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University of Balamand > News > Archive > First PhD in Chemical Engineering

UoB awards its first PhD in Chemical Engineering

Jessy Mattar is the first student to be awarded a PHD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Balamand and with a co-tutorship agreement with the University of Technology of Compiegne (UTC).

Three co- supervisors oversaw her dissertation, Dr. Henri Zakhem from UOB , Dr. Eugène Vorobiev, and Dr. Mohammad Turk from UTC. Professor Maurice Nonus from the University of Technology of Compiègne acted as examiner. The reviewers were: Professor Jean-Louis Lanoiselle from the University of Southern Brittany, and​ Professor Nicolas Louka from the Saint Joseph University in Lebanon. Professor Martine Mietton Peuchot from the University of Bordeaux acted as president of the jury.

A young 27-year old, Dr. Mattar is a native of Kfaraaka El Koura, and a graduate of Balamand University with a B.S. in Biology.

Dr. Mattar completed her MSc. Degree in Food Science and Technology in 2011 at the Balamand University in collaboration with the University of Greenwich (UK), University of Nicosia (Cyprus) and the University of Valenciennes (France) and the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, under the Tempus program.

Dr. Mattar’s work was financed through a joint scholarship from the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research and the University of Technology of Compiegne (UTC).

Some of her findings are already published in international journals (Bioelectrochemistry, Food and Bioprocess Technology, and Special Edition Journal Progrès en Génie des Procédés) and other results are being considered for publication.

Her thesis is entitled “Stimulation of the fermentation activity by Pulsed Electric Fields: Case of Saccharomyces cerevisiae”.

Dr. Zakhem, chairperson of the department of chemical engineering​, is very satisfied with the results of her research. The main finding of her research, he explains, consisted in stimulating the yeasts, by treating them with pulsed electric fields (at 15 KV for few microseconds) to enable them to produce greater amounts of alcohol when fermenting wine. “This finding could be of important economic value at the industrial scale”.

“This is the first PHD we produce at the department of Chemical Engineering”, says Dr. Henri Zakhem. “Our department is equipped with the state of the art laboratory and currently we have three students who are pursuing their PHD in partnership with western universities: University of La Rochelle and University Paris VI.

Congratulations to both her and the department of Chemical Engineering. ​​​​​​
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