MARCH 15, 2024

Faculty of Engineering: A Pioneering Sustainable Innovation with the E-Shade Solar Bench

Faculty of Engineering: A Pioneering Sustainable Innovation with the E-Shade Solar Bench

Long before solar equipment became commonplace, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Balamand (UOB) had already paved the way for a sustainable future, setting an example for environmental stewardship and technological advancement in the region.

In a pioneering initiative, the Faculty of Engineering emerged as the first in Lebanon to recognize the transformative potential of solar energy with its innovative E-Shade solar bench. Manufactured to promote relaxation, connectivity, and environmental awareness, this solar-powered bench redefined outdoor seating experiences well ahead of the widespread adoption of solar equipment in Lebanon.

Four years ago, dating back to December 2019, the brilliant Electrical Engineering students Alissar Wahab and Tony Klaimy unveiled the E-Shade solar bench as part of their Master’s graduation project. The bench was officially inaugurated and put into service at UOB’s main campus in 2021, after COVID became under control. This pioneering innovation made possible thanks to the unwavering support and visionary leadership of Dr. Maged Najjar, a Full Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at UOB.

The E-Shade bench was meticulously designed to convert solar energy into electric power and should be able to handle and charge 4 laptops and 8 cellphones at the same time, without any circuit breakage. Additionally, LED lights are implemented in the ceiling of the bench providing an ambient illumination. As a result, the system demands an output power of 540W to function effectively. One of the bench’s specifications is that it can seats up to 5 people with shaded tables and benches as well as one wheelchair access.

This forward-thinking design not only provided a relaxing spot for students and visitors but also served as a sustainable link for productivity and connectivity. The E-Shade solar bench liberated users from the constraints of indoor power outlets, allowing students to embrace the sunshine while maintaining productivity. Whether collaborating on projects, studying, or enjoying a leisurely lunch break, students found comfort in the fusion of productivity and sustainability offered by the E-Shade solar bench.

Vice President for Internationalization and Engagement and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Professor Rami Abboud extended his heartfelt appreciation to both Alissar and Tony, as well as to their advisor Dr. Najjar, for creating such a groundbreaking design. He emphasizes that the UOB E-Shade solar bench not only underscores the university's commitment to green technology and student welfare but also stands as a shining testament to the power of innovation and collaboration within the academic community. This pioneering project exemplifies the faculty’s dedication to nurturing environmentally conscious solutions that positively affect both the campus life and the wider community and in meeting the UN SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities) and SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption & Production).