AUB just wrapped up its second International ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Conference hosted by the Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources. The conference, in keeping with AUB’s shift toward sustainable infrastructure, centered on eco-friendly construction.
Co-organized with Lebanon’s ASHRAE Chapter and Student Club and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the conference provided a venue for academics, policy makers, businessmen and mechanical engineering students to share research and best practices. Several prominent speakers from MIT, Georgia Tech, the Technical University of Denmark, and the European Commission spoke of ways to combat global warming through innovations in building design and energy conservation.
Mixing the academic with the entrepreneurial, attendees presented 34 peer-reviewed building-design-focused research papers (accessible at ASHRAE conference proceedings) and 12 company presentations in areas such as refrigeration, air-conditioning, and indoor environments. “We want to take a proactive approach at AUB with the environment, with the development of clean power generation, and with net-zero energy building design through carefully engineering a sustainable approach to progress,” said Director of the Masri Institute and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dr. Nesreen Ghaddar in her opening remarks.
“[It] provides a unique opportunity for the leading researchers and practitioners from around the globe to share the latest advances in sustainable building materials and systems with each other and with local and regional policy-makers,” said Interim Provost Mohammed Harajli.
Acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) Alan Shihadeh said "We have taken an active role in energy education, research, and development, with an eye to conservation, stewardship, and sustainability, and to reaching out to government ministries and the private sector to ensure that what we do inside our walls have resonances and relevance outside as well."
The Masri Institute has been promoting academic and professional collaboration and interdisciplinary research into sustainability for nearly a decade. Masri Institute Advisory Council member Omar Masri expressed confidence in the institute’s ability to align education with market demand: “We are very pleased with the direction AUB is going by focusing on research and educational programs that are current and in demand in Lebanon and across the region and the world.”