In a bid to foster professional growth and expertise, a hands-on experience training program was conducted within the context of the SWaTH project at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) in October 2023 to empower the Lebanese participants, elevate their skill sets, and augment their knowledge. Makram El BACHAWATI and Cherine SALIBA from the University of Balamand (Lebanon), and Roy KANBAR and Carl AOUN from the Lebanese American University (Lebanon) were immersed in a dynamic curriculum that perfectly blended theory and practice.
The local organizers, Joydeep DUTTA, Bassam KAYAL, Abdusalam UHEIDA, and Ahmad AL ATTAR, welcomed the newcomers. This journey in Sweden served as a hub for collaboration. It included a lab tour, technical presentations, safety and risk assessment training sessions, a tour of the different campuses, practical sessions, engaging discussions, exchange of ideas, and networking opportunities.
During the lab tour, Joy highlighted the lab's different sections, explained some characterization techniques, and shared some interesting research ideas. After the technical presentation about the treatment of nano-pollutants in water, Salam conducted a session about the safety in the lab and how to assess the risk. He explained the safe storage process of the chemicals, how the waste is sorted, and how the risk is assessed. Afterward, long and in-depth experimental work was conducted where the participants prepared the samples and characterized the treated water using developed and novel techniques such as UV-spectrophotometry, photoluminescence, Inductively Coupled Plasma, etc.
Upon completion, participants emerged not only with polished skills but also with new confidence to overcome challenges and drive change in their respective fields. This remarkable journey would not have been possible and turned out to be a success story without the commitment and expertise of the organizers.