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University of Balamand > Spotlights > Nay Mezannar - In the Aeronautical World!

Nay Mezannar: 
In the Aeronautical World!

Nay Mezannar is one of those talented women of whom one can truly say they have made a mark in what is typically a field dominated by men.
In recognition of her work in Aeronautical Engineering, and based on her work on Innovative Human-Machine Interfaces in Aeronautics, Nay Mezannar won the Amelia Earhart Fellowship for the year 2013-2014, a fellowship that is awarded annually to 35 women around the globe pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering.  
Ms. Mezannar’s take on the Amelia Earhart award is that it was a pleasure “to have become part of this significant fellowship.”  She considers this “a very important achievement” particularly, she says, as she is “a mother of two precious angels, 6 and 4 years old,” and while working at the University of Balamand and pursuing her studies at the University of Bologna. She is expected to present her defense in April 2015 on “Innovative Man-Machine Interfaces in Aeronautics”.
Her academic background in Aeronautical Engineering began at SUPAERO/ISAE (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace), France where she received her M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering in 2007.  A holder of a B.S. in Physics from the American University of Beirut in 2005, Ms. Mezannar says that one of the reasons she decided to pursue a degree in Aeronautical Engineering is that she did not want to limit her career choices. While in France, she had the opportunity to do an internship on aircraft performance at the Airbus France Toulouse plant. 
“I was considering a career in Aeronautical Engineering where I would be working in an airport” however, in 2007, she was offered a part time position as a Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. After a stint as a part timer, she joined Balamand as a full-timer and a Training Manager at the Balamand Institute of Aeronautics for students pursuing a bachelor in the technology in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering degree. 
In addition to her responsibilities as a Training Manager, Ms. Mezannar has taught classes in the Mechanical Engineering Department for seniors and graduate students on Engineering Fluid Mechanics, Aviation Safety Management, Aviation Physics, Basic Aeronautics and Aerodynamics, Flight Dynamics and Control.  She also lectures Lebanese Aviation Regulations.
Ms. Mezannar finds teaching “very rewarding and challenging,” and enjoys encouraging students to learn, and introducing them to new ideas.  “I interact with students to ensure that their experience is most beneficial and most enjoyable.” 
Her philosophy as a teacher is to be able to apply the learning objectives to real life and complex situations. In a project titled “The Art of the Possible in Aviation,” she encouraged students to use what they learned in class in order to engineer an interface that would make it possible to determine the level of awareness of a pilot. 
Among her current research topics is one on electroencephalography and on the workings that involve Brain Machine Interface.  She has already supervised two BS projects at Balamand, one of them involved evaluating the early technologies in Brain Computer Interface, and in evaluating their effectiveness in the aeronautical field. 
Ms. Mezannar recently published a paper on the emotional perception of passenger cabin design in virtual environments, in the proceedings of ICAS 2014, 29th International Congress of the Aeronautical Sciences, held in St. Petersburg, Russia last September.
Ms. Mezannar is an active member of the Royal Aeronautical Society in London – the world’s only learned society dedicated to the entire aerospace community, and a member of In2sai (increasing young women’s participation in science studies in the aeronautical industry). Her tenacity, she says, has helped her be who she really is today “One simple word describes my career: tenacity”. 
Ms. Mezannar says that her future plan is to obtain a private pilot license in honor of Amelia Earhart. 
“The fellowship is a big push in one’s studies during the research for the PhD,” but in her opinion, the AE fellowship’s scope goes beyond money; “it is more of a personal reward and an international recognition.”
She says she has been inspired by the life of Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic, and who mysteriously disappeared while flying over the Pacific in 1937. 
“The story of Amelia Earhart was not discouraging for me, quite the contrary,” she says. “I frequently recall what Amelia Earhart wrote to her husband, ‘Please know that I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failures must be a challenge to others’."
Nay Mezannar says she is proud to be where she is today, both in her personal and professional life. “The higher the challenge the more rewarding it is to achieve it, and my goal is to promote the status of women in aeronautics, in Balamand and in Lebanon.”
An avid sportswoman, Ms Mezannar enjoys skiing, swimming, running, hiking, canoeing, and scuba diving. On her way to Balamand, as she drives her Wrangler, she listens to Leonard Cohen, Vanessa Maé, Manu Chao and Vanessa Daou. So, in addition to her accomplishments, in the opinion of this website, she has great taste in music too.

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Balamand Al Kurah,

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