School:American University of Beirut

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Founded in 1866, the American University of Beirut (AUB) is one of the leading institutions in its region with a very rich history. AUB currently has around 8,000 students and 800 instructional faculty offering more than 130 programs leading to bachelor's, master's and Phd degrees.

The American University of Beirut's motto: “That they may have life and have it more abundantly.”

Over the last year 2021, Lebanon has been going through an unprecedented economic crisis with some issues being a lack of fuel for cars, lack of electricity, and inflation of the Lebanese pound. Even though all these problems exist in the country AUB is still able to show why it stands as one of the best in the region.

I&E at AUB

The last couple of years at AUB have shown great strides for I&E by hosting yearly events, competitions, hackathons, and incubators. The President Innovation Challenge is a yearly event where all AUB member's are invited to apply and present their startup ideas to receive $15,000 and $30,000 cash prizes. The FYP accelerator program is a course where students can use their final year project idea's and turn them into successful startups. The last phase of this accelerator has a competition where the participating students can earn funding for their projects. The Darwazah startup accelerate competition is another startup incubator where students can enter with ideas and exit with startups. AUB also has ties with Beirut Digital District and have a facility called the Talal and Mahida Zein AUB Innovation Part, that hosts an incubation program and hackathons for students.

Other than that AUB also has the Entrepreneurship Initiative in the engineering department and the Darwazah Center for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship in the business faculty that constantly work on expanding I&E at AUB through incubators, hackathons, etc.

AUB also has a yearly teaching excellence award where teachers with exemplary teaching techniques can get recognizes In 2021, they also introduced the "AUB Innovation in Teaching with Technology Award" which honors faculty members who used creative and innovative techniques to teach during the online phase.

Finally, the Interdisciplinary Design Practice Program at AUB works on having students and faculty take on projects to innovate and spark change on campus. Moreover, the IDDP introduced a Human-centered design course to introduce students to design thinking practices.

Technology Transfer Unity at AUB

AUB is dedicated to help push its community’s innovations and technologies into the market through the services of the Technology Transfer Unit (TTU) at the Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC). They work on updating and drafting intellectual property policies and procedures to encourage the community’s strive for technological development and aid in transferring them to the public for others to benefit from their innovations.

TTU has developed a set of five core goals:

1.Provide guidance to faculty members, staff and students to consider alternate applications of technology developed as part of their research; with time, develop an effective and efficient technology transfer.

2.Program and assess, document and communicate the full value of technology transfer activities.

3.Increase research and development income to AUB, from public and private sources, through appropriate business agreements that are in compliance with the University’s intellectual property policy.

4.Protect and help market the intellectual property resulting from the scholarly activities at the University.

5.Enhance national economic development by building strong ties between the public and private sectors, without compromising academic principles.

University-Industry Collaboration

When it comes to university-industry collaboration, AUB tackles it in many different aspects. When it comes to final year projects, a lot of projects are sponsored by companies to offer students real-life problems and issues that can be worked on, creating opportunities to learn about bleeding edge technologies and techniques used in the different fields.

Additionally, Job fairs in both their online and live versions present students with a lot of opportunities to network and meet recruiters. Career mentoring such as Early in career (EiC) offer students coaching from industry experienced individuals to bridge the gap between education and careers. On another hand, AUB works with Beirut Digital District in incubating startups, or encouraging students to intern or get involved in the startup environment. Career center collaborates with industry leaders to offer internship and summer experiences in all fields. A lot of research projects at AUB are also funded by companies who want certain tasks completed. There is also the university research volunteering program (URVP) which helps students participate in research projects hosted at AUB to give students the experience they need to get jobs.

Regional and Local Development at AUB

The Neighborhood Initiative is one of the many ways AUB gives back to Lebanon, it helps my mobilizing campus resources by starting outside of the campus walls. They highlight hidden gems and stores near campus, open weekly farmer's market to provide a variety of local Lebanese products, and restore damaged buildings. In addition, there are current ongoing project research concerning the re-design of available buildings at AUB as smart and green buildings.

AUB also hosts a yearly 2-days event called AUB Outdoors where people from all over Lebanon can come to participate in festival games and attend a concert on campus!!

Moreover, AUB's high research output provides global, regional and local development. The faculty of medicine has research centers for genetics, cancer, infectious diseases, neuroscience, etc. The faculty of engineering has centers to tackle problems in Lebanon for energy, water, transportation, pollution, etc.

One of the special parts of the faculty of engineering is the hub for Arabic Typography and Comics with the goal of preserving and promoting Arabic cultural heritage. AUB has also worked on making artificial intelligence models for the Arabic language to help computer and data scientists all around the world.

Different faculty members from several department at AUB developed AUB-Nature Conservation Center (AUB-NCC) that is aiming to promote conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for the community through research, education and community development by integrating sustainable development goals (SDG). AUB-NCC collaborates with local businesses, environmental projects and NGOs while promoting environmental and sustainable approaches and values.

There is also a center for civic engagement and community service at AUB bridges between the university community, stakeholders, humanitarian agencies, policymakers, and community partners, with an overarching mission to integrate developmental planning aimed at empowering marginalized communities with experiential learning for leadership development and transformative education. Since 2015, 75,000 volunteering ours have been completed and engaged with 700 NGO's.

The course “Design of Engineering Solutions for Health Challenges in Crises” encourages participants to use engineering design to address humanitarian challenges, bridging the gap between practitioners, engineers , scientists, NGOs, and social entrepreneurs to generate health solutions for populations in protracted crises. The course model is made of several components including interactive lectures and field visits to humanitarian settings, including interactive lectures, field work and mentorship.

There is also multiple clubs and societies at AUB that work with the Lebanese community to make a better and more engaging Lebanon in addition to the Outlook Newspaper, an independent student publication since 1949.