IIE-SRF Fellow Awarded Innovation Prize; Scholar Spotlight; Featured Host Institution: Philadelphia University
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IIE-SRF Fellow from Syria Awarded Prize for Innovation

IIE-SRF fellow Tarek Kasmieh [left] with his UVHC partners Sami Mohammad and Thierry Marie Guerra  

While on his IIE-SRF fellowship at the University of Valenciennes and Hainaut-Cambresis (UVHC), IIE-SRF Fellow Tarek Kasmieh of Syria is exploring innovative mobility solutions, including motorized manual wheelchairs and other technology for people with mobility-related disabilities. In July 2015, the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research recognized this important work, awarding Dr. Kasmieh and the UVHC research team a €200,000 prize in seed funding for their new company, AutoNomad Mobility. At the i-Lab 17th National Competition for the Creation of Innovative Technology Companies, AutoNomad Mobility was one of 54 laureates chosen from 364 candidates and was one of only three winners from Dr. Kasmieh’s host region of Nord Pas de Calais. The prize will allow Dr. Kasmieh and his partners to provide better mobility solutions for people with disabilities. Dr. Kasmieh comments, “I am grateful for the chance to achieve this accomplishment afforded me by my fellowship with IIE-SRF.” Anyone interested in learning more about the project should contact Dr. Kasmieh directly at

Featured Host Partner: Philadelphia University, Jordan

A model IIE-SRF host partner since 2008, Philadelphia University (PU) recently welcomed its first IIE-SRF fellow from Syria to campus. “IIE-SRF scholars make important contributions to enhance scientific research, particularly at Philadelphia University’s Faculty of Engineering,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor Mohammad Awwad. The university has provided teaching and research positions to 21 IIE-SRF fellows in such fields as history, economics, and engineering, supplying them with the support and facilities necessary to continue their work. Established in 1989, PU is one of the most well-known and highly respected private teaching and research universities in Jordan. It enrolls almost 7,000 students, of whom 42% are foreign nationals. IIE-SRF would like to express our gratitude to Philadelphia University for its important partnership in saving the lives and work of threatened scholars.

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Scholar Spotlight: Monssef Alsweis of Syria

IIE-SRF Fellow Monssef Alsweis of Syria is a computer graphics specialist whose research focuses on 3D modeling simulations of complex biological ecosystems. He recently presented his research at the 21st ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology in Beijing, China. His current project examines vein patterns in leaves and uses a mathematical model to simulate leaf growth graphically. Dr. Alsweis is also the author of three textbooks on digital image processing and web programming published for use in university classrooms. He is currently undertaking his IIE-SRF fellowship at the University of Konstanz in Germany and is looking for research partners and new opportunities. If you or your institution would like to get in touch with Dr. Alsweis, please email IIE-SRF Scholar Support Specialist Melissa Mott at

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The number of IIE-SRF scholars hosted by Philadelphia University of Jordan (21) is second only to Harvard University (23)
Scholars Seeking Visiting Appointments

See the full list of scholars seeking visiting academic appointments »
Scholar Spotlight
A Syrian scholar of Pharmacy seeks a visiting position in the United Kingdom. 


December 3 | New York City
Join Scholars at Risk, The New School’s Endangered Scholars Worldwide, and UNO Press for a conversation on how China’s quest for world-class universities is being shaped by limits on academic freedom. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Call for Support of the York Accord

The York Accord presents a set of principles and recommendations to protect and rebuild institutions of higher education affected by armed conflict. IIE strongly encourages NGOs, international organizations, higher education associations, foundations, and other partners, donors, and stakeholders to sign the Accord and actively advocate that development agencies, national governments, and higher education institutions work together to implement its principles. We welcome you to add your name to the list of signatories here.

Previous Issues of The Beacon:

November 5, 2015 - Alumna Speaks on Rebuilding Syria; IIE in The Atlantic; DRC Alumnus Publishes Legal Paper; Save the Date for the 2nd Annual IIE-SRF Forum

October 22, 2015 - IIE-SRF's Syria Efforts Featured; Iraqi Scholar Lecture on ISIS; Syrian Scholar Interviewed; IIE-SRF Alumna's Work Honored

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