Nine AUB research teams have been awarded grants to study energy-related topics.
The studies will include research on detecting and cleaning up oil spills; improving the efficiency of solar cells to produce energy; developing more accurate feasibility studies for constructing dams; developing a more energy-efficient cooling system; determining best applications for storing and processing big data; testing new materials in biodiesel production; finding natural materials that can mimic photosynthesis in producing energy efficiently; designing robots that would help with offshore oil pipelines.
Seven of the nine research teams received their grants from the Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources (MI); while the other two were jointly seeded by the Masri institute and the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA).
A total of about $140,000 in research grants was announced by MI’s Omar Masri on April 22, 2014, during the first international symposium on materials science and energy organized by the AUB Masri Institute, FEA, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Materials Science Initiative.
Michael Aziz, professor of materials and energy technologies at Harvard University, and Sebastian Volz, head of the NanoSciences and NanoEngineering European Research Network, from the Ecole Centrale de Paris, both gave presentations on the latest advances in materials science and energy.
“We, at AUB, are keen on establishing and sustaining interdisciplinary research and clinical centers of excellence in strategic fields of research and have considered this as one of the pillars of our forthcoming strategic plan of AUB for a Global Era,” said AUB Provost Ahmad Dallal in his opening remarks. “Advancing knowledge in materials and energy science and engineering will fulfil a translational role for AUB in developing leading-edge research.”
Dallal added: “The discovery of offshore oil and gas fields positions Lebanon at a crucial moment in the country’s development. Globally, the need for sustainable energy solutions is pushing the development of green technologies. AUB is uniquely poised to increase local and regional capacity to respond to these forces.”