American Univesity of Beirut

Petrofac celebrates legacy of Maroun Semaan with gift to support scholarships at MSFEA

​​Office of Communications,​

Petrofac has been providing generous scholarship support for engineering students at AUB since 2009. It was also one of AUB’s strategic partners during the university’s year-long 150th celebrations in 2016. AUB and Petrofac are especially proud of their long association with alumnus Maroun Semaan (BE ’77) who co-founded Petrofac International with Petrofac Group Chief Executive and AUB trustee Ayman Asfari. 

In January 2017, the Semaan Foundation that Semaan established made a gift to AUB to endow and name the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA). To celebrate the memory of Maroun Semaan and his singular contribution to both institutions, Petrofac and AUB recently concluded an agreement to establish the Petrofac Fund for Engineers, a $5 million endowed fund that will provide scholarships and internships for up to 14 engineering students each year. 

“Maroun had an incredible sense of empathy and generosity for the younger generation. The Petrofac Fund for Engineers will continue his work and inspire future generations of students, providing a fitting legacy that honors the valuable contribution he made, not only to Petrofac but also to AUB,” commented Asfari. 

“I can think of no better way to celebrate the legacy of Maroun Semaan, an extraordinary man who was himself a scholarship student at AUB,” said AUB President Fadlo R. Khuri. “We are fortunate to be the recipients of such a generous gift from Petrofac. I believe that it is critically important to the future of Lebanon and the region that we provide qualified students with scholarships so they can pursue their educations at the finest university in the region.” 

The new agreement will make it possible for young men and women like Jad Hammoud, who is a Petrofac Scholarship recipient and will be graduating this spring, to pursue an engineering degree at AUB. “I have been interested in chemical engineering since high school but would not have been able to enroll at AUB without this scholarship,” he says. 

Hamza Ismail (BE ’16), who graduated in 2016 and is now doing a PhD in process and control engineering in Ireland, says that the Petrofac Scholarship he received was “crucial.” Ismail knows what a difference receiving a scholarship can make: “I know many students who are brilliant and have great potential that can be used for the good of humanity, but they need financial support to go to university.”

MSFEA Dean Alan Shihadeh noted that scholarships are especially needed at this time “when the cost of higher education is rocketing beyond the reach of many bright students. I hope that others will follow Petrofac’s example,” he said. “We need the minds and energy of our young to tackle the enormous challenges the world faces today. An MSFEA education will make them far more effective as they do.”​

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