UB faculty member featured at International Clean Cooling Congress

By Peter Murphy

Published May 7, 2018

“My ultimate goal is to develop simple sustainable economic energy systems for people living in deprived locations, who cannot afford electricity for heating or cooling.”
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Kamelia Atefi Monfared, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at UB was an invited speaker at the first-ever International Congress on Clean Cooling. She held a workshop and was a featured speaker in a discussion panel.

“We have been discussing collaborations with people in the United Nations,” says Atefi Monfared, a geotechnical engineering assistant professor at UB, “My ultimate goal is to develop simple sustainable economic energy systems for people living in deprived locations, who cannot afford electricity for heating or cooling.”

A Cool World, hosted by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, featured the work of Atefi Monfared and over 100 other researchers and professionals. The Congress focused on clean cooling; Global warming has caused effective cooling to become essential. Increased artificial cooling could lead to major environmental damage due to the use of refrigerants, other chemicals and dependence on fossil fuels.

According to the event’s program, Atefi Monfared is the only workshop leader and panel guest with a geotechnical engineering background. She led a workshop titled Sources and Sinks, where she discussed her ongoing research on energy storage. She also participated  in a panel discussion on what cooling should look like in 2030.

“My background is in reservoir engineering and understanding the geo-environmental implications of injection/production operations, typical in the hydrocarbon industry. Even though there is a strong resistance to hydrocarbon production, global energy demands will remain dependent upon oil and gas for at least the next 30 years,” she says, “while continuing my research in that area, I am working on applying my expertise for renewable energy.”

The Congress focused on clean cooling, and storage is a part of any discussion on clean energy. Cooling is the topic, but Atefi Monfared says this inaugural event has broader intent.

“The goal of the workshop is to bring together a global network of experts working in different aspects of clean energy.”

The Cool World conference took place in April, and brought together industry and academia professionals, lawmakers and activists to explore some of the most pressing issues associated with sustainable cooling.

To learn more about A Cool World: 1st International Congress on Clean Cooling, click this link.

“Intense productive discussions concentrated on developing ways to address the need in understanding, designing and deploying approaches to deliver clean cooling, and maximize the economic, environmental and societal impact,” Atefi Monfared says, “the conference was the first step toward further collaborations, and our goal is to continue to work together toward a cross-sector approach for specific markets.”

Atefi Monfared joined UB in 2016. Her research includes prediction of geo-environmental impacts of production/injection operations; enhancement of hydrocarbon, geothermal and aquifer storage recovery operations; and soil-structure interactions.

Atefi Monfared received her PhD from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada in 2015.