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A great leap forward

[photo]
PRO-GREEN will be the first professional diploma offered in the region to specifically address issues of renewable energy, green buildings and water ressources.

January 18, 2013—

LAU has recently been awarded a grant from the European Union Tempus Programme to fund the development of a professional diploma program for green technologies in Lebanon and Egypt.

Entitled PRO-GREEN-Joint/Dual Professional Graduate Diploma and Professional Degree in Green Technologies, the project, led by the American University of Beirut, was officially launched on January 8 - 9. The two-day meeting gathered a consortium of the ten recipient universities from Lebanon, Egypt and Europe — including LAU, AUB, Lund University, Sweden, and University College Dublin, Ireland — to launch the project activities and discuss the scope of work, which is expected to wrap up in October 2015.

Through the PRO-GREEN project, partner universities from Egypt and Lebanon will develop a joint/dual diploma for green technologies with a focus on renewable energies, green buildings and water resources.

“The LAU School of Engineering wholly recognizes the role of green technology as a driver for future economic growth and energy sustainability,” says Dr. George Nasr, dean of the School of Engineering at LAU. “It is our conscientious duty to contribute to the development of the local and regional green technology industry.”

According to AUB, the target beneficiaries of this project are university professors, university students and working professionals in fields related to engineering, architecture, science and technology who want to develop further skills in the growing sector of green energy. The indirect target groups are small- to medium-sized enterprises, governmental officials and society-at-large, all of whom can benefit from the job creation and sustainable development fostered in the outcomes, the university announces.

Project director Nesreen Ghaddar, associate provost and the Qatar Chair in Energy Studies at AUB, believes that the creation of a dual/joint degree in green energy application poses a unique opportunity for students, professors and professionals in the MENA region.

“PRO-GREEN will be the first professional diploma offered in the region to specifically address issues of renewable energy, green buildings and water resources,” says Ghaddar. “Professionals are demanding such trainings to stay relevant in the workforce and to make sustainable change in their communities.”

Another trait of the program’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it will be one of the few programs in the region to be delivered almost entirely via an e-learning platform, allowing for more flexibility, and greater student access and participation, Nasr explains.

Doubtless, he notes, the PRO-GREEN project matches the clean energy priorities of Lebanon, as stipulated in a governmental directive to have green energy contribute up to 12% of total power generation by the year 2020.

“The timely achievement of this goal will require capacity building in green technologies, and the effective collaboration between the industry, academia, and the government,” adds Nasr. “We at LAU are concerned with the education of the whole person — we strive to graduate socially responsible citizens of the world who care not only about the fate of their own community, but about that of planet Earth as well.”

This article was developed based on a press release issued by the American University of Beirut (click here for full version), with additional reporting by LAU staff.

 


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