Photo of Dr. Samir El-Omari

Dr. Samir El-Omari

Dr. Samir El-Omari wants to build a sustainable future – one brick at a time. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville civil and environmental engineering professor has been integral in building the Sustainability and Renewable Energy Systems program curriculum. El-Omari’s efforts to promote sustainable practices extend beyond the classroom, as he strives to lead by example. He was recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright grant to teach and research at Nile University in Egypt, where he will continue expanding his knowledge and expertise in this critical field.

“International experience is very important for us to go forward in the field of sustainability,” said El-Omari. “I will share my experience there, and I will learn a lot. Each country has its own specific environmental, political and economic conditions.”

El-Omari spent his sabbatical at Nile University in 2019, researching and publishing work related to sustainability. He sought out the Fulbright grant to continue work in that area. The grant will allow El-Omari to teach the Green Building Design course he developed at UW-Platteville, sharing his expertise with Nile University graduate students. He’ll also be researching sustainability building regulations and exploring sustainable alternative building materials in the region.

“There is often a lack of material in developing countries. This is a major issue, “El-Omari said. “Many materials need to be imported. So we’ll be researching alternative building materials and how they can work with the environment to sustain energy.”

El-Omari has a long history of utilizing international learning opportunities to reveal different cultures, techniques and ideas to his students. Since 2014, he has led students on a trip to explore renewable energy and green building practices in Germany through UW-Platteville’s Short-Term Faculty-Led programs. El-Omari said these opportunities provide students with a unique and valuable global perspective, which can be applied in their future careers.

“I’ve learned from places like Brazil, Argentina, Germany and other countries, and then I bring it to my class,” El-Omari said. “We have to think of the future. And this is what I try to let the students understand and think about other places in the world that lack access to materials, water and food. This allows them to explore what their input could be to improve the lives of future generations.”

El-Omari said he plans to publish his research findings in academic journals and present his findings to UW-Platteville staff and students once his Fulbright grant ends.

Photo of Dr. Samir El-Omari at Nile University in 2019

Dr. Samir El-Omari at Nile University in 2019

Written by Stephen Kelley

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