SAFI-UAE Webinar Series


The UAE is at a very interesting crossroads as it relates to its aviation industry. In many ways, the UAE has demonstrated its capacity to dream big and to deliver on its promises, from launching a mission to mars, to being a world leader in energy investments and infrastructure.

The UAE is ranked 3rd worldwide both in terms of Revenue-Ton-Kilometers (RTKs) and Revenue-Passenger-Kilometers (RPKs), two of the most important indicators to measure aviation’s impact, only behind the USA and China.

From an internal perspective, the UAE has invested an estimated $270 billion (AED 1 trillion) in its aviation sector, which includes improvements to airport infrastructure and a fleet of 884 modern commercial aircraft (which up until the COVID-19 outbreak was being increased by five to six aircraft per month).

If the UAE is to have a license to grow sustainably, it must look at how its aviation sector will come out of the current crisis, stronger and more resilient than ever, and positioned to spearhead the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) from a strategic perspective.

With this in mind, the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Initiative for the United Arab Emirates (SAFI-UAE) will be getting under way through this Webinar Series, where we will explore many of the topics of relevance that will set the scene for a strong and vibrant SAF industry in the UAE.

Only working together will we accomplish this objective. We invite you to be part of SAFI-UAE!

Hosted By




Session 1

co-hosted by the International Association for Energy Economics – IAEE

Title : The Challenge for Sustainable Aviation Fuels Beyond COVID-19

Date/Time :  5 August 2020, 5:30pm – 6:30pm UAE Time

Speakers :
Format – moderated panel session

  • Moderator
    • Steve Griffiths (Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Professor of Practice, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, UAE)
  • Panelists
    • Robert Boyd (Senior Manager – Aviation Environment, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Switzerland)
    • Jim Hileman (Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Environment, Federal Aviation Administration, USA)
    • Alejandro Rios-Galvan (Director – Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, UAE)

Session attendees will come away with insights into:

  • The efforts and strategies of the aviation industry to reduce its carbon footprint
  • The development and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels to date, and the onset of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
  • The outlook towards the long term goal of reducing by 50% the emissions in 2050 using 2005 as the baseline year
  • Short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 demand shock for the aviation industry
  • The future for SAF and the pathways most likely to address the challenge – local solutions for a global industry

View Session 1 Here Download Dr. Alejandro Rios-Galvan’s Presentation Download Dr. James Hileman’s Presentation Download Robert Boyd’s Presentation

Session 2

Title: Pathways to Produce SAF

Date/Time: 11 August 2020, 5:30pm – 6:30pm UAE Time

Format – moderated panel session

  • Moderator
    • Alejandro Rios-Galvan (Director – Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, UAE)
  • Panelists
    • Mark Rumizen (Senior Technical Specialist, Aviation Fuels, Federal Aviation Administration, USA)
    • Bruno Miller (Managing Director – Fuels, Fulcrum Bioenergy, USA)
    • Jennifer Holmgren (Chief Executive Officer, Lanzatech, USA)
  • Session attendees will come away with insights into:
    • An understanding of the fuel approval process for SAF
    • The annexes that have been approved up to date and the ones that are on the pipeline
    • A look at some of the most relevant projects that are being developed worldwide
    • The current and future technologies that can be used for producing SAF
    • The challenges for developing refining infrastructure for SAF and getting it to market

Speaker Bios

Mark Rumizen has been the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) regulatory and technical expert for aviation fuels for over two decades. He has been employed by the FAA since 1991 and is currently the Senior Technical Specialist for aviation fuels in the Aircraft Certification Division.  He is also a member of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) steering committee and is the leader of the CAAFI Certification & Qualification Panel.  He serves on the Executive Subcommittee of the ASTM International Aviation Fuels Subcommittee and is the chairman of that subcommittee’s Emerging Fuels section.

Dr. Bruno Miller is Managing Director of Fuels and Regulatory Affairs at Fulcrum Bioenergy, a pioneer in the development of a reliable and efficient process for transforming everyday household garbage into low-carbon transportation fuels including jet fuel and diesel. He is responsible for directing Fulcrum´s fuels activities including sales, logistics, regulatory compliance, and sustainability. Dr. Miller has more than 20 years of experience in the air transportation industry. As a strategic sourcing manager in the fuel department at Northwest and Delta Airlines, he was responsible for the airline’s fuel supply chain in the U.S. Northeast, Latin America and Africa, including major airports in New York, Boston and Washington D.C.  As Principal of Energy and Environment at Metron Aviation, he analyzed and developed strategies to strengthen the leadership of major global airlines on sustainability and environmental performance. Dr. Miller has been Principal Investigator in a number of projects for the National Academy of Science’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) and was the co-chairman of the business team of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI). He holds a Ph.D. in Air Transportation Systems as well as a M.S. and B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a M.S. in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Dr. Jennifer Holmgren is CEO of revolutionary carbon recycling company, LanzaTech. Prior to LanzaTech, Jennifer was VP and General Manager of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit at UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company. Under her management, UOP technology became instrumental in producing nearly all of the initial fuels used by commercial airlines and the military for testing and certification of alternative aviation fuel. Today, under Jennifer’s guidance, LanzaTech is working towards deploying carbon capture and reuse facilities globally to make fuels and chemicals from waste carbon.  In 2015, Jennifer and her team at LanzaTech were awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Presidential Green Chemistry Award and she received the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology and the Outstanding Leader Award in Corporate Social Innovation from the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.  She was named most influential leader in the Bioeconomy by Biofuels Digest in 2017 and received the Digest Global Bioenergy Leadership Award in 2018. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, a dog lover and committed greyhound rescuer, Jennifer holds a B.Sc. degree from Harvey Mudd College, a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago.  Jennifer is also the Director and Chair of the LanzaJet Board of Directors.  LanzaJet, Inc., is a new company that will produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for a sector requiring climate friendly fuel options.

View Session 2 Here Download Mark Rumizen’s Presentation Download Dr. Bruno Miller’s Presentation Download Dr. Jennifer Holmgren’s Presentation

Session 3

Title: Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiatives Around the World

Date/Time: 18 August 2020, 5:30pm – 6:45pm UAE Time
Format – moderated panel session

  • Moderator
    • Alejandro Rios-Galvan (Director – Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, UAE)
  • Panelists
    • Steve Csonka (Executive Director – Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), USA)
    • Kateryna Derkach (Director Strategy and Sustainability, Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN), Canada)
    • Pedro Scorza (Director de Biocombustíveis de Aviação na Ubrabio, Brazil)
  • Session attendees will come away with insights into:
    • An understanding of the different initiatives that have been launched around the world to promote SAFs
    • Managing a SAF initiative and governance structure
    • Stakeholder engagement process for SAF initiatives
    • Best practices for initiatives working on SAF


Steve Csonka is the Executive Director of CAAFI (the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, an industry partnership fostering the development and commercialization of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).  CAAFI engages in public-private-partnership activities designed to assist in bringing together the group of participants needed to stand up an entirely new industrial sector. Steve is a commercial aviation professional with 34 years of broad, strategic airline and aviation OEM experience. For the last decade, Steve has been a strong industry advocate who has worked in roles of developing pragmatic solutions to the challenges of aviation growth, and that interest led him to accepting the current CAAFI role in 2012.  He continues to serve in leadership, steering committee, consultancy, and BOD roles with multiple aviation industry organizations in areas of applying technology and business concepts to enable commercial progression with SAF.

Kateryna Derkach is the Strategy and Sustainability Director at the Green Aviation Research and Development Network in Canada (GARDN), a non-profit organization created in 2009 with funding from the Canadian government and the Canadian aerospace industry. GARDN’s mandate is to build research clusters that work together to reduce the environmental impacts of air travel. Kateryna holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and in Strategic Eco Design. She has experience working with sustainable business strategies in the aviation industry, particularly with the emerging sector of SAF.

Pedro Rodrigo Scorza is line captain and senior technical advisor for renewable fuels at GOL Airlines, also acts as Director of Renewables for Aviation at Ubrabio (União Brasileira de Biodiesel e Bioquerosene), member of IATA Sustainability and Environment Advisory Council (SEAC) and of Brazilian Climate Change Forum (FMBC). The executive began his professional career in 1989 and has been working at GOL since 2006. Pedro Scorza is graduated in Business Administration from PUC-RS (Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), has a Master degree in Management from UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) and attends Unicamp Ph.D. Program in Bioenergy.

Henrik Erämetsä (M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering) is working as Head of Aviation Regulations, Public Affairs, at Neste.  Henrik is a member of the ABFA (Advanced Biofuel Association) CORSIA Team, Co-chair of the EU FlightPath, and a member of the Board of AIREG, the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany e.V. Earlier experience with aviation and alternative aviation fuels:  In 2003-04 Henrik was Vice-President, Specialty Products, which included the responsibility for Neste’s aviation fuel retail business in Finland.  During his time as the head of the Houston office in 2004-07, Neste took the first steps into the alternative aviation fuels business by participating in the ASTM standardization process, which then lead to the approval of the first bio based jet fuel commercially available, the “HRJ” or “HEFA” in 2011.  After his return to Finland in 2007, Henrik was as Vice-President, Development, responsible for the development of the BTL (gasification and Fischer-Tropsch) technology together with Stora Enso, using forest residue as feedstock.  This technology was successfully demonstrated in a full process single train. During his second expatriate time in the US in Washington DC in 2014-16, Henrik participated in the activities of ABFA and CAAFI. Within EU, Henrik has earlier been a member of the Steering Committee of EBTP (Biofuels Technology Platform), and one of the industrial members of the EIBI Team, the EIBI Coordination Group and the EIBI Aviation WG.  (EIBI = European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative, one of the industrial initiatives under the Horizon 2020 Plan). Neste is a leading North European refiner with a refinery with both fossil and biofuel production in Finland and biofuel refineries in Singapore and Rotterdam.   Neste is a pioneer and the leading producer of HEFA type SAF.

View Session Session 3 Here View Steve Csonka’s Presentation View Kateryna Derkach’s Presentation View Pedro Rodrigo Scorza’s Presentation View Henrik Erämetsä’s Presentation

Session 4

Title: Global Lessons on SAF

Date/Time: 25 August 2020, 5:30pm – 7pm UAE Time
Format – moderated panel session

  • Moderator:
    • Dr. Alejandro Rios-Galvan, Director of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), Khalifa University
  • Panelists:
    • Sean Newsum, Director – Environmental Strategy, The Boeing Company, USA
    • Mariam Musallam Al-Qubaisi, Head of Sustainability – Government, International & Communications, Etihad Airways, UAE
    • Darrin Morgan, Head of Growth and Investment, SkyNRG, Netherlands
    • Arvid Løken, Senior Adviser, Avinor’s Carbon Reduction Programme

Session attendees will come away with insights into:

  • The efforts worldwide for promoting SAFs from different perspectives
  • The view from an airline
  • The view from an OEM
  • The view from a distributor of SAF
  • The view from a promoter
  • What has worked? What hasn’t?
  • What is needed to get to the long-term goal?
  • Recommendations from the industry to realize SAFs


Sean A. Newsum is the Director of Environmental Strategy at Boeing. Sean Newsum leads a team that addresses key industry-wide environmental issues, including aircraft emissions and community noise reduction, sustainable biofuel development, and pursuing methods to enhance environmental performance. Newsum’s expertise in biofuel development stems from over 20 years at the Boeing Company, having worked in various roles from program management to marketing and business development. In his current position, Newsum is responsible for developing an integrated strategy to ensure that Commercial Airplanes’ products and services are aligned with Boeing’s environmental performance objectives. He also represents Boeing with key industry bodies, including the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering and his MBA in technology management from the University of Washington.

Mariam Musallam Saeed Abdulla Alqubaisi is heading Sustainability under Government, International Affairs & Communications in Etihad Aviation Group. Before that, she worked as an instructor in the department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Zayed University where she taught Environmental and Natural Sciences. She holds a bachelor of science in Environmental Health from Zayed University and an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include water resource management, environmental policy, and innovation and technology management. Mariam co-founded the Arab Innovation Network (AIN) in 2011, a youth initiative focused on inspiring innovative solutions to environmental and health challenges in the Arab region. As a member of AIN, she was actively involved with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in the Middle East.

Darrin Morgan joined SkyNRG in 2018 from the Boeing Company, were he was Director of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) for 12 years. At Boeing, he was one of the primary aviation industry architects of the emerging SAF industry and has been involved in, or founded, many of the significant aviation fuel efforts to date. Prior to this, he led the selection of new energy projects at Puget Energy. With more than 15 years’ experience in renewable energy, clean technology in the electric power and aviation industries, Darrin has a proven track-record of developing, launching, and managing industry-leading projects and initiatives. He excels in coalition-building and creating tangible business outcomes by convening stakeholders from across sectors and creating investment opportunities. These include financial, political, industrial, technical, academic, and non-governmental organizations.

Arvid Løken works as senior adviser in Avinor’s Carbon Reduction Programme. His main responsibilities are jet biofuel and research and development projects. He has a background from innovation funding and innovation projects. He has worked 8 years as senior innovation adviser in Nordic Innovation, an organization owned by the 5 Nordic ministries of industry, working to promote growth and sustainability in the Nordic region. Prior to that, he has been working in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and in Sweco. Løken holds a master’s degree in economics and resource management and an MBA. Avinor is a state owned company that owns and operates the majority of the airports in Norway. Avinor has for a number of years engaged in activities to reduce emissions both from the airports and from Norwegian aviation.

View Session 4 Here View Sean Newsum’s Presentation View Mariam Alqubaisi’s Presentation View Arvid Løken’s Presentation

Session 5

Title: The Role of the Oil and Gas Industry in the Development of SAF

Date/Time: 1 September 2020, 3pm – 4:15pm UAE Time
Format – moderated panel session

  • Moderator:
    • Dr. Alejandro Rios-Galvan, Director of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), Khalifa University
  • Panelists:
    • Jonathan W. W. Wood, VP, Neste (Renewable Aviation)
    • Stephane Thion, Head of Sustainable Aviation Fuels at Total
    • Andrew Murfin, GM Advanced Biofuels, Downstream Sustainability, Shell Aviation, UK

Session attendees will come away with insights into:

  • The initiatives that are being undertaken by the oil and gas (O&G) majors around the world to produce SAF and reduce aviation’s carbon footprint
  • What are the key technologies that are used in the oil and gas industry to produce SAF
  • CCUS
  • Hydrogen production
  • Hydrotreatment
  • What is the role of the O&G industry moving forward in the production of SAF


Jonathan Wood, VP Europe/Aspac for Neste’s Renewable Aviation Fuel business, has 25 years senior level experience in the energy industry. Prior to joining Neste, Jonathan led Air BP’s global growth and business development strategy. Jonathan has extensive commercial experience in building and leading customer facing businesses, developing supply chains, new product and service value propositions, mergers and acquisitions, JVs and commercial partnerships, as well as investments in biofuels and digital ventures. Jonathan graduated in Economics from London University, and completed an Executive MBA programme at Harvard Business School.

Stephane Thion is Head of Sustainable Aviation Fuels at Total since the end of 2018. He has over 20-year extensive international experience developing sustainable and innovative renewable energy and chemical solutions for both startups and multinational companies. Prior to his current role, Stéphane was Managing Director Asia Pacific at Ingevity, a leading global manufacturer of renewable specialty chemicals and materials. Previously, he worked for Cool Planet, a startup company dedicated to establishing sustainable products for the energy, food, and water markets, where he oversaw the largest private equity raise in cleantech globally in 2013/2014. Before that, Stéphane held various positions in the fields of sales and marketing, business and corporate development as well as strategy. Stéphane graduated in International Business and holds an Executive MBA from Temple University.

Murfin joined Shell Alternative Energies in 2009 and was appointed GM Advanced Biofuels at the beginning of 2013. In his current role, he has global accountability for the delivery of an advanced biofuels manufacturing business. He has over 25 years’ commercial, project and technology implementation experience. Prior to his current role, Murfin was in Canada, developing a proposed project to deliver a cellulosic ethanol facility in conjunction with government funding and technology providers. Previously, he was project director of the now operational $3bn London Array offshore wind project in the UK. Murfin has worked in the renewable energy field since 2001 and joined Shell in 2003. Prior to joining Shell, he held a number of senior positions in UK electricity and gas utilities. He spent much of his early career in a range of commercial, mergers and acquisitions, new business development and trading roles in the UK utility industry. Murfin has a first degree in Electro Mechanical Engineering, is a Fellow of the Energy Institute and a Chartered Engineer.

View Session 5 Here View Jonathan Wood’s Presentation View Stephane Thion’s Presentation View Andrew Murfin’s Presentation

Session 6

Title: Regional Constraints and Opportunities for the Production of SAF

Date/Time: 8 September 2020, 3pm – 4pm UAE Time
Format – moderated panel session

  • Moderator:
    • Dr. Alejandro Rios-Galvan, Director of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), Khalifa University
  • Panelists:
    • John Hurst, Director of Capacity Procurement, Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), UAE
    • Hassan El-Houjeiri, Climate and Sustainability Group Lead, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia
    • Martin Rothbart, Senior Product Manager, Energy & Sustainability, Global Business Development, AVL List GmbH, Austria
    • Faye Al Hersh, Technology Specialist, Strategy, Masdar, UAE
    • Adrian Gane, Director Industry & International Affairs, Etihad Aviation Group, UAE

Session attendees will come away with insights into:

  • The constraints and opportunities that are available in this region of the world
  • No biomass at scale
  • Large energy infrastructure investments
  • Low-cost low-carbon energy sources
  • The strategic role of the aviation industry for the UAE
  • The importance of Low Carbon Aviation Fuels (LCAF) in the energy portfolio for the aviation industry
  • How can policy help in the development of SAF for this region?


John Hurst serves as the Director of Capacity Procurement at EWEC, following his appointment in 2019. A talented team leader who inspires and drives transformational innovation, John is responsible for developing the technical and multi-discipline aspects of EWEC’s major projects. With extensive experience in acquiring and developing conventional, renewable power and water plants within the MENA region, John has contributed significantly to the future development of EWEC, creating strong partnerships with a variety of entities to explore new technologies, deliver a secure power and water supply, and continue to drive sustainability and energy efficiency in the region. Prior to joining EWEC, John was the Head of Business Development at Masdar Clean Energy where he was responsible for securing and developing onshore and offshore wind, hybrid and photo voltaic solar plant  and waste to energy projects globally with a combined total of more than 4000MW across the MENA region and the UK. He has also held executive positions in both leading government and private sector organisations, including Sumitomo, Mubadala and International Power. John holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He is also a full member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and a Chartered Engineer.

Dr. El-Houjeiri is the lead scientist of Saudi Aramco for strategic climate and sustainability research and analysis. Before joining Aramco, he developed regulatory mechanisms and platforms for state regulators in the United States for crude oil carbon intensity regulations. Dr. El-Houjeiri is a fellow from Stanford University who built crude production greenhouse gas (GHG) models that are used by major regulators worldwide for crude oil carbon intensity assessment. He also has extensive experience at Shell assessing the GHG emissions of oil and gas developments and shaping the CO2 strategy. Dr. El-Houjeiri holds a PhD in Engineering Science from Oxford University and a Master of Science (with Distinction) in Business Management from Warwick University, UK.

Martin Rothbart is Senior Product Manager for Energy and Sustainability in Global Business Development, Sales & International Operations, for the Powertrain Systems division of AVL List GmbH, in Graz, Austria. He joined AVL List in year 2000 and has held a number of positions in the company. His responsibilities include business development for energy, alternative & synthetic fuels, and sustainability, as well as analysis of market potential in the different regions where he supports the global sales efforts. Martin holds an engineering degree in Automation Technology, and an MBA in Economics of the California State University in East Bay, USA.

Dr. Faye Al Hersh works as the Technology Specialist in Strategy within Masdar’s Strategy and Corporate Development division under the office of the CEO. The strategy team aims to support the organisation’s strategic and operational goals by providing business, strategic and research tools to support corporate growth. Part of her many responsibilities, Dr. Al Hersh leads Masdar’s Technology Working Group initiative which brings together technology and market experts from across the different departments in Masdar to discuss advanced technologies that can be implemented in existing or new projects. Prior to joining Masdar, Dr. Al Hersh completed a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Energy Engineering. She then continued on to complete a master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Futures and a PhD in Photo-electrochemical Hydrogen Production at Imperial College London.

Adrian Gane has extensive commercial and political experience gained in a variety of roles held internationally (Far East, Middle East, Europe) and in the UK. He is currently responsible for Sustainability, Strategic Communications, and External Affairs for Etihad Airways based in Abu Dhabi. Adrian was the CEO of a major lobbying and membership organisation for four years in the UK. He has strong commercial experience running multi-million dollar budgets and P+ L accounts with large multi-national teams, as well as extensive Board experience and success running subsidiary companies in the travel, insurance, and exhibitions sectors.

View Session 6 Here View John Hurt’s Presentation View Martin Rothbart’s Presentation View Faye Al Hersh’s Presentation View Dr. Hassan El-Houjeiri’s Presentation

Session 7

Title: Best Practices and Crossover Points for SAFI-UAE

Date/Time: 15 September 2020, 10am – 11:30am UAE Time
Format – moderated panel session

Session attendees will come away with insights into:

  • Technology: several technological pathways have been established to produce SAF and a discussion will be held on the ones that are most applicable in the UAE and how they can be implemented
  • Policy: a number of policy options are available for the deployment of SAF and the ones most applicable to the UAE will be discussed
  • Sustainability: all aspects of sustainability (environmental, economic, social) need to be considered, and an exploration of the certification schemes that will be available to ensure compliance with CORSIA will be done, together with a discussion on optimizing carbon management
  • R&D: there are several research tracks that could benefit the development of SAF in the UAE, and this will be explored
  • Business Development: a discussion of how to “connect the dots” so that projects to produce SAF can be integrated across industrial sectors, working to secure the necessary financing and stakeholder involvement will be discussed
  • The views from the different strategic sectors of the UAE for producing SAF
  • What are possible objectives and pathways for developing the SAF industry in the UAE?
  • The importance and strengths of the UAE to become a world leader in the production of SAF


Speaker Bios

Sergio Lopez works in the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, having spent more than 15 years serving governments and international institutions and almost 20 years working globally within the energy industry. Sergio helps to shape the direction of the energy transition through the formulation of government policies for the safeguarding of energy supply, the conservation and efficient use of energy, and the promotion of renewable energies. As a professor, he collaborates with universities and business schools on energy policy and its connections to regulatory policy, competition, and corporate strategy.


Born in 1980 in Giessen, Germany, Manuel obtained his education at the Technical University Ilmenau and the Federal University of Santa Catharina (UFSC), Brazil. He holds a diploma in industrial engineering and a post-graduate diploma in Advanced Management from the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin. His career at Siemens spans over a decade from 2004. Until 2014, Manuel worked across different functions with Siemens Management Consulting (SMC). His role at SMC – part of the company’s Corporate Strategy Department – focused on strategy implementation projects across Siemens’ businesses globally. As Vice President, Manuel took on auditing and stabilization of project business in the power generation and transmission businesses as well as reorganization, restructuring and M&A activities. His project experience extended to localization projects in the UAE’s power generation sector, establishing a factory for Medium Voltage Equipment in India’s Medium Voltage Distribution, as well as developing strategies on how to excel growth in emerging economies. In his capacity as a leader in the SMC team, Manuel was responsible for recruiting, people development and staff disposition, including the alignment with governing bodies and Germany’s worker’s council. In mid-2014, Manuel took on the position of Senior Vice President of Business Development at the company’s Middle East headquarters in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Since then, he has been driving Strategy and Business Development for Siemens in the UAE and all countries reporting to it, from Libya in the West to Pakistan in the East. As Head of the Executive Office, Manuel is responsible for the coordination of all activities that involve the CEO in internal and external affairs. In addition, he is a member of Siemens’ Global Sales Excellence Advisory Committee and Director at Siemens Pakistan Engineering Company Ltd. in Karachi.

Shannon Scott is Senior Manager Environment Affairs at Emirates Airline, where he is responsible for environmental policy and programmes. He is Vice-Chair of the International Air Transport Association Sustainability and Environment Advisory Council, and participates in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) working groups on CORSIA and on Airports and Operations. Before joining Emirates in 2013, he was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, where he also represented New Zealand as Observer to CAEP. Prior to that, he led the New Zealand Ministry of Research, Science and Technology’s international cooperation programmes with North Asia.


Prof. Vega holds a PhD in Physics, with 30+ years of professional experience in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, in Research, Teaching, Innovation and Strategy. She has developed her career in academia and industry, in Europe, USA and the Middle-East. She is internationally recognized for her work in molecular thermodynamics and computational modeling, combined with advanced experimental techniques, applied to clean energy and sustainable processes.   In 2020 she received the Mohammed Bin Rashid medal for Scientific Distinguishment for her contributions in clean energy and sustainability. She has also received numerous awards for her success in bringing fundamental science to the market, including 200+ publications, 2 books, 10 commercialized products and 5 patents under exploitation. She is the editor in Chief of the Journal of Molecular Liquids and Director of the Research and Innovation Center on CO2 and H2 (RICH) at Khalifa University.

View Session 7 Here

Session 8

Title: Stakeholder Engagement for SAFI-UAE

Date/Time:  TBA
Format – in-person stakeholder engagement session at KU

  • Moderator
    • Alejandro Rios-Galvan (Director – Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, UAE)
  • Participants
    • Aircraft operators: Etihad Airways, Emirates, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia
    • Airports: Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Dubai Airports, Sharjah International Airport
    • Aircraft manufacturers: The Boeing Company, Airbus
    • Engine manufacturers: Rolls-Royce, GE, CFM, Safran
  • Oil & Gas
    • Producers: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Emirates National Oil Company, Saudi ARAMCO, BP, Shell, Oxy, ExxonMobil, Total, ENI
    • Technology providers: UOP-Honeywell, Axens
  • Support industries
    • Energy: Masdar, Siemens, Marubeni, Lanzatech, AVL
  • Government
    • Federal: Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Ministry of Energy and Industry, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Economy, General Civil Aviation Authority
    • State/Local: Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, Department of Energy, Department of Municipalities and Transport
    • Companies: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Abu Dhabi Power Corporation, Emirates Water and Electricity Company, Tadweer
  • Academia
    • Universities: Khalifa University of Science and Technology, NYU Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates University, American University of Sharjah
  • International Organizations
    • Aviation: International Civil Aviation Organization, International Air Transport Association, Airports Council International
    • Non-Governmental Organizations: Emirates Nature WWF
    • Energy: International Renewable Energy Agency
  • Finance
    • Banks: HSBC, First Abu Dhabi Bank, etc.
    • Others: Abu Dhabi Global Markets, Mubadala
  • SAF Producers
    • Projects: Fulcrum Bioenergy, Velocys, Neste Oil, World Energy, Lanzatech
  • The session will focus on communicating the following objectives:
    • Establish SAFI-UAE and define the work program
    • Engage and recruit all the necessary stakeholders to participate in SAFI
    • Work on defining the best pathways to focus on for establishing pilot/demonstration projects for at least 3 of the feedstock/conversion pathways

The purpose of SAFI-UAE will be to underpin the creation of the SAF industry in the UAE. It will reinforce the overall objective of creating a knowledge-based economy and confirm the UAE’s position as a world leader in the energy and aviation sectors by creating viable business models for the production of SAF.