mundialis: New expert for radar remote sensing
Dr. Hajar Benelcadi joins the mundialis team. The data analyst and expert in radar remote sensing is working for the Bonn-based company on issues such as the federal government’s WANDEL project, among others, on the question of the extent to which water scarcity is accelerating the energy revolution.
The availability of water and energy is of central importance for sustainable development worldwide. The supply of energy from renewable sources supposedly requires less water than that from fossil fuels. At the same time, global drinking water reserves are under massive pressure. So what impact does the availability of water have on the energy transition if conventional energy systems (KES) are to be replaced by renewable energy systems (EES)?
Hajar Benelcadi deals with such exciting questions. Since August, it has been strengthening mundialis GmbH & Co. KG in Bonn, partner in the WANDEL project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The 29-year-old brings extensive experience in radar analysis and optical image processing from the fields of forest monitoring, agriculture and land use. Benelcadi began her studies of geoinformation in her native country Morocco. In 2010 she moved to France and earned her doctorate in 2014 on radar remote sensing.
PhD thesis on rainforest monitoring
In her doctoral thesis, the scientist dealt with changes in the rainforest in different parts of the world: she collected and analyzed rainforest data in Asia (Cambodia), Africa (Cameroon) and South America (Brazil, Peru, Amazon Basin).
Thus, a monitoring of the rainforest (Deforestation and Forest degradation) was developed, which provided important data: on the effects of deforestation on climate change and the global CO2 budget as well as on the importance of reforestation measures. Benelcadi then gained experience at two companies in France before joining the mundialis team.
The individual water footprint
Benelcadi’s expertise in data analysis – especially in the field of land exploration – predestines Benelcadi for the joint project WANDEL in the context of the funding measure “GRoW – Global Resource Water”. The focus is on the individual water footprint: How much water from which region of the world is consumed by a consumer or producer directly and indirectly through the manufacture of a product, including the water requirement for energy supply and use.
For the first time, the effects of energy production will be examined not only locally or regionally, but also in their effects on other regions of the world, taking into account water availability. The data obtained is to be processed and made available to the public on a platform for quick and well-founded decisions. As an analyst, Benelcadi provides the data.
“Especially in the field of radar remote sensing Hajar Benelcadi brings in a broad range of expertise, which we want to combine with our experience in automated data processing,”says Dr. Markus Neteler, partner and managing director at mundialis, about the newcomer.
Development of local and global applications
As Senior Consultant Earth Oberservation, Hajar Benelcadi develops project ideas on how remote sensing technologies can be transformed into concrete applications. The rainforest occupies them again. Using Copernicus sentinel radar data, it checks whether certified measures to conserve the rainforest actually have a sustainable effect on the rainforest ecosystem.
Another project focuses on the change of settlement areas in Germany and examines the problem of local density. The objective: to develop methods for conducting spatial exploration at national level. This answers important questions of urban planning: Where should green spaces be kept free, where are settlement measures promising?
A geodesign project aims in the same direction. Citizens should be involved in planning how their city is to look in 2030. Radar measurements with their high-resolution data provide important information on urban structures and their potential for improvement. Hajar Benelcadi develops meaningful applications based on the collected data.
Accordingly, changes in the landscape can also be investigated: radar data provide reliable information on how the landscape changes depending on its use. This applies in particular to monoculture cultivation in agriculture, including the use of pesticides and the effects on bee colonies.
International aspect is an enrichment
Hajar Benelcadi has a lot of exciting tasks to do. The international aspect, which the new project manager brings to mundialis, is valued as an important tool for such projects. Hajar knows different cultures, because she has lived and worked there. This makes it an ideal fit for mundialis as an internationally oriented company and for the open source idea of sharing data,” says Neteler.
Hajar Benelcadi also feels very much at home in her new place of work after only a short time. Besides the mundialis team, she was particularly taken with Bonn. “I’m looking forward to Bonn. A creative, international and cultural city that promises a lot of variety.”