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Belong, Believe, Achieve: Dr Rabih Bashroush is working to create a more energy efficient society

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Dr Bashroush's research is shaping the thinking of industry experts and politicians across Europe

'Belong, Believe, Achieve' is a series of profiles showcasing inspiring students and staff at the University of East London (UEL). Each week, we bring you a new story about someone achieving great things in our amazing community.

Dr Rabih Bashroush is playing a key role in efforts to help societies to use energy more efficiently, and make the future more environmentally friendly. 

A Reader in distributed systems and software engineering at the University of East London (UEL), he recently led a major €1.5 million project, and contributed to an energy report launched in Parliament.

Funded by the EU Commission, Dr Bashroush and a team of experts worked across seven European countries, assessing around 350 public sector data centres as part of his EU Resource Efficiency Coordination Action (EURECA) project.

The aim of EURECA is to help the public sector procure and maintain its data centres in the most energy efficient way possible, thanks to expert advisory and audit support, online resources, and knowledge sharing.

Data centres are where servers, storage devices, and networking equipment are kept secure and within safe operating temperatures and humidity ranges, and are used to power IT and infrastructure equipment. 

But continuous running and thousands of servers densely packed together make them energy intensive and produce lots of heat waste.

Dr Bashroush estimates that the project has already helped saved 45 gigawatt hours of energy a year and €4.5-5m in annualised cost savings.

The project has been reported widely in the trade press, including Computer Weekly, a major print and online magazine. 

It a recent interview he said, “This is just the energy savings we know about. A lot of people take on our ideas from hearing about them at events, so we don’t know what the second and third level impacts of our work are.”

And in February Dr Bashroush contributed to ‘Is Staying Online Costing the Earth’, which was launched in Parliament by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change.

The report looks at the future of energy consumption by the internet, internet connected devices, smart devices plugged into the Internet of Things, and datacentres.

Dr Bashroush said, “In 2015 data centres are estimated to have corresponded to around one per cent of global energy consumption. That workload is predicted to triple by 2020, but the amount of energy needed is expected to increase by only around 3 per cent, because of smart energy use measures and cooling equipment.”

The report predicts smart developments in information and communication technology (ICT) energy use could bring about a 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2030, even when six billion smart phones and 20 billion internet-enabled devices are expected by 2020 globally.

Dr Bashroush’s research is having a real-world impact, helping companies and societies build a better future. He’s leading the way in challenging conventional thinking in the area, and finding sustainable solutions as technology rapidly develops.