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ICSDI Special Sessions

ASCE Future World Vision
Mega City 2070

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has a promising project called Future World Vision which introduces a plausible city and its evolution from 2020 to 2070 called Mega City 2070. The immersive, 3D digital model puts you at the heart of Mega City and invites you to contribute to the dynamic in-platform community1. Guided by extensive scenario planning and grounded in deep research, Future World Vision informs the decisions we make today by provoking a new understanding of the opportunities and challenges that will shape tomorrow’s built environment1.

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ICSDI 2024 will offer a remarkable opportunity for all attendees to immerse themselves in the wonders of the Mega City 2070 through an extraordinary virtual reality experience. With the use of VR goggles, participants will have the unique chance to step into the future and explore this awe-inspiring megacity firsthand. This cutting-edge technology will provide an unprecedented level of engagement, allowing individuals to witness the advanced infrastructure, sustainable systems, and innovative urban design that define Mega City 2070. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey into the future at ICSDI 2024!

Experience The Future

The role of digital transformation (DT) in adopting circular economy (CE) best practices in Saudi manufacturing​​

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Digital transformation (DT) can play a very significant role in adopting and maintaining circular economy (CE) best practices in the manufacturing sector in Saudi Arabia. Circular economy is an economic model that aims to minimize waste, promote sustainability, and optimize resource utilization by focusing on core strategic concepts and practices in product development such as the reduction, reuse, and recycling of materials throughout their lifecycle. Thus, digital transformation involves integrating digital technologies and data driven processes into various aspects of business operations including product development. Thus, when applied to manufacturing, digital transformation can greatly enhance the implementation of circular economy principles through data-driven decision making, resource efficiency and waste reduction, product lifecycle management, supply chain transparency, predictive maintenance, circular business models, and collaborative systems amongst others. With these efficiencies, it is clear that effective adoption of circular economy practices has the potential to improve both the economic and environmental performance of a country.

Our country of consideration in this study is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the sector of focus is Manufacturing. In Saudi Arabia's manufacturing sector, just like in other developed economies, the integration of digital transformation with circular economy principles can drive not only environmental benefits but also economic growth and innovation. However, the successful implementation of a digital transformation-driven circular economy in Saudi’s manufacturing requires an understanding of the state of current DT-CE practice in the country vis-à-vis current global best practice, gaps in current practice, the enablers, and barriers to progressive uptake. These can influence the thinking and recommendations along tailored strategic planning, investment in digital infrastructure, and collaboration among stakeholders to create a supportive ecosystem that conforms with global circular practices in manufacturing.

The proposed workshop is part of an ongoing UK-Saudi Challenge Fund ‘Feasibility Study to Enable the Circular-Digital Transition of the Saudi Arabia Manufacturing Sector (FeCiDiTS)’ multi-institutional collaboration project funded by the British Council. The project seeks to promote partnership between academia and industry in the UK and Saudi Arabia in evaluating, understanding, and adopting best practices in digital transformation-driven circular economy in manufacturing, explored through multidisciplinary research thinking, collaborations, and engagements. It will involve benchmarking and developing a tailored approach that can improve the circular-digital transitioning, especially aimed to support Saudi Arabia’s Green Initiatives, the factories of the future program, and the (Sustainable) Saudi Vision 2030.

The FeCiDiTS project in part, through this workshop, looks to explore the current practices that support the digital transformation-driven circular economy in Saudi manufacturing, enablers and blockers, and policy pathways that can further advanced the trend. It also seeks to benchmark the current practices against known global best practices in digital transformation-led Circular economy, with a view to highlighting gaps and proposing an improved implementation strategy tailored to the Saudi environment. The workshop seeks to address open questions such as; Which Best Practice Strategic concepts align with the current CE practice in Saudi Manufacturing and that aligns with its wider national sustainability vision/target? How can the current strategy concepts in Saudi Manufacturing be ranked in order of priority or feasibility? Who are the various stakeholders in the Saudi Manufacturing ecosystem and how can they support towards achieving the envisioned CE national target? How can policy and regulatory interventions support or advance the adoption of digital transformation-driven circular economy in Saudi Manufacturing? What digital technologies can support the capabilities to achieve the CE priorities in Saudi Manufacturing? Which of the digital technologies are adoptable short term, medium term, and long term to enable more effective (quicker and better) acceptance and adoption of DT-driven CE in Saudi? What are the common or prominent enablers and barriers to adopting/achieving digital transformation-led circular economy ecosystem in Saudi Manufacturing? How can policy help to advance digital technology adoption in manufacturing towards the CE objective?

Plan of Activity

The proposed workshop would have multiple roles in progressing the objectives of the FeCiDiTS project:

  1. Data collection on current practices supporting the digital transformation-driven circular economy in Saudi manufacturing.

  2. Extended validation or otherwise (corroboration or refutation) of the findings and outcome from desk-based and initial stakeholder engagement research around; application of DT-driven CE best practices and frameworks, enablers and blockers, and policy pathways for driving adoption of digital transformation-driven circular economy in Saudi manufacturing.

  3. Data collection to support the identification and prioritisation of knowledge and capability gaps in which further work is suggested or required.

To fulfil each of these roles, the workshop, featuring engagement with stakeholders from the Saudi digital transformation and circular economy community of users and experts, will provide new data. It will also help us validate or refute existing findings, and priorities (both existing and new) contributions. To support the FeCiDiTS project team in this, via an avenue provided by the ‘ICSDI Sustainability: The 2nd International Conference on Developments & Innovations, February 2024’ to host a workshop, we hope to assemble between 20 -30 stakeholders ranging from researchers, practitioners, business owners, and policy makers as participants. Attendees will also include invited representatives from supporting partners/collaborators such as the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIMR), Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC), Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), and Modon.


  • Overview of key results and gap implications from research on the assessment of current practices that support the digital transformation-driven circular economy processes/strategy in Saudi manufacturing,

  • Discuss the benefits, drivers, barriers, and potential strategy to drive greater responsiveness and increased adoption of digital transformation-driven circular economy practices by Saudi Manufacturing organisations.

  • Discuss implications for stakeholders: Entrepreneurs/Business Owners, Workforce, Customers, Government/Policy-makers, Investors/Community.


One hour

Workshop Registration Method:

  1. At point of Conference Registration - For Interested participants at conference

  2. Based on invitation – For Supporting Partners/Collaborators in project

  3. Open to registered conference attendees on day of workshop (Tentative)

Hosts & Roles


Dr. Serhan Alshammari

Host & Lead Facilitator

University of Ha’il, Saudi Arabia

Dr Serhan Alshammari is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs of the College of Engineering in the University of Ha’il, Saudi Arabia. He participated as an academic lead in co. project for Ellen MacArthur foundation for circular economy. University of Ha’il has a robust structure for promoting collaboration and research which is reflected in its exponential progress toward high ranking in various indexes such as TIMES and QS.

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Dr. Uchenna Daniel Ani

Co-Host & Facilitator

Keele University, United Kingdom

Dr. Uchenna Ani is a Lecturer in Cyber Security and Data Science at, Keele University, UK. He majors in cyber security and data science in manufacturing and transportation. Keele has world-leading research in sustainability, and is named Global Sustainability Institution of the Year for 2021 by the International Green Gown Awards.

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Dr. Okechukwu Okorie

Co-Host & Facilitator

University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Dr. Oke is a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow and Lecturer in Sustainable Manufacturing at Exeter who researches in circular economy, sustainable manufacturing and Industry 4.0 technologies adoption. He was previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Exeter Centre for Circular Economy (ECCE), leading the EPSRC funded “Data-Driven Intelligence for a Circular Economy”. ECCE houses the UK CE Hub, supported by £30M of EPSRC funds

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Prof. Konstantinos Salonitis

Co-Host & Facilitator

Cranfield University, United Kingdom

Prof Konstantinos Salonitis is the head of Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Centre (SMSC) at Cranfield University which is a world-leading centre dedicated to reforming manufacturing for a low-carbon economy and developing new best practice models to assist organisations in thinking green, smart and (c)lean

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Dr. Shoaib Sarfraz

Co-Host & Facilitator

Cranfield University, United Kingdom

Dr Shoaib Sarfraz is a Research Fellow at Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Centre, Cranfield University. He is on the UK Best Available Techniques advisory group and is currently working on the Transforming Foundation Industries Research project focusing on enhancing resource use (energy, materials, water) and reducing the negative environmental impacts of UK foundation industries in line with the Net Zero 2050 Agenda. He is a well-published author.

Workshop Agenda

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The Future of Learning in Smart Cities: Unlocking Potential through Smart Education


Advanced technologies and data-driven strategies have become integral to the evolution of smart cities, transforming various aspects of urban life. This transformation extends to the realm of education, where smart education presents new opportunities and challenges. As smart cities harness technological advancements, the educational sector is uniquely positioned to empower the next generation of learners with essential skills required in a globally interconnected society. This special session focuses on how the next generation of learners can be empowered by technological breakthroughs like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and smart devices, virtual reality and data analytics by utilizing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in smart cities.

The rise in the use of smartphones and wearable technology, as well as the rapid uptake of AI and IoT, has fueled learners' hopes for better education. This special session will provide a platform for educators, policymakers, industry experts, and researchers to converge and engage in discussions centered around novel approaches, best practices, and actionable strategies for implementing smart education initiatives within the context of smart cities. By fostering cross-sector collaboration, the special session aims to enhance educational systems and equip the upcoming generation with the tools they need to shape a sustainable future. The main industries that could be improved are educational institutes, governmental entities, healthcare education, and technological companies.

Scope and Aim

Smart cities play a vital role in the development of learning by creating an environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and the integration of new technologies. Smart cities can improve education by creating a conducive environment for smart education systems, which can boost learners' performance and readiness for future challenges. In smart cities, the infrastructure and digital framework are designed to support the seamless integration of technologies such as AI, IoT, cloud computing, smart devices, virtual reality, and data analytics which leads to enhanced academic performance. These technologies serve as the building blocks for smart education, enabling personalized and adaptive learning experiences that cater to the unique needs and preferences of individual learners of smart cities. Additionally, data is gathered and analyzed by smart devices to provide insights into student learning trends, performance, and instructional patterns. The integration of smart education systems within smart cities also facilitates continuous improvement in teaching methodologies, curriculum design, and educational policies. By leveraging data analytics and evidence-based practices, educators and policymakers can refine their approaches, identify areas for improvement, and implement strategies that meet the evolving needs of students and the demands of the future workforce.

Some of the challenges smart education faces in smart cities are stimulating learners’ engagement, improving communication channels, ensuring reliable technology infrastructure and accommodating diverse learning needs. The adaptation of digital technologies can reduce the above-mentioned issues that can lead to enhanced learner’s satisfaction and a more effective and satisfying learning experience of the citizens in smart cities.

The aim of the special session is to bring together educational institutes, technology providers and researchers working in the area of smart education. The focus of the special session will be to leverage digital technologies in smart education such as AI, IoT, cloud computing, smart devices, virtual reality, and data analytics in the context of smart cities. Moreover, to empower participants with practical insights and strategies to transform their education systems and empower the next generation of learners. By aligning smart education with the principles of sustainability and innovation, this special session seeks to pave the way for a future where smart cities are not only technologically advanced but also intellectually empowered, fostering a holistic environment for growth and development. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

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List of keynotes speakers

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Dr. Moustafa Mazin Nasralla
(Special session Chair)

Lab Head of the Smart Systems Engineering, Associate professor in the Department of Communications and Networks Engineering, College of Engineering, Prince Sultan University

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Dr Moustafa M. Nasralla (SM'21) is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Communications and Networks Engineering at Prince Sultan University (PSU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He received a B.Sc. degree (Hons.) in electrical engineering from Hashemite University, Jordan, in 2010, the M.Sc. degree in networking and data communications from Kingston University, London, U.K., in 2011, and the PhD degree from the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (SEC), Kingston University, London, UK. He has published over 60 articles in high-impact factor journals and reputable conferences. His research interests include the latest generation of wireless communication systems (e.g., 6G, 5G, LTE A, and LTE wireless networks), wireless sensor networks, network security, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, radio resource allocation, telemedicine and video compression, and multimedia communications. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He is currently the leader of the Smart Systems Engineering Laboratory (SSEL) at PSU. He was a member of the Wireless Multimedia and Networking (WMN) Research Group at Kingston University. He served as an Active Reviewer and received several distinguished reviewer awards from several reputable journals, such as IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, Wireless Communications (Elsevier), and Computer Network (Elsevier). He has solid research contributions in networks and data communications, proven with publications in reputable journals with ISI Thomson JCR. He has won several national and internationally funded projects, such as Intelli-Student for the British Council, 5G-enabled Smart City Development in Saudi Arabia, U.K. Home Office, and EU FP7 CONCERTO. Currently, he is serving as a Guest Editor for Alexandria Engineering Journal (Elsevier), International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks (SAGE), Journal of Communications and Networks (Frontiers) and an Organizer of the International Conference on Sustainability: Developments and Innovations, and the 5G-Enabled Smart Cities workshop in the IEEE International Conference on Smart Cities. Moreover, he is a Senior Member of IEEE Young Professionals, IEEE ComSoc, and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).


Dr. Tahira Hoke
(Panellist Session Chair)

Aide to President, Director of the Evaluation and Academic Accreditation Center (EAAC), Sustainability Fellow, Prince Sultan University

Saudi Arabia

Dr. Tahira holds multiple roles at Prince Sultan University (PSU) in Saudi Arabia, where she serves as the Aide to the President, Director of Evaluation and Academic Accreditation, a Sustainability Fellow for the Center for Sustainability and Climate Change, and a distinguished faculty member within the College of Humanities and Science. With a background in psychology and degrees from UCLA and Claremont Graduate University, she has undertaken diverse roles in her career, including serving as a senior researcher and evaluator in US non-profit organizations. Her expertise also extends to accreditation, as she has worked as an accreditation reviewer for the National Center for Academic Accreditation and Evaluation (NCAAA) and provided consultancy services to educational institutions in the MENA region.

Dr. Tahira has coordinated successful reviews with various accreditation agencies (e.g., NCAAA, AACSB, HCERES, ABET, Cognia). She is also a member of professional associations (e.g., the American Evaluation Association, the American Education and Research Association, and the Association for Institutional Research). Recently, she conducted sessions at the Times Higher Education Global Sustainable Development Congress (GSDC) and the Council for Higher Education and Accreditation (CHEA/CIQG) conferences. Additionally, she is a certified prompt engineer who incorporates AI into courses at Prince Sultan University. Her dedication to advancing education, sustainability, and quality assurance underscores her commitment to making a positive impact within higher education and research communities.

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Dr. Ikram U. Rehman

School of Computing and Engineering, University of West London

London, England

Ikram Ur Rehman (Member IEEE) received a PhD in Mobile Healthcare from the United Kingdom. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and the Course Director for an MSc in Health Informatics at the University of West London, UK. He has been involved in many national and international e-health and e-learning projects. These projects include chronic disease management (e.g., diabetes, COPD, and cancer), social robotics, decision support systems, behavioral change management, telehealth, and telecare in developing countries. Currently, he is leading a British Council-funded project on e-learning, which aims to augment online teaching and learning pedagogies through the use of AI. In addition, he is passionate about creating innovative and integrated diagnostic technologies, helping citizens make their own reliable health diagnoses anywhere and anytime. He is knowledgeable in body area networks, personal area networks, the Internet of Things, the Web of Things, and 4G/5G/6G communications. His expertise includes big data analytics and visualizations, medical mobile multimedia communication including image and video processing, analysis and streaming, service quality, and experience from the medical perspective. He is the author or co-author of more than 30 journals, peer-reviewed conferences, and book chapters. He has around 10 years of experience in telemedicine/mobile health. He is the Vice Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee of IEEE Smart Cities, a member of the editorial boards, review panels for many transactions and journals and a committee member of many international conferences. In addition, he has been an invited speaker at many industrial, scientific, and governmental events. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a member of the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET) and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS).


Prof. Muazzam Ali Khan Khattak
(Keynote Speaker)

Director of Science and Technology and Director of ICESCO Chair Big Data Analytics and Edge Computing,

Quaid I Azam University

Islamabad, Pakistan

Prof. Muazzam A. Khan Khattak (SM IEEE, PAS) is working as Director of Science and Technology and Director of ICESCO Chair Big Data Analytics and Edge Computing, Quaid I Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science in a sandwich program from IIUI, Pakistan, and UMKC, USA, in 2011. Later, he also received his Post Doc from the University of Missouri, KC, USA, in 2016. He joined NUST University, Pakistan, as a Head of the Postgraduate Program/AP in 2013 and was promoted to Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Computing at NUST-SEECS, Pakistan, in 2017. He also worked as a Research Fellow at the Networking and Multimedia Laboratory at UMKC, USA and the University of Ulm, Germany. His research interests include wireless sensor networks, body area networks, image compression, image encryption, and data network security. He has published more than 200 publications with 10 book chapters having total citations of 3600+ and an H-index of 38. He has been co-chair, publicity chair, TPC member and reviewer of the famous international conference on Smart cities and Information and communication technologies HONET-ICT 2017 till 2023.


Dr Waqar Asif
Keynote Speaker)

Senior lecturer in Cyber Security at University of West London

London, England

Dr Waqar Asif is a Senior lecturer in Cyber Security at University of West London, before this, he has worked as a Postdoctoral Research fellow at City University of London for three years after completing his PhD from the same institute. Dr Asif has been involved in multiple EU projects, where he has contributed as both a researcher and a developer, thus giving him a complete insight into how a research outcome could be integrated into a real-world solution. Dr Asif likes to explore new technologies day in and day out; thus, his area of interest is a constantly growing list. He has worked in communication protocols such as space-time block codes and turbo codes. He also has an interest in wireless sensor networks, the Internet of Things, information privacy, information security, risk analysis, cryptography, blockchain, GDPR, data anonymization, social network analysis, authentical and access control approaches.


Dr. Fahad Alyami
(Keynote Speaker

Vice Dean for Development and Community Partnership College of Architecture and Planning at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University

Saudi Arabia

Dr. Fahad is the Vice Dean for Development and Community Partnership College of Architecture and Planning at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University. He is a researcher and reviewer in the Architectural Engineering Field and specialises in sustainable architecture in particular. Part of this, Fahad is also interested in renewable energy studies in buildings and fire safety designs over tall Buildings.


Dr. Haleem Farman

Smart Systems Engineering Laboratory, Department of Communications and Networks Engineering, College of Engineering, Prince Sultan University

Saudi Arabia

Haleem Farman is a Researcher in the Smart Systems Engineering Laboratory, Department of Communications and Networks Engineering, College of Engineering at Prince Sultan University (PSU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Before this, he worked as a Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, Islamia College Peshawar, Pakistan for thirteen years. He was involved in teaching and supervising graduate and undergraduate students and R&D activities. Dr. Haleem has been involved in multiple research projects where he has contributed as Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator, thus, giving him a complete insight into how a research outcome could be integrated into a real-world solution. With a strong presence as a reviewer in numerous esteemed journals, he has made valuable contributions to research in ad-hoc networks, smart systems and machine learning, as evidenced by his publications in renowned journals listed in ISI Thomson JCR.

Dr. Haleem likes to explore new technologies day in and day out, and thus, his area of interest is a constantly growing list. His areas of interest include Wireless Sensor Networks, the Internet of Things, Smart systems, Smart cities and Deep learning.

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Dr. Maged Abdullah Esmail

Smart Systems Engineering Laboratory, Department of Communications and Networks Engineering, College of Engineering, Prince Sultan University

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Maged A. Esmail received a B.E. degree in electronic engineering from Ibb University, in 2006, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees (Hons.) in electrical engineering from KSU University, in 2012 and 2017, respectively. He was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate with the KACST-TIC RFTONICS Center at King Saud University. He is currently an associate professor of Electrical Engineering at Prince Sultan University, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Maged has served as a reviewer for various IEEE Journals and other international journals. He has authored/co-authored over 90 journal and conference publications. Currently, he serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE ACCESS journal. His research interests include optical communications, photonic-based radars, machine learning applications for optical communication, IoT, and 5G networks.

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Dr. Jolly Sahni

Director, Jubilation Office

Associate Director, MBA Program

Prince Sultan University

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Having more than fifteen years of experience as a professional, Dr Jolly Sahni is working with Prince Sultan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the Associate Director for the MBA Program  and Director of Jubilation Office. Her last stint before joining PSU was with the Government of India as Assistant Professor and was involved in training Bureaucrats on Governance and Policy making. She is also a certified trainer from Thames Valley, UK. She has been invited to conduct workshops and lectures at many International Universities / Conferences and colloquia like Harvard, Oxford, Newcastle University and British Academy of Management (BAM). She is renowned researcher in the field of Blended learning, Strategic HRM, Quality of Work Life and Corporate Diversification. Her area of expertise includes strategy, international business, work life balance and organisational behaviour. She is presently involved in research on SDGs (Sustainable development goals) defined by United Nations. Heading SDG 8 Committee, she was invited to present the best practices at the LEAP 2023 conference, Saudi Arabia and THE First Global Sustainable Congress held at Glasgow, United Kingdom.

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