Notre Dame University-Louaize’s (NDU) Faculty of Engineering (FE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapters, in collaboration with the Architecture Program at the North Lebanon Campus (NLC), invited the President of the Order of Engineers and Architects of Tripoli (OEA, Tripoli), Mr. Bahaa Harb, for a town hall with the students under the title, “Order of Engineers and Architects: Challenges and Opportunities.”
Accompanied by board dignitaries, including the Secretary General, Mr. Nicolas Suleiman, the Treasurer, Mr. Muhammad Sheikh Al-Najjarin, and Ms. Rima Mansour, Harb visited the NLC where they all met with the Campus Director, Fr. Francois Akl, Dr. Jacques Harb, Dean of the FE, Dr. Chady El Moucary, FE Coordinator at the NLC, and Ms. Tamara Ibrahim Saad, Coordinator of the Ramez G. Chagoury Faculty of Architecture, Arts, and Design (FAAD). The meeting was also attended by the former Deputy Head, Mr. Anthony Azar, and Dr. Claudia Matar, Chair of the Scientific Committee.
The town hall, which was attended by administrators, faculty members, staff, and a large number of students, started with a welcome speech delivered by Fr. Akl, who underlined the historical and valuable collaboration between the University and the OEA, as well as Harb’s role in safeguarding the Engineering profession. He also emphasized the importance of sustaining high academic standards and ethical values, as engineering was at the essence of civilization. Fr. Akl added that NDU has always thrived to achieve this goal, further highlighting the faculty members’ efforts, which have helped the FE receive its accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) in 2013 for its Electrical, Computer and Communications, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering programs, which was recently renewed in 2022 for a full cycle until 2028.
Fr. Akl also emphasized the state-of-the-art quality of the Engineering laboratories and noted their unique facilities in the region. Finally, after pointing out NDU’s mission and values, he concluded his speech by talking about academic achievement, success, and creativity and presented two of the NLC’s Engineering alumni, Samir Elias and Wassim Omran, who graduated last year and both received a patent upon submitting their senior year’s engineering design project, which was supervised by FE Associate Professor, Dr. Chady El Moucary. The device they invented, called the “The Infinity Glove,” provides individuals with hearing problems and speech impairments the ability to communicate effectively with their surroundings via a specially designed smart glove.
Next, OEA President B. Harb addressed the students and explained to them the importance of belonging and enrolling in the OEA’s various fields, notably in view of the global development observed by the engineering arena and the emergence of diverse, expansive specializations that require the presence of frameworks, laws, and regulations. This importance also emanates from the OEA’s ability to defend the rights of engineers, provide them with a platform that is fair for conflict resolution, and assist them in various issues they might encounter in their future career. He also shed light on work opportunities, activities, training, and the like, as well as the insurance plan, retirement plan, and other pertinent benefits that the OEA presents to its affiliated members. Harb underlined, amongst other objectives, the Order’s primordial, entrusted role of safeguarding the engineering profession throughout the development of sustainable rules and regulations, in addition to its constant efforts to improve the rights and duties of engineers.
B. Harb then particularly and highly praised the continuous role played by NDU in maintaining higher standards and quality assurance in its engineering education and pinpointed the competence of its graduates. He concluded his speech by providing an overview of his own experience, saying to the students: “Be as good, strong, and perseverant as required, especially in these exceptionally harsh circumstances engulfing Lebanon, and always be ambassadors of success.”
Prior to the town hall’s conclusion, Fr. Akl, with the presence of the Dean and the Coordinator of the FE, presented a trophy to the President of the OEA, in recognition of his endeavors and continuous support. He presented another trophy to Elias and Omran for their exceptional and innovative work.
In the last part of the visit, Azar delivered a presentation about the OEA in Tripoli, which encompassed a comprehensive and detailed overview of its organizational structure and framework. Azar elaborated on the various branches, councils, and committees the OEA comprises, as well as the role, duties, and activities each of them subtend and serve. He also went over the procedure that graduates must follow in order to enroll in the OEA. Following the presentation, both the President of the OEA and Azar attended to several questions and inquiries from students and the audience.