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Donor Generosity Helps to Pave the Way for Lebanon’s Rising Engineers

In line with its mission to expand essential knowledge at LAU and within the wider community, the School of Engineering (SOE) regularly hosts international experts on a number of topics in the field.

Now, as part of its Mounir Khatib Endowed Engineering Lecture Series, the school’s Department of Civil Engineering recently hosted the seminar Superpave for Asphalt Binders and Mixtures, with the co-sponsorship of the Pavement Engineering & Science Program at the University of Nevada-Reno.

The seminar, the first of its kind in Lebanon, took place on July 11 at the school’s seat in Byblos. Geared toward the academic and consulting communities in Lebanon, it focused on Superpave asphalt binders and mixtures and covered information essential to Lebanon’s aging infrastructure, including how asphalt materials are produced and perform under combined traffic and environmental stresses. The 85 attendees took away inside knowledge on how to create long-lasting pavement in the design and construction of highways and runways with a strong cost-benefit ratio – something useful here in Lebanon and anywhere the university’s future engineers end up.

Speaking at the event was Peter Sebaaly, professor and director of the Western Regional Superpave Center at the University of Nevada-Reno, and Gabriel Bazi, assistant professor of civil engineering at LAU.

The subject is an important topic for Lebanon’s engineers, said Dr. Sebaaly, as “The implementation of new technologies leads to the design and construction of a durable and efficient road network that is very vital to the economic well-being of Lebanon.”

“The objective of a pavement is to provide safe and comfortable traveling surface to the public while using environmentally friendly materials and construction techniques,” noted Dr. Bazi.

For Caesar Abi Shdid, associate professor and chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, the seminar is an important step toward informing students and highway industry personnel in Lebanon about the benefits and implementation of Superpave.

“With much-needed improvements to Lebanon’s transportation infrastructure, this seminar provides timely information focused on describing Superpave components, its critical requirements, why they are needed, and how this new system can impact the production and construction procedures for asphalt concrete pavements,” said Dr. Abi Shdid.

The Mounir Khatib Endowed Engineering Lecture Series is one of the ways LAU’s SOE sets itself apart by bringing the top global talent to speak on pertinent subjects in the field, giving students, faculty and outside professionals an edge in the industry. The long-running series was named for the late professor and pioneer Mounir Khatib, who founded the Consolidated Engineering Company and served as head of the Lebanese Order of Engineers and Architects, among many other achievements in his long career.