Basma El Zein, PhD, demonstrates proficiency in all aspects of her career, and is considered an expert in nanotechnology and renewable. She is currently the director general of the Governance and Sustainability Center. Since 2017, she has served as the dean of scientific research at the University of Business and Technology in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She has also been the director of the Research and Consultation Center at the institution since 2015. Dr. El Zein’s career in academia began in 1999 when she began as an instructor at the Jeddah International School. Throughout the years, she took on teaching and research positions at Dar Al Hekma University and the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology. Furthermore, she has been an engineering consultant for NASACO since 2001 and a researcher for USTL since 2008.
Drawn to these fields at an early age, Dr. El Zein earned a Master of Science in engineering at Lebanese University in 1999. She completed a PhD in nanotechnology at the University of Sciences and Technology in Lille, France, in 2012. In addition, she has become certified as an ASMEC, PMP and CCNA with the Chamber of Commerce in Lebanon, and a certified MTT with Microsoft New Horizon in Jeddah. In recognition of her work, Dr. El Zein won the CEO Today Magazine Management Consulting Award in 2020 in the scientific research category, and was named a Solar Pioneer by MESIA in 2015 and received an Achievement Award from the Harriri Foundation. In 1993, she earned the Second Prize from Lebanese TV. In addition, she received two grant awards for research in nanostructures for photovoltaic applications. Moreover, in 2017, she was the recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
On top of these accolades, Dr. El Zein has contributed various published works in her fields. In 2013, she authored “ZnO Nanostructures for Photovoltaic Applications.” She has contributed to articles and scientific papers, and her work has appeared among the pages of Nanotechnologist, Technology Transfer and Translational Researcher. She has been the WIE chair of the IEEE since 2009 and the programming competition chair for the institution since 2008. Furthermore, Dr. El Zein has maintained professional affiliation with the Engineering Syndicate, the Project Management Institute, the Materials Research Society, the ECS, the SPIE, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants and the AUTM. From social engagement, Dr. El Zein serves as the vice president for scientific and academic affairs for the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace.
Dr. El Zein would like to be remembered by her peers or others as someone who made an impact. Her inspiration along her professional journey was from prominent scientists, some of whom she worked with and others she read about. They really inspired her to work specifically in science, engineering and technology. Additionally, seeing them and wanting to be like them when she proceeded with her career was motivating. What Dr. El Zein would say has been her favorite part about her profession would be what was the cause of her success. The reason for her success is because she actually had the support of her father Mohammad Zeineddine El Zein, who was her role model. He was always pushing her, empowering her as a woman in her career, and telling her to work on science and engineering because it was needed.
The advice that Dr. El Zein can offer others aspiring to work in her profession would be to believe in themselves and that they can do it. She encourages people to put it in perspective, have an objective and put it to work, which will open doors magically if you work really hard toward that objective. Dr. El Zein is a person who thinks outside of the box and always tries to be innovative in anything that she does. She tries to leave her fingerprint on whatever she works on or whatever she does.