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A new memorandum of understanding (MoU) between AUB and BMW, the German multinational automobile company, was signed on April 16, bringing multiple new opportunities for AUB students, faculty, and graduates.
The vice president for logistics at BMW Group, Dr. Dirk Dreher, along with a group of division managers and researchers, visited AUB to sign the MoU and meet with AUB Provost Mohamed Harajli, Dean of the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) Alan Shihadeh, and other engineering faculty members.
This visit builds on the momentum from a workshop that took place at MSFEA in December 2017, where areas of collaboration between AUB and BMW were identified and initiated. The signed MoU will allow undergraduate and graduate engineering students at AUB to benefit from opportunities at BMW, such as internships that can extend from six months to a year. Masters and PhD students will have the chance to be hosted at BMW facilities in order to complete and work on research projects that are of interest and benefit to BMW’s operations. BMW Group has its headquarters in Munich, Germany, and operates production and assembly facilities in 14 countries around the world.
During the visit, Dr. Dreher expressed his enthusiasm to receive AUB students as interns and his excitement to see them contribute to the success of BMW. Several students have already initiated this internship program and have found it to be an extremely rewarding experience, both academically and professionally. Provost Harajli also expressed excitement over the new MoU in terms of the practical and beneficial experience this will offer AUB students.
In addition to the internship opportunities, the interns can apply for jobs at BMW after completing their degrees. Hence, the internship opportunities offered by this MoU will provide the students with possible career opportunities and a competitive edge over BMW’s many international applicants.
During their visit, the BMW delegation also invited representatives from six top universities in Lebanon to a workshop to share BMW’s future vision. The workshop focused on the collaboration that will occur between BMW and a consortium of Lebanese universities, where Lebanese students and faculty members will work hand-in-hand alongside BMW researchers to push future innovative and practical contributions into fulfillment and execution. The workshop, hosted under the patronage of Minister of Economy and Trade Raed Khoury, emphasized the importance of such professional and cultural exchanges between multinational companies like BMW and the Lebanese educational and research sector, and the positive economic impact these exchanges can have.
Dr. Jimmy Nassif from BMW Group expressed his excitement over the launching of this project, which allows BMW to benefit from the excellent educational preparation of Lebanese students and allows Lebanese students to benefit from the extraordinary and unique experience of working alongside the BMW teams.
With the many new opportunities opened up by this MoU, the signing parties hope that this will not only benefit current and future AUB students but also serve as an enriching opportunity for AUB and Lebanon as a whole.