Historical Background

The following brief historical background is a summary of completely pro-bono work that a few Moroccan-Americans performed for the last few years with the aim to connect engineering education with global institutions in the MENA region and beyond and to gently contribute to the long term goal of engineering accreditation in Morocco.

Around 2010 Dr. Sami Ainane (UMD and now API AbuDhabi) proposed the idea of organizing an ASEE global colloquium in Morocco, the idea was well received by his ASEE colleagues. Subsequent discussions with former Ambassador Mekouar also yielded support and encouragement for the event.

Around 2011 Dr. Mohamed Belkhayat, as a member of HMEMSA, initiated contact with ASEE Dr. Hans Hoyer to request the details of what would be required to have such an event in Morocco. Dr. Hoyer recommended that the event be hosted by a major university or engineering school, and to have a few of the Moroccan deans of engineering schools attend such events prior to having it in Morocco, in order to see how such events are usually organized and to become more active at the global engineering dean council.

In 2011, due to tireless efforts by HMEMSA founder Mme Khadija Reljari, discussions with CCME yielded funding for both Dr Sami Ainane and Dr. Saad Laaraqui from UIR (Université International de Rabat) to attend the 2011 ASEE global Colloquium in Singapore. The feedback was extremely positive

At about the same time frame Dr. Sami Ainane met with Dr. Ahmed Legrouri from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI)and discussed the idea of the creation of a global deans chapter in Morocco. ASEE had recommended this previously for two reasons: 1- in order to facilitate engineering education symposia in Morocco, and 2- to help in the engineering accreditation process.

Following these discussions, HMEMSA encouraged AUI (Dr. Ahmed Legrouri), UIR (Dr. Idriss ILALI), and EMI (Ecole Mohammadia d’Ingenieur) Dr. Bouami to belong to the Global Engineering Dean Council, which they joined recently. Finally, in April of 2012, Dr. Mohammad Essaaidi from ENSIAS joined the GEDC towards the creation of a GEDC chapter in Morocco.

Additionaly, ASEE Dr. Hoyer announced to HMEMSA that he talked to the new GEDC Chair Sarah Rajala and other members of the GEDC ExCom and was pleased to let us know that deans Alaa Ashmawy from the American University of Dubai and also George Nasr from Lebanon could be available to join us for a meeting in December of 2011. Unfortunately, due to the elections in Morocco, the meeting was postponed.

HMEMSA also started engaging ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology)  through HMEMSA members Dr. Soumia Ichoua, Dr. Sami Ainane and Dr. Amine Chigani who have all gone through ABET accreditation and were willing to donate their valuable time in starting this process.

More Recently Dr. Hans Hoyer was able to receive some funds from GEDC members contributing to support travel, participation in the GEDC conference which is part of the WEEF Buenos Aires  October 2012 for some deans globally who might require such assistance. He was able to commit at least US$1,000 per dean, up to 3 deans, from Morocco to help defray some of their travel and related costs.  He also stressed the point that in addition to the presence of deans from Morocco, he hoped that other engineering leaders, professors, even engineering students could potentially join in Buenos Aires.  Both Dr Essaaidi from ENSIAS and Dr. Ahmed Legrouri expressed high interest in these events and were connected with Dr. Hoyer.