In the vast realm of global scientific innovation, few names resonate as profoundly as Dr Reji Kurien Thomas. An avid aviator and hardened veteran, his journey with career spanning over 32 years, a blend of relentless academic pursuit and unwavering commitment to global betterment, paints the portrait of a visionary dedicated to a brighter, sustainable future.
An Academic Odyssey
Dr Thomas’s academic journey is a testament to his insatiable thirst for knowledge. He empowers organisations as a Global Technology and Business Transformation Leader. With over eight doctorates in diverse subjects of Technological Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Strategic Management and pursuing the highest echelons of academics at Stanford University, Harvard University, Oxford University, Wharton, Kent State University, IIT-Delhi and SSBM Switzerland to name a few prestigious institutions and Fellowships in CSR-Sustainability and Royal Society of Arts UK, to his name, he has delved into quantum physics, data science, photonics, optics, satellite communication technology, crop science, climate smart sustainable agriculture, atmospheric quantum-quasi water generation and a myriad of interdisciplinary domains. Professional certifications including CCISO, CISM, CCNP-S, CASP+, CEH, SAP CTP, AWS CSA, AWS CML, GCPCA, PMP, LEED Green Associate, from esteemed institutions worldwide have been both the cradle of his learning and the platform for his teachings.
His academic pursuits began with a solid foundation in different streams of engineering, leading him to explore the intricate world of quantum mechanics. This foundation was further solidified with his subsequent doctorates, each adding a layer of expertise and depth to his profile. His research papers, published in renowned journals, have been cited by peers worldwide, marking his indelible mark in the scientific community.
Basking Under The Visionary Leadership in UAE
They say a nation’s greatness depends on its leaders. The UAE has been blessed in this sense. We’ve had exemplary leaders who have been involved in nation-building right from the inception of the country. Balancing respect for traditions with a passion for progress, the UAE’s leadership has cultivated an environment where both heritage and modernity coexist harmoniously. The relentless pursuit of excellence and dedication to the well-being of the citizens has not only elevated the UAE on the global stage, but has also set a benchmark for visionary governance. Needless to say, we are a blessed nation; we have the best leaders. This is what made Dr Thomas reside in the UAE – where he can make his dreams come true and provide the wind beneath the wings.
Sustainability: A Core Ethos
Central to Dr Thomas’s endeavours is his profound commitment to sustainability. He’s not just an advocate; he’s a practitioner. Spearheading initiatives in regenerative agriculture, he’s ensuring that the farming practices of tomorrow are both productive and environmentally conscious. His innovative approach to carbon metrics offers a roadmap for businesses globally, aligning with the pressing sustainability objectives of our era.
In a recent Q&A session, Dr Thomas elucidated his vision, emphasising the collaborative essence of sustainable growth. “Sustainable progress,” he remarked, “is a symphony, a harmonious blend of businesses, governments, and academia.”
On the most reliable Carbon Metrics he mentions that “there are a number of carbon metrics that can be used to measure and track greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the most reliable carbon metrics include — the carbon footprint, the carbon intensity and the carbon budget. The most reliable carbon metrics are those that are based on sound scientific principles and that are verified by independent third parties. It is important to use reliable carbon metrics when measuring and tracking greenhouse gas emissions in order to ensure that the data is accurate and reliable”. His long sojourn unraveling the carbon cycle and the carbon code bear testament to it.
COP28: A Critical Opportunity
On the COP28, he adds that “COP28 is a critical opportunity for the world to come together and take action on climate change. The goals of COP28 are ambitious, but they are necessary to address the climate crisis. COP28 will address the needs of vulnerable countries, which are countries that are most at risk from the impacts of climate change. The hosting of COP28 by the UAE is a monumental stride in our collective journey towards a sustainable future.
“The goals set for COP28, from preventing the critical 1.5°C temperature rise to aiding vulnerable communities, are not just commendable but essential. The emphasis on green energy transition is timely, especially when renewable energy could supply up to 80 per cent of the world’s electricity by 2050, as per IPCC; leading to a 70 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. The UAE’s commitment to leading this global dialogue is a beacon of hope, reminding us that together, we can forge a path to a more resilient and sustainable world.”
Regarding the main challenges of achieving net zero emissions he is quick to mention that “achieving net zero emissions is a challenge, but it is possible. The main challenge of achieving net zero emissions will include the cost. It will be expensive to transition to a net zero emissions economy. Businesses and governments will need to make significant investments in new technologies and infrastructure.”
In the Global Vertical Farming Show held under the patronage of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), in Dubai on Sep 14, 2023, he enthralled the distinguished audience with his presentation on “Synergizing Vertical Farming and Space Exploration for Future-Proof Agriculture”.
Here he demonstrated how innovations in vertical farming can not only contribute to sustainable food production on earth, but also prepare us for space missions, future-proof agriculture and address the complexities of plant growth in microgravity environments.
When quizzed on how he foresees quantum science revolutionising our understanding of climate change models and the intricate dynamics of carbon sequestration processes he reinforced that “Quantum science has the potential to revolutionise our understanding of climate change models and the intricate dynamics of carbon sequestration processes in a number of ways. For example, quantum computers can be used to simulate the behaviour of complex climate systems with unprecedented accuracy, identify the different forms of carbon in the atmosphere, oceans, and land, develop new models of carbon flows in the environment and design new materials for carbon capture and storage.
“Specifically for UAE, quantum science could be used to understand the impact of climate change on the UAE’s unique desert ecosystem, develop new methods for managing water resources in the UAE, design new crops that are more resilient to drought and heat, develop new materials for carbon capture and storage. By using quantum science to address these challenges, the UAE can become a global leader in climate change mitigation and sustainable development.”
His work in sustainable regenerative agriculture is particularly noteworthy. Collaborating with global agricultural bodies,
Dr Thomas has introduced innovative farming techniques that not only boost yield but also ensure soil health and longevity. An inventor of several future-proof agri products including biostimulants, liquid fertilizers, soil rejuvenators, enzymes and bioponics range of products for hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics, his initiatives in crop science have led to the development of sustainable fertilizers, reducing the environmental impact of farming and gradually reducing chemical fertilizers.
Corporate Social Responsibility: Beyond The Lab
Dr Thomas’s vision extends beyond laboratories and research papers. He’s been a vanguard in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). For him, the ethical responsibility of businesses, especially tech giants, is paramount. His diverse CSR initiatives span from education and healthcare to environmental conservation. He’s not just an advocate; he’s a practitioner. Spearheading initiatives in regenerative agriculture, he’s ensuring that the farming practices of tomorrow are both productive and environmentally conscious. His innovative approach to carbon metrics offers a roadmap for businesses globally, aligning with the pressing sustainability objectives of our era.
His work in education, particularly in underprivileged regions, has brought about tangible change. Collaborating with global educational bodies, Dr Thomas has introduced innovative teaching methodologies and curricula, ensuring holistic development for students.
A global vision, with UAE at its heart
While Dr Thomas’s contributions echo globally, his aspirations for the UAE are particularly noteworthy. Recognising the nation’s progressive ambitions, he envisions a UAE at the forefront of sustainable practices and technologies. His expertise aligns seamlessly with the UAE’s goals, marking him as an invaluable asset to the region.
His association with the United Nations, especially in sustainable agriculture, showcases his dedication to global transformation. Through these collaborations, Dr Thomas has been instrumental in drafting policies and guidelines that are now followed by nations worldwide.
A Tapestry Of Honours
Recognition for Dr Thomas’s work is global. He has received numerous awards, with one of the most prestigious accolades as “The World’s Best Emerging Business Leader” at the House of Lords, British Parliament UK in 2022. The victory press release read “Dr Reji Kurien Thomas is a radical game-changer in the technology industry and has won countless accolades for his meticulous work which has been a stepping stone in the realms of technology. Dr Reji is an exceptional business leader with great acumen for business strategies, mentorship and creating innovative ideas. His leadership style encourages follower ship that every company desires as its top agenda.”
The selection of World’s Best Emerging Leaders is done through three rounds of Primary and Secondary research, from a final research list of 2500 business leaders from across the globe.
This honour, among many others including “Leadership Personality Excellence Award at Dubai 2023 by Sheikh Majid Rashid Al Mualla; “Transformation Leader — Commendation for exemplary achievements and immense contribution to the growth of the Indian Economy” awarded at New Delhi 2023; “Most Admired Global Indian 2022” Award at the High-Level Asian-African Diplomatic Meet at Delhi 2022; “Outstanding Leadership” award at Internet 2.0, 2022, Dubai; Winner of Industry’s No 1 (Category: Business) by BARC ASIA 2021; “India’s Inspirational Leader — Inspiring India through Technology” 2020; “Top 50 Technology Visionaries & Innovators” at Intercon 2019, Dubai, for global excellence in revolutionary technologies over three decades, which solidifies his position as a global luminary.
His achievements at the House of Lords, UK stands testament to his unparalleled contributions to science and technology. Recognised for his innovative solutions in quantum computing and sustainable agriculture, Dr Thomas was lauded for his efforts in bridging the gap between science and societal needs.
With an unwavering focus on the future, Dr Thomas aspires to the highest Global Prize for Physics in this decade. Given his trajectory, this isn’t just a dream but a forthcoming reality. His work in quantum physics, particularly in the realm of quantum computing, has the potential to revolutionise the way we understand and interact with the universe. He is shortlisted for this highest Global acceptance given to a Scientist in the field of Physics and aspires to serve humanity in the larger domain.
Dr Thomas once stated: “The essence of innovation lies in its ability to bring about tangible change for the betterment of humanity.”
His commitment to sustainable solutions is evident in his words, “the future of our planet hinges on our ability to adopt sustainable practices today.”
When asked about his vision for the next decade, Dr Thomas remarked, “I envision a world where technology and nature coexist, where we harness the power of quantum computing to solve our most pressing environmental challenges.”
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