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University of Balamand > News > Archive > 3rd PHD in Chemical Engineering

Balamand awards its third PHD in
Chemical Engineering

Marie-Nour Kaydouh is the third 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 Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), Paris 6 France.

The dissertation was supervised by Dr. Nissrine El Hassan, associate professor at UOB and Dr. Pascale Massiani, professor at UPMC.

The jury was chaired by Antoine Gédéon, professor at UPMC. The reviewers were Anne-Cécile Roger, professor at the University of Strasbourg, France and Maya Boutros, professor at the Lebanese University.
In addition to the supervisors (Pascale Massiani and Nissrine El Hassan) and reviewers, the jury included two additional examiners: Axel Lofberg, CNRS researcher at the University of Lille 1 and Paolo Yammine, associate professor at UOB.

Dr. Marie-Nour is a graduate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Balamand with high distinction and is also holder of the student excellence award presented by the professors of the Faculty of Engineering and the Elma Maalouf Award for the best scientific project of the Faculty of Engineering in 2013.

In 2013, her MS thesis was supplemented by a 3-months training at the Laboratoire de Réactivité de Surface (UPMC) thanks to a grant from the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF). During this period, she developed particular interest in catalysis and chemistry of materials.

Marie-Nour defended her PhD thesis on the 3rd of November 2016. Her thesis is entitled “Confinement effect of Nickel in mesoporous silica-based catalysts for syngas production by reforming of methane with CO2”.

Dr. Kaydouh’s research was carried out thanks to the Balamand Internal Research Grant BIRG 14/2012 and the Innovation Voucher from the Center for Innovation & Technology (CIT). The French-Lebanese CEDRE Hubert Curien Partnership (PHC) financially supported the mobility between the two countries.

During the defense, Marie-Nour demonstrated her educational qualities and her knowledge in a subject characterized by its strong multidisciplinary where the jury shed the light on the large number of experiments carried out during this thesis and the implementation of a great diversity of experimental techniques.

The main results of her study showed that a well-structured mesoporous support with high surface area and large pore volume is important for better dispersion and stabilization of the active phase inside the porosity. The mesoporous SBA-15 silica support (prepared in large quantity), composed of elongated grains, is suitable for the purpose. Moreover, the formation of small nickel particles well-confined inside the pores favor carbon resistance. This can be achieved by applying hydrothermal treatment to the support, using two solvents method for Ni deposition, using direct reduction of uncalcined samples, adding Rhodium in small quantities or promoting with Cerium. These results were valorized in 6 publications and others are still under preparation.

Our congratulations to her!

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