The American University of Beirut signed a collaboration agreement with the Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in the field of plasma science and magnetic fusion. The aim is to support the common research programs at the university and ASIPP with the possibility to contribute to the research program on EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak). This way, AUB becomes a partner of the BEST (Burning Experimental Superconducting Tokamak) project.

The signing ceremony was attended in person by his excellency Qian Minjian, the Chinese ambassador to Lebanon; Professor Zaher Dawy, American University of Beirut provost; Dr. Bilal Nsouli, director of the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission; Dr. Tuong Hoang, representative of ASIPP; and members of the American University of Beirut community. Professor Yuntao Song, general director of ASIPP, and his team also joined the event online.

In his speech, Ambassador Minjian said, “AUB is the first university in the Middle East to reach collaboration agreements with ASIPP. This cooperation marks a breakthrough of the China Arab States Cooperation in the field of peaceful development and use of nuclear energy.” He added, “I wish the two sides smooth cooperation. I also look forward to more cooperation between China and Lebanon in the fields of science, technology, education, and youth exchanges…”

Dr. Dawy, American University of Beirut provost, spoke about the importance of investing in research in Lebanon, and the importance of collaborations across the globe. “We strongly believe in partnerships, outcome-driven partnerships,” he said, stating that the university faculty members have recently collaborated with countries in every direction around the world. “We’re a region that still lacks research collaborations, and maybe today’s event is in the direction to enhance our partnerships, to China specifically.”

Dr. Bilal Nsouli, the director of the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission, said, “I am really proud to see the American University of Beirut concluding years of continuous efforts that allowed it to be part of the international plasma physics research community, and opening new doors for future leaders in the region to receiving high-quality education in science and technology, and to excel in their field of specialization by using its regional and international cooperative network.”

The event featured a presentation on fusion energy research at AUB by Dr. Ghassan Antar, as well as a presentation on ASIPP and fusion research in China by Dr. T. Hoang. A reception followed the signing ceremony to celebrate the occasion.


The Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) was founded in September 1978 for the purpose of the peaceful utilization of fusion energy. As one of the leading institutes in fusion research, it aims to achieve the safe, clean, and sustainable application of fusion energy. ASIPP research covers the areas of plasma physics as well as fusion technology and industry. The institute works through global collaborations and educates and trains the next generation of fusion scientists and engineers.

ASIPP promotes active and extensive international cooperation. In the past 35 years, ASIPP has collaborated with the EU, USA, Russia, Japan, and other nations, through a variety of projects and fields. The EAST tokamak has become an open test bench and platform for world fusion scientists. Every year, it has attracted more than a hundred scientists from home and abroad to conduct their experiments.

For more information about ASIPP visit — AUB

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon

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