APRIL 30, 2024

Faculty of Engineering: A Dual Victory in Sustainable Innovations Projects in the Prestigious LIRA Program 2024

Faculty of Engineering: A Dual Victory in Sustainable Innovations Projects in the Prestigious LIRA Program 2024

In a momentous triumph, the Faculty of Engineering (FOE) at the University of Balamand (UOB) celebrated a dual victory in the pitching session held yesterday April 29th, 2024 as part of the prestigious LIRA Program 2024. Two groundbreaking projects from the Department of Chemical Engineering at FOE were not just shortlisted but emerged victorious, marking a remarkable achievement for both the faculty and the university.

These two FOE winning projects were initially selected from a pool of 107 primary submissions spanning Track 1 (Commercially Viable Innovation) and Track 2 (Solving Industrial Challenges). Representing various top universities across Lebanon, all projects underwent rigorous evaluation, and the FOE projects stood out among the final five projects in Track 2, ultimately securing a great win each.
The first project, "Sustainable Conversion of Organic Waste to Organic Fertilizers using Clean Energy," directed by Lead Supervisor Dr. Makram El Bachawati and Lead Student Daniel Nasr, gathered well-deserved recognition. Collaborating with Cedar Environmental L.L.C, the team, which also includes Mabelle Wehbe, Jason Kazzi, Ralph Dgheim, and Nour Al Sarraf, showcased exceptional dedication and creativity in proposing solutions for sustainable waste management.

The second project, "Sustainable Precision Agriculture with Robotic System: Assessment of Air, Soil, and Water Quality," managed by Lead Supervisor Dr. Jean Claude Assaf, Co-Lead Supervisor Mrs. Mantoura Nakad, and Lead Student Pauline Zaatar, further solidified the faculty's position as a hub of innovation and forward thinking in sustainable development. Collaborating with ELK sarl Single Partner, this project highlighted the faculty's commitment to addressing pressing environmental challenges through cutting-edge research.

The jury was composed of 16 independent members of the industry and all shortlisted teams were granted personal certificates for each member. Distinguished figures attended the event including Minister of Industry Mr. Georges Boujikian, Ms Alessia Squarcella, Deputy Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Lebanon, President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists Mr. Salim Zeeni, COO of Berytech Mr. Maroun Chammas, Head of IRALEB Executive Board Engineer Ziad Chammas, Lira Executive Director Mrs. Fabienne Balaa, Secretary General of the CNRS Dr. Tamara El Zein, and Dr. Rodrigue Imad, a member of the IRALEB Executive Board who also serves as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering at UOB. Additionally, the Vice President for Internationalization and Engagement, and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Professor Rami Abboud also attended the event alongside other deans from esteemed universities.

Professor Abboud expressed heartfelt congratulations to both teams and their supervisors acknowledging the significant contributions to advancing solutions for environmental sustainability. He stated: “I am very thrilled with the dual victory in the pitching session. It does not only recognizes the exemplary work of both teams and their supervisors but also underscores our Faculty of Engineering's dedication to innovation and sustainable development. This remarkable achievement highlights the caliber of talent and the collaborative spirit within our faculty, further solidifying our reputation as a leader in engineering education, research and innovation in the region”.