This was 2022

This was 2022

Four new faculty members, more than a few groundbreaking scientific innovations, numerous media publications, plenty of scholarships, grants, and awards, one alumni conference, and a hackathon. The Faculty of Engineering’s end-of-the-year roundup.

New beginnings

This academic year marked a new beginning, with a new track: Hardware and chip design engineering. This track focuses on computer hardware, from circuit design through computer architecture to operating systems. Graduates can easily find their place in leading international tech companies. Read more about this fascinating track here

We were happy to welcome Dr. Nir Helman, who joined the industrial engineering and information systems track and specializes in dynamic stochastic programming in performance testing; Dr. Yaara Erez, who joined the neuro-engineering track and studies brain signal analysis using different imaging methods in an attempt to uncover how they relate to function and thinking processes (even the BBC wanted to know!); Dr. Ofir Lindenbaum, who joined the industrial engineering and information systems tracking, specializes in Machine Learning and develops algorithms that can improve scientific research in almost any field—from discovering new drugs for cancer to predicting floods. Near the end of the year, we also welcomed Dr. Nisim Ozana who specializes in real-time neuro research using optical and acoustic means. Dr. Ozana’s presence is particularly exciting since he started his academic career right here in our Faculty of Engineering, completed his undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate studies here, and has now returned after spending time in Harvard pursuing his post-doctoral research, this time as a faculty member.

Other beginnings: In November, Prof. Avi Tzadok was appointed a member of the National Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities’ steering committee, tasked with promoting consulting to government entities and reinforcing government–academia ties. During the three-year term, committee members will explore and propose ways to expand academic consulting endeavors on issues of national significance. Prof. Sharon Ganot was appointed Head of the Data Science Committee at the IEEE Signal Processing Society, the world’s leading professional engineering society, and Prof. Amir Leshem became an IEEE Fellow in recognition of his contribution to multi-channel, multi-agent signal processing—an admirable achievement, particularly considering that only 0.1% members (at most) are selected each year.

In other exciting news, Nanocarry—a company that uses bioengineering technology developed by the Faculty of Engineering’s Prof. Rachela Popovtzer and Dr. Oshra Betzer, became a publically traded company. Their groundbreaking technology paves the way for creating a new breed of engineered nanoparticle-based drugs that help biological drugs pass the blood-brain barrier. This could revolutionize the treatment of neural diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and different types of cancer. Read more about it here


COVID testing was still all the rage in October 2021, and the COVID testing facility in Tel Aviv launched a pilot trial of PCR tests that detect the virus via saliva sample, without swabbing, within 45 minutes—a method developed by none other than Dr. Amos Danieli.

On the same note, Dr. Shira Avivi of Dr. Amis Danieli’s lab developed a special serology blood work kit for quick and accurate testing for COVID antibodies.

And another rising star from Dr. Amis Danieli’s lab: PhD student Shira Rot developed an innovative method for quick detection of links between proteins and DNA. Shira’s discovery has clinical and research significance: any damage to these links may lead to diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Something slightly different: Prof. Moti Friedman and Prof. Gur Yaari, along with their colleague, Oz Firondi, came up with a strategy based on machine learning, which enables it under certain conditions, by filling countless lottery slips. Want to give it a try?

And we can’t forget students Or Reggiano and Elia Burnstein’s project on improving the capabilities of reinforcement-based learning algorithms using tools of formal validation earned them a spot in PyCon. The project was supervised by Avraham Raviv and Prof. Hillel Kugler.



Early in the academic year, Ariel Ashkenazi won the prestigious PBC scholarship for outstanding PhD students in quantum science and technology. Ashkenazi is doing his research under Prof. Dror Fixler and Dr. Eli Cohen. The scholarship is awarded for Ashkenazi’s academic achievements, as well as his research topic: broadband entangled photons for advanced quantum applications.

In October, students Inbar Yariv, Eli Varon, and Gil Bashan (individually) won the best poster at Nano.IL.2021. The conference is a key Israeli and global nanotechnology event, attended by 1,200 technology and R&D experts, academics, scientists, and researchers. Undergraduate students Tasnim Awada and Esther Betito won the Intel scholarship for promoting excellence and diversity in engineering and science.

In November, Dr. Mor Weiss participated in iDash, the topic of which was identifying COVID variants while maintaining patient confidentiality. Weiss and her colleagues proposed a solution that uses homomorphic encryption and won third place in the competition, whose goal is to find privacy-preserving solutions for medical and biological issues.

In December, a graduate student of electrical engineering at the electro-optics track, Sarah Meir, won a scholarship for outstanding female graduate students in hi-tech, awarded by the CHE. In June she won the 2022 SPIE scholarship in optics and photonics education, granted by the International Society of Optics and Photonics. Meir’s research, supervised by Prof. Moti Friedman, explores quantum and temporal optics.

In January, PhD student Eli Varon was accepted to Teva’s excellence program for promoting outstanding students, a prestigious program that includes a scholarship and professional guidance from industry professionals, aimed at promoting research through collaboration between academia and industry. PhD student Hagai Diamandi of Prof. Avi Zadok’s lab won the prestigious Rothschild Fellowship offered by Yad Hanadiv, and soon after won the United States Cultural Exchange Program’s Fulbright Fellowship. Diamandi’s research in Prof. Avi Zadok’s lab explored light wave interactions with mechanical vibrations in structures, particularly optical fibers.

In March, Prof. Rachela Popovtzer won the ERC consolidator grant for BrainCRISPR, her innovative nano-platform for delivering CRISPR systems to the brain in order to treat rare genetic disorders. Read all about it here

That same month, the Rector’s Prize for scientific innovation was awarded to Dr. Eli Cohen for his research on the fundamentals of quantum theory and its applications to sensing, communications, and computing. Prof. Zvi Lotker also won the Rector’s Prize for his groundbreaking book, “Analyzing Narratives in Social Networks,” which explores a key question in digital humanities: How do machines perceive narratives? Avid readers already know Prof. Lotker’s passion for mixing narratives and mathematics, which he does each month in his newsletter riddle.

In July, an article by Uri Ernst, a student of Prof. Yaakov Goldberger, won the Best Paper Runner-up Award at the CoNLL conference. Ernest’s study concerns the automatic summarizing of multiple documents on the same topic, and you can give it a try!

In August, four of our PhD students won PBC scholarships: Amit Te’eni won a scholarship for outstanding doctoral students in the field of quantum science and technology. His research, supervised by Dr. Eliahu Cohen, explores quantum information theory and focuses on two main aspects: the theory of quantum computing, and the geometric structure of quantum information theory; Alex Glik won a scholarship for outstanding PhD students in hi-tech. Her study, supervised by Dr. Shahar Alon, explores the intercellular location of RNA molecules in nerve cells using super-resolution imaging and special genomics; Adi Anaki from Prof. Rachela Popovtzer’s lab won the Levzion scholarship for outstanding doctoral students for her research on developing tools for the efficient and targeted delivery of drugs to cancerous growths using natural biological nanoparticles known as exosomes, and just at the end of the month we learned that Michal Poplinger of Prof. Doron Nave’s lab won a scholarship for outstanding PhD students in hi-tech for her study on the engineering of optoelectronic characteristics of

Also in August, four of our researchers—Prof. Rachela Popovtzer, Prof. Dror Fixler, Prof. Amir Leshem, and Prof. Yossi Shor—won ISF grants. Read more about their research and why they warranted these generous grants

In addition to the ISF grant, Prof. Amir Leshem won two more grants. The first is for collaborative research with Prof. Youngchul Song of KAIST, South Korea, in the field of Machine Learning, which studies multi-agent, reinforcement-based distributed learning of congestion games for managing autonomous vehicle traffic. The second is a research grant for a collaborative study with Ceragon, at a sum of ILS 450,000 per year, for two years. The study will explore the commercialization of generalized game-based techniques and how they can be used to improve the energy conversion efficiency of 5G networks.


Media coverage

Earlier this year, YNET covered the hackathon initiated by Faculty of Engineering student Tomer Locker in collaboration with Milbat Tel Hashomer. The hackathon was dedicated to developing technological advances to aid people with various physical impairments.

In late November, Dr. Eliahu Cohen gave the keynote lecture at the Foundations of Physics conference. His lecture provided a peak into fundamental topics in quantum theory and was covered by the French journal Le Monde. Specifically, Dr. Cohen talked about the Cheshire Cat Effect. The lecture was covered on the popular science website Physics World.

Prof. Rachela Popovtzer’s winning the ERC Consolidator grant alongside 12 other Israeli researchers was covered in various media outlets, including YNET and the Three Who Know radio show.

In May, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Ze’ev Zalevsky, published an article in Chiportal where he discusses the history of optical processing, from the invention of the laser beam in the 1960s to hybrid processing components that combine optical and electronic processing action, using silicone photonics paired with specialty optical fibers.

PhD student Eli Varon of Prof. Orit Sheffi’s lab was interviewed last month and spoke about Teva’s excellent program for promoting outstanding students, and about his research: creating personalized cancer treatment using nano-tech radiation. Listen here



This year’s main event was our alumni conference, in celebration of the Faculty of Engineering’s 20th anniversary. Speakers at the event, held in March at the Wohl Convention Center in Ramat Gan, included the President of the University, the Rector, and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Ze’ev Zalevsky, as well as an entrepreneur and former Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Yizhar Shay, who spoke about Israel 2022 as a land of innovation. Here’s what it looked like

In November we held an international hybrid symposium on RISC-V technology, hosted by the GenPro consortium. The consortium offers an advanced processor to the Israeli market at no cost. Read what Geektime ha to say about it

Near the end of 2021, the Faculty of Engineering held a conference for French students who study in Israel as part of the MASA program and consider immigrating to Israel in pursuit of academic education.

January marked the fourth time that our Faculty of Engineering has hosted the Zar Scholarship ceremony, honoring groundbreaking bridge engineering Veronica Zar. The scholarship promotes and empowers women in technology.

In May, some 50 new immigrants from Russia and Ukraine, participants of the Jewish Agency’s SELA program, visited Bar Ilan University and learned about their options for a bachelor’s degree. The Republic of Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, Ms. Donika Gërvalla, also visited the Faculty of Engineering that month. Minister Gërvalla met with Dean Zalevsky to discuss a possible collaborative program with students from Kosovo. The Kosovo students will attend the Faculty of Engineering’s lessons via Zoom, in order to improve their training in digital engineering.

But naturally, the event that was on every student’s mind this year was our hackathon, the peak event of the Faculty of Engineering, held at Intel’s PTK1 campus. This year’s topic was Smart Cities. Completely organized and run by students and attended by over 200 active participants, it was a full 24 hours of concentrated engineering effort, creativity, and vision. By the end of the event, several potentially life-changing patents were presented. A team of first-year students snatched the first place with their invention of a system designed to prevent pedestrian injuries in crosswalks. The second place went to a public transportation communication system designed to reduce incidents of busses skipping stops, which may pave the way to autonomous public transportation. The third place went to a group that developed and successfully demonstrated a system that links to street cameras and enables them to detect anomalies (for instance, accidents or crime) in real-time, and alert the authorities. These groundbreaking ideas prove, once again, that the Faculty of Engineering is indeed at the forefront of science.

Last Updated Date : 21/09/2022