Posted on October 07, 2018

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was recently signed between the American University of Beirut (AUB) through its Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS); and Texas A&M University, including Texas A&M University at Qatar 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 was attended by AUB Provost Mohamed Harajli, FAFS Dean Rabi Mohtar, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Nadia El Cheikh, Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at the Faculty of Health Sciences Jocelyn DeJong representing 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; and Texas A&M at Qatar Dean Dr. César Octavio Malavé and Dr. Hassan S. Bazzi, Associate Dean for Research and Executive Director of Development, Engagement and Outreach. This MoU will assist in enhancing the learning experiences of undergraduate and graduate students and researchers by offering access to expertise and facilities that both universities have.

FAFS Dean Mohtar said, “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. Texas A&M 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 exchanges; 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.

Malavé said he was particularly pleased with the new opportunities for students that the new agreement provides. “At Texas A&M at Qatar, we educate engineering leaders who are equipped with the technical and professional skills to lead Qatar’s transformation into a knowledge-based economy,” he said. “A key component in producing these talented engineers is providing opportunities for our students to experience a variety of countries and cultures and get to immerse themselves in cultural exchanges. This partnership with American University of Beirut will open new doors for our students to partake in these transformative educational experiences and build the human capacity necessary to help Qatar meet its goals as set forth in Qatar National Vision 2030.”

Texas A&M at Qatar’s Bazzi said, “We are very pleased to formalize this partnership between these prestigious institutions. 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.”

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