their impact on the engineering landscape. The full list of papers is in the process of being compiled and posted to the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

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