Symposium 8: From Feeding People to Nourishing People

Antananarivo, Madagascar, 26-29 November

The eighth Royal Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering for Development symposium will take place in Madagascar from 27-29 November, with participants arriving for the evening of 26 November for a welcome dinner and networking event. This event is organised in partnership with Welthungerhilfe (WHH) Madagascar and will be the second symposium under the overarching theme 'From Recovery to Resilience'. 

The symposium will focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger and will discuss topics such as how best to tackle malnutrition, how best to strengthen the links between agricultural production and nutrition as well as concepts of food safety and food security. 

If you are interested in attending, please fill in the expression of interest form:

Follow this link to nominate yourself

Symposium Format

Participants play team-building and problem-solving gamesThe event will be made up of three multidisciplinary and interactive workshop-style sessions that explore the overall theme of 'From feeding people to nourishing people'. These sessions will focus on the following questions: 

  • Agricultural revolution: How do we ensure it is driven by sustainability and system innovation?
  • Healthy diets: Can we improve nutrition globally by eating more sustainably?
  • Food loss and waste: how do we tackle losses and waste of foods already produced?

Participants are obliged to attend every session to maximise the opportunity to make new contacts and build collaborative relationships. To ensure there is a balance of formal and informal networking opportunities, social activities are organised. 

Participants enjoying a cruise down the river Thames Participants present their ideas to the group

Symposium Goal

Symposium participants take turns to introduce themselvesThe goal of the two-and-a-half day symposium is to introduce outstanding researchers and innovators working in the international development field (aproximately 0-20 years post-doc, or equivalent experience in industry) to each other, and through this interaction facilitate collaboration in engineering for development, the transfer of new techniques and approaches across disciplinary boundaries and the establishment of contacts among the next generation of engineering leaders and beyond.

Event Chairs 

Dr Tahrat Shahid, GCRF Challenge Leader - Food Systems

Tahrat Shahid has over a decade of international development and policy research experience in a variety of contexts. Her research interests include agricultural development, food security, nutrition, gender, and the politics of religion. Tahrat began her career as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York City, after which she co-founded a non-profit organisation offering free burns and reconstructive surgery in Bangladesh. Afterwards, her work ranged from macroeconomic analysis at the Central Bank of Turkey in Ankara to poverty and social impact analysis at the World Bank in Washington, DC. 

Additionally, she focused on impact evaluation at Oxford Policy Management, including evaluations of agricultural cooperatives in Rwanda and mobile banking in Kenya. Prior to joining GCRF, she also led research for advocacy on agricultural policy, food security, and nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa for the ONE Campaign’s Global Policy Team in London. Tahrat has a DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford, a Master in Public Administration and International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard University, and an A.B. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College.

Professor Noble Banadda, Head of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Makerere University

Noble was born on 14 May 1975 in Kampala, Uganda. He holds a Chemical Engineering (2006) at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). He later followed Post-doctorate studies in Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) in 2007. In 2013, he became a full professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at the age of 37 years; a departmental chair;  first African recipient of the Pius XI Golden Medal since its inception in 1603 awarded on 12 November 2018 at the Vatican by Pope Francis for Academic Excellence and publication; Research Fellow at Clare College, University of Cambridge (UK); Laurate of Next Einstein Fellow award; Member of the prestigious Malabo Montpellier Panel of experts; an Adjunct Professor at Iowa State University. Noble has worked as a coordinator of Fulbright Scholars at Makerere University and supervised foreign students from numerous universities on short stays at Makerere University.