American Univesity of Beirut

Course Catalog

​​​​​​​​​Core Courses

PRGR 601 Green Economy, Policies and Law (Syllabus) (3 cr.)
The course covers a wide range of topics related to policy, law and market economics. Topics include environmental and resource economics and policy, environmental issues and regulations global sustainability and future trends; international environmental law, carbon management for green environment, the science of urban ecology, corporate environmental responsibility, green laws compliance, cost benefit analysis, environmental economics and sustainable development, green tech & finance. International climate change mitigation financing mechanisms (National Appropriate Mitigation Actions and others).  The course also covers the best practices and case studies for successful implementation of climate change mitigation strategies both locally and internationally. Introductory statistical and data modeling tools are used as basis of effective decision making or analysis.

PRGR 602 GreenTechnologies System Approach to Sustainability and Management 
(Syllabus) (3 cr.)

The course covers topics related to green technologies applications and system approach to sustainability and management. The first part of the course is related to green technology applications including renewable energy sources vs. conventional; solar systems: solar thermal, photovoltaic, solar concentrators, wind, biofuels and biotechnologies, water production and quality, wind, hydrogen cells, low energy architecture and energy efficient buildings, and recycling and reuse of materials, elements and components. The second part of the course covers system approach to sustainability and management including environmental management systems and auditing; environmental impact assessment; sustainability management; sustainable operations; and project and portfolio management.

Energy Specialization

PRGR 603 Solar Radiation and Energy Conversion (Syllabus) (2 cr.)

This course covers solar radiation including components, geometry of Earth and Sun, angle between collector and sun beam, effect of earth's atmosphere, measurements of solar radiation. The course provides a comprehensive analysis of solar thermal energy collection and utilization with an emphasis on the design, sizing and selection of solar thermal technologies such as solar thermal power plants, solar water heaters, solar concentrators, solar ponds, and solar updraft towers.

PRGR 604 Solar PV Electricity (Syllabus) (2 cr.)    

The course covers semi-conductor basics, photovoltaic (PV) module characteristics, Efficiency analysis; PV module types: mono-crystalline, polycrystalline, amorphous, multilayer cells, current research; PV module manufacture, grid connection and grid-codes, remote (off-grid) connections, economics and life-cycle analysis.

PRGR 605 Wind energy (Syllabus) (2 cr.)    

The module covers the fundamentals of wind energy and the process and limitations of converting wind kinetic energy to electrical energy. It discusses the efficiency law and the governing equation of the conversion process. The module also covers the various types of wind turbines available in the commercial market along with their characteristics, and implementations' advantages and disadvantages.
PRGR 606 Energy Storage (Syllabus) (2 cr.)                                                                                                                                              
In this course various energy technologies will be presented and discussed in terms of their principle of operation, system components, energy density, maintenance, and cost. The different technologies that will be addressed for electrical energy storage are batteries, compressed air, fly-wheel storage, pumped hydro-power, super-capacitors, and superconducting magnetic energy storage. Thermal and thermo-chemical energy storage technologies will also be covered.

PRGR 609 Renewable Energy Lab* (Syllabus) (2 cr.)                                                                                                                                                
A laboratory course that covers: PV modules: characteristics, effect of alignment, temperature, irradiance and shading, maximum power tracking, implementation of grid tie, grid tie with battery backup, stand alone and direct PV systems. Wind turbine: implementation of a stand-alone and grid tie systems, Doubly-fed induction generator, synchronization, effect of wind speed on voltage and frequency, optimal operating point, fault ride through testing, balanced and unbalanced faults.

PRGR 615 Biofuels (Syllabus) (2 cr.)                                                                                                               

Course content includes studies of types, sources and processing of biodiesel, biomass, bio-methane and bioethanol, and assessing advantages, problems and principles in biofuel production, biogas and digester design, solid biomass processing.
PRGR 616 Waves, Tidal, and Hydro Renewable Energy  (2 cr.) 
This course gives an overview of the use of ocean thermal, wave, tidal, and hydro energy. It provides a comprehensive analysis of hydro renewable energy collection and utilization for electric power production and other applications with an emphasis on design, sizing, performance analysis and selection of hydro renewable energy technologies. Mini-hydro systems are also covered. The course also discusses variety of designs for devices that extract energy from waves, the technologies and methods for generating electricity from different ocean temperatures between the warm surface water of the ocean and the cold deep water.

PRGR 617 Energy Efficiency in Buildings Evaluation and Design (Syllabus) (2 cr.) 
The module discusses various schemes for conserving energy in buildings and energy types including space heating and cooling, water heating and energy for lighting and powering electrical and electronics equipment. It also covers passive and active energy conservation techniques including energy efficient HVAC equipment. The course addresses integration of solar energy into boilers and condensing units of building systems and introduces optimized control strategies. The students will be introduced to Visual DOE or E-Quest to perform energy simulation of buildings. Such tools will then be used to carry a full building simulation taking into consideration occupancy data, equipment, lights, and building envelope. A base case of energy usage will thus be established and energy conservation measures are then applied to deduce possible savings and their economic value.

PRGR 620 Energy Systems & Sustainable Environments (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   
This course covers a wide range of topics and for ease of teaching is divided into three section. Part 1: Worldwide importance of energy systems including their historical and current energy perspectives, concepts and applications of energy systems. This section will also focus on estimation and evaluation of energy resources. Part 2: Sustainable energy systems, approaches to energy systems analyses and sustainability metrics. Biological carbon capture storage, including the following processes: soil carbon, CO2 to energy, forests & forest ecology, digestate from anaerobic digestion (AD) process, biochar grassland management, biomass to oil. Part 3: Comprehensive overview of the principal types of renewable energy including solar, thermal photovoltaics, bioenergy, hydro, tidal, wind, wave,and the underlying physical and technological principles of renewable energy systems and the future prospects of different energy sources. TEnergy efficiency analyses is also covered including energy balance, cost-benefit analysis and cost-efficiency analysis of various energy scenarios and renewable energy choices.   
PRGR 621 Waste to Energy Processes & Technologies (Syllabus) (2 cr.) 
Part 1: Fundamental principles of waste management with particular emphasis on organic wastes,  waste generation and characterization, and techniques for waste collection, storage, transport, and utilization (including recycling and recovery). Focus is on the application of engineering science to develop integrated waste management systems. Part 2: Waste-to-energy technology including mass burning and modular combustion, refuse derived fuel systems, anaerobic digestion, composting, comparison and benchmarking of the technologies with respect to energy efficiency, environmental impacts, costs etc., hazardous waste generation, producer responsibility and legislation. Part 3: Waste-to-energy projects implementation concepts including risk assessment (waste, energy and materials market, environmental protection and legal issues); implementation process including feasibility, siting, procurement/ownership, financing, plant construction and operations.    

*Labs are non-mandatory electives and are generally offered face to face. Students not living in Lebanon or Egypt have the option to take the lab virtually.

Buildings Specialization

PRGR 630 Sustainable Preservation and Restoration of Existing Buildings (Syll​abus) (2 cr.)

The course examines the benefits of greening existing buildings and covers sustainable restoration processes involving energy audits, construction materials, structural elements, electromechanical systems, site improvement, water conservation, and indoor environmental quality; in addition to associated operations, management, and costs.

PRGR 631 Low Energy Architecture and Passive Building Design (Syllabus) (2 cr.)
This course centers on issues surrounding the integration of sustainable and passive design principles, into conceptual and practical building design. Topics will include solar geometry, climate/regional limitations, natural lighting, passive design and sustainability initiatives, insulating and energy storing material, bioclimatic design and concepts. Case studies will be used extensively as a vehicle to discuss the success/failure of ideas and their physical applications. 

PRGR 632 Sustainable Building Materials (Syllabus) (2 cr.)  

The course covers green and recyclable building material, embodied energy, and sustainable construction.

PRGR 633 Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency in Buildings** (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

The module serves as the main process for a establishing a net zero energy building/architecture by means of enabling a building to generate the electrical energy it needs from its own resources. The module thus delves into the  building's two mainself-energy sources, wind and solar PV. It covers the implementations of micro or mid-scale wind turbines and solar PV systems for the generation of electrical energy. The module also covers storage and grid connection mechanisms as well as lighting efficiency and electrical installation issues.

**Can be counted as Energy concentration course.                                            

PRGR 634 Moisture and Control of Humidity in Buildings (Syllabus) (2 cr.)  

This course covers sources of moisture and factors affecting its entry and buildup inside buildings such as construction practices and choice of building materials and furniture, impact of moisture on thermal comfort and energy performance of the air-conditioning system, solid/liquid desiccant dehumidification and hybrid air-conditioning systems, modeling of moisture transport, industrial need to control indoor humidity, and moisture-caused health issues including mold formation and growth.

PRGR 637 Green Building Basics and Building Rating Practices (Syllabus) (2 cr.)

This course covers the assessment of building design and construction operations including project rating systems (LEED, BREEAM, QSAS, etc.). embodied energy, carbon content, and emission of CO2, SO2 and NOx of building materials, elements, and construction process,. water conservation, water management systems, water efficient landscaping, green roofing, rainwater harvesting, sanitary fixtures and plumbing systems, wastewater treatment and reuse, and process water strategies.

PRGR 639 Construction and Demolition Waste Management (Syllabus) (2 cr.)  

This course covers building disposal techniques including deconstruction as well as selective and partial selective demolition, design and construction for deconstruction and reuse, waste minimization through prefabrication, preassembly, and modular construction, sustainable waste management including recycling and reuse of waste materials and components.

PRGR 641 HVAC Systems for Energy Efficient Acclimatization (Syllabus) (2 cr.)

This course covers energy conservation measures in the built-in environment to enhance the building's energy efficiency while maintaining space thermal comfort and indoor air quality requirement, overall and segmental thermal comfort models with localized air quality, fundamental ventilation, indoor-air-quality, infiltration natural and mechanical ventilation, importance and impact of indoor air quality on human health and energy performance of the building air conditioning system, ASHRAE requirements for ventilation, and personalized ventilation and personalized cooling devices.

PRGR 643 Heat pumps (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

This course covers heat pumps in low energy and passive buildings, ground source heat pump fundamentals, loop systems, open systems, soil/rock classification and conductivity, grouting procedures, performance of ground source heat pumps in housing units, water loop heat pumps inside the building, bore holes, design and optimization of heat pump plants, including heat sources for such plants, and cost effective design options.

PRGR 645 Building Energy System Modeling (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

This course covers indoor space thermal models. analysis and modeling of building energy systems involving applications of thermodynamics, economics, heat transfer, fluid flow and optimization, the use of modern computational tools to model thermal performance characteristics of components of HVAC systems including chillers, recovery systems, flow control devices, heat exchanges, solar panels, dehumidification systems, boilers, condensers, cooling towers, fans, duct systems, piping systems, and pumps.

PRGR 646 Energy Management Systems of Buildings** (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

The Building Management Systems course provides the necessary tools to control, monitor and optimize the building's facilities, mechanical and electrical equipment for comfort, safety, and efficiency. It covers the principles of the Building Automation Systems (BAS) applied to commercial HVAC equipment, lighting systems, fire and security systems with keen emphasis on the control routine for energy efficiency.

**Can be counted as Energy concentration course.​

Water Specialization

A water core requirement of 4 credits is introduced in the water concentration. This water core requirement is within the concentration and is not part of the Diploma general core requirements.

PRGR 664 Water Instrumentation (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

This course offers an introduction to the instrumentation trade as it applies to the day-to-day operations of water/wastewater treatment plants. Topics discussed include types of instruments and control equipment, process measurement and control principles, terminology, design and control systems documentations, operators training and troubleshooting techniques. It is important to note that this course is not aimed to create tradespersons, but is designed from the viewpoint of plant operators, so they can develop more awareness of the plant staff and allow them to effectively monitor and control the plant and major equipment, the treatment process, water production, and plant wastes.

PRGR 665* Water Basics (*Water Core Course) (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

The course covers basic information about the water and sewer utility operating environments and water sources, as well as the key issues in water demand planning.  Students will learn about the history of drinking water regulations and current regulations including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act. Topics include today's water crisis, management and best practices, an introduction to regulatory affairs and restrictions, water sources both regionally and globally, commercial and domestic water use, our water footprint, responding to the water crisis, and new trends.

PRGR666 Water Infrastructure Systems (Syllabus) (2 cr.)

This course covers analysis and design using commercially available software such as water distribution systems including pipes, reservoir, pumps, and losses. It also covers results visualizations and assessment including pressure, velocity, and head losses, analysis and design using commercially available software, wastewater collection systems including pipes, manholes, drop manholes, wet wells, and other appurtenances. Maintenance and safety is also covered, including sampling, sampling methods and parameters, analysis and data handling, management, and supervision.

PRGR 667 Water Treatment and Water Desalination (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

This course covers physical, chemical and biological water quality parameters determinations and standards, water treatment units, screens, sedimentation, coagulation/flocculation processes, filtration, and disinfection.  This course will also survey the commonly used thermal and membrane based desalination technologies, environmental, sustainability and economic factors which may influence the performance, affordability and more wide-spread use of desalination systems for fresh water production and reuse.

PRGR 668 Wastewater and Sludge Treatment (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

This course covers wastewater characteristics, mass balances concept, preliminarily treatment, primary treatment, secondary biological treatment including activated sludge process, aerated lagoons, SBR, trickling filters, RBC, nitrification-denitrification processes, introduction to sludge treatment and disposal, sludge stabilization, thickening, dewatering, anaerobic digestion, composting, disposal, and waste to energy.
PRGR 669 Green Agriculture and Irrigation Systems (2 cr.) 

This course covers water requirements of plants, irrigation scheduling soil moisture sensors, irrigation under crop stress, crop species tolerant to water stress, and salinity.  Also covered are the requirements for irrigation water and crop selection, integrated pest management,  optimized use of fertilizers, pressurized irrigation systems, sprinkler systems, drip systems, advanced surface irrigation, irrigation efficiency and energy demands of irrigation systems, and use of renewable energy for irrigation.

PRGR 681* Sustainable Water Resources Management (*Water Core Course) (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

This course is concerned with quantitative methods for analyzing water resource problems. Topics covered include the design and management of facilities for river basin development, flood control, water supply, hydropower, and other activities related to water resources. Stochastic and deterministic methods for approaching and analyzing water resources problems will be discussed.

Student Projects 

PRGR 699 E/B/W (Syllabus)

Students who have completed a minimum of 10 credits are eligible to register for the 2 credit project. Students can also suggest a topic for their project.

Previously completed projects included and are not limited to the following topics:

  • Zero Net Energy House
  • Design and Costing of a 1 MW PV Power Plant
  • Design and Costing of a 1 MW Solar Concentrator Thermal Power Plant
  • Conversion of waste cooking oil to biodiesel
  • Hydro-Pneumatic Energy Storage System
  • Design of a 1MW CSP Plant
  • Life Cycle Assessment and Energy Policy
  • Building Air-Conditioning System Powered by Solar Energy in Beirut, Lebanon
  • Net-Zero Building
  • Sustainable Retrofit of Artist Residents, Mar Mikhael, Beirut
  • Dar El Handassa HQ Project- Smart Village- Cairo- Egypt
  • Managing an oil contaminated site in Mount Lebanon
  • Evaluation of BIM use in megaprojects in Egypt: case-study approach: The Grand Egyptian Museum case study
  • Design and Operation of Sequential Batch Reactor for Nutrients Removal of Leachates
  • The ventilation and air-conditioning design of a glass greenhouse garden project in Dubai
  • A sustainability assessment of the Lebanese Electricity Sector or a policy framework/energy strategy for the Lebanese State
  • The design of Wastewater Treatment Plant for Tilal Saint Georges Housing Project
  • Installing a 116 kWp Photovoltaic solar system at rooftop of 10 floors building
  • Passive Design Building
  • Consider the impact of increasing window area for the sake of improving daylight and the impact of this on energy consumption
  • Studying the potential to install a solar PV farm on the surface of the Naameh Landfill after the completion of the final cap on top of the landfill
  • Environmental and economic analysis of a water network system using LCA


PRGR 670 Life Cycle Assessment (Syllabus) (2 cr.)  
This module introduces the principles and methods of life cycle thinking and life-cycle assessment (LCA) with specific reference to agricultural and energy systems using attributional LCA. The module will be based around the ISO 14040 methodology and will involve developing a LCA model common software package such as MS-Excel. It will focus on the four common stages of LCA: (i) definition of the goal and scope, (ii) life cycle inventory analysis, (iii) life cycle impact assessment, and (iv) interpretation with a specific focus on carbon footprint, water footprint and energy audit. Case studies will consider LCA studies of agricultural systems, energy systems and selected industrial processes and products.
PRGR 673 Research Skills Development - General (Syllabus) (2 cr.) ​                                                   

Objective of this module is to enable learners to develop critical research skills including requisite skills for clear and concise communication of research plans, research progress and findings to experts in their respective area thought more efficient use of software and commonly used resources. Focus is on structured inquiry from experiments and/or data collection and analysis rather than hypothesis or theory to be tested.
The module processes will integrate knowledge gained from all other modules in the program to develop the rationale for research, set out research objectives and methods, analyze and interrogate data, and draw validated conclusions.

PRGR 677 Cost-Benefit Analysis (Syllabus) (2 cr.)
This course covers introduction, conceptual and microeconomic foundations of cost-benefit analysis, valuation of costs and benefits across time through discounting, dealing with uncertainty, shadow price of foreign exchange, financial and economic analysis of investment projects, and case studies.

PRGR 679 Project Management, Risk Management and Planning (2 cr.) 
This course covers the abilities to propose, plan, execute and close a project are essential qualities of every manager. This proposal aims to help the student develop the skill required from every project manager. It will also address common risk management and contingency planning. This should be delivered in accordance with internationally recognized global project management standard bodies, such as PMI, to aid the students who wish to become certified project managers.

PRGR 680 Innovation and Knowledge Transfer (Syllabus) (2 cr.)   

The aim of this course is to help students understand theory and practice for managing innovation and managing green ventures while exercising corporate social responsibility. Sustainability within the organization and in the external environment. 
Students will learn how to initiate, manage and implement a sustainable innovative project by collaboratively working on a venture which will be written up and presented at the end of the semester. The course will cover the management process required to transform an innovative idea into a commercial opportunity or business proposition. 

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