AUB signs memorandum of understanding with Texas A&M University

​​Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications, sa256@aub.edu.lb

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on September 21, 2018 between the American University of Beirut (AUB) through its Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS); and Texas A&M University (TAMU) including Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ), a branch campus of TAMU, and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). The purpose of this MoU is to set forth increased collaboration, cooperation, and interaction between both institutions, covering research agreements under the water, food, energy, health framework, teaming agreements, nondisclosure agreements, visiting scientist agreements, and more.

 
The signing event took place at the FAFS Dean’s Office. It was attended, from AUB’s side, by Provost Mohamed Harajli, FAFS Dean Rabi Mohtar, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Dean Nadia El Cheikh, Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) Jocelyn DeJong representing FHS Dean Iman Nuwayhid, Associate Dean at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) Salah Sadek representing MSFEA Dean Alan Shihadeh, in addition to other AUB and FAFS faculty and staff members. From TAMUQ, the event was attended by TAMUQ Dean César Malavé and Dr. Hassan S. Bazzi, associate dean for research, and executive director of the Office of Development, Engagement, and Outreach.

 
This MoU comes in recognition of the mutual benefit there is in cooperation and the development of closer relationships between AUB and TAMU.  It will assist in enhancing the learning experiences of students (undergraduate and graduate) and researchers, by offering access to expertise and facilities that both universities have.

 
FAFS Dean Mohtar commented at this event saying, “Texas and the Middle East and North Africa share a lot of common ecological similarities in terms of water, agriculture, and energy systems. They also share common stresses from urbanization and population growth. TAMU and AUB have significant expertise in agriculture, food, water, energy and health and they also share values of service and responsibilities.” He added, “This MoU will provide the platform for cooperation in research and student mobility in these areas that will be mutually beneficial. We are all excited about the potential that such cooperation carries.”

 
Through this MoU, the two universities intend to integrate and complement their capabilities available for the creation of strategic plans in order to promote research partnerships with focus on food-water-energy nexus and energy conservation systems. They also plan to set up opportunities for student exchange; define projects and pursue collaboration in areas of interest to the institutions; as well as encourage collaboration and cooperation on projects involving faculty and researchers.

 
“We are very pleased to formalize this partnership between these prestigious institutions,” said Dr. Hassan S. Bazzi from TAMUQ. “Increased international collaboration and cooperation will benefit our students by providing them opportunities to study abroad and broaden their personal and professional horizons, and allow the universities to expand student recruitment programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, the capabilities of each institution complement the others, particularly with focus on the food-water-energy nexus and energy conservation systems, which will result in expanded research partnerships that will benefit the people of the region.”

 
The signing event was followed by a reception, and then a discussion around water, energy, and the food-health nexus, between faculty members from FAFS, FHS, MSFEA, the Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources at AUB among others.​