Over the years, Dr. Boukerrou managed a number of research, capacity building, and development projects in several countries. Below are highlighted some of his current and past projects.

FIU Tabadul: Creating Language-Learning Community Through Virtual Reality (2021-2023)

In May and June 2022, Dr. Boukerrou visited the University of Oum El Bouaghi to inquire about the progress of the project and meet with the students and faculty to address any of the issues that have been identified and the lessons learned since the launch of the project.  He also gave an update about the program progress and the planned activities for the upcoming academic year.  For photos of the visit of Dr. Boukerrou please click here. For radio roundtable please click here.

Skills Development in Sustainable and Renewable Energy (SuRE) Program, Gaborone, Botswana (2022-2023)

The SuRE Program, funded by a grant from the US Embassy in Gaborone, is designed to develop the institutional and human capacity of the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MESD), the Vocational Schools, and the Brigades by implementing a curriculum development and training of the trainers at the Brigades level in collaboration with the MESD Department of Skills Development, BA ISAGO, and BUIST.  There will be four engagements by the FIU team: (1) the first will be the development of the curriculum in close collaboration with the above-mentioned partners; (2) a period of online interactions to give time to the MESD to finalize the approved curriculum; (3) the second in-person engagement with take place in three locations (Gaborone, Palapye, and Maun) to train the trainers from the Brigades; (4) workshop, with relevant stakeholders, geared to address the Brigades teaching staff capacity building and how to enhance their knowledge and skills in renewable and sustainable energy technology and management; (5) study tour to Miami by four Brigade representatives and one MESD representative; (6) online virtual follow-up with the MESD and other stakeholders.

The proposed program will focus on three objectives as described below:

  • Objective 1:  Technical assistance in curriculum development and alignment of the Learning Program to the Qualifications for Certificate Level III, IV, and V in sustainable and renewable energy technology and management at Brigades.
  • Objective 2:  Teacher training at the Brigades on the appropriate teaching pedagogies and assessment strategies in sustainable and renewable energy technology and management thus gaining global perspectives from experienced academics and professionals. 
  • Objectives 3: The promotion and facilitation of university partnerships to promote capacity building and the retooling of teaching staff at the Brigades on theoretical and practical aspects of renewable and sustainable energy technology and management to enhance their knowledge and skills in this field. 

Some of the activities that have taken place so far include:

  1. A visit to FIU by Dean Branko Cavric, Dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment, Arts, and Science at BA ISAGO, Gaborone, Botswana.  The purpose of the visit by Dean Cravic was for him to familiarize himself with FIU and its programs.  Hosted by Dr. Boukerrou during his visit, Dean Cravic met with faculty and administrators in the College of Engineering and Computing, FIU Global, and the Office of Global Learning Initiatives.  For the photo gallery of the visit please click here.

University Partnership to Grow Administration and Education (UPGRADE) (2021-2023)

The purpose of this US Embassy Pretoria-funded program is to enhance US-South Africa University Partnership will focus on increasing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) capacity (2) improve the knowledge and skills in university administration in South Africa. The goal of the program is to increase the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics capacity at the University of Pretoria, the University of the Free State, and the University of Limpopo, and to facilitate the transition to the “fourth industrial revolution” (4IR). This will be achieved through support from Florida International University (FIU) in the administration of STEM teaching and research and exchanges in university management aspects at the University of Pretoria (UP), Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), the University of Mpumalanga (UMP), and the University of Limpopo (UL). The deployment of FIU expertise in administration, management, postgraduate programs, and sharing best practices in the development of international collaboration and local outreach to the industry will help in the transfer of skills to our South African counterparts. In the future, the program will be upscaled to include other South African Universities, joint degree programs, scholarships, private sector involvement, and ongoing exchanges to strengthen academic and administrative capacity in South Africa. For more information about the UPGRADE project-specific objectives please click here

FIU Tabadul: Creating Language-Learning Community Through Virtual Reality (2021-2023)

Funded by the Stevens Initiative, FIU Tabadul: Creating Language-Learning Community Through Virtual Reality brings together students from FIU, University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Oum El Bouaghi (Algeria), and the University of Kenitra (Morocco) for language-learning and community building through virtual reality (VR).  The goal of the project is to engage in one-on-one exchange meetings in VR spaces that are entirely accessible from their cell phones. By completing real-world pedagogic tasks together in both English and Arabic, participants develop language proficiency, socio-cultural openness, and cultural humility. Tabadul brings together interdisciplinary areas of expertise – engineering, linguistic, international collaboration, and institution and human capacity building.  As the first study of its kind to examine the impact of dosage as well as the learning environment for the acquisition of Arabic as a foreign language, the Tabadul project also aims to scale language learning virtual exchange and to contribute to knowledge on virtual exchange efficacy.  This project is a collaboration between Dr. Boukerrou, Dr. Melissa Baralt, and Dr. Stephanie Doscher with a number of other faculty from Algeria, Morocco, and the US directly involved in its implementation. For more information on this project please click here.

Enhancing STEM Education in Egypt (2020-2022) 

Funded by the US Embassy Cairo this project aims to enhance STEM education and collaboration between FIU and Aswan University. The program includes a site visit by FIU faculty and the delivery of workshops for faculty and students of Aswan University as well as a by Aswan faculty to FIU. FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing has had a long-standing relationship with Egyptian Universities and the training of many Ph.D. students. Scheduled to take place in 2020, the project implementation was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the activities that have taken place so far and future activities can be found here.

West Africa Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program (WA-WASH) (2011-2017) http://wawash.fiu.edu

From October 2011 to December 2017, Dr. Boukerrou served as the Chief of Party/Regional Director of the $24 million USAID WA-WASH Program in West Africa.  As the Chief of Party/Regional Director, he oversaw activities in water, sanitation, food security, climate change, gender (Phase I – 2011-2015), and institutional and human capacity building (Phase II – 2016-2017).  The efficient management and the sustainability strategy implemented by Dr. Boukerrou resulted in official recognition by the President of Burkina Faso for the success and the results reached by the USAID WA-WASH program.  Because of its wide-ranging result framework, the USAID WA-WASH Projects involved 24 implementing partners, which Dr. Boukerrou managed in a very professional, efficient, and productive manner.  As the Chief of Party, Dr. Boukerrou has brought on board a number of organizations to raise funds, which results in over 5.5 million dollars in matching funds or direct contributions to the USAID WA-WASH Programs.  These contributions enhanced the program results and allowed the US taxpayers funding to go beyond the projected initial objectives.
Between 2012 and 2017, USAID WA-WASH trained over 300 interns from Africa and the United States and awarded 72 scholarships to masters’ students in five West African countries.  The internships and scholarships for Burkina Faso students were co-funded by the National Lottery (a government organization) which contributed $750,000 to the Program.

For reports related to this project click here and for presentations related to WA-WASH click here.

West Africa Water Quality Laboratory Capacity Building (2015-2018) 

In collaboration with USEPA, Dr. Boukerrou is managing a project to build the institutional and human capacity of a water quality laboratory in West Africa.  The project is funded by USAID West Africa through a Participating Agency Program Agreement (PAPA) with USEPA. The goal of the program is to train water quality laboratory technicians and to develop the institutional capacity by helping develop standard operating procedures.  The initial focus of this program is on the Ghana Water Company Ltd in Accra and its satellite labs around the country.  In addition, the program has also focused on building the capacity of the African Water Association (AfWA) by training auditors to conduct audits of water utility companies’ quality labs in West Africa.

USAFRICOM Water and Environmental Symposia (2013-2019)

From 2013 to 2019, Dr. Boukerrou has served as a resource person for USAFRICOM Environmental Program.  As such, he has either organized or been instrumental in organizing a water-energy-environmental security symposium funded by USAFRICOM in a number of countries including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Malawi, and Uganda with others which are in the planning stage (Sierra Leone, Morocco).  He also serves as a subject matter expert and moderator at these international events and has been able to raise funds locally to provide co-funding for such events.  In addition, to US government agencies (CDC, USGS, NAVFAC, etc.), these events have been held in collaboration with African academic institutions, African government agencies, international organizations as well as local non-governmental organizations. They involve local and US speakers.

The goal of these events is to strengthen capacity of the participants to respond and address water environmental related issues/emergencies by collaboratively identifying opportunities to improve interagency cooperation, enhance the institutional framework, and foster communication among the participants.  Participants at these events usually include military and civilian subject matter experts from the host country and the U.S.  The events which typically last three to four days consist of exercises, lectures,s and facilitated discussion.  Findings and recommendations from these events focus on enhancing cooperation between civilian and military organizations in the host country to address the most important issues addressed by the symposium.

For presentations made by Dr. Boukerrou at these events please click here.

South Florida Water Management District Exotic Invasive Species Research Plan (2007-2008)

The goal of this project was to conduct an information gap analysis on exotic invasive species in the Florida Everglades. The report is based on a comprehensive literature review that used all available databases and other tools to identify literature on exotic invasive species in different Everglades’ habitat types including, but not limited to, tree islands, ridges and sloughs, estuaries (Florida Bay), and canals in South Florida. The approach taken in conducting the literature review was to organize the literature articles on exotic species affecting the Everglades system. The initial step was to categorize these articles into flora and fauna. Fauna species were divided into the following six categories: birds, fish, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. A general category was used for papers that included more than one species. This general category was further broken down into five parts: plants, fish, invertebrates, everglades ecosystems, and composite. We judged further classification was required to help determine the general location within the trophic system, predator/prey relationships, and to better represent certain important characteristics.

Implemented by Dr. Boukerrou and his students, The Exotic Invasive Species and Tree Island Support Services Project was funded by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). We are grateful for the opportunity the SFWMD has provided in support of this information gap analysis on exotic invasive species research in the Everglades.

Develop Methodology for Preparing Cumulative Impact Sections of Project Reviews and Assessments (2006-2007)

The primary goal of this Florida Department of Environmental Protection funded project was to provide environmental managers and regulators with a process and methodology to address cumulative impacts sections in project reviews and assessments that will affect southeast Florida’s reef resources. More specifically, the project focused on investigating, compiling, and applying existing data from reef resource impacts, causative actions, mitigation, and efficacy mitigation in order to develop a useful method for NEPA review and assessments. More specifically, the project approach was to: (1) develop a method to determine the necessary geographic and temporal scopes of the analysis commensurate with the project impacts, (2) identify past, present, and future proposed actions that pose the greatest threats to the system; (3) consider that the magnitude and extent of the effect on a resource depend on the capacity of the resource to sustain itself and remain productive; (4) address when a more detailed assessment is justified; (5) include Best Management Practices to minimize and avoid cumulative impacts; (6) implement a methodology for use in NEPA documents and other project review documents; (7) ensure that all factors associated with project effects should be evaluated during the cumulative effects analysis development, review, and approval process including recreational and economic cumulative impacts to reefs systems under consideration. As a Project Manager, Dr. Boukerrou worked with several experts from public and private sector to develop a cumulative impact tool for the benefit of city, county, state, and federal agencies.

Independent Review and Tendency Analysis of CVRD Site Data in Sao Luiz, Brazil (2005) 

This project was conducted under the auspices of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) for the benefit of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) for environmental data reviews of the site that is projected to be used for building a steel mill on the island of Sao Luiz in the State of Maranhao in Brazil. The proposed CVRD mill is to be located in an area designated for industrial use. Mangrove areas, regulated by the Brazilian government exist within the area, where the proposed mill is to be located. Indigenous people currently use the resources from the mangroves for various economic and social needs and the mangroves serve several biological functions.

The objectives of the Independent Review and Tendency Analysis of CVRD Site Data in Sao Luiz, Brazil were to: (1) review existing data obtained by CVRD on the Sao Luiz CVRD site and make recommendations as to its validity; and (2) conduct a tendency analysis of the site’s historical, current, and future land uses including the mangrove areas. As the Project Manager, Dr. Boukerrou leads a team of experts from FAU, FIU, UF, and USF in the implementation of the two project phases: (1) Data Review and Recommendations; and (2) Land Use Review and Recommendations.