meet the urban thinkers
Prof. Dr. Tarek Azmy El-Sheikh
Regional Representative for Gulf States
Director of UN Habitat Office in Kuwait
Dr. Tarek El-sheikh has more than 25 years of experience in Housing and Urban Development policy formulation, training, advisory services and projects implementation.
Dr. El-sheikh recieved his Ph.D. in 2004 from Cairo University after studies in University of Karlsruhe, Germany and Master degree in Development Administration and Planning from University of Bristol in 1996 and Master degree in Community Development from Cairo University in 1994.
Dr. El-sheikh is currently the Regional Representative for Gulf States in the Kuwait Office for Arab Cities, Has been the Director of the UN Habitat Program in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Future Saudi Cities Programme for two years. He was the former Housing Sector Lead in the UN Country Team of Iraq. Assistant Professor at the Urban Training and Studies Institute in Cairo and Deputy Director. He was also the coordinator of the Egyptian Cabinet Committee for Real-estate prior to joining the United Nations in 2004.
Dr. El-sheikh was the leader of several knowledge development and information building programs in Housing and Urban Development. He led on the preparation of background report on Arab Cities 2010, Tunisia Housing Profile 2010, Arab Platform for Urban Observatories and Kuwait urban profile, Bahrain urban profiles, and State of Arab Cities Report for 2011.
Dr. El-Sheikh also contributed to the preparation of the State of Saudi Cities report, The National policy review of KSA, the reform of KSA planning system, Iraq Cities Report, Iraq Housing Market Assessment, Iraq Housing Policy, Egypt Urban Development Strategy and also led on several urban development initiatives in Arab region, trained professionals from various Arab States on land development and informal settlement upgrading. He also authored a number of publications and articles in international journals.
Dr. El-Sheikh is a member of a number of international, regional and national networks and groups. The British University Graduates Association, the European Network for Housing Research, International Society for City and Regional Planners and The Eisenhower Fellowships Network.
Managing Director, EMEA
As a member of the Executive Team of the RICS, Mark has responsibility to shape the direction of RICS and to fully contribute to the leadership of the organisation.
Mark is responsible for ensuring growth in the RICS' EMEA region (UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa) and that new sectors and markets are developed.
Mark is a Diversity and Inclusion Champion and RICS’ lead executive on this strategy.
Mark joined RICS in February 2011 from the ifs School of Finance. Prior to that, he spent time in consultancy and had a 25 year career with Barclays.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and holds a BSC (hons) in Banking and Finance.
Prof. Ali A. Alraouf, PhD
Prof. of Architecture and Urbanism,
Head of Development, CB and Research at QNMP,
Prof. Alraouf is an architect and urban planner interested in research and practice related to architectural, urban, sustainable design and holistic planning. He was a Visiting Scholar at UC, Berkeley-USA. Alraouf has held permanent and visiting teaching and research positions at regional and international universities. He published more than 90 journal refereed papers, critical reviews, essays, in addition to books and book chapters. Alraouf’s current research interests are: Knowledge-based Urban Development, Post-Carbon Contemporary Gulf Cities, Knowledge and Creative cities. He serves in editorial boards and acts as a reviewer for international journals and conferences. He delivered lectures and presentations in over 25 countries. He is the recipient of number of awards and was selected as member of 2012 Excel campaign at Qatar University. He is currently acts as Head of capacity building, training, research and development unit at Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME). He is also the leader of Green Urbanism and Planning Group at Qatar Green Building Council.
Prof. Attilio Petruccioli
Former Aga Khan Professor of Architecture for Islamic Societies at MIT and Director of the Aga Khan Program at MIT and Harvard University 1994 – 1998.
From 1998 to 2012 professor of Landscape Architecture at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Polytechnic University of Bari, Italy, he served both as dean and director of the department.
He has provided professional advice in the field of Islamic heritage and development in most of the Arab countries, among them: Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Palestina, Syria, Saudi Arabia.
As a result of his long lasting and passionate interest in both architectural design and history of Islamic architecture, he has written and edited 33 books and more than 210 articles on these topics. Among the books:
Dar al Islam. La architettura del territorio nei paesi islamici, Roma, Carucci, 1985; Il giardino islamico. Architettura, natura, Paesaggio, Milan, Electa, 1994; Understanding Islamic Architecture, London, Routledge, 2002, with Khalil Pirani; Bukhara. The Eastern Dome of Islam, Stuttgart,2004, with Anette Gangler and Heinz Gaube; After Amnesia. Learning from the Islamic Mediterranean Urban Fabric, Bari, 2007.
Dr. Fodil Fadli
Acting Head of the Department of Architecture & Urban Planning, College of Engineering-Qatar University
Dr. Fodil Fadli is the Acting Head of the Department of Architecture & Urban Planning at Qatar University. He is an Architect by background, and an academic in Architecture & Urban Design. He graduated as an Architect from the Polytechnic School of Architecture & Urbanism-EPAU, Algiers. He obtained a PhD thesis in “Assessing and Modeling Sustainable Architecture & Buildings” from the School of Architecture & Design Technology at the University of Huddersfield (UK). Fodil worked in both Academia and Practice.
His research interests span sustainable architecture, sustainability assessment and modelling, building performance evaluation, environmental impact assessment (EIA), Building Information Modeling (BIM), safe and resilient built environment, smart buildings and systems, historic building restoration, digitizing heritage and design in motion (dynamic environment).
He has published and presented his work in highly esteemed and reputed journals and conferences worldwide. He is an expert reviewer and an external examiner for international journals and book publishers, universities and funding bodies. In the last couple of years, he managed to generate almost US$ 3 Million in R&DI grants in collaborative research projects investigating emergency decision systems and platforms in critical buildings, optimizing topologies for sustainable high rise buildings and the adaptation of biofacades in buildings.
Dr Rafaello Furlan
Department of Architecture & Urban Planning
Dr. Raffaello Furlan holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from IUAV University in Venice (Italy), and a PhD in Architecture from Griffith University in Brisbane (Australia). He has held visiting and permanent positions in Italy (IUAV in Venice), Australia (University of Queensland and Griffith University in Brisbane), UAE (Canadian University of Dubai) and Qatar (Qatar University in Doha). His areas of interest include Vernacular Architecture, Architecture and Urban Sociology, Project management, Art History. Member of the Board of Architects in Italy and Australia, he has nearly 20 years professional experience, split between design management, project management and supervision roles, with some highly respected companies, 6 years of which were in Italy, 10 years in Australia, and 4 years in Middle East.
Chartered (Authorised) Town Planner, Development Surveyor, Urban Designer, Landscape Architect and Environmental Planner
He has extensive experience of developing and implementing national, regional and city-wide urbanisation strategies, national programmes including national plans. Proven experience in urban design, master planning for sustainable development, designing and delivering major international development and urban regeneration projects.
He has worked in some 40 countries directing urban management and city planning projects and programmes in several major cities especially in China and South-east Asia. In 2007 he became an advisor to the Qatar National Master Plan then oversaw its preparation and completion as Project Manager from 2008-11.
Ian has advised on a number of institutional capacity building, training and change management/governance programmes as well as designing development management, control and enforcement systems for the urban sector in a number of emerging economies. He is a qualified Independent NEDirector.
He is the Founder (2006) and Chairman of Place Dynamix in the UK and UAE, a consultancy which focuses on placemaking, the public realm, transit-oriented and resilient development. His particular interest is in in the use of strategic foresight in cities and city management.
Jack was educated as a Civil Engineer in University of Delft, the Netherlands. His Master thesis was about urban sanitation problems (drainage, storm water, sewers, potable water) in urban areas in third world cities, in particular in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Jack has worked for over 20 years with a Dutch Engineering company Tebodin. In the first years of his career he worked as pipeline engineer, focusing on the engineering and Project Management of long distance pipeline projects for oil, gas, brine or district heating schemes.
In 2002, was appointed Office Director for the Tebodin office in Velsen in the Netherlands, with responsibility for all projects, people and P&L. Under his leadership, projects were undertaken such as the design of a greenfield palm oil refinery for IOI in Rotterdam and a pumping water intake and pumping station for the new waste incineration for AEB in Amsterdam.
From 2005 till 2012 Jack was based in Abu Dhabi and was responsible for the Tebodin business in Abu Dhabi and later as a regional manager for the whole of the Middle East (Muscat, Sohar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Jeddah and Manama) and India (Chennai, Mumbai). His main achievement in the Middle East can be summarized as growing the business from some 800 employees to 1600 employees while doubling profit percentage.
In 2012 Jack returned to the Netherlands with his family to take a position on the Board of Tebodin, being responsible for the Business in Middle East and Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine)
Jack joined Arcadis as of April 2016 as Country Manager – Qatar
General Manager of Public Affairs
An accomplished communications professional with nearly 20 years’ corporate experience guiding regional and international energy majors in building their brands, Jack has served as General Manager of Public Affairs, Sasol in Qatar since 2012.
Jack is leading the Stakeholders Relations and Public Affairs department guiding the company’s relationships and initiatives in Qatar. He brings deep knowledge of Arab culture with strong expertise in connecting the company to the local community.
Under Sasol’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) umbrella, he has developed engaging initiatives such as the Qatar e-Nature mobile application in partnership with Friends of the Environment Center aimed at raising awareness on Qatar’s rich biodiversity, the signature ‘Definitely Able’ initiative aimed at building an inclusive society, and Accessible Qatar initiative in support of accessibility in the country for the benefit of the disabled community.
These initiatives are recognised as breaking the mould of CSR in the Qatar market and are highly valued by the government and the local community.
After earning a degree in computer science in 1993 and starting his career with Ericsson, Jack made a switch to the PR and Media sector in 1998. After holding a number of key positions with international PR and media companies in Saudi Arabia, Canada and Qatar, Jack moved to the energy sector in 2007. At Qatar Petroleum, he managed the media division at Ras Laffan Industrial City, the LNG and GTL capital of the world.
Jack is a speaker on topics related to corporate communications and CSR. He is married, with two children with whom he enjoys traveling and exploring.
Urban Designer & Planner
Maha has been working in the department of Architecture and Urban Planning at Qatar University since 2010. Maha has finished her master’s degree in urban planning and design in 2015 where she investigated terms of livability of high rise districts in Doha. During her master’s she managed to publish three papers related to the topic of quality of urban life and received a best paper award at the International Post Graduate Research Conference IPGRC in 2013 for her presented paper.
Mrs. Maryam Hassan Alhajri
Entrepreneur & School Principle
Maryam Co-founded Islamonline.net, a pioneering website that set new standards for Arabic web presence, she headed the IT operations there for 10 years. Maryam moved on to serve the education sector when she was awarded the rights to establish a High Tech primary school of 1000 students. she lead the school for 6 years, currently she is the school principal of Qatar Academy Alwakra. Maryams' dream is to establish a network of local community centers in Qatar.
Company: Qatar Academy Alwakra aims to establish a new model for International schools in Arab speaking communities, by offering both a strong English and a strong Arabic programs in a research based, world class educational setting.
Prof. Massimo Tadi
Politecnico di Milano
Prof Tadi teaches Sustainable Multisciplinary Design Process (SMDP) at the MSC program in Building Engineering and Architecture and Integrated Modification Methodology (IMM) for built environment based on the theory and methodology developed by his research team. Massimo is director of the IMM Design Lab (www.immdesignlab.com), a multidisciplinary research and design laboratory that leads various international projects aiming to transform, through an innovative methodology, existing urban contexts seen as Complex Adaptive Systems into more sustainable, energy efficient forms. Actually his research and design works emphasizes the relationship between urban morphology and energy consumption, and the relationship between contemporary mobility infrastructure, urban development and architecture. He has been consultant of the city of Timisoara for the Sustainable Development of the city. He has also been advisor of many Italian municipalities for the Sustainable urban development. In 2012 he was invited by an international committee to coordinate a Design Lab at the 2012 International Venice Biennale. He is author of many articles and books on Sustainable urban and architectural design and energy efficiency. He has been lecturer and invited speaker in many worldwide universities.
Mohamed Evren Tok, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator of the Public Policy in Islam Program & an Assistant Professor for the Faculty of Islamic Studies
Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Tok is the co-lead investigator for a research project on the Qatari perspective on natural resource governance in Africa. His most recent publication, "Policy-making in a Transformative State," explores how public policy is made in Qatar through a series of case studies.
Tok is performing a comparative analysis of the efforts among GCC states to develop sustainable solutions to their finite hydrocarbon-based growth patterns by promoting state-led entrepreneurship ecosystems, which result in sustainable economic diversification and development.
Professor Nikolaus Knebel
Professor of Architectural and Urban Design
German University of Technology in Oman - GUtech
Prof. Knebel received his education and studies in Germany, South Africa, Singapore, and the Netherlands and gained professional experience in the offices of Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam and Toyo Ito in Tokyo. For his built projects in Germany he received various awards and the works were widely published and exhibited. Nikolaus Knebel’s projects often link research, teaching and practice, like e.g. the ongoing GUtech EcoHaus project, a pioneering net-zero-energy building in Oman, which received the “Oman Green Award for Education (special commendation)” in 2014, “Best Sustainable Project in North Africa and the Middle East”, “Best Project Design and Best Architect at the Dossier Construction Awards” in 2015. Nikolaus Knebel is a regular participant, speaker and member of scientific committees at various international conferences on sustainable architecture.
Paul Alexander Black
Director-Facilities and Property Management
A dedicated professional with over 25 years’ experience gained throughout Europe and the Middle East, Paul Black leads the Facility and Property Management team at Msheireb Properties.
Paul strives for property management excellence across all Msheireb Properties assets including residential, retail, commercial, schools, catering and medical facilities. Collaborating with architects, designers and consultants he is responsible for ensuring best practice, enhancing the value of these assets, exceeding customer expectations and implementing Msheireb Properties’ sustainability standards.
Prior to his role at Msheireb Properties, Paul developed his expertise at Aswaq Management and Services, Aldar Properties and Drake & Scull International.
Dr Shaibu B.Garba
Department of Architecture & Urban Planning
Dr Shaibu B. Garba holds a Bachelors and Master of Science in Architecture from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Nigeria, a Master of Architecture with Specialization in Housing from McGill University Montreal, a Master of City and Regional Planning from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and a Ph.D. with specialization in Urban Design from Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne. Dr. Garba has had more than 20 years of working experience in teaching and professional consulting. He has taught at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman, and currently at Qatar University. Dr. Garba has engaged in professional consulting either on a private basis or in full or part-time employment, primarily in the areas of institutional facilities design, housing, and Urban planning and design. Dr. Garba is engaged in research in the area of urban studies with focus on Environment and Behavior Issues, Urban Management and Governance, and Housing and Community design. Dr. Garba has written more than 25 articles and papers published in refereed international journals, or presented at peer reviewed conferences and seminars.
Dr. M. Walid Qoronfleh
Biotechnology Development Director
Walid has over 20 years of scientific, technology, business, and commercial experience with a wide range of operational and strategic responsibilities including strategic planning, R&D management, product development, business development, and marketing & sales strategy. Walid has held several senior management and executive positions with increasing responsibilities at GSK, Sanofi, NIH-NCI, NextGen Sciences (VP, Personalized Medicine) and SDIX (Exec. Dir., Diagnostics business, Nasdaq: SDIX).
Dr. Qoronfleh is the founder of three biotechnology companies and he is a co-Founder and the Managing Director of the boutique consulting company Q3CG. He is an ad hoc reviewer for various scientific journals and a frequent speaker at international conferences. He is also editor of two journals He obtained his PhD from The University of Louisville–School of Medicine; he received his MBA from Penn State University and his Marketing certification from The University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Yasser Al Jaidah
Before joining Qatar Cool, Mr. Al Jaidah was the General Manager and Director of South Hook LNG in the United Kingdom; the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal of Western Europe and provider of 20% of the United Kingdom’s LNG consumption. He completed a bachelor’s of science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri in the United States, he is also certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) from the Project Management Institute (PMI) and has an Executive MBA from HEC-Paris in Shanghai, China.
He has over a decade of energy experience and has held positions throughout the field which include Maintenance, Operations Engineering, Project Management, Marketing and Venture Projects.
Mr. Al Jaidah also established the first liaison office for RasGas in Korea. He also held a position of Inlet Facilities Project Lead for the RasGas expansion phase two project and was also seconded to ExxonMobil as a Project Execution Engineer in Houston, Texas.
Mr. Al Jaidah has a breadth of experience in the energy industry and has worked on a range of worldwide projects on four continents in countries such as Qatar, Korea, Japan, France, Norway, USA, Italy, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Muhammad Zaheer is the Director of Sales in Siemens Building Technologies division in Siemens W.L.L. Qatar. He is responsible for the Total Building Solution offerings of Siemens and heads a team of 9 Sales and technical professionals.
Zaheer began his career with Siemens in 2006 in Siemens Saudi Arabia and gained a cross functional and cross divisional experience within Siemens world over the last decade. He is a creative management professional with diverse and solid experience of various business fields including Strategy, Leadership & People Management, Sales and Marketing, Corporate Communications & Business Development.
Zaheer is a mid-career energetic manager with a strong background in business studies, electronics, digital communications and computer sciences holding a B.Sc. (Hons) in Computer Sciences from Pakistan, an MS in Electronics from London and an MBA from Manchester Business School in UK.
With over ten years of business experience in multi-national and multi-cultural environments in Europe and Middle East, He is well balanced with deep experience and understanding of strategic business topics with multiple strengths in generating and driving innovative ideas.
His key interests in business arena are around the topics of energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings and the importance of safe, secure and comfortable buildings in our daily lives.