FANR Hosts Student Hackathon on Nuclear Science for Environmental Sustainability and Combating Climate Change

Nov 29, 2023

  • Student Hackathon included 5 topics related to water desalination, space, industrial revolution, healthcare, nuclear and radiation technology
  • 30 students from six universities in the UAE presented solutions to address climate change using nuclear applications.

 The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) recently hosted the UAE Students Hackathon on "Nuclear Science for Environmental Sustainability and Combating Climate Change" in the light of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be held in UAE later this month.

30 students from six universities across the UAE took part in the hackathon to explore the potential of nuclear and radiation science in addressing environmental sustainability and climate change challenges. It aimed to encourage students to devise innovative solutions that contribute to the nation's pursuit of a sustainable and clean environment. The universities were United Arab Emirates University, Higher Colleges of Technology, Zayed University, New York University, Sharjah University and Khalifa University.

"Nuclear Energy plays a role in mitigating the impact of climate change. FANR, being the UAE's nuclear regulator, ensures the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear materials and works to protect the public and the environment. We support the UAE government efforts in addressing the climate change by protecting the environment, fostering a sustainable and peaceful UAE Nuclear Energy Programme," said Christer Viktorsson, Director-General of the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

The hackathon challenges encompassed a broad spectrum of topics, from nuclear technology's role in water desalination and hydrogen production and nuclear technology for carbon-free society. Other challenges included exploring nuclear battery and propulsion for space missions and harnessing the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in nuclear technology. Additionally, the hackathon focused on radiation science in radiology and healthcare, exploring how radiation could benefit humanity in these domains.

Following a thorough screening process where teams presented their projects exploring the role of nuclear energy in addressing the environmental sustainability and combating climate change, the winning team was handpicked by a high-level jury comprising representatives and experts from the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Ministry of Education, Polytechnic and FANR.

Zayed University won first place, their chosen topic being "Nuclear Technology for Water Desalination". The team provided an overview of the current desalination infrastructure in the UAE, the types of desalination, and how current and future nuclear technologies could be used for desalination.

The Student Hackathon is in line with FANR's efforts to build capacity of young Emiratis in the nuclear and radiation sectors to ensure the long-term sustainability of the UAE Nuclear Energy Programme. FANR plans to launch a virtual platform to attract, educate and encourage young people to study nuclear and radiation topics, which in turn will help in turn will help increase their technical competencies in the field. Helping building the capacity of Emiratis in the sector will support FANR's efforts to realize its mandate to ensure the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear and radiation activities as well as the protection of the public and the environment.


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