CMU-Q students explore sustainability in Sydney
During spring break, a group of CMU-Q students from biological sciences, business administration, computer science and information systems travelled to Sydney, Australia to learn about practical, innovative approaches to sustainability. Chadi Aoun, associate teaching professor of information systems at CMU-Q, was one of the faculty organizers of the trip. Aoun is a leading expert in sustainability in the field of information systems and past-president of SIGGreen, a special interest group within the Association of Information Systems.
“Our goal was to create a truly multidisciplinary experience, so students from different academic backgrounds could share their perspectives with one another,” said Aoun. Annette Vincent, assistant teaching professor of biological sciences, and Divakaran Liginlal, teaching professor of information systems, were co-organizers of the trip.
Sydney is implementing a major initiative called Sustainable Sydney 2030 to transform the city into an international leader with outstanding environmental performance and new green industries driving economic growth. Students from all four degree programs participated, travelling to more than a dozen landmarks and facilities that cover a broad spectrum of sustainability initiatives.
Farha Khan, a junior in business administration, commented: “I learned so much more because I was in a group with people from different programs. The trip was eye-opening, I came back with a completely new perspective on sustainability and how I can make a difference.”
One of the most notable stops on the itinerary was Earth Power, a facility that recycles food-based waste and transforms it into fertilizer and green energy. Students also investigated public transportation, wildlife and water preservation, sustainable building operations, tri-generation, and retrofitting existing buildings.
The students presented their findings to the CMU-Q community, including ways that we in Qatar can live more sustainably. Students noted that the new Doha Metro, as well as more green spaces, careful attention to waste, retrofitting older buildings and increased education about the environmental impact of everyday life will make a positive impact on sustainability in Qatar.