From Boston to Bejaia Letter of thanks from Professor Salah BADJOU

Le 22-03-2018

I am very pleased to write to you in order to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to meet with you and visit your wonderful and prestigious University and CHU, as well as the wonderful city of Bejaia, for several days. My visit has been an unforgettable, wonderful, and valuable experience, as it allowed me to get to know you better, personally, and to develop a deeper appreciation of the great assets, quality, and potential of the University and the CHU, as well as their mission and needs. It also allowed me to better understand how I could make best use of my own background to contribute to the further enhancement of the reputation and prestige of the University and CHU. I wish to thank you especially Professor Danoune for spending so much time with me and making sure my visit went very well, even though you were, obviously, extremely busy. I am very pleased I was able to talk to you, personally, and to so many professors, doctors, nurses, administrators, and staff. I was both impressed and pleased by the team spirit that seems to bind everyone, where everyone is obviously motivated and dedicated to the success of the University and Hospital and the welfare of the patients and community. It was a true privilege to see you Professor Danoune, Professor Zouzou, and others, in action caring for patients as late as midnight! I was truly impressed, Professor Danoune, that you, the General Director, would not leave the CHU, late at night, before seeing, inquiring about, and comforting every patient. It was obvious this brought much relief and gratitude to the suffering patients and their families. I was truly touched by your dedication. As I observed all this, I told myself, this is what true doctors are! It was also a great pleasure to get to meet and know many other professors, administrators, doctors, and nurses. This includes Professor Derradj, and the CHU General Secretary Mr. Tenkhi, as well as your office secretaries. The visits to Bejaia made possible by you, Professor Danoune, and your wonderful and knowledgeable chauffeur, Nacer, and my numerous discussions with you and others, have left a deep impression on me, as they centered on the prestigious thousandsyears-old history of Bejaia. I am particularly attracted by the honor and privilege of living and working in the city where the great Ibn Khaldun lived, walked, and taught. Joining your University will allow me to carry in-depth research on Ibn Khaldun, for a better understanding of our 1 culture and history, but also for the relevance of his thought to modern problems of education, economics, and civilization. This is because as Ibn Khaldun wrote: “The past resembles the future more than one drop of water resembles another.” And as the famous British historian Arnold Toynbee wrote on Ibn Khaldun’s major work: “The Muqaddimah [is] undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever been created by any mind in any time or place............the most comprehensive analysis of how human affairs work that has been made anywhere" I am looking forward to collaborating with you and others to help improve my education in the historical and cultural heritage of Bejaia, and to allow me to hopefully bring my own contributions in this area. I have been both very pleased and impressed by the extraordinary growth of the CHU, especially by the creation of many new dynamic and quality departments and the hiring of well-known and qualified professors, such as Professor Zouzou, a prominent and remarkable professor of cardiology. I admire the motivation you gave me, Professor Danoune, for such growth, that is to provide a first rate service to the community. All this was achieved in just a few years, since I last visited in 2013. These positive changes are probably due in part to your collegial management and leadership abilities, Professor Danoune, with a special emphasis on the team spirit, that I believe motivates everyone at all levels. These achievements are all the more remarkable, in view of the limited resources available. I am sure other CHUs in Algeria will benefit from your experience and example. With the above observations, my visit of several days, which you have graciously organized, has confirmed to me, beyond any doubt that, the University of Bejaia and the CHU Khelll Amrane, will be an ideal environment for me to join this year, and, hopefully, in the future, in order to bring my own best contributions in service of the population of my native Bejaia, the University, and the CHU, and ultimately, my country, Algeria. My goal is to join my brothers and sisters at the university and CHU in their efforts to further enhance the prestige of the University and CHU of Bejaia and help them achieve a leadership role in the Maghreb and internationally. My intention is to help transfer to the University and CHU the best practices in American science and technology and know-how, which I have learned through my several decades of studying, teaching, and doing research in universities and industry in the USA. I also strongly believe in community service, and the best community I could possibly serve will be that of my native Bejaia, and Algeria. As is summarized in my CV, I have an extensive multidisciplinary experience in higher education and research in the USA. I also had two years of postdoctoral research experience in chemi2 cal engineering at the CNRS in France. Following my PhD in Physics obtained at Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, I consider my postdoctoral experience unique, in that it is multidisciplinary, including physics, biophysics, biomedical, electrical, mechanical, electromechanical, and chemical engineering. My main research interests are focused on biophysics and biomedical engineering and their application to medicine. I believe that my background is ideally suited to teach and advise students at the University of Bejaia in biophysics, and multidisciplinary engineering, at all levels, and directing Bachelor, Master, and doctoral theses. I am interested in contributing curriculum development to the faculties of Medicine and Engineering, in which I have had an extensive and successful experience. I have submitted several research projects in biophysics, applied to medicine. In addition, I will be very interested in collaborating with you, Professor Danoune, in your current projects, as well as other University and CHU colleagues. These research projects are ideally suited for multidisciplinary teams of medical, nursing, engineering, physics, biology, chemistry, computer science and mathematics majors. These projects will last many years to come and can involve numerous undergraduate and graduate students, from freshman to doctoral students. Interested colleagues are also invited to participate. In addition, grant proposals will be written for funding, from Algeria and the USA. These multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary projects will help build bridges between departments of the University and the CHU. Please, note that the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in the USA, which advises the American government on engineering education, predicted in its 2005 report, “The Engineer of 2020,” that the engineer of the future will have to be multidisciplinary. Therefore elite American Universities are starting to move in this direction. This, along with an emphasis on project-based education, is an excellent opportunity for the University of Bejaia to become more competitive and achieve an international leadership role. I believe that bringing engineering and medicine together will also be highly beneficial to the CHU, as modern medicine depends crucially on technological progress. A proven model is that of the prestigious School of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University, which has a department of biophysics and a department of biomedical engineering. While at the University of Bejaia, I will be happy to research and implement the best way to introduce such model at the University of Bejaia. Based on my current knowledge, few universities in Algeria have a biophysics department and I do not know of any that has a biomedical engineering program. According to statistics of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), biomedical engineering is, however, the fastest growing engineering field in the USA. This is therefore a great opportunity for the University of Bejaia to achieve a national and international leadership role. Another program that will be beneficial to the Faculty of Medicine at Bejaia and the CHU will be the introduction of MD/PhD program, an area where there is high demand internationally, and which only the best medical schools in the USA have. I will be happy to help develop such a program. 3 In conclusion, I wish to thank both of you very much, Professor Saidani, and Professor Danoune, for graciously organizing my visit to your prestigious University and CHU. I wish to congratulate you for your able leadership and the progress you have brought about during your tenure. This visit has confirmed to me, beyond any doubt, that the University Abderrahmane Mira, and the CHU Khelil Amrane will provide an ideal environment where I can bring my best contributions and service to the community, to help the University and the CHU enhance their prestige and achieve a national and international leadership role. I am looking forward to joining the University and the CHU soon.
Best regards Salah Badjou.

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