Sanaa Iqbal Pirani

???????????????????????????????Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Doctorate Program, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE
MSc. Materials Science and Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE
BEng. Mechanical Engineering, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan


Sanaa was a PhD candidate working in Prof. Arafat’s group. Her research focused on food waste management in the hospitality industry in Abu Dhabi. This is actually an issue relevant to many of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries due to the rapid development many of them have seen in the recent past. As part of her work, Sanaa studied strategies that would help address what may be done with the food waste once generated, as well as address how the food waste may be minimized in the first place.  Sanaa was eager that her research work be such that it may be implemented easily and help lead to a more sustainable future for the people of the Middle East.  The countries of this region are highly dependent on food imports, and so by discussing the issue of food waste, not only was food security addressed, but also the water footprint of food waste, and thus energy security, as a result of the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus.

As a Masters student at Masdar Institute, Sanaa previously studied materials science and engineering.  She worked with eco-efficient biodegradable composites made of materials such as nanocrystalline cellulose, poly(lactic) acid, and nanoclay.  She experimented with the preparation of these composites as well as their properties.  In addition, she investigated the production of biofuel as a byproduct of the nanocrystalline cellulose production procedure.

Sanaa was a member of the Sustainability Club on campus and as an Institute ambassador; she frequently gave tours to the many people who visited Masdar City to see firsthand the various initiatives undertaken to make this futuristic city truly sustainable. She enjoys baking and shopping for her nephews and nieces.


  • Pirani, S. I., & Arafat, H. A. (2016). Interplay of food security, agriculture and tourism within GCC countries. Global Food Security, 9, 1–9.
  • Pirani, S. I., & Arafat, H. A. Food Waste in the UAE Hospitality Sector: Decreasing the ‘Too Much’. 31st International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, Philadelphia, PA USA, 3-6 April, 2016.
  • Pirani, S. I., & Arafat, H. A. Food waste in the UAE hospitality sector: addressing front of house losses. 3rd World Research Summit for Tourism and Hospitality, Orlando, FL, USA, 15-19 December, 2015. (Extended Abstract)
  • Pirani, S. I., & Arafat, H. A. (2015). Reduction of food waste generation in the hospitality industry. Journal of Cleaner Production. (In Press)
  • Pirani, S. I., & Arafat, H. A. (2014). Solid waste management in the hospitality industry: A review. Journal of Environmental Management, 146, 320–336. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.07.038
  • Pirani, S. I., Al-Khatib, I. A., Halaweh, R., Arafat, M. A., & Arafat, H. A. (2014). Household-level determinants of residential solid waste generation rates: a study from Nablus-Palestine. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 17(4), 725–735.
  • S. I. Pirani and H. A. Arafat, Reduction of Food Waste Generation in the Hospitality Industry, 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Waste Management, Athens, Greece, 12-14 June, 2014.
  • Pirani, S. I., Krishnamachari, P., & Hashaikeh, R. (2014). Optimum loading level of nanoclay in PLA nanocomposites Impact on the mechanical properties and glass transition temperature. Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 27(11), 1461–1478.
  • Sanaa I. Pirani, Hassan A. Arafat, Food Waste in Abu Dhabi’s Hospitality Industry: How Much is Too Much?, World Resources Forum 2013 (WRF 2013), Davos, Switzerland, 6-9 October, 2013 (Won the best presentation award).
  • Pirani, S., Abushammala, H. M. N., & Hashaikeh, R. (2013). Preparation and characterization of electrospun PLA/nanocrystalline cellulose-based composites. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 130(5), 3345–3354.
  • Pirani, S., & Hashaikeh, R. (2013). Nanocrystalline cellulose extraction process and utilization of the byproduct for biofuels production. Carbohydrate Polymers, 93(1), 357–363. doi:10.1016/j.carbpol.2012.06.063
  • Pirani, Sanaa I., Natarajan, L., Abbas, Z., & Arafat, H. (2012). Life Cycle Assessment of Membrane Bioreactor versus CAS Wastewater Treatment: Masdar City and Beyond. Presented at the Sixth Jordan International Chemical Engineering Conference, Amman, Jordan.
  • Pirani, S. I., Krishnamachari, P., & Hashaikeh, R. (2012). Dynamic mechanical and tensile properties of biodegradable poly(lactic acid)/clay nanocomposites. Presented at the International Conference on Renewable Energy: Generation and Applications (ICREGA) 2012, Al Ain, UAE.