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Faculty & Staff


Jamal H. Abed, Dean
e-mail: jabed@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Jamal Abed is the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture & Design [ARCHIDES] since its inception in the spring of 2015. Before returning back to the academic field, he was acting as a member of the Board and the Director of the Planning and Design Division at Millennium Development International Holding for around 13 years. Before joining Millennium in 2003, Mr. Abed was an Associate Professor, chairman of the Department of Architecture and Design, and Program Coordinator of the Masters Program in Urban Planning & Urban Design, at the American University of Beirut. He was a full-timer at the Department of Architecture and Design at AUB between 1988 and 2003. He obtained a bachelor degree in Architecture from the same university in 1982 and a graduate degree in Architectural Studies from MIT in 1988. He is an author of a number of publications and winner of many grants, the most prominent of which is the Fulbright scholarship. Combining thirty three years of academia and professional expertise in architecture and urban design, Dean Abed played an essential role in raising the standards of the program at AUB and in directing complex development projects that span a wide geographic spread ranging between Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Russia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Iraq, and Turkey. His plans for ARCHIDES to distinguish itself through a rigorous integration of academic research in undergraduate education culminating into a design scholarship that positively impacts its graduates, the local community, and the discipline at large is now grounded in the distinct quality of its growing staff, state-of-the art facilities, and dynamic and innovative curriculum.

Dr. Marwan Basmaji
Full-time Assistant Professor
e-mail: mbasmaji@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Following his architectural studies in Lebanon at USEK (1992-1999), Dr. Marwan Basmaji continued his postgraduate studies as a member of Tadao Ando Academic Laboratory at the University of Tokyo in Japan (2001-2008). During his studies, he also worked shortly at Arata Isozaki and Associates on a project in Beirut, before establishing Basmaji and Bielinska Architects (BBA) along with Mrs. Kamila Bielinska-Basmaji. Dr. Basmaji taught, directed design workshops, participated in conferences and was a guest critic at various institutions in Mexico, Poland, Switzerland, Tunisia, Bahrain, Oman, UAE, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 2012, BBA studio won the Young Arab Architects Honor Award/ Venice Biennale 2012, and the International Union of Architects Award for Young Architects-Leonardo Award in 2013, for the design of Barbar Temples Visitors Center in Bahrain, a commission by Bahrain Ministry of Culture. Other awards include the 1st prize in the Future Vision Leisure Architectural Competition, Austria; the 2nd prize in the Environment Competition by ESCWA-UN, Lebanon; the 3rd prize for the Wodka Museum in Poland and the Award of Merit in Kobe International Biennale, Japan.

Maxim Julian, architect DPLG
Full-time Assistant Professor
e-mail: mjulian@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Born in Lebanon in 1975, Maxim Julian graduated from the University of Fine Arts Lebanon and the National School of Architecture of Toulouse, France in 1990. Between 1990 and 1995 his professional experiences and exposure developed through the rehabilitation and construction of various public and private projects: the official stadium in Beirut, Phoenicia Hotel, the official hospital R. Hariri… In 2007 he created his first agency in France involving architects and engineers carrying out major industrial projects. In 2011, he created the agency SYNOPSYS, which opens to other domains: public and commercial, collective and individual housing, landscape and design. In less than 10 years M. Julian realize over than 40 projects/ 20 competition, covering several domain and various scales; industrial buildings, schools , university, offices, collective housing, crematorium, penitentiary building, medical facilities, restaurants, villas, etc.. He has been the President of Southern center of architecture and city Toulouse, the Director of the CCHA, research center on new forms of housing and is currently a member of the editorial committee of the architectural magazine ' Plan Libre.' M. Julian base project success on a technical know-how and an ability to understand the economic, urban and social issues that shape the upstream of architectural thinking. He aims towards a responsible and intelligent architecture; an architecture that has to combine functionality with aesthetics and technology with emotions.

Dr. Ahmad OMAR
Full-time Assistant Professor
e-mail: aomar@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Dr. Ahmad OMAR holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from Université Grenoble Alpes in France (2015), a Master’s degree in Geomechanics from Université Joseph Fourier in France (2011), and a Diplôme d’Ingénieur in Civil Engineering from the Lebanese University in Tripoli (2011). He also received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from Université Joseph Fourier (2016). His teaching experience includes Lecturing as a Teaching Assistant at the Civil Engineering department of Université Joseph Fourier from 2012 till 2014, and as a full-time Assistant Professor at the Geotechnical Engineering department of Polytech Grenoble in France till 2015. He also has been teaching as a part-time Assistant Professor at the Civil Engineering department of IUT1 in Grenoble, France till 2016. His research focuses on the numerical modeling of reinforced concrete structures subjected to seismic and impact loadings. He has published his research works in three international conferences and two journal papers in addition to his participation to the organization of the international Workshop PREVI 2013 in Chamonix, France. He also supervised two Master 2R projects and is currently co-supervising one PhD student in France.

Francesco Polesello
Full-time Visiting Associate Professor
e-mail: fpolesello@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Francesco Polesello graduated from Università Iuav di Venezia (IUAV) in Venice and holds a master’s degree in urban design from USC Los Angeles, where he was also a Teaching Assistant between 1986 and 1988. In Italy, he launched his career through the family architectural firm, and became a Teaching Assistant at IUAV and later an Associate Professor in Design in 1992. During this period, he participated at Tempus/Phare, a triennial European academic program focusing on architectural and urban design in collaboration with IUAV (Italy), Polytechnika of Krakowska (Poland), Fachofschule Cottbus (Germany), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Sevilla (Spain). Mr. Polesello has taken part in many local and international competitions, receiving prizes and awards. Besides having developed the master plans for local authorities and municipalities, his achievements include various public and private design projects published in books and magazines. Since 2005, he has had professional experience in various countries including Lebanon, Italy, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Kazakhstan.

Hala Abi Haydar
Part-time Senior Lecturer
e-mail: habihaydar@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Holder of a Bachelor degree in Architecture from the American University of Beirut Mrs. Abi Haydar is Lecturer in the field of architecture and design and a syndicated freelance architect with more than 20 years’ experience of which 9 years are spent in the academic domain. She is currently teaching in a number of universities being in charge of both theoretical and practical design studio courses in the discipline of Architecture. Her concentration is history of architecture, covering the Prehistoric all through to the Modern periods. Her seminar courses also explore architecture production in the post-modern condition. Her design research track that informs her design studios is to infuse a sense of experimentation, discovery, and inquisition about architectural spatial design in general, and to incite the students to develop a sensitive, critical and analytical eye towards their environment and the architectural manifestations as directly related to their very own culture.

Dr. Hind Soufi
Part-time Senior Lecturer
e-mail: hsoufi@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Dr. Hind Soufi holds a PhD in Sciences of Art from Université Paris VIII (1998), a master’s degree in Economics from université Saint- Joseph (1974), and a DES in Fine Arts from Lebanese University. Dr. Soufi teaches at the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University and has published many articles in her field. From 2000 till 2012, she was president of the Lebanese Association of Painters and Sculptors. For her volunteering work in the cultural and social fields she received many awards including Creativity Award for the Lebanese Contemporary Art (LAAPS & Ministry of Culture, 2013), Environment Committee Award for Best Assemblage (2008) and others. Since 2000, Dr. Soufi has participated in various art and design projects in Lebanon, Algeria, Iran, Bangladesh and USA.

Sandy Sabsabi
Part-time Instructor
e-mail: ssabsabi@azmuniversity.edu.lb
After graduating from the Lebanese American University, holding a Bachelor degree in Architecture in 2012, Sandy El Sabsabi started her design practice through the family construction firm and as a syndicated freelance architect working mostly on residential complexes and commercial projects. Besides five years of experience in the field, her interest in the urban field and in the city resulted in a master’s degree in Urban Design from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2017, in which her thesis aimed to re-assess high-density urbanism through a sustainable design approach, facing the production of exclusive vertical developments, which constitutes today an irreversible trend in neo-liberal economic contexts. Along her academic journey, she contributed in four established exhibitions, several architectural and urban workshops and many competitions in Lebanon. These mainly include; “Surgical Urban Operations” exhibition proposed to the city of Jounyeh (2012), “Beirut Patchwork city workshop” (2014) with the DPU at the Bartlett in UCL, in collaboration with PID Levant, AUB, and ALBA, and “Last Resort” as winning group of Revisiting Dalieh: visions for Beirut’s coast. Along her stay at AUB, Sandy participated in City Debates (2013-2015), a multinational platform that discusses urban issues, and gained a teaching experience with Gregoire Serof (2014-2015), which had widened her interests and goals in the academic field.
Establishing her personal architectural studio in Tripoli, she aims to translate the conceptual thinking into practice, willing to mutate, through an acupunctural approach, the culture of brutal concrete buildings by adding a sense of design and humanism. Today, by joining Azm University, Sandy believes in the interchanging of knowledge, values and practice to correct misconceptions about art, design and architecture in our society.

Naji Safi
Part-time Instructor
e-mail: nsafi@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Naji Safi is a Lebanese architect and artist, with two years’ experience in the UAE and one in Lebanon. Throughout his career at NORR Group Architects ( MENA-DXB) Naji worked on the Lusail Qatar Towers and was behind the parametric scheme for the main façade treatments of the project. He also worked as a Project Architect at the Italian firm Decorepoint.Int (Dubai) where he was in charge of the design and project management of the group. In parallel , Naji pursues his sensibility towards and research in installation, computational & Fine arts, attending JIGSAW Master Course & Exhibition which granted him a Certification in 3D Design & modeling (Lead by Gilles Restin & Isaie Bloch). Holding his B.ARCH degree from ALBA University and in the process of finalizing his Master Thesis, Naji runs his own architectural and art Lab in Tripoli where he experiments in Art , Architecture and Forms in design. Passionate about the Abstract fusion between Art & Generative design technology, Naji explores the world of algorithms in the architectural context.
As an instructor at AZM University , Naji is responsible of the Computational Design track at ARCHIDES , thus exploring the role of technology in design and its wide spread application in the perception and experience of Architecture.

Dr. Rania Merheb
Part-time Lecturer
e-mail: rmerheb@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Dr. Rania Merheb holds a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Bordeaux – France (2013), a ME degree in Automation from INSA Lyon – France (2010) and a BE in Power Engineering from the Lebanese University in Tripoli (2010). She also received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (2014).
Her teaching experience includes lecturing as a Teaching Assistant at the Civil Engineering and Physics departments of the University of Bordeaux – France and as a part time instructor in the Mechanical Engineering in many universities in Lebanon. Her research interest concerns the development of new methodologies for reliable prediction of buildings thermal behavior as well as improving their energy efficiency. She published her research work in many French and international conferences proceedings and in international journals. She co-supervised Final Year Project students in France. At ARCHIDES, she is offering a course in the Mechanical Design of Buildings where students are exposed to water and mechanized acclimatization systems but are mainly engaged in modeling the thermal behavior of buildings with a direct interface of their design project.

Dima Alameddine
Faculty Assistant
e-mail: dalameddine@azmuniversity.edu.lb
Ms. Dima Alameddine graduated at 2014 from the University of Balamand holding a Master’s Degree in Computational Mathematics. She was one of the remarkable students of her class as she was assigned as a teaching assistant for two regular semesters during her bachelor studies. After graduation, she chose to work into the humanitarian sector investing her excellent communication and interpersonal skills for effectively dealing with a broad range of individuals at various levels mainly to improve the life conditions of vulnerable families. Being satisfied with her achievements in the humanitarian field and getting interested into the challenge of a starting- up university, she chose to join us here at Azm and pursue an administrative-academic career. Three years into her work at Azm University, she is behind the buzzing energy of ARCHIDES.
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