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University of Balamand > News > Archive > Makram Bachawati PhD

The University of Balamand awards its second PhD in Chemical Engineering

Makram El Bachawati is the second student to be awarded a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Balamand, under the provisions of the co-tutorship agreement the University has with the University of La Rochelle, France. The dissertation was supervised by Dr. Rima Manneh, from the University of Balamand, and Professor Rafik Belarbi, from the University of La Rochelle. Dr. El Bachawati is a graduate of Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse III, France, and has a Research Masters in Materials, Nanomaterials, and Multimaterials.

Dr. El Bachawati’s research work was partially financed by the Office of Grants/Research Council at the University of Balamand. Some of his findings were accepted for publication in the “Journal of Cleaner Production” (Impact Factor: 4.959). Other findings were submitted in two different international journals. His thesis is entitled: “A Study of Environmental and Energy Performance of Vegetative Roofs and Assessment of their Impact in terms of Rainwater Management”. The main findings of his research comprise the triangulation performance of vegetative roofs in the environmental, energetic, and hydric spheres in the context of Lebanon.

The environmental performance was reached through a cradle-to-gate Life Cycle Assessment study of traditional gravel ballasted, white reflective, and vegetative roofs for the first time in this study. The outcomes were written in close collaboration with researchers from the University of Balamand, École Polytechnique de Montreal, and University of La Rochelle in France, utilizing the CEDRO-UNDP Project vegetative roof constructed on the premises of the Bank Du Liban, Hamra.

The results showed that vegetative roofs are more environmentally friendly than the other roofs studied. The performance findings in relation to the energetic and hydric spheres were obtained through the installation, for the first time in Lebanon, of three roof mock-ups on the roof of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Balamand.

Dr. Rima Manneh assistant professor at the Chemical Engineering Department, was very happy with the outcomes of this PhD dissertation. She emphasized the importance of vegetative roofs as a partial solution to Lebanon’s environmental issues. She also believes that the Life Cycle Assessment methodology as a tool to assess the environmental performance of a product will gain more and more popularity in Lebanon in the near future.

Dr. El Zakhem, Chairperson of the Chemical Engineering Department, is very satisfied with the results of Dr. El Bachawati’s research, adding that is the first PhD in the Chemical Engineering Department defended in Lebanon. “The findings are very original and promising, such a study never before having been conducted in the Middle East region”, he said. He concluded that he hoped the research would pave the way for decision-makers to make it possible, through the adoption of tax-deductible policies and the provision of special bank loans for the construction of green buildings, for residential and commercial buildings in future to have totally or partially vegetative roofs.

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