Al Akhawayn Holds Its First Undergraduate Research Competition and Award Ceremony



Ifrane, April 20, 2012 — Al Akhawayn University held its first Undergraduate Research Competition and Award Ceremony on April 17, 2012 in order to give undergraduate students a platform to show-case their research projects. 

Many students, faculty, and staff attended the event, along with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ahmed Legrouri; the Vice President for Student Affairs, Cherif Belfekih; and the Dean of Al Akhawayn School of Business Administration, Wafa El Garah. 

The idea of this research competition sprung from an earlier conversation between El Garah and the president of the student-run Rotaract Club, Hamza El Meray (‘13), a Business major. 

“We discussed the different ways to promote research on campus and this idea came up,” said El Garah. “It is a great opportunity for our undergraduate students to challenge themselves, especially that they were free to chose their research topics.” 

Eleven students from Al Akhawayn’s three schools participated in the competition with 8 presentations. Students showed high enthusiasm and passion for their research projects. 

The undergraduate research committee selected one winner, Mohammed Taha El Graini (‘13), Computer Science student. El Grani’s project is entitled “An Intrusion Detection System Using System Call Sequence Analysis". The 2012 winner received a certificate of achievement and an iPad from the Rotaract Club. 

“I am very happy to have been given this opportunity,” said El Graini. “I want to thank my supervisor and everyone that helped me on this project.” 

Computer Science Students Wassim Benhallam (‘12) and Ahmed Mouhtaine (‘13) won the second prize for their research on "Interactive Visualization of Data Structures, Pointers and Dynamic Memory Allocation" . They each received an iPhone 4S donated by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.   

Engineering Student Nisrine Bnouhanna (‘13) won the third prize for her research on "Investigations in Passive Radar System Using GSM as Illuminator of Opportunity". She, too, won an iPhone 4S. 


Duncan Rinehart, Al Akhawayn faculty and organizer of the event, closed the ceremony by thanking all the participants that made the first Al Akhawayn Undergraduate Research Competition a success. Rinehart informed the students that both the School of Business Administration and Mohammed VI Library will have these papers published in a journal. 

“It would be great to see in a journal not only young researchers but published authors as well,” added Rinehart. 

The other participants in the Competition, below, received each a certificate of achievement: 

Hajar Abbadi (‘13) and Lamyaa Eloussi (‘13), Major: Computer Science — "A Case of Building a Low Cost Local Cluster" 

Camelia Barrit (‘15), Major: Business Administration —  “Advertising impact on male and female consumer behavior”

Driss Lahjouji (‘13) and Marouan Azennoud ('13), Major: Combined Bachelor and Master of Science in Engineering — "The Use of Renewable Energies in Swimming Pool Heating: Solar Water Heaters & Aboveground Biomass" 

Badr Eddine Mazoz (‘12), Major: Computer Science — "A Message Parsing and Processing Architecture for Message Passing Systems" 

Hanane Taffahi (‘13), Major: Engineering Management Systems — "RFID:  A New Way to Track Human Case Study"