Karima EL AZHARY, PhD Researcher in Energy Efficiency (Morocco)

Having a profound interest in sustainable development, Karima El Azhary directed her university studies and professional activities towards developing new sustainable construction and insulation materials, based on alimentary and agricultural waste. This would improve thermal insulation and energy efficiency of buildings predominantly in underprivileged areas.


Research focus: building materials, building´s energy efficiency, traditional architecture, waste management and sustainability

Buildings use about 40% of global energy, 25% of global water, 40% of global resources, and they emit approximately 1/3 of GHG emissions. Yet, buildings also offer the greatest potential for achieving significant GHG emission reductions, at least cost, in developed and developing countries. Its numbers are constantly increasing considering that more and more of our time is spent inside buildings, with an increased search for more comfort in living spaces. Urban planners are being challenged to present new strategies for sustainable development and resilience to safeguard the future of their cities. Karima sees this challenge as an opportunity to imagine and implement innovative solutions for urban needs.

In her research, Karima is driven by the urge to contribute to a more sustainable future of cities and communities by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to the building sector. For this purpose, Karima working on improving the energy efficiency of buildings envelope, while providing the necessary thermal comfort without using any heating and air conditioning systems. She is developing new ecological, sustainable construction and insulation materials based on local waste. Karima’s idea is to process waste generated in agriculture in order to create ecological bricks and coating materials, using different mixtures and formulations, employing thermo-physical characterisation and thermal optimization. Karima is furthermore working on proving the role of traditional and bioclimatic architectural design configurations in providing green and sustainable buildings.

Karima would like to benefit from the German experience in sustainability science, innovation and technology, get an exclusive access to the countries landscape, learn more about ground breaking projects on site and search for possibilities for cooperation with German universities and institutes in the field. She recently became one of the Youth Climate Leaders international network which aims to catalyse climate action by providing youth with training, networks and concrete opportunities to start careers in the field of climate change.

A great commitment that allows an innovative and inspired research approach to a relevant sustainability issue such as energy efficiency – this is what the jury highly appreciated in Karima’s application. In addition, her volunteer activities have been positively noticed as she is she is part of international and national youth associations, which aims to encourage and help young people to invest in social entrepreneurship and sustainable project.