Nanotechnology Convergence for Sustainable Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Health: a US-Africa Conference

July 14-18, 2024
Marriott Hotel
Casablanca, Morocco

About This Conference

After the success of the first and second US-Africa conferences, which were in-person (2019) and virtual (2022) events, convening a third US-Africa conference in-person in Morocco in 2024 will result in solidifying established and creating new connections. This conference will stimulate international collaboration, and contribute to advancing US-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, training and research, strengthening these areas.

The overarching goal of this conference is to bring scientists including undergraduate, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty together from the United States and African countries to encourage future collaborations through this US-Africa conference. The focus of this 2024 conference is on nanotechnology convergence for sustainable energy, environment, climate change and health.  

State-of-the-art research, recent achievements, and global trends in nanotechnology will be presented during the conference to promote cross-disciplinary interactions that can spur the development in these exciting research fields. The conference will stimulate and encourage international collaboration and advance diversity and inclusion. The conference will stimulate engaged group discussions among diverse participants to create transformative ideas that will advance the development of applications in energy, health, and environment. It is expected that the participants will continue communication and create new collaborations following the conclusion of the conference.

The conference will include scientists and engineers from many countries in North Africa including Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Angola, and Ghana along with participants from other African countries.

The conference will encourage new ideas to improve and revolutionize many technology and industry sectors such as quantum information technology, nanomedicine for cancer therapy and diagnosis, energy harvesting, climate change and environmental science. The agenda of the conference will include opening talks by the co-chairs, followed by keynote speakers and breakout sessions for energy, health, climate change and environment.

Students will present their current research in poster sessions as well as short talks. Presenters will also be sought from industrial and policy sectors. The conference will feature daily open discussions among attendees through short group sessions that includes students, postdocs, and keynote speakers.  The main goals of the conference are to use nanotechnology as a convergence platform and  a transdisciplinary approach that integrates fundamental science, engineering and medical applications to address global challenges in sustainable energy, environment and health; and to facilitate research collaborations and broader networking among participants.

A significant number of US- students, young and senior scientists (about 40) will attend this conference at little or no cost to the individuals. A Power Hour will be specified/allocated during the last day of the conference for collaborative discussions. Our instructive approach will immerse young scientists in a learning intensive environment with established investigators as a way of educating the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Conference Organization

Co-Chairs

Isabel Escobar
University of Kentucky

Ahmed El-Gendy
University of Texas-El Paso

Preliminary Program

Preliminary Program (Feb 16, 2024)

Call for Abstracts

Session titles are listed in the Tentative Agenda. Please use this information to pre-select up to three sessions where you believe your work fits best.

Abstracts (one page maximum) that include specific results and conclusions to allow a scientific assessment of the proposed oral presentation are invited.  

Abstracts must be submitted electronically using the template provided at THIS LINK

Oral abstract submission deadline: April 1, 2024

Poster abstract submission deadline: April 30, 2024

Abstracts of all presentations will be made available to conference participants prior to the start of the conference.

Awards will be presented to the top three student posters

Note: Only a limited number of oral presentation slots are available and thus all submissions for oral sessions will be considered for both oral and poster presentation.

Venue Information

A rich country in long-standing culture, Morocco is home to generations of vibrant preserved traditions.   Every festival, ritual or special gathering is a symbol of the living arts in the country.  Casablanca is, however, also the center of contemporary Moroccan culture with cosmopolitan restaurants, theaters and galleries.

Hotel Information

The conference will take place at the Casablanca Marriott Hotel, a 5-star hotel ideally located in the heart of the historic “Art Deco” district in the city center of Casablanca, 40 minutes away from the international airport, 10 minutes walking distance from Casa Port fast train station, restaurants and main tourist attractions. The hotel features a plethora of facilities including fast and reliable internet, pool, hot tub, a business center, fitness center, spa, TV, laundry service and free parking.  The service is warm and welcoming and the guest rooms are contemporary.   Their BaB restaurant features both international and Moroccan all-day dining.  In addition, there is a coffee shop and a cocktail bar. Their meeting facilities are among the finest in Morocco.  The hotel is 3 km from the Hassan II Mosque.

Casablanca

Casablanca, which sits on the Atlantic Ocean, is Morocco’s largest city and main port.  It is Morocco’s largest economic powerhouse and transportation hub.  Its skyline is dominated by the Hassan II Mosque which has the world’s tallest minaret and can host 25,000 worshippers inside as well as a further 80,000 in its courtyard.  Thanks to the moderating effect of the Atlantic’s cool Canary Current, the city enjoys a Mediterranean climate and its climate and temperature range is often compared to that of coastal Los Angeles. 

Its main airport, Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) is three miles northeast of the city center and has direct transportation (less than seven hours) from New York on Royal Air Maroc.  There are flights from more than 96 international destinations.

Rialto Theater
Rialto Theater, Morocco

Casablanca boasts the most Art Deco architecture of all Moroccan cities which gives the city more of a fresh, modern feel in contrast to the imperial cities.  The Art Deco buildings are a reminder of the French colonial period.  Many of the buildings in Casablanca are unique in that they blend traditional Moroccan designs with European architecture.  (The movement became known as Mauresque).  No artists are creating more spaces throughout the city to showcase their work as they convert miscellaneous buildings to galleries.

Hassan II Mosque

The Hasan II Mosque is the city’s most well-known attraction and should not be missed.  Visitors who want to understand Islam and desire to visit an Islamic house of worship should visit this mosque which features traditional Moroccan materials and architectural styles and provides an unparalleled glimpse into the major faith of the country and its traditions.  Tours are available.

Medina Market, Morocco

To get an immersive experience in both Moroccan culture and traditions, visit the medinas to observe the hidden details of Moroccan daily life.  While many medinas date far back in history, the old medina of Casablanca dates just to the 19th century.  While large parts are residential, the entrance near Bab Marrakech and Plaza des Nations Unites feature more artisan and food goods such as local cured olives and handmade goods like rugs, metalwork and pottery.  The area is a honeycomb of interwoven streets and the area typically abounds with donkeys, water sellers, and seasonal fruit and vegetables piled high on carts.

Casablanca Coast

As Casablanca is along the coast, it has a corniche that stretches along the coast and is a perfect place for many to stroll along the promenade and enjoy views of the seaside.

Rick’s Cafe, Casablanca

Movie fans will enjoy having a meal at Rick’s Café, a restaurant that recalls the Academy Award winning movie, Casablanca.

Casablanca is not without a modern shopping mall, one of the largest in Africa.  In a futuristic style, it overlooks the coast.  It contains an aquarium as well as many restaurants in addition to a wide variety of shops.

Casablanca Food

The city is home to an extensive number of diverse restaurants in all price ranges.  Traditional Moroccan dishes join those meals that reflect the nation’s French and Spanish legacies as well as restaurants that feature Italian, Japanese, Lebanese and Chinese cuisines.

Planning Your Visit:

  • Language: There are two official languages: Standard Arabic and Tamazight (Berber).  The most commonly spoken European language is French, although many people speak some English.
  • Currency: Moroccan dirham (For current conversion rates, check a currency converter on your browser.)  
  • Transportation: The Casa Tramway offers a convenient, efficient, and affordable way to get around Casablanca.  If the tram’s two lines don’t cover your chosen destination, private taxis (petit taxis in Morocco) are a helpful alternative.  Make certain your taxi has a working meter.  Note that taxi fares increase by 50% after 8 pm.
  • Classic Moroccan dishes include tagine (a rich stew of meat and vegetables, flavored with spices, nuts, and dried fruit), couscous, and pastilla (a savory pie made from meat wrapped in layers of paper-thin pastry.  Note though that Casablanca is known for its excellent seafood.  Street stalls and local restaurants charge a fraction of the price compared to international restaurants that are geared to tourists.
  • Alcohol: You will be able to order imported beer, wine and spirits at most international restaurants and upscale hotels.  Traditional Moroccan restaurants usually don’t serve alcohol for religious reasons.  There are many delicious alcohol-free alternatives.  One should not leave Casablanca without trying the mint tea.
  • The Habous Quarter is great for shopping.  Remember that the initial prices are usually twice what you are expected to pay and you should hone your haggling talents.
  • Clothing: Dress conservatively in clothes that cover the shoulders and knees.

General Information about ECI

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a not-for-profit, global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962 that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Poster sessions will be scheduled for evening discussion as well. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

Smoking is prohibited at ECI conferences and conference functions.

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