The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) celebrates today the momentous achievement of its alumna Dr. Maya Atieh, who was selected among the six winners from five Arabic countries to win the 2018 L'Oreal UNESCO for Women in Science Levant Fellowship.
"I would like to thank AUB and FHS where it all started and of course Dr. Mey Jurdi for instilling in me the passion for water resources," stated Dr. Atieh.
"I went to Canada to gain a different experience and a higher education but I came back to Lebanon to contribute in developing my country. The best thing you can offer your country is being a productive citizen in the society," added the L'Oreal UNESCO awardee.
Following her graduation from the Bachelor of Sciences in Environmental Health at FHS in 2009, and influenced by her professor Mey El-Jurdi, Maya pursued her Master's degree in Canada, before receiving her PhD with a specialization in water resources.
Dr. Maya Atieh obtained her PhD in 2017 in the field of Water Resources Engineering from the University of Guelph, Canada. She is the recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) scholarship for her work in exploring novel engineering tools to accurately predict streamflow and sediment at ungauged remote sites that are potential locations for micro-hydropower generation.
The knowledge and techniques learned from these projects are being applied in current industries and have been adopted by the Ministry of Natural Resources in Ontario. Dr. Atieh worked on projects that analyze temporal and spatial variability of precipitation and propagating its effect on flow, as well as allocation of water resources for satisfying irrigation water demand in Lebanon. Her current research evaluates water quantity at ungauged basins using artificial neural networks, gene expression programming models and geographic information system. She has published multiple scientific papers and presented her findings at international conferences.
"I would like to thank the L'Oreal foundation UNESCO, and CNRS for promoting and supporting women in science. This award means a lot to me. It showed me that by truly working hard you can reach your goals, and I encourage young researchers to pursue their dreams and not let anything or anyone bring them down," commented the FHS alumna.
During her past year in Lebanon, Dr. Atieh has worked as a lecturer at Notre Dame University and the Lebanese American University. She is also a member of the youth committee at the Ibrahim Abd El Al foundation, which aims to raise awareness on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. She hopes that coming generations will realize the seriousness of preventing, as well as reversing, the damage done to the planet. Additionally, Dr. Atieh is a mother of two boys, and she has hopes her sons will understand the important role of women, especially in a in a male-dominated society.
The L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Levant Fellowships Program, launched in 2014 in partnership with the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Lebanon, is a new chapter in the international Program. It aims to promote and empower Arab women scientists from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, and to acknowledge their crucial role in the development of the region. Each year, the Program honors six talented young Arab women scientists, 3 PhD students and 3 post-doctoral researchers, for the quality of their research works and encourages them to pursue a brilliant career in science in the Levant Countries.
Every year, 15 outstanding young researchers are identified as the future of science among the winners of the 275 Fellowships awarded worldwide. These Rising Talents receive an additional grant, thus giving them greater visibility among the international scientific community. These young researchers come from different regions of the world: Africa and Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America. They have already made significant contributions to research in very varied disciplines.