History and motivation of the ICTEA conferences

The ICTEA conference series was inspired to help provide an opportunity for professional development of scientists and engineers in the Middle East, including the Gulf region and North Africa.  The need for such development persists, despite the strong commitment of regional governments to improving undergraduate education and to building research capabilities in institutions of higher learning.  Until recently, attracting highly motivated academic staff to advance research agendas and to make significant contributions to GDP growth were not among the top priorities.  But, thanks to the foresight of regional leaders, higher education in this part of the world is starting to change.  However, the fact remains that highly skilled scientists and engineers in the region who are dedicated to research, often must seek work abroad in academic and research institutions in order to develop themselves professionally. 


Well defined and focused high quality scientific/technical meetings dedicated to contacts between the academics and researchers in regional institutions of higher learning and their counterparts abroad are scarce.  The purpose of starting a biannual international conference ideally to be rotated around the Middle East, Gulf and North African region countries was and still is to meet this need and to provide a well structured platform to boost research activity and productivity in the region as well as providing a point of contact and networking.  Such a conference can serve as a focal point for the gathering of scientists and engineers who hail from this region and who are working abroad in Europe, North America and other industrialized parts of the world.  Thermal Engineering was selected as an umbrella title for the Conference series because of its encompassing meaning and because this research area is of great importance to the region.  Topics related to environment, energy, petroleum, and construction are obvious examples of thermal engineering applications which are crucial to the economic development of the region. 


At the time the decision was made to hold the first Conference on Thermal Engineering in Beirut from 31 May to 4 June in 2004, Lebanon was poised to emerge from its long period of arrested development.  The country had come out of a long civil war and the long and arduous process of rebuilding Lebanon had started.  Beirut had experienced an explosive growth and rebuilding activity during the decade preceding 2004 with billions of dollars of investment and had regained some of its past glory and glitter worthy of its nickname “Paris of the East” of the 1950’s and 1960’s before the civil war.  It was felt that the opportunity to start this exercise in Beirut to be rotated later to elsewhere could not be passed up.


The 1st International Conference on Thermal Engineering held under the patronage of his Excellency Emile Lahoud the President of Lebanon was successful beyond the best expectations of the organizers. The success of the conference could not have been achieved without the support of the Lebanese and the Canadian Governments. A large audience of scientists attended the meeting held in the Movenpick hotel on the Corniche.  Selected peer reviewed papers appeared in January 2006 in a special issue of the Journal of Applied Mechanics (Transactions of ASME – American Society of Mechanical Engineers) dedicated to ICTEA and edited by Dennis Siginer.  The next ICTEA duplicated and even eclipsed the success of the 1st ICTEA.  It was held in the United Arab Emirates in Hilton Al Ain on January 3-6, 2006 under the high patronage of his Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan with support of the UAE University.  


The 3rd ICTEA was held with an even larger attendance in Amman, Jordan at the Le Royale Hotel in the heart of Amman under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Jordan, his Excellency, Dr. Ma'roof al Bakheit. The growing success of the conference series and the rapid recognition it gained and continues to gain is quite gratifying to its organizers and benefactors. 


The 4th ICTEA was held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on the campus of the Petroleum Institute in January 2009 comprised of 177 papers with participation spread geographically further afield that ever before. The thermal engineering topics covered in the technical program of the 4th ICTEA range from double diffusive convection to thermodiffusion, energy and energy analysis methods, biological heat transfer, numerical methods in fluid flow and heat transfer, porous media, enhanced oil recovery, waste management and waste disposal, microgravity sciences and processes, combustion, multi-phase flow and heat transfer, melting and solidification, internal flow and heat transfer, new and renewable energy technologies, environmental engineering, heat transfer with non-Newtonian fluids, non-Newtonian fluid flow and heat transfer and polymer processing science and technology.


The 5th ICTEA was held in Marrakesh in Morocco .  More than 120 papers were presented from May 10-14, 2010.  The Organizing Committee did not spare any efforts to ensure a smooth running meeting with social activities.  The Technical Program Committee worked very hard to review and edit papers and present an excellent Technical Program.  We would like to express our gratitude to the management of Cadi Ayyad University for the unwavering support and to the Organizing and Technical Program Committees for their commitment and endless hours.