UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science honours awardees of Second Cycle at ADSW

ABU DHABI,Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science Tuesday evening honoured the awardees from USA, Finland, and the UK to share a grant of US$ 5 million of the Second Cycle in a ceremony at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, ADSW.

Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology, NCMS, awarded the researchers the grant on behalf of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Also in attendance were several high-level dignitaries, diplomats, along with members of research groups from Japan, the UAE and Germany, led by Professors Masataka Murakami, Linda Zou, and Volker Wulfmeyer, named as awardees of the Programme’s First Cycle.

Reflecting on the impact of the Programme, H.H. Sheikh Mansour, said: “The UAE is playing an active role in driving research in science and technology to identify solutions to tackle global water security challenges. This comes in support of the ambitious innovation and energy strategies of our country.”

He added: “This cutting-edge research could make a real difference for countries suffering from droughts across the world. The success of the First and Second Cycles of the programme testifies to the importance of its goals and demonstrates the excellence of its execution, and through this one of a kind initiative, the UAE is proud to play its part in strengthening water security and positioning our nation as an international hub for advanced research and innovation in this crucial area”.

The three awarded scientists leading the research teams that will share the grant are: Dr. Paul Lawson, from the USA, for his work on investigating new approaches to rain enhancement that leverages ice production processes in cumulus clouds. Dr. Lawson founded SPEC Incorporated in 1979, a company that manufactures state-of-the-art airborne cloud physics instruments and has participated in over 50 international research projects.

Prof. Hannele Korhonen, from Finland, for her work on the role of atmospheric aerosols in efficient precipitation enhancement. Prof Korhonen is a Research Professor at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, where she also acts as the Head of the Atmospheric and Ocean Modelling group.

Prof. Giles Harrison, from the UK, for his work on the electrical properties of clouds and on rainfall modeling. Prof Harrison’s experimental work also includes making some of the first airborne measurements in UK airspace of the Icelandic volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajokull during the April 2010 flight ban.

The three proposals that received awards this year were selected from 91 global scientific research proposals submitted by teams representing leading international institutions and organisations.

Commending the awardees and their research teams, Juma Al Zaabi, said: “The programme for rain enhancement science reflects the UAE leadership’s determination to encourage and support the transformative and bold thinking needed to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. These innovative proposals honored by the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science Awards have the potential to further boost UAE’s breakthroughs in research and development.”

Dr. Abdullah Al Mandoos, Director of the NCMS, said: “The programme for rain enhancement science is generating new insights that could have wider applications for countries suffering from scarcity of natural water resources. Thanks to the UAE’s vision, we can look forward to a continued international effort in the field of rain enhancement that could have a real impact on water sustainability in developing regions across the world”.

The UAE Research Programme has witnessed an expansion in the geographical participation of the Second Cycle, with over 398 scientists and researchers affiliated to 180 institutes from 45 countries. This includes academia’s from 15 additional countries which include Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, Hungary, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sweden, and Turkey. The Second Cycle also saw a high level of interest from researchers from the GCC region, with the UAE ranking second for the overall number of pre-proposals submitted this year, right after the USA.

Source: Emirates News Agency