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2019 Trip to Armenia

In October 2019, by invitation of rector Dr. Galstyan of the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia (NUACA), a group of AESA-NE members traveled to Armenia to participate in the 11th International Conference on Contemporary Issues in Architecture and Construction. Additionally, as per an annual commitment of AESA to Rutgers University, FAR, and NUACA , classes were taught at the university.

Participating delegates were AESA-NE Section Vice President Stephan Tchorbajian, PE; President Emeritus  Hovhannes Mardirossian; and board Member Nichan Tchorbajian. (Standing in the front row, first, third and fourth from the right.) At the conference’s opening plenary session, Hovhannes Mardirossian addressed the international delegates and chairman Dr. Galstyan, thanking them for the invitation and their continuous cooperation on behalf of the AESA-NE Section and Rutgers University.

Board member Nichan Tchorbajian represented Rutgers University as a conference committee member in lieu of Dr. Ali Maher from Rutgers University who was nominated by AESA-FAR-and AESA  group as one of the Honorary committee member of the NUACA conference, representing USA. At  this conference, Stephan Tchorbajian gave an impressive lecture on Mid-Rise Light-Gage Multi-Family Structures for Armenia.

This  unique topic was one of the most interesting subjects presented at the plenary session, specifically addressing the needs of the current, blossoming Armenian construction and engineering industry. Participating delegates represented over a dozen countries including Russia, France, Poland, China,  Ukraine, Georgia, and Italy.

Prior to the International conference, as part of AESA-NE’s ongoing collaboration with FAR, Rutgers University, and NUACA, Vice President Stephan Tchorbajian, taught a three day course to professors and 20-25 graduate level students on  the latest tools and new approaches driving the modern global building design industry. The class concentrated on introducing the importance of being competitive in the global market by utilizing 3D Building Information modeling tools in all stages of building design from Architecture, to Structural design, through to Construction Administration. 

Our delegates had the unique opportunity to have a round table discussion with Rector Dr. Galstyan and Dean Grigoryan discussing a new commitment by the university to establish a new Digital Design Institute, committed to furthering the usage and education of 3D building design. This new institute within the university will ensure that Armenia not only keeps up with the modern global trends in advanced and efficient building design, but that Armenia leapfrogs onto th leading edge of industry and the latest technologies. The institute will be spearheaded by Stephan Tchorbajian with the support of AESA members and the NUACA faculty. 

The AESA-NY delegation also had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Artashes Sargsyan, a researcher who was hosted at Rutgers University through the graces of the collaboration of all of the aforementioned institutions in prior years. In his time at Rutgers, Dr. Sargsayn studied Bridge and Pavement Management and now teaches this Rutgers University approved curriculum to students at NUACA. One of his PhD candidate students, Gregory Sargsyan, presented at the international conference on this topic building on the tools that were gathered at Rutgers University during Dr. Sargsyan’s studies there.

L. to R. Stephan Tchorbajian AESA, Nichan Tchorbajian AESA , PhD candidate Zorik Miqayelyan, Hovhannes Mardirossian AESA, Dr.Artashes Sargsyan, PhD candidate Gregory Sargsyan.

Zorik Miqayelyan, a PhD candidate at NUACA, who also visited Rutgers this year, and studies Energy Efficiency, under the same program sponsored by FAR, and hosted by AESA-NE and the Rutgers University , was  our guide at this  conference.As shown on the background of  this picture, Zorik presented his studies on Energy Efficiency on Buildings at the exhibition of the conference it was very well presented among the other exhibitions.

The Dean of NUACA Engineering School, David Grigoryan, and Dr.Vartges Yedoyan, Vice Rector of the international affairs, gave us outstanding support for the success of our mission at NUACA. In addition to NUACA conference Nichan Tchorbajian and Stephan Tchorbajian attended  WCIT ( World Congress on Information Technologies) conference, which was held this year in Armenia first time with very prominent international speakers in the industry.

During the week we were able to take a short trip to Aratashen village children’s school, which AESA-NE has been sponsoring for the past few years, to meet their educational and the school's structural and safety and renovation needs, which includes, the roof, windows and doors, and very essential Heating System, to keep the school open during the winter season. At this trip besides bringing to the school children’s books and gifts AESA-NE delegate donated a desk top computer with laser jet printer on the school principal request. We were honored by the presence of the mayor, Mr. Vaharam Harutyumyan of the village on the day of our school visit, where the teachers gave us a great lunch reception.

On Saturday October 12 our group traveled to COAF’s SMART ( Science, Math, Art, Reading and Technology) center in Debet, Lori region, along with the activity director and coordinator, Irina Igitkhanian. The center’s Mission is to provide resources to children and adults with SMART initiatives to advance rural communities through innovation.

We were welcomed and had a guided tour of the center by Christ Marukyan. The SMART center is a state- of- the-art center for the after school young students to use the resources of the SMART Center.Our meeting with the center's education director, repatriated young Armenian from France, Korioun Khatchadourian, was very informative. He explained the center's activities and objectives. He expressed his desire to collaborate with AESA-NE in certain areas, such as; provide motivational speakers, short technical courses , and engineering support, were expressed and we promised to meet their needs within our organization’s capabilities.

On October 15, the Engineering City Plaza trip, coordinated by (EIF) Enterprise Incubator Foundation’s director, Amalya Yeghoyan, was another worthwhile venture, where we witnessed many Engineering incubator related activities in progress in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering areas. Small production of electronic educational kits and as well as high-end mobile communication repeaters were being built and QC tested. This visit  was our continues cooperation between EIF and AESA to establish  engineering advisory support to the center.

In the picture :  AESA NE – Delegate  members with Ms. Amalya Yeghoyan, center , Ms. Marina Saguinian, production project manager, and Visiting PhD student from Austin University Texas.

The engineering director of the facility, Mr. Aram Salatian, of the Engineering Association, gave us a tour of the facility and Amalya also gave us a presentation on her venture trips to African countries (with the full support of Armenia’s prime minister) to promote Armenia’s Engineering capabilities and innovation.As a result of this visit at the Engineering City, within days with the help of AESA members’ connection, turned to be an immediate  cooperation effort to bind the Engineering Center with Syrian Armenian imigrant, Ara Mardirossian, the owner and the operator of industrial company in Material Machining with CNC machines, to help mass produce one of their products for Canadian company.

AESA-NE team was able to visit the very impressive TUMO center in Yerevan and besides the informative guided tour of the center, we were able to have  a short discussion with the Senior project manager of TUMO Labs at EU-TUMO convergence Center, Ms. Bahareh Fatemi, to helped  establish a project based learning Experience for students above 18 years of age, by establishing a relationship with PhD candidates from different universities to support and help the workshops. 

Overall, AESA-NE delegates had a productive visit to Armenia by pursuing our targeted projects this year and we believe our team is ready to expend the horizon to do more in any way we can to improve and bring Armenian to a top level Techno-Center in IT as well as Engineering domain.

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