The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Balamand signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Order of Engineers and Architects in Tripoli entitled "Cooperation in the field of Geographic Information Systems – GIS". The signing ceremony was held on Friday, 21 February 2020, at the Order’s Conference Hall in Tripoli. The cooperation aims to establish a data center hosted at the Order of Engineers in Tripoli that holds advanced ultra-precise smart maps that will be essential for engineers working in different fields in North Lebanon. The cooperation also includes extensive efforts for training engineers on new skills required in the job market, especially those pertinent to GIS knowledge by the University of Balamand GIS team.
During the ceremony, Dr. Ali Harmouch, member of the Order’s Council, spoke highlighting the market need for graduates trained in GIS knowledge. He also emphasized the history of cooperation between the Order of Engineers and Architects in Tripoli and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Balamand to that end.
Vice President for Internationalization and Engagement and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Prof. Rami Abboud emphasized the strategic vision of the university to contribute to its society and regional and national development. He assured that GIS will be an integral part of that building on a long history of close collaboration between the faculty and the Order of Engineers in Tripoli. Prof. Abboud also articulated the various steps in the MOU being signed, highlighting their positive implications on the engineering profession and engineering education in the North and Lebanon overall. He also cited recent significant achievements that the GIS center at the university has added to its credit thanking the dedication and concerted efforts of the center director, Dr. Amal Iaaly, and the GIS team.
In turn, President of the Order of Engineers in Tripoli, Eng. Bassam Ziadeh, spoke about this collaboration as a natural result of shared values and a shared vision to advance the engineering profession, engineering education, and contribute to national development. He underlined the importance of the GIS data center subject of the MOU and discussed its implications on the engineering profession, decision making, and e-governance and the potentials for advancement in all fields.
The signing ceremony was attended by the President of the Union of Koura Municipalities, Eng. Karim Bou Karim, the President of Qalhat Municipality, Dr. Bakhos Wehbe, Past President of the Order of Engineers Eng. Abdel Monhem Alameddine, along with members of the Order council and the scientific committee, faculty members, students, and GIS enthusiasts. The Memorandum of Understanding stems from a long history of cooperation between the Order of Engineers in Tripoli and the University of Balamand. With the signing of this MOU, the university and the order add to their history one more partnership that aims to contribute to the betterment of society.