Budding nanotechnologists from AUB have been offered the chance to participate in an international research project aimed at improving life in the region through the advancement of the pioneering science.
Collaborations and scholarship opportunities created by the Saudi-based King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Intel Center of Excellence in Nano-manufacturing (CENA) are now available at a host institute in Belgium for AUB students.
“One of the objectives is to build bridges between AUB and CENA, through students working towards their thesis research at CENA, and one-on-one relationships through research collaborations,” said Makarem Hussein, founding director CENA.
Hussein visited AUB to discuss the research programs available at Belgium's Inter-university Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) for Masters and PhD students in disciplines such as engineering, physics, chemistry, material sciences, as well as related fields of nanotechnology and nano-manufacturing.
“The impact [of the program] is that it will give [students] the chance to do research in an environment different from the regular classroom and typical academia setting,” Hussein added.
There are currently 15 Masters and PhD students performing thesis research at IMEC, focussing on printing technology, wireless communication, biological neural communications, materials for body implants, 3D imaging visualization, solar power and energy storage.
In its second year, the 18-month program is open to registered AUB students and selected universities in the MENA region. Students can either choose from 31 existing research projects at IMEC or can suggest their own research areas that fall within the CENA subject umbrella.
“CENA is a place where you conduct your advanced technology research for your degree. The future of the region depends on how many people stay here and use their knowledge to help the region,” Hussein said.
IMEC, a non-profit organization established by the Flemish government, began as a consortium between industry, university and government. It aims to conduct world-leading research in nanotechnology. Findings from the research can be applied in healthcare, smart electronics, sustainable energy, and transport sectors.
KACST is a Saudi government agency and an independent scientific research organization.
“The students are not just researchers but ambassadors, representing what the region can offer,” Hussein added.