IEEE ComSoc Lebanon Chapter: Winner of the EMEA 2017 Chapter Achievement Award

By Sarah Abou-Chakra - IEEE ComSoc Lebanon Chapter Chair

The Executive Committee of the ComSon Lebanon Chapter would like to convey their sincere thanks to the Regional Directors of IEEE ComSoc for considering the Lebanon Chapter as one of the winners for CAA–2017. We also would like to thank the past Executive Committee and in particular the past Chair, Professor Bachar El-Hassan, for initiating our 2016 achievements.

In 2016, the Chapter actively participated in several events in Lebanon, as detailed below.

On June 2, the Chapter technically sponsored a workshop held at the Doctoral school of the Lebanese University (EDST)–Tripoli. The workshop was on the topic “New Generation of Networks: Cloud Computing in 5G Networks.” The event included four sessions: the opening session, Introduction to 5G, Cloud Computing for the Internet of Things, and 5G Security and Enterprise Vision. Eight speakers participated in this workshop and about 80 persons attended this event.

The Chapter technically sponsored and organized the Radio-Frequency and Microwave tracks in the Middle East Conference for Antennas and Propagation (MECAP 2016) that was held in Beirut from September 20 to 22, 2016. More than 60 researchers and Ph.D. students attended the conference.

We participated in the IEEE Day held on October 8, 2016 where Dr. Sarah Abou-Chakra, who was the chapter Vice-Chair, presented the latest chapter activities. In addition, members of the Executive Committee participated in the jury evaluating the student branches. More than 160 IEEE members joined the event at the Lebanese International University (LIU)–Jdeideh.

The Chapter also technically sponsored and organized the communications tracks at the IEEE International Multidisciplinary Conference on Engineering Technology (IMCET 2016) that was held in Beirut on November 2 and 3, and which attarcted 70 researchers.

The Chapter also organized several communications related activities, as detailed below.

The activities started with two Distinguished Lecturer Tours. In February, Prof. Mohamed-Slim Alouini from KAUST University, KSA presented two lectures on “5G, Evolution or Revolution?” These lectures attracted 70 attendees. Then in April, Prof. Andrei Gurtov gave two presentations on the topic “Software Defined Mobile Networks: Beyond LTE Architecture.” These presentations were attende by 80 professors and students.

On May 7, the Chapter organized the fourth Lebanon Communications Research Day (IEEE LCRD’16) at the Doctoral School of Lebanese University (EDST)–Hadath Campus. The goal of this event is to allow Lebanese researchers and engineers working in the area of communications and networking to meet, present their work and exchange research ideas. Three invited speakers and 26 researchers contributed to IEEE LCRD’16. Sessions covered wireless sensor networks, future trends in wireless networks, network security, and cloud computing and networking. About 135 professors and students attended.

After five successful editions of IEEE LCRD, it will be upgraded to the Middle East and North Africa COMMunications Conference (MENACOMM’18) at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) in Jounieh, Lebanon on April 18–20, 2018 (www.menacomm-conference. com). The objective of MENACOMM is to bring researchers from academic institutions and industry from all over the world to the shores of the Mediterranean.

The sixth Lebanon Communications Student Competition (IEEE LCSC’16) was held on June 4, 2016, at AUST, Zahle Campus. The competition attracted 23 communications related projects from 12 Universities in Lebanon. The projects were divided into three groups: Algorithms and Simulations, Mobile Applications and Smart Phones and Systems, and Devices and Hardware. The evaluation process involved 15 professors from different universities and telecom companies. Three winners were selected from each group and an amount of 3000 USD, offered by Electricity of Zahle, was distributed to the winners with certificates from the IEEE ComSoc Lebanon Chapter. Attendees numbered about 150.

To commemorate the MOU signing between the IEEE Lebanon Section and the Order of Engineers and Architects (OEA)– Tripoli, the IEEE ComSoc Lebanon Chapter organized a workshop on November 2 at the OEA on the topic “The Mobile Telecommunication Evolution in Lebanon and the World.” Three speakers participated in this workshop: Dr. Rola Naja, associate professor at the Lebanese University spoke about “Beyond 4G Networks: Evolution or Revolution?”; Rami Assoum, Head of the VAS Department at Alfa, Lebanon, spoke on the topic “An Insight on the Future of Mobile Business”; and Dr. Charbel Fares, professor at USEK, discussed the “Readiness of the Lebanese Telecom Infrastructure to integrate the Internet of Things.” About 80 engineers from the OEA–Tripoli and IEEE members attended this workshop.

Last but not least, the Chapter celebrated the 10th Lebanon Communications Workshop (IEEE LCW’16), which has become the signature event of the ComSoc Lebanon Chapter and returned to its first location, the American University of Beirut (AUB), in November 2016. IEEE LCW’16 addressed “Tactile Internet”; extremely low latency in combination with high availability; reliability and security will define the character of the Tactile Internet. It will have a marked impact on business and society, introducing numerous new opportunities for emerging technology markets and the delivery of essential public services. We had a strong technical program with a highly distinguished group of speakers from Lebanon and abroad.

In parallel with IEEE LCW’16, the chapter co-organized with the IEEE Young Professional Affinity Group a STEP event that included the signing of three MOUs with three renowned telecommunications’ companies in Lebanon.

The chapter is trying, with its limited resources, to organize fruitful events in all parts the country while encouraging different students to become society members and enhancing industry-academia collaborations.