American University of Beirut (AUB) Trustee and Chairman of Edgo, Munib R. Masri and his wife Angela announced in March 2007 their intention to establish the Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources (Masri Institute) at AUB.
Mr Masri’s aim is to increase the output of qualified engineers to work in the international petroleum industry. This year, AUB will have double the funds available to support research, grants and workshops. Five grants were awarded in 2009-10 and on May 2011, a workshop was conducted to disseminate research results. The event included addresses from prominent regional professors and a keynote presentation on Optimal Process Systems Design and the Water-Energy Nexus by Professor Patrick Linke, Texas A & M University.
The Institute has expanded and is taking a new shape in 2011 with a new website. Meanwhile it is supporting another five awards each of US $10,000 per annum for two years.
The Masri Institute has developed new strategies to aid development at AUB. It aims to operate across the boundaries of the AUB faculties, facilitate inter-disciplinary research and enhance AUB’s faculty co-operation for larger scale projects. There will be increased communication with industry, government and other research centers as it aims to address the region and bring energy scholars from around the world to Beirut. Its ultimate aim is to become an acknowledged leader of energy research in the region.
AUB envisages that it will be able to take a new direction with the Masri Institute’s assistance. It will build its capacity to meet the needs of the new offshore oil and gas development in Lebanon, whilst also engaging in research leading to the efficient management and handling of the regional reserves of oil and gas. It can enhance its simulation capabilities for modeling and assessing recovery schemes of oil and gas from reservoirs. It will also train the future work force in the ‘green and renewable’ product market. It will conduct research to enhance staff productivity and it will support energy policy research, legislation development and awareness in energy management and resource planning. The total operating budget that will be made available is US $230,000.