Faculty Profile: Daniel Asmar
|Professor Daniel Asmar
Daniel Asmar of the Mechanical Engineering Department, a graduate of
the University of Waterloo in Canada, came to Lebanon in 1994. He received
his master's at AUB in mechanical engineering and his PhD at Waterloo.
Asmar's research was focused on systems design engineering. "It sees
the science of engineering as a system, a mix of interdisciplinary activities
and engineering backgrounds, to integrate technologies into a system.
My area of research was robotics and computer vision," he explained.
His project was SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), which involves
a robot with an onboard PC. The robot is put in an environment that it
doesn't know; it uses onboard sensors, like the camera and laser range
finder, while it is navigating so that it produces a map of that environment
and localizes its specific position. The robot in this case is used for
surveying purposes and for detecting trajectories, especially in dangerous
environments in which a robot can replace a human being. Asmar's addition
to this research involved using a camera to locate the robot and tree
trunks as features-a first-time use of natural objects.
When he came back to AUB in 2006, Asmar gave mechanical design courses
for a year. He also now gives courses in vibration control, automatic
control, and instrumentation and measurements. A father of two children,
an eight-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son, Asmar says he came
back for the social life and the family.
As for his professional life, Asmar says, "AUB is the best university;
the research potential here is incredible, which gives me the better of
the two worlds. It provides me with a unique research experience, with
state-of-the-art equipment and opportunities for funding." In his
research at AUB, Asmar plans to continue working on SLAM, as well as on
omni-directional vision (panoramic camera). He also plans to work in biometrics,
iris recognition, surveillance, vehicle tracking, and people tracking.