Success Despite Covid-19: Hope from An-Najah National University ASCE Student Chapter
"My favorite thing about being a professor in civil engineering at An-Najah National University is supporting our students who are working in Palestine and in dozens of countries, helping to positively impact more people and millions around the world with improved access to transportation and infrastructure." Prof. Sameer Abu-Eisheh said.
About Prof. Abu-Eisheh:
The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at An-Najah National University is one of the best faculties in the University with highly qualified and motivated faculty members with excellent academic, research and development track record.
Prof. Abu-Eisheh is a researcher and professor of civil engineering in the University's Department of Civil Engineering. His area of specialty is transport planning and engineering. His fields of experience include road and traffic engineering, management of transportation systems, strategic planning, spatial planning, national and regional planning, infrastructure development, project appraisal and assessment, engineering education, institutional development, and capacity building. He received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees from the Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A, in 1984 and 1987, respectively.
During his academic career, he authored more than 100 published research papers, and participated in authoring two books and five design and planning manuals. Also, he occupied several professional, technical and governmental positions. Among these, he was the Minister of Planning in two governments.
At the forefront of every student chapter is a dedicated faculty advisor, ensuring that students experience the full measure of the educational, social, and professional opportunities available to them. Prof. Sameer Abu-Eisheh is no exception, and An-Najah University is grateful for the commitment he has shown for students and the University Chapter for the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE), as he currently serves as the faculty advisor of An-Najah National University ASCE Student Chapter. He serves as a resource to the University's ASCE student members.
What is Your Role as Faculty Advisor of An-Najah University's ASCE Student Chapter?
" My role as an advisor is to provide information and general guidance to student chapter members for organizing ASCE activities on campus, such as preparing, presenting, and discussing matters of interest, inviting and entertaining guest speakers, visiting engineering works under construction, preparing reports to the home society, attending ASCE conferences, and competing against other student chapters in regional and national competitions." He answered.
An-Najah National University ASCE Student Chapter Receives National Award!
Prof. Abu-Eshieh demonstrated outstanding leadership and support to the University ASCE Student Chapter.
“In 2019, An-Najah's ASCE was classified among top 5% chapters in the world. We are an ambitious chapter and we are very much focused on the needs of each and every one of our students. We are committed to providing an exceptional and personalized student experience, which prepares each student with the skills for work, life and success." Prof. Abu-Eisheh said.
An-Najah National University ASCE Student Chapter has been selected by the Committee on Student Members to receive a Letter of Honorable Mention for its outstanding activities as recorded in the 2020 Chapter annual report for the third time in a row since its foundation. This award is given to the top third of all Student Chapters, based on their Annual Report score. The recognition noted the enthusiasm and hard work of student officers and members as well as the fine guidance from its faculty advisor, Prof. Sameer Abu-Eisheh.
“Out of ~375 student chapters worldwide, the chapter placed in the top 1/3 of all ASCE Student Organizations. We are so proud of our students and faculty for their amazing work!” Prof. Abu-Eisheh said.
The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology is extremely proud of the hard work and dedication that the members of the ASCE exhibit every year. The University is also proud of the level of care and guidance that their faculty advisor, Professor Abu-Eisheh, continues to provide them with.
“Congratulations to everyone involved in the ASCF organization for receiving this prestigious honor!” Prof. Abu-Eisheh added.
The University's Department of Civil Engineering Continues to Flourish Despite Covid-19 Challenges!
It has been a difficult year for many ASCE Student Chapters however; An-Najah National University ASCE Student Chapter is celebrating their success despite Covid-19.
"The past year has been hard for all of us. The numerous challenges all around us compounded the effects of dealing with the coronavirus, but despite all that, our students’ empathy, resilience, and creativity give me hope for the future. We’ve been teaching in remote mode since March 2020. Having to teach in this mode has made me rethink my courses, what I expect students to be able to do, and how I organize courses and materials to make it easier for students to learn." Prof. Abu-Eisheh explained. He was one of the pioneers in e-learning and developed the first multimedia based course in 1999 supported by UNESCO. He also obtained the first rank in Excellence in e-learning prize at the University.
He added: “During the last 12 months we have quite rightly focused on ensuring that as many of our students as possible achieve their qualification with us. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to maintain the excellent progress made before the lockdown, and I look forward to continuing to build on the substantial success we have already achieved at the Department of Civil Engineering and An-Najah National University ASCE Student Chapter as we start to look forward to our next activities.”
About An-Najah's Department of Civil Engineering:
The department is fully equipped with functional laboratories and all other lab infrastructure and equipment to meet the highest academic requirements. The faculty of the department continues to strive hard for the all-round progress and development of the students. The department actively conducts co-curricular and extracurricular activities to update technical skills in different fields of civil engineering and other soft skills for all-round development and groom the personality of the students.
"Our students are actively involved in local and international communities through service-learning projects, enjoy numerous courses with hands-on, project-based components, and routinely engage in off-campus internships and student clubs. Many undergraduate students also participate in faculty-led research experiences." Prof. Abu-Eisheh pointed out.
Local and International Experience:
Prof. Abu-Eisheh has versatile experience in consulting, as he has been serving as a Senior Consultant in transportation and infrastructure planning and engineering inside and outside Palestine. He has offered consulting services to various international and local organizations and authorities, including World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, UNDP, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UN-Habitat, GIZ, KfW, USAID, Welfare Association, and many ministries, agencies and regional and local authorities. He acted as the Project Manager or Senior Expert in a number of major projects in Palestine, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Libya.
Also, Prof. Abu-Eisheh served as the President’s Assistant for Planning and Development, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at An-Najah University. He was a visiting Professor at Lille University, France, University of Washington and Texas A&M University, U.S.A., and Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany.
What is the Role of An-Najah University in Supporting its Academic Staff?
"The University is committed to enabling all of its staff to achieve their full potential. It promotes and maintains an inclusive and supportive environment to ensure that all colleagues can thrive. The University supports us to publish world class research in our area of interest with a focus on quality in high impact journals, rather than quantity. It fully supports our research needs including practical help such as resources to attend conferences and to fund research activity." Prof. Abu-Eisheh answered.
What Advice Would You Give to a Prospective Student Wanting to join the Faculty of Engineering?
"My advice is always to do what you are passionate about. Think about what really stimulated your interest during your previous studies and think about what you want to become. Engineering is a fascinating discipline because you can solve technical and practical problems and at the same time know that your contribution has a tangible impact on the society in which we live. But passion is the foundation of any discipline. Without that, it will be an ordinary job and you will not make a difference." Prof. Abu-Eisheh answered.