The first AIChE Student Regional Conference in the Middle East, hosted by Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), took place on April 22nd and April 23rd at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, College of Engineering in Irbid, Jordan.
This is an annual meeting that gives students the opportunity to chat with ChemE peers throughout the region, participate in student competitions organized by AIChE, learn from industry speakers, attend seminars, and much more.
The conference took place with significant help from the Middle East Sub-Regional Committee at the Executive Student Committee (ESC) and JUST AIChE Student Chapter.
After the conference, we spoke to some of the organizers and the people who participated in the event and asked about their experiences.
What was it like to be part of planning a regional conference?
Farid Darwish, Conference Chair: It was amazing! The most exciting and challenging thing that a student might experience. I was able to gain and see many of my skills in action such as teamwork, leadership, and networking. I was very happy to see everyone’s hard work pay off! Everyone who organized this event should be very proud.
What advice would you give to students attending a regional conference?
Farid D: Make sure you connect with people as much as you can as this will help you develop your networking skills, and don’t hesitate to ask questions at any of the workshops. Try to stay at the hosting country for two more days to enjoy the scenes and the activities all around.
We also asked other organizers about the conference and here is what they said:
“No matter how many hard times we had and how much effort we put into this conference in order for it to see light, the final successful result is what counts. It really made us very proud.” Batoul Al-Khatib, Conference Co-Chair
“As the founder of the chapter that hosted the regional conference, this achievement made me feel very proud of the generation that made this dream come true! Huge thanks to everyone who participated in organizing and attended the conference!” Omar, Host Student Chapter Founder
“All in all, achieving this conference in the region makes everyone very proud, including me, as it comes after long hours of planning and endless conference calls with the conference chair that eventually paid off! Being able to help organize the first regional conference in the region is really something we should be proud of.” Moosa Al Lawati, ESC Middle East Regional Chair
Was there a special event that really captured your region/chapter at the meeting?
Farid D: The poster competition, and a session about the link between industry and academia, which was chaired by Prof. Fahmi Abu-Al Rub. It was very fruitful, and we were very lucky to have him, as he is in plenty of projects and he is a liaison between the EU and our university.
Did you connect with any fellow ChemE students, or get to network with any industry professionals?
Farid D: Yes, I did! Planning for a regional conference gave me the opportunity to network with ChemE peers from different universities and countries, beginning with the global director, Ahmed Yousri, and the Middle East regional chair, Moosa Al Lawati. They were very helpful while we were planning the conference. They were always there!
What was your favorite part of the conference weekend?
Farid D: We organized a picnic for the conference committee which was absolutely amazing! It was very relaxing to enjoy and chill after months of hard work and some crazy moments.