Students showcase their innovations, network with industry in 13th Engineering Day

Annual event gathers students, professors, industry representatives ​

Departments in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at Birzeit University showcased their latest projects, designs, and achievements in the annual “Engineering Day,” held on Saturday, May 12, 2018. 

The event, organized together with ProGineer, Exalt, and Iconnect – three of the leading Palestinian technology firms – was attended by Dr. Faisal Awadallah, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Rania Jaber, vice president for administrative and financial affairs; Dr. Khaled Abaza, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology; Dr. Majdi Al-Malki, dean of the Faculty of Arts; department chairs; and faculty members. 

In his welcoming remarks, Awadallah noted that the yearly event bolsters relations between the university and the broader Palestinian community. “This day, with all of its events and activities, strengthens the bond between students and professors of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology and Palestinian engineers, engineering firms and offices, and the General Union of Palestinian Engineers,” he said. 

The event, added Awadallah, increases cooperation and coordination between engineering students and active engineers, which allows students to better plan their careers. The “Engineering Day” also featured booths where engineering firms could connect with prospective employees. 

Abaza highlighted the students’ engineering projects showcased during the event, which were chosen from 150 capstone projects submitted by the students. The event also included engineering projects designed by the participating firms as a guide and an inspiration to students. 

Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Jaser Sa’ed outlined the department’s activities during the “Engineering Day.” The department, mentioned Sa’ed, partnered with the Department of Computer Science on organizing the activities. 

“Our activities for this day include lectures on various topics –  electronic engineering; computer engineering; data analysis and mining; and startups and entrepreneurship – in addition to a discussion with Palestinian IT firms on practical training and employability. Finally, we’ll wrap up the day with a programming competition for students,” said Sa’ed, summarizing the department’s program for the “Engineering Day.”

Dr. Mamoun Nawahdah, chair of the Department of Computer Science, remarked that cooperating with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering benefitted the professors, students, and attendees at the event. 

Dr. Ziad Mimi, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, emphasized the symposium that the department held with the Palestinian Concrete Society. “This is the third annual symposium that we’re holding with the Palestinian Concrete Society. The symposium will address additives to building materials and showcase experiences by contractors,” he noted. 

Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Dr. Sameh Abu Awad traced the department’s achievements throughout the year, saying, “We’ve recently inaugurated the Master’s Program in Mechanical Engineering, and we’ve adopted a modified plan for the Bachelor’s Program in Mechatronics Engineering that better fits the needs of students and the job market. Starting next semester, we will commence with our Materials academic concentration and we will begin a program that will better integrate our graduates within the job market by relying on feedback from firms and companies.” 

Chair of the Department of Architectural Engineering Dr. Yasid El Rifai summarized the department’s activities in the “Engineering Day,” which include showcases for distinguished student capstone projects and lectures by Osama Hamdan [a noted Palestinian architect], on restoring old buildings, and Dr. Sobhi Kahawish, on the effect of green architecture on sustainability.