Dr. Youssef Wehbe is a Non-Resident Scholar with the Climate and Water Program at the Middle East Institute. His areas of expertise include water resource management, coupled land-atmosphere modeling, cloud microphysics, and weather modification technology. His ongoing research addresses next-generation water resource monitoring by integrating satellite and radar remote sensing, hydro-meteorological modeling, and relevant applications of AI/machine learning tools.
Youssef is a Program Officer for the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (www.uaerep.ae) — an international merit review research program under the UAE National Center of Meteorology designed to stimulate and promote scientific advancement and the development of new technology in this area. His main role consists of project management and oversight by spearheading the monitoring and evaluation mechanism for awarded institutions across the UAE, U.S., U.K., China, Finland, Germany, Japan, and Russia. His tasks also include managing research output in terms of intellectual property, data repositories, and publications, in addition to screening proposal submissions and supporting the program’s overall science mission and roadmap.
Youssef was awarded a full scholarship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Masdar Institute (MI) Collaborative Program to pursue his graduate studies in Water and Environmental Engineering. His research provided a modeling framework for improved precipitation monitoring over the UAE, in addition to the first-ever deployment of a fully coupled land-atmosphere model (WRF-Hyrdo) and its customization for hyper-arid conditions in the UAE. His research was granted the Best Master’s Thesis Award by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Youssef also worked as a visiting researcher at the University of Hohenheim’s Institute of Physics and Meteorology in Stuttgart, Germany.
During his PhD research, Youssef participated as a crew member on a flight campaign affiliated with the NASA Airborne Science Program to gather aerosol and cloud microphysical measurements over the eastern UAE. Youssef also worked as a visiting researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) – Research Applications Lab in Boulder, CO, where he processed and analyzed the collected aircraft measurements in conjunction with cloud-scale modeling work.
Youssef led and contributed to a number of studies and peer-reviewed research on water resources in the MENA region, which include developing machine learning-based calibrations for satellite-inferred rainfall estimates, coupling land-atmosphere numerical prediction models, and mapping macroscale groundwater recharge and migration paths.
Youssef holds a B.E. in Civil Engineering from Notre Dame University, a M.S. in Water and Environmental Engineering from the MIT – Masdar Institute Collaborative Program, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Khalifa University.