Wed, Oct 20 2021 to Wed, Oct 20 2021
Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm PKT
Speaker: Dr. Afreen Siddiqi, Research Scientist, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School.
Moderator: Dr. Talha Manzoor, Assistant Professor, WIT
Details and registration: https://wit.lums.edu.pk/BWSR2021
Abstract: The water-energy-food nexus (WEFN) is a concept that focuses on interactions of multiple components related to provisioning of water, food, and energy. While the conceptual framing of the nexus uses a systemic perspective, explicit examination of the nexus using complex adaptive systems (CAS) theories has been limited. Analytical frameworks that incorporate a CAS lens can provide new perspectives for interventions. This talk discusses an initiation of a complex adaptive systems approach to explore three specific questions: 1) how do the specific concepts of CAS theories apply for the WEFN? 2) where are potential points of leverage? 3) what are useful concepts (with practical implications) for managing and regulating the WEFN? These questions are explored for the Indus Basin of Pakistan that hosts an extensive irrigation and agricultural production system. This system, continually evolving over centuries, is facing new pressures for adaptation due to population growth and climate change. A set of strategies, derived from application of CAS theories, are discussed for enhancing adaptive capacity for the interconnected challenge of water, energy, and food security in the region.
About the Speaker:
Afreen Siddiqi is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an Associate Director of the MIT Strategic Engineering Research Group, and a visiting scholar at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. She has an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering, an S.M. in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Systems, all from MIT. Her expertise is at the intersection of technology, policy, and international development.
The interconnecting theme in her research is to investigate questions of systems planning and performance while accounting for future uncertainties in concert with critical societal and environmental needs. She uses tools of systems analysis including quantitative modeling, optimization, and simulation. Her focus has been on water, energy, agriculture, and space systems
In recent work, she has lead studies to analyze critical linkages between water, energy, and food systems, quantitively assess system equity in irrigation systems, plan hydropower systems, and characterize research and innovation systems. The regional focus of her work has been on US, Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Pakistan, and Australia.
Afreen is the co-editor and author of Science and Technology Development in the Gulf States: Economic Diversification Through Regional Collaboration (2017). Her research has appeared in leading policy and engineering journals including Energy Policy, PloS one, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Water Resources Research, Journal of Infrastructure Systems, Journal of Mechanical Design, and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets. Her opinion editorials on water policy and the energy- water-food nexus have appeared in The Express Tribune.
Afreen has received several awards and fellowships including the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, Richard D. DuPont Fellowship, and the Rene H. Miller Prize (awarded for outstanding research) in Systems Engineering. She has engineering experience at National Instruments (in Austin, Texas) and Schlumberger (in Houston, Texas), consulting experience with BP, Lockheed Martin, and Aurora Flight Systems, and teaching experience at MIT and Universita della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland. She currently serves in an advisory role in international education and policy organizations.
For details or queries, please contact Soban Hameed Saigol at email@example.com or 0332 4495057