Students of the Department of Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development (STRD) are organizing an event called ‘Celebrating Tourism’ on Monday, 26th of January, between 5:30 and 8 PM, room 104 (first floor) at GUtech in Halban.
The graduating batch of the STRD Department will organize the event as part of their event management course.
This year and in response to the reality of the tourism sector – the
students wish to highlight success stories in the tourism sector, honour
and recognize the private sector and create a connecting point between
the tourism sector and the future employees in Oman.
As a guest of honor, Mr Amar Latif, the founder of the first tour operator Traveleyes dedicated
to blind travellers will give a speech. Mr Amar is a blind world
traveler and a motivational speaker who sees tourism in a different way. He is the founder
of `Traveleyes` the world`s first international air tour operator
specifically dedicated to serving blind and sighted travelers. He is
also director of documentary films, including Channel 4 TV. Mr Amar was
seen by millions worldwide on the BBC2 four-part TV series, entitled
"Beyond Boundaries", a ground breaking endurance expedition across the
Central American jungles.
Last year GUtech students organized The Oman
Tourism Forum, which was a very successful event. It was held under the
auspices of HE the undersecretary of Tourism and attracted over 120
participants and an impressive selection of key note speakers from the
private sector, government, and academics.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Salmi, Minister of Religious Affairs and
Awqaf and initiator of the German University of Technology in Oman
(GUtech), was bestowed with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the
Federal Republic of Germany during a ceremony held at the German
University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) on Monday evening. On behalf
of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck, the
order was bestowed to H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Al Salmi by H.E.
Hans-Christian Freiherr von Reibnitz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic
of Germany to the Sultanate of Oman. The Ambassador also conveyed the
personal greetings of the German President.
The evening ceremony was held in the
presence of H.H. Sayyid Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage
and Culture, H.E. Dr. Rawiyah Al Busaidiyah, Minister of Higher
Education, H.E. Yusuf Bin Alawi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and H.E.
Mohammed Al Rowas, Advisor to His Majesty. Also a number of dignitaries,
including sheikhs, the Rectorate of GUtech and representatives of the
German community in Muscat attended the ceremony.
The Order of Merit is awarded to
personalities in the fields of politics as well as social-economic and
intellectual achievements benefiting Germany. “The purpose of the Order
of Merit is to visibly express appreciation and gratitude to
meritorious men and women of the German people and foreign countries,”
said H.E. Hans-Christian Freiherr von Reibnitz, German Ambassador.
“I would like to thank the Federal
Republic of Germany for honouring me with this Order, and I hope we
shall continue to work together as a shining example of excellent human
relations and for the future progress of knowledge and science in our
societies and nations,” said H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Salmi
after receiving the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit. H.E. Sheikh
Abdullah continued saying: “Germany is a great nation – diverse and
advanced with a rich history and culture. We feel huge admiration and
affection for this enchanting and thriving country.”
Five speakers expressed their deep
admiration for H.E. Sheikh Abdullah’s life-long work and his notion of
tolerance and for being a bridge-maker between Oman and Germany, the
‘Orient and Occident’ and between different religions. “There is an
alarming absence of humanity and the will to pursue the human rights.
His Excellency, Sheikh Abdullah is different. He knows Islam includes
salam – peace – and taslim – devotion,” said Dr. Jürgen Linden, former
Lord Mayor of the City of Aachen in Germany. He added “His thinking goes
across borders. His interest for different philosophies, mentalities
and cultural behaviours has opened his mind and determines his
The German Ambassador said: “You are truly
living the value of tolerance,” while stressing on H.E. Sheikh
Abdullah’s initiative to establish GUtech: “Actions speak louder than
words. And you have acted”. GUtech is affiliated with RWTH Aachen
University in Germany and was founded in Muscat in 2006.
German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has celebrated its
third batch of GUtech graduates during the official Ceremony held in the
large auditorium of its campus in Halban/Barka on Sunday evening, 4 January.
H.H. Sayyid Faisal Bin Turki Al Said, and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Sultanate H.E. Hans-Christian
Freiherr von Reibnitz, attended the ceremony. Also H.E. Abdullah Salim
Al Salmi, member of the Board of Governors at GUtech with members of the
Majlis Al Shura and other dignitaries attended the ceremony, as well as
a large number family members of GUtech graduates, GUtech students and
Dr. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech said in his welcome address to
the students: “I am very proud of you. The past years were not easy. You
had a tough but fascinating time here at GUtech. I witnessed how you
have developed from children to adults with a profound knowledge in your
fields and a critical thinking.” A total of 56 students of the Bachelor
of Science programmes in Urban Planning and Architectural Design,
Applied Geosciences, Computer Sciences graduated in summer 2014. For the
first time three students graduated in the MSc in Petroleum
Geosciences. The majority of the graduates have already found positions in the private and public sector in Oman or are pursuing a further degree abroad, for example a MSc in Computer Sciences at GUtech’s partner-university RWTH Aachen University in Germany.
Rector encouraged the graduates to stay in touch with GUtech through
the GUtech Alumni network. “We want to see how you develop and share
knowledge and experience” he said. The Rector advised the GUtech
graduates to choose their future work wisely, based on their talents
rather than on the salary, “in harmony with your minds and hearts. In
the end success will bring you a higher salary,” he said.
Hussain Al Salmi, Vice-Rector for Administration and Finance at GUtech
added that the graduates have achieved a lot in the past years and
should continue their career paths with perseverance. “Much is expected
of you. GUtech is proud of your strong, innovative, ethical and
excellent contributions. Do not forget: Great work is done by people who
are not afraid of being great!” he advised the graduates.
learn more about the application of Geographic Information Systems
(GIS) in Oman, a group of students of the Department of Applied
Geosciences (AGEO) and the Department of Sustainable Tourism and
Regional Development (STRD), have visited the Oman Geospatial Forum held
at Oman International Exhibition Center last week. “During the
exhibition the students had exposure to the GIS business both in
government and private sector. We especially visited the stands of the
National Survey Authority, NCSI, and the Ministry of Water Resources,
where we received great tours of their GIS related business and
practices” said Professor Dr. Adrijana Car, Department of Sustainable
Tourism and Regional Development at GUtech. Prof. Adrijana is also a
member of the organizing team of the Annual GI Forum in Salzburg.
Holding a PhD in GIScience and Surveying from the University of
Technology in Vienna, she is specialised in conceptualisation and
formalisation of space and time; problem-based learning in GIScience
studies fundamental issues emerging from the creation, storing,
managing, analysing, visualising and the use of all kind of geographic
information. For example it helps calculating solar potential of roof
surfaces, analysing crime patterns or managing scarce freshwater
resources in Oman.
GUtech, GIS is an integral part of the Bachelors of Science in
Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development, Applied Geosciences and
Applied Information Technology. “GIS helps solving problems such as
locating oil fields or analysing the structure of a part of a city. GIS
is an important field to explore and offers a variety of job
perspectives in Oman and abroad. In Oman most of the ministries in the
have GIS departments. There is a substantial need to promote and further
develop GIS in the region. We at GUtech are planning to offer a MSc in
GIS in future,” said Dr. Adrijana Car.
group of 17 students from the Department of Applied Geosciences (AGEO)
at GUtech recently conducted a study-excursion to Germany. They were
accompanied by their professors Dr G?sta Hoffmann and Dr Anne Zacke. The
study excursion was sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service,
The three-week trip took the group to various places in Germany,
commencing in the Ruhr area (West of Germany) and concluding at RWTH
Aachen University in the city of Aachen, one of Germany`s Universities
of Excellence and partner-university of GUtech. “The corner-stone of our
education philosophy is to engage students by actively involving them
in cutting-edge work. We do research at the frontiers of science and
concentrate on excellence,” said Prof. G?sta Hoffmann. The students
first visited the town of Witten, where the cradle of the region`s coal
mining industry is located. A highlight of the trip was the visit of the
‘Nightingale mine’. A tour through the mining gallery led by the
experienced and vibrant Mr Dieter Schidt was a once in a lifetime
practice. The students reached the coal seams and acquired knowledge on
how coal is mined underground. Further visits to other places in the
Ruhr area included the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here the
students were informed here, under the iconic winding tower on top of
the mining shaft, how structural change affected the area after mining
for the “black gold’ ended.
experience is a vital part in career-building. Going out into the
field, collecting your own samples and analyzing them later in the lab
is crucial for the understanding of the subject matter,” explained Prof
stop during the study-excursion was in the Rhenish lignite-mining area,
where about 100 million tons of lignite is extracted every year for
energy production. The group was welcomed by the geologist Peter Lokay
at the Garzweiler lignite mine. The mine is operated by RWE Power, an
international leader among energy utilities whose core business is the
generation, sale and distribution of energy and heat. ‘Mr Lokay guided
the students inside the opencast mine, which in its deepest parts is
located 210m below the Earth`s surface. He explained in a lively and
exciting way the geology in general and lined out that environmental
compatibility is guaranteed by application of the highest quality
standards and the sparing use of resources.’ said Prof. G?sta. The
mining technique includes excavators and spreaders. An amazing 92
kilometer of conveyor belts are installed to move the coal as well as
the overburden. The bucket wheel excavator which is in use in the mine
is the world‘s biggest movable machine. The bucket wheel has a diameter equivalent to an eight-storey building. The machine is 100 metres high, 240 metres long and has a weigh13500 tons. The capacity is 240000 m³ per day. To see this mining technique installed and working was a memorable experience for all participants. Mr Lokay further mentioned, that his company’s commitment does not end here as the overburden used for recultivation has left behind acknowledged, high-quality recultivation areas as post-mining landscape.
visit to the open pit mine in Garzweiler was a great experience and we
should admit that this opportunity comes only once in a life time. As
young geologists, we were fortune to observe the working environment of
miners. All in all, this visit increased our level of knowledge and
expanded our view,” said Ali Ibrahim Al-Hajri, BSc AGEO student.
During the second part of the study excursion the students conducted
own laboratory work with state-of-the-art equipment of RWTH Aachen
University, Department of Applied Geosciences. Various lectures were
also given by Prof Thomas Rüde and colleagues in hydrogeology, by Prof
Klaus Reicherter and team in natural hazards and by Prof Uli Kramm and
Prof Sven Sindern in mineralogy.
raised recently during the GUtech International Day were handed over by
Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, Rector of the German University of
Technology in Oman (GUtech) to three charity organizations in November.
“We are grateful for the donation. We will use the donations for the
general charity activities, such as the maintenance of houses, the
supply of mattresses, blankets and food for needy families,” said Abu
Sultan Al Subhi, representative of Al Rahma Charity Organization (pictured along with the Rector of GUtech). Further donations were given to The Association for Disabled in Oman and the Autism Complete Therapy Center.
At GUtech students are encouraged to involve in charity activities
beside their studies and the university organizes annual charity events.
A team of
professors and enthusiastic lecturers of the Faculty of Science at the
German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) have tested a classroom
mobile phone application named ‘RWTH Aachen App’ with over 200 GUtech
students at the start of the academic term recently. This app was
developed by a team of Computer Scientists and Engineers at GUtech’s
parent-university, RWTH Aachen University in Germany. These so-called
blended learning activities are part of a project between GUtech and
RWTH Aachen University, initiated by Prof. Dr. Modigell, Rector of
GUtech and different professors from RWTH Aachen. The project is funded
by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). “The app allows us to
receive immediate feedback from the students, which is extremely
important in courses attended by hundreds of students. This new and very
handy app steers the classroom interaction to a new level and allows,
in its sphere of applicability, for tailored answers optimized to the
very needs of the students to understand a topic,” explained Prof. Dr.
Bernhard Heim, Dean of the Faculty of Science at GUtech.
The ‘RWTH Aachen App’ transforms
the lecture hall into a quiz show without corrupting the academic
integrity of the lecture. In such a way simple multiple choice questions
can be addressed to the auditorium and the students, who can vote
anonymously on their mobile devices. “We realized that this app
increases the return rate as the students do not experience any fear if
they give wrong answers. Moreover, it’s a lot of fun,” said Prof. Dr.
Florian Rupp, who teaches two mathematics classes “Math I” and “Math
III” along with Prof. Bernhard Heim. Furthermore, the course “Rocks
& Minerals” given by Prof. Dr. Michaela Bernecker of the Department
of Applied Geosciences applies this new App as an effective way of
modern communication. “I think this is the first time we are not blamed
when we use our smart phones during the lecture,” one of the students
commented, while adding: “It is also great that we are now able to write
short messages to the professor to tell him that we need more
explanations without disturbing the others”.
To promote intercultural understanding among different nationalities,
the German Department of the GUtech has conducted a Foreign Language
Speaking Day recently. Following the annual initiative of the Council of
Europe in Brussels, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated
Students at GUtech could choose among 10
different European languages spoken by GUtech academic staff, such as
Spanish, French, Turkish, Albanian, Dutch, Polish, Italian and others. The
students tried out first words and phrases for greetings and
introducing themselves for example. “It was very instructive, I have
learned a few words in Spanish, Dutch, Turkish and French. When you know
a language it is much easier to communicate. Now we just received a
small introduction but it definitely encouraged me to learn a new
language. I am thinking of continuing my MSc abroad, maybe in Germany or
in France,” said Rana Alakad, 3rd semester Urban Planning
and Architectural Design (UPAD) student at GUtech. “I enjoyed this
language session. Two Omani, one German and 1 Syrian student were
interested in learning Dutch,” said Prof. Wiekert Visser, Head of the
Department of Petroleum Geoscience who taught the students some words of
greeting in Dutch.
“Foreign languages are a key element in
the rich cultural heritage of all continents. On that occasion, we
celebrated the linguistic diversity, by offering a so-called
`speak-dating’,`` said Andrea Cornelissen, German Lecturer at GUtech and
Representative of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) who
organized the event at GUtech. Estimates vary but there are about 225
spoken indigenous languages in Europe. The five languages
spoken by most people in Europe are, by number of mother tongue
speakers, Russian, German, English, French and Italian. But most
countries operate routinely with several languages.
Plurilingualism is much more the normal human condition than
monolingualism. “Each language has its own way of seeing the world and
is the product of its own particular history. To be aware of this
cultural heritage and to underline that all languages have their
individual identity and value we wanted to show our linguistic diversity
at GUtech,” said Andrea Cornelissen.
A workshop entitled “Identification of training needs in the Omani
private sector” was held on Tuesday 23 September at GUtech. The workshop
was organized by GUtech along with iMOVE at the Federal Institute for
Vocational Education and Training in Germany along with the Ministry of
Manpower in Oman. A total of 20 German small and medium sized
enterprises (SME) and around 20 Omani companies joint the workshop at
“I am pleased to
see that so many companies followed our invitation to this workshop and
are interested in the topic of vocational training. With this workshop
GUtech provides a platform to exchange ideas and to discuss challenges
in the Omani job market as well as cooperation opportunities between the
Omani private sector and German vocational training providers,” said
Dr. Tobias Effey, Head of the Training and Smart Solutions Center (TSSC)
Since there is a
huge demand from the private and public sector on vocational training
and because of the very positive response of the workshop participants’,
GUtech wants to offer further workshops on this topic and become the
Gateway to Oman for vocational training providers.
The 13th International Conference on Semi-Solid Processing of Alloys and Composites with participants from all over the world started on 15 September at GUtech under the auspices of H.E. Nasser Al Hashmi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance and H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Salem Al-Salmi, Executive President of Capital Market Authority (CMA) and member of the Board of Governors and Board of Directors of GUtech. The International Conference is sponsored by The Research Council (TRC).
During the three day conference a total of 59 presentations will address recent developments, applications of semi-solid processing in the industry which has been invented 30 years ago at MIT. “We are proud to welcome the co-inventor of the process Prof. Dr. Merton Flemmings from MIT as the guest of honour,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech, who is also head of the organizing committee of the S2P conference. During his welcome speech the Rector also emphasized the achievements of the higher education sector in the Sultanate and gave a short overview of the development of GUtech.
More than half of the S2P conference participants are from Asia: 35 per cent from China, 13 per cent from Middle East are from 20 per cent Western countries, including Brazil. Results of the conference will be published in the conference proceedings, which have been reviewed by international scientists.
Industrially light metals like aluminium or magnesiumar are used to produce light parts for example in the communication and automotive industry. “As for semi-solid processing the metal is used in a semi solid state, which then has the texture of toothpaste, which is neither a liquid nor a solid,” said Professor Modigell, while adding that metal components currently built from steel, could be replaced by lighter metals in future. Heavy weight steel components can be replaced by light metal parts with the same mechanical properties.
As a consequence for example a car would be more energy efficient, of lower weight and use less petrol which gives certain technological advantages. Furthermore, mobile phones and laptops can be constructed with lighter components to make them more user-friendly.
S2P Conferences are a forum for Engineering students, scientists and engineers of different disciplines, to learn, share, disseminate knowledge and to develop a mutual perspective about topical fundamental issues. Results of engineering research and experience as well as scientific issues are relevant for the conference. Two years back, the conference was in South Africa, before in China, Belgium, Germany and in Japan.
In the coming years GUtech would like to establish a special laboratory for further research. “We would like to conduct research in material processing and material science at GUtech in the near future. GUtech is also very keen on involving the local industry in that research,” said Professor Modigell.
According to the motto “Geospatial Innovation for Society”, around 1100 participants from 40 countries attended GI_Forum and AGIT 2014 to exchange information on the latest trends in technological, analytical, societal and educational domains, from 1-4 July at the University of Salzburg. The GI_Forum is jointly organized by the University of Salzburg Interfaculty Department for Geoinformatics – Z_GIS, the Commission for GIScience at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW-GIScience), and the Department of Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development at GUtech.
This year 81 contributions were selected by the Programme Committee to be presented in oral and poster sessions. The Programme Committee chairs, Adrijana Car and Thomas Jekel, are very pleased with their quality: “The quality of papers presented this year was excellent. The reaction from the delegates and keynote speakers showed that GI_Forum has become an annual event that bridges the gap between technical development and academic research and their application for society. This clearly indicates a slight shift towards technologies, but with the end-user in mind.”
The GI_Forum contributions are available online at http://epub.oeaw.ac.at/gi_forum. Like in 2013, our traditional publisher Wichmann/VDE VERLAG shared publishing duties with the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. This co-edition allows us to provide a hard-copy volume – which our readers are used to – as well as a professionally edited and fully indexed online edition of the GI_Forum contributions. The earlier “proceedings” now have evolved into an online journal, and measures have been taken for its indexing in relevant channels.
The AGIT EXPO offered a platform to 60 exhibiting companies to demonstrate the latest development trends in GI technologies and services. The stalls and events at and around the EXPO were intensively visited by the conference participants. The four excellent keynote speakers - Andre Skupin, Christoph Schlieder, Michael Gould and Diana Sinton - linked in the overall conference topic and showed how GI research and development may support society, linking academic endeavour and societal needs. This year (a) the Comenius project SPACIT, (b) participants of a workshop on linked open data as well as (c) initiatives for use of GIS in health and education shared their insights at the GI_Forum. In the Young Researchers’ Corner young scientists met the keynote speakers in an informal atmosphere, discussed their research and received impulses for their further academic careers.
The interdisciplinary GI_Forum has become an annual event for a vibrant GI community representing academia, industry, government, and education to advance the dialogue on progress in GIScience and to explore new research directions. The symposium is co-located with the highly regarded annual German language AGIT conference (www.agit.at).
The 13th International Conference on Semi-Solid Processing of Alloys and Composites (S2P) will be held in Muscat at GUtech between 15 – 17 September. The International Conference will be sponsored by The Research Council (TRC).
“We are proud to host this prestigious international engineering conference at our university,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech, who is also head of the organizing committee of the S2P conference. The conference focuses on the processing of semi-solid alloys and composites which has been invented 30 years ago at the Harvard University. Nowadays industrially light metals like aluminium or magnesiumar used to produce parts for example in the automotive or aerospace industry. “There are two conventional ways to produce a metallic parts, forging of solid material with cold or casting of liquid metals with heat. As for semi-solid processing the metal is used in a semi solid state, which then has the texture of toothpaste, which is neither a liquid nor a solid,” said Professor Modigell. This gives certain technological advantages. The conference will address recent developments and applications of semi-solid processing.
The S2P International Conference has a 30 years old tradition. “Two years back, the conference was in South Africa, before in China, Belgium, Germany and in Japan,” said Professor Modigell. International S2P conferences are a forum for scientists and engineers of different disciplines to learn, share and disseminate knowledge and to develop a mutual perspective about topical fundamental issues. During the S2P conferences specialists from all over the world - from Denmark to Venezuela, meet every two years. Results of engineering research and experience as well as scientific issues are relevant for the conference.
Online registration: https://www.s2p2014.gutech.edu.om/Registration.aspx
Online registration: https://www.s2p2014.gutech.edu.om/Registration.aspx
SALZBURG/AUSTRIA GUtech is holding the 8th Annual Conference Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg (GI_Forum), from 1-4 July in Austria. Together with its counterpart the German-speaking conference Applied Geoinformatics (AGIT) and EXPO, GI_Forum shares the innovative AGIT Expo exhibit and offers stimulating social events. For the second time GUtech is one of the strategic sponsors of the GI_Forum, which is worldwide one of the leading conferences in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS). More than 1000 participants from over 40 countries are attending both conferences .
“The main goal of this annual GI_Forum is to exchange information on the latest trends in technological, analytical, societal and educational fields, according to the theme of the conference Geospatial Innovation for Society ,“ said Prof. Dr. Adrijana Car, Associate Professor at the Department of Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development of GUtech and Chair of the GI_Forum Programme Committee. Prof. Adrijana will give a special workshop on GIS management in vulnerable environments, based her research done on Galapagos Islands beginning of this year. GUtech is represented through oral and poster presentations conducted by Prof. Adrijana and her students. “This year, those submissions that successfully passed double blind review process, are published in the electronic journal accessible at http://epub.oeaw.ac.at/gi_forum ”, said Prof. Adrijana .
GIS is applied in many different fields such as the protection of natural resources, health and environment, risk management, and sustainable management of energy and infrastructure, where geographical data needs to be stored, managed and analysed .
The conference will include a number of keynote sessions, paper and poster presentations, workshops, software demos and exhibition. One of the keynote speakers is Prof. Dr . Anthony Robinson of Pennsylvania State University who will give a talk on “Expanding the Reach of Geospatial Education ”.
To encourage young researchers in their scientific research careers, several events will be held on the sidelines of the GI_Forum .
For further details please contact Adrijana.email@example.com
A group of students from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, Department of Tourism Management, visited the Department of Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development (STRD) of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) recently.
"Our STRD programme encourages and facilitates a multi-cultural exchange of ideas and experiences. Since 2012, our university has a well-established partnership with the University of Applied Sciences in Munich," said Prof Heba Aziz, head of the STRD Department.
To familiarise themselves with tourism, local culture and the people in Oman, the 15 students and two professors from Germany interacted with the Omani and international students of the STRD Department, who gave different presentations about the country and their studies at the GUtech. During the visit to the GUtech, the German students also had an opportunity to tour the Halban campus.
They also attended a joint workshop to discuss the profile and different experiences of German tourists visiting Oman and Arab tourists in Germany and about how tourist sites could be designed to accommodate the requirements of the tourists. GUtech and the University of Applied Sciences in Munich have been working on a joint research project to study the profile of German tourists visiting Oman, compared to Omani tourists visiting Germany.
Last year, the STRD students visited the University of Applied Sciences in Munich. "I am looking forward to welcoming a new batch of students in 2015. Tourism is now a main pillar of Oman`s strategic vision, and I believe that our programme is unique in the region," said Heba Aziz.
Healthy lifestyle is not a choice, but a necessity. And it can be highly customized to suit personal choices. This was the message that was conveyed to the students of GUtech by Dr Hakim Hassan, a Senior Consultant Osteopath at Finland Osteopathy Clinic in Muscat, during two presentations at GUtech. Dr. Hakim noted that individual body types count in the selection of right sports, and even the right shoes. “The right sports can help us expand our body usage capacity from the usual 10% to higher percentages. Since body-mind can be considered a single unit, the more we can use our body capacity, the more can we utilize our mental abilities as well,” he said.
Dr Hakim, with more than 20 years of experience, had the students completely glued to his highly motivational speech that highlighted the significance of embracing sports activities as an integral part of life at a young age itself. “Start exercising or indulge in sports now, and avoid infirmities, and exhaustion catching up with you at 50,” he exhorted the students. “The fact is when you are pushed to the corner, that very state of hopelessness leads you to think of better options and effective alternatives…and sport is a way of pushing yourself to test the limits. Striving hard is the key to success in any field.”
The two separate motivational-and-informative lectures on the importance of being fit to achieve success in all areas of life were organized by the Sports Department of GUtech. “We arranged two lectures on “healthy lifestyle” by Dr Hakim Hassan as part of the ‘Listening and Note Taking’ module of GUtech course curriculum. Students are required to listen attentively, and answer questions raised at the end of the session,” said Gunhild Pfaff, Sports Officer at GUtech.
His presentation covered a host of topics related to fitness and agility including understanding pain, dehydration, headaches, sleeplessness and stress, right diet and nutrients, sports for different body types, how to choose the right shoes, among others.
The modern life being so hectic, and a vast majority finding it nearly impossible to attend regular fitness training or take up regular sport activities, he suggests using Terra Bands and Resistance Bands as a convenient workout tool. “You can use more than 40 types of body exercises using a simple Resistance Band,” he said, demonstrating a few simple workouts.
Talking on food, he informed the students about the negative qualities of aspartame, an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and carbonated beverages. Aspartame-based drinks and foods trick tick us into overeating by making the brain unable to control energy intake, he said.
GUtech and the Geological Society of Oman (GSO) jointly organized a seminar and exhibition on ‘Crystals, Forbidden Symmetries and Quasi-Crystals’ at the Oil and Gas Exhibition Center, in Muscat recently. The event coincided with the 100th anniversary of the conferment of Nobel Prize in Physics on Max von Laue in 1914 for his path-breaking work on crystals, and also marked UNESCO’s observance of year 2014 as the International Year of Crystallography.
Lauding the whole effort at promoting a spirit of research among young students, GSO President Dr. Mohammed Al Kindy commented: “The event was a manifestation of the high level of practical training and theoretical learning provided to the students of GUtech. Though in their first year, the students’ in-depth knowledge and confidence were amply visible during their presentations on a highly sophisticated and complex topic like crystallography. For the Geological Society of Oman (GSO), the event marks an important step forward in its mission of supporting and developing students in Geosciences-related subjects.” The crystal samples provided by GUtech received great attention from the audience. The samples are were displayed at the Oil and Gas and Planetarium Centre near PDO and are now on display at GUtech, Halban Campus, Faculty of Science Applied Geosciences, 4th floor.
The lectures and exhibition were conceived and coordinated by Prof. Dr. Michaela Bernecker (Department of Applied Geoscience, GUtech) and Prof. Dr. Florian Rupp (Department of Mathematics and Science, GUtech) with support from GSO. The session began with an introductory talk by Prof. Florian, followed by talks from Applied Geosciences (AGEO) students of GUtech. In his speech Prof. Florian illustrated the scientific milestones in crystallography studies that significantly contributed to today’s understanding of crystalline structures.
Elaborating how crystallography is connected to oil and gas, Prof. Michaela said: “The crystals of the mineral Dolomite form a sedimentary rock, and this can be a reservoir rock for oil and gas, provided the required porosity and permeability between the crystals are present,” she added: “The minerals found in nature are crystalline. In Oman you can find Quartz (as sand in the desert) or Calcite in limestone (used as building stones) and ore minerals like Pyrite and Chromite (used as industrial minerals) in the mountains of Oman.”
The talks highlighted the trailblazing discoveries till date including Steno’s Law, Planar and Spatial Packing classifications, and X-ray diffraction, among others. A discussion on the role of symmetries and detailed analyses of allowed and forbidden rotations in crystals made the talks quite informative: A 5-fold rotation symmetry was considered to be strictly forbidden, but the discovery of the same in an alloy crystal in the 1980s proved to be a game-changer in the world of crystallography. The very special spatial packings that make this forbidden rotation symmetry possible were surveyed and connected to the possible forbidden symmetries that occur in crystalline structures known as quasi-crystals.
GUtech Applied Geosciences students presented special talks on Mineral Symmetries, Symmetries of Quasi Crystals, Optical Properties of Crystals, and Crystals under the Microscope. The exhibition also showcased various crystals and quasi-crystals, a collection of illustrations and important achievements in the area of crystallography. The display of the many fascinating forms of pyrite, a commonly found mineral in a variety of geological formations, was the center-piece of the exhibition.
The Applied Geosciences Department is working with GSO to build a network of geoscientists that will enable a wider understanding of the fascinating geology of Oman and also contribute to its protection, apart from educating the young generation.
For further details please contact Prof. Michaela: firstname.lastname@example.org
BARKA A group of MSc students of the Department of Petroleum Geosciences at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) went on their third geological excursion to the Ardennes in Belgium in May. The geological field-trip was part of a series of excursions conducted during the MSc studies - two in Oman, one in Dorset (UK), and one in Belgium.
In Belgium students had to study field outcrops and translate this into the Oil/Gas Field Development Strategies, also called Integrated Field Development Exercise. “Studying outcrops of geological phenomena at surface, helps petroleum geologists to better predict the characteristics of petroleum reservoirs in the subsurface. Such understanding improves the effectiveness of the oil and gas production,” said Professor Dr. Wiekert Visser, Head of the MSc Petroleum Geosciences at GUtech, who worked as a geoscientist for Shell International for many years. Oil and gas fields occur “underground” or usually termed “in the subsurface”. "Because everything is subsurface, we cannot really see the details of the reservoir rocks which hold oil and gas," said Prof. Wiekert.
The three days field work in Belgium was followed by one day in the Netherlands, where students conducted a full-day exercise on a set of (rock) cores from wells drilled in an oil-field. This formed a very nice transition from studying outcrops to the oil field reality.
“Oman has excellent possibilities for geological field trips and geologists from all over the world do come here to study the outcrops. The two first geological field excursions of the MSc programme in Oman exploited these high quality outcrops by studying the main reservoir sequences of Oman, and the important aspects of fracturing and faulting,” said Prof. Dr. Wiekert. In the UK students went through an extensive integrated oil and gas exploration exercise using field data. The South of the UK, Dorset, is world famous for the potential to conduct such an exercise, and this is why GUtech MSc students went to that particular area last year.
The MSc in Petroleum Geosciences is a part-time programme, conducted for two years, including several excursions. For further details please contact Prof. Wiekert: Wiekert.email@example.com
Ninety-three students of GUtech who excelled in academics, campus involvement, community service, sports and academic competitions were honored at a ceremony held at the GUtech campus on 3 June. Ali Al Habsi, National Football Team goalkeeper was the guest of honor and distributed the awards to the students.
“The GUtech Sports Award recognizes voluntarily engagement as instructor/trainer/coordinator or guide outstanding achievements of GUtech teams participating in competitions outside the university and for the first time, students with an extreme high attendance in the GUtech fitness programme. I am sure that we will be able to extend those categories in the coming semester,” said Gunhild Pfaff, Sports Officer at GUtech.
Prof Modigell, Rector of GUtech, congratulated the winners and exhorted the student community to meaningfully involve themselves with various student activities and programmes held at the university and to contribute to the welfare of the community, while aiming for academic excellence. During a very motivational speech, Ali Habsi called upon the students to get actively involved in various volunteering programmes to bring about a positive change in their communities. He also stressed the importance of participating in sports and games as a means of staying fit and refreshing the mind, which together will lead students toward achieving academic excellence.
Healthy lifestyle is not a choice, but a necessity. And it can be highly customized to suit personal choices. This was the message that was conveyed to GUtech students by Dr Hakim Hassan, Senior Consultant Osteopath at Finland Osteopathy Clinic, during a talk held at GUtech recently.
Dr. Hakim noted that individual body types count in the selection of right sports, and even the right shoes. “The right sports can help us expand our body usage capacity from the usual 10% to higher percentages. Since body-mind can be considered a single unit, the more we can use our body capacity, the more can we utilize our mental abilities as well,” he said.
Dr Hakim, having 20 years of professional experience, had the students completely glued to his motivational speech that highlighted the significance of embracing sports activities as an integral part of life at a young age. “Start exercising or indulge in sports now, and avoid infirmities, and exhaustion catching up with you at 50,” he exhorted the students. “The fact is when you are pushed to the corner, that very state of hopelessness leads you to think of better options and effective alternatives. Sports is a way of pushing yourself to test the limits. Striving hard is the key to success in any field.”
The two separate motivational-and-informative lectures on the importance of being fit to achieve success in all areas of life were organized by the GUtech Sports Office. “We have arranged two lectures on “healthy lifestyle” by Dr Hakim Hassan as part of the ‘Listening and Note Taking’ module of GUtech course curriculum. Students are required to listen attentively, and answer questions raised at the end of the session,” said Gunhild Pfaff, Sports Officer.
Dr. Hakim`s presentation covered a host of topics related to fitness and agility including understanding pain, dehydration, headaches, sleeplessness and stress, right diet and nutrients, sports for different body types, how to choose the right shoes, among others.
The modern life being so hectic, and a vast majority finding it nearly impossible to attend regular fitness training or to take up regular sports activities, he suggested using Terra Bands and Resistance Bands as a convenient workout tool. “You can use more than 40 types of body exercises using a simple resistance band,” he said, demonstrating a few simple workouts.
GUtech has been partnering with Dr Hakim for a while on various health and fitness programs for students.
To improve e-learning teaching techniques of academic staff, GUtech has recently held a workshop on Blended Learning, also called “Computer Aided Distance Learning”. „Our goal is to apply blended learning in all our study-programmes and to improve and accelerate the learning process of our students,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech.
The workshop was conducted by Prof. Dr. Heribert Nacken, expert for Blended Learning and Exploratory Teaching Space at RWTH Aachen University (Germany), and UNESCO Chair for Hydrological Change and Water Management. “The future of e-learning will be blended learning – a mix of traditional instructor led courses plus self-directed e-learning courses,” said Prof. Heribert. During the tree day workshop GUtech staff was introduced into the basics of blended learning.
The aim of blended learning is to improve the learning process through adequate mixed teaching techniques (see figure attached). “There are three different categories of learners: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. The human knowledge processing distinguishes oral and visual inputs. But the processing capacity of those input channels is limited,” said Prof. Heribert. The best is to structure the topics in a linear way and to use a combination of text, diagrams and illustrations. “Explanations and descriptions referring to the illustrations and diagrams are better understood in a spoken form. When contents are presented in a written and spoken way, the knowledge process is influenced in a negative way,” said Prof. Heribert.
The blended learning workshop at GUtech was conducted according to the concept „train-the-trainer“. “Those who are introduced into blended learning techniques should be able to share their knowledge with the other academic staff in their departments,” said Prof. Heribert. A second follow-up workshop will be held end of this year at GUtech.
GUtech will introduce a new Bachelor of Science programme in Logistics, in cooperation with the German partner-university RWTH Aachen University in the next semester, winter 2014/2015.
Like all study-programmes at GUtech, the Bachelor of Science in Logistics will be tailored to the requirements of the Sultanate and the region, yet drawing on state-of-art expertise accumulated at RWTH Aachen University. A strong emphasis will be placed on the employability of GUtech graduates. “The Bachelor of Science in Logistics aims at providing students with a solid and in-depth knowledge of logistics, supply chain management, and transportation management. The programme combines a comprehensive education in engineering subjects of logistics and in business subjects of logistics and supply chain management. Graduates of the programme will be able to take over responsible administrative or management positions in logistics in the Sultanate of Oman and the region or to enrol in further postgraduate programmes in Oman or abroad,” said Dr. Juergen Werner, Deputy-Rector for Academic Affairs at GUtech. Many elements of the BSc in Logistics will be accomplished in cooperation with local and international industry partners. Also, generic skills such as critical thinking, creative thinking, life-long learning, intercultural communication, and teamwork are seen as essential and are integrated throughout our curriculum.
In addition to critical thinking, communication skills, life-long-learning, will develop Knowledge about business methods and theories. “Graduates will have gained a sound knowledge of the most important business and management theories. They will be able to understand and evaluate central functions of a business and also be able to relate individual business questions to a wider economic and social context.This well-rounded education will allow the graduates to work as logistics engineer, planner and manager or as a supply chain manager in a multitude of areas in industry or government in Oman or abroad,” said Dr. Juergen Werner.
The Bachelor of Science in Logistics is taught as a full-time programme. The duration of the BSc in Logistics is eight semesters. It encompasses a work-load equivalent to 240 credit points in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) or 600 credit points in the Oman Qualification Framework (OQF), distributed over eight semesters. Students graduating with a cumulative GPA between 2.5 and 3.4 will be awarded a degree with Honours (Second Class). The degree programme will be taught in English, including written and oral tests, seminar papers and the BSc thesis. German is taught as a foreign language. Students will also be expected to develop communication skills in German, as the programme requires travelling to Germany to complete coursework at RWTH Aachen University.
RWTH Aachen University was established in
1870, the first chair in Economics and Commerce was introduced at the
university already back in 1870. Since its establishment, the School of
Economics and Commerce continued to grow and is currently teaching more
than 1.300 students at the undergraduate, graduate and executive level.
Furthermore, the School cooperates with the Engineering faculties of
RWTH Aachen University to offer Business and Engineering programmes with
different fields of specialization. The School of Business currently
employs about 30 professors and 100 research staff. Students at RWTH
Aachen University and at GUtech benefit from an applied scientific
education, close linkages to the industry, and an early integration of
education and research.
A pass in a relevant stream of GUtech’s Foundation Programme or equivalent academic results entitles students to enrol into the Bachelor’s degree programme in Logistics. As English is the tuition language at GUtech, students must demonstrate adequate competency, equivalent to at least IELTS 6.0.
Introducing parents to the multi-dimensional aspects of the institution including academics, facilities and regulations; and making them partners in enabling academic excellence of students, GUtech has organized a Parents Orientation Day at its Halban campus recently. The parents day began with an introduction to the GUtech campus and the complete range of facilities offered to students. The parents were taken on a tour of the various facilities at GUtech.
They were then briefed about the rules and regulations that covered grades, attendance and disciplinary actions. They got to know about the state-of-the-art sports facilities, the Students Council, various clubs and on- and off-campus activities organized regularly. This was followed by briefings on fee structure, payment modules and transportation and accommodation options.
A highlight of the event was the session on German language and the cultural trips, presented by Andrea Cornelissen, German lecturer, and DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) representative. Elaborating on the cultural trips, she said: “It’s not just dry academics at GUtech. Our students get the opportunity to travel to Germany or another European country as part of their course. They are taught German at our parent university RWTH Aachen’s Language Centre. Further, they are provided ample scope to get to know German culture firsthand through a host of cultural activities that include excursions to neighboring countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium, and sightseeing trips through magnificent and historic German cities.”
The subsequent presentation was on the various foundation programs including the Core Foundation programme, Academic Foundation programme, IELTS and IC3.
Finally, members of various departments including Urban Planning and Architectural Design, Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development, Applied Geosciences, Engineering and Computer Science explained the key aspects of respective department’s programmes.
Nawal al Lawati, student affairs manager at GUtech commented that “A parent orientation is very important as GUtech is an international university, and it’s essential that parents have a solid understanding of the dynamic GUtech culture, the various academic and recreational facilities, and also the high standards of academics and student discipline. The participation from parents was quite wonderful.”
recently signed a contribution agreement with the German University of
Technology in Oman (GUtech) that will help the university in its efforts
to compete in Shell’s upcoming Eco-Marathon challenge, scheduled to
take place in Manila, the Philippines, in early 2015. Chris
Breeze, Shell’s Country Chairman in Oman, signed the agreement with
Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUTech, at an event earlier
this week. The event took place at GUtech’s campus in
Halban, Muscat and included a presentation from the university’s
Eco-Marathon team and tour of GUTech’s Eco-Marathon workshop. The group
of 12 GUtech students is looking forward to realize their ideas of a
fuel–efficient car. “We have determined
the material to be used for this project- the compression will be made
of aluminium and we will use a diesel engine. The frame of the car will
be designed at GUtech and the shell will be built at the GUtech
Engineering workshop,” said Mohammed Omar, team leader and GUtech
student of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at GUtech. The
students will design and built the car in their free time. The team
found it challenging to get all suitable car parts.
Shell will provide GUtech with seed funding to help the university build an ultra fuel efficient vehicle for next year’s race. Vehicles
in Shell’s Eco-marathon programme can use any conventionally available
source of energy including diesel, gasoline and Gas-to-Liquids (GTL), as
well as alternative fuels such as hydrogen, ethanol, solar and battery
In his opening remarks at the event, Chris Breeze gave some insight into why Shell conducts the Eco-Marathon programme. He stated “The
purpose of Shell’s Eco-Marathon competition is to bring together
today’s leaders and future innovators, along with people who are
passionate about energy issues. Shell is committed to
helping the world meet its growing energy needs in a responsible way
and, by participating in Shell’s Eco-Marathon, GUtech is helping us do
exactly that.” Mr. Breeze continued by offering his advice to GUtech’s team. He stated “Your journey in the lead up to the event, and your journey on the track itself, will not be easy. A project like this requires teamwork, resilience, and compromise. I urge you to stick together, to listen to each other, and to pull your own weight.”
attend the EcoMarathon is a big challenge for our students and the aims
of the competition fit perfectly to the philosophy of GUtech’s
educational principles: The students shall learn as early as possible to
apply their knowledge for practical purposes to realize new and better
solutions. Beside the technical issues the students have, for example,
to deal with project-management and to learn about team-work" stated
Professor Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell.
is now set to join over 500 universities and schools in over 40
countries worldwide, including universities in Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Iraq. "I
am very happy and proud of the achievements of our students, realized
within solely two months. Their proposal just tells us that “they want
to win the first place!” They have managed to build a team and to
distribute the tasks among themselves in very professional way. The
strong theoretical knowledge they have got at GUtech will enable them to
accomplish their project," said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the
Engineering Department at GUtech.
aim of the Shell Eco-Marathon programme is to encourage students to
develop innovative vehicles that exemplify fuel-efficiency and the
future of transportation. Currently, the world’s leading teams complete the 15km competition distance on a teaspoon of fuel. The current record for a gasoline prototype vehicle, the same model that GUtech’s team hopes to build, stands at 3,771km/l. This is approximately from Muscat to Athens, Greece on a single liter of fuel.
competition dates back to 1939. Since its inception, competitions have
been held across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Shell recently
launched the initiative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
“Building team spirit, relieving stress, and fostering positive competition among youngsters” –
“Futsal is relatively a new entrant in the sports scene of Oman. But as an indoor sport, it commands great significance for the student community. It helps build team spirit, goes a long way in relieving stress, and fosters positive competition among youngsters. Competitions like these are real fun and encourage students who aren’t familiar with the game to get a feel of it real time,” Gunhild commented. In all, 85 players, representing 12 teams, played 16 matches at the fully equipped Sports Hall of GUtech.
GUtech has one of the best futsal teams in the Sultanate, and the team members are all well trained and experienced. The GUtech team took part in the Inter-university futsal competition held in Belgium last year, and put on an impressive performance there.
“Each team had two players from our university futsal team. This was done to ensure that all players get to learn from them. Also presence of trained futsal players greatly enhances the overall sports spirit,” Gunhild remarked. According to Mahmood al Ruqaishi, coach of the GUtech futsal team, who was part of the Belgium team, “Futsal is a great indoor game. By organizing matches like these, other students come to appreciate the game and also GUtech’s indoor facilities. Students, who feel they are up to it, can go for further training here.” Futsal is played on a hard court between two teams of five players each, one of whom being the goalkeeper. A smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football is used.
BARKA It was an evening of festival, but with a noble cause. The Charity Food Festival held at GUtech on Saturday, 5 April with the theme “Eat, Drink, Help Those In Need”. The event proved to be a great occasion to indulge the taste buds and raise funds for the benefit of the Omani Association for the Disabled. The Food Festival was organized by the Department of Students Affairs and the Students Council of GUtech.
“There were a large number of families from the community that came out to support a worthy cause which made the Charity Food Festival a successful event. The aim of this event is to get the people from the community to support a worthy cause,” said Ayisha Al-Bright of the Department of Student Affairs. The event included 12 vendors giving out food samples, and cultural performances with the ABA choir, a talk on Healthy Eating, a Black Box Cooking competition which made the event entertaining and unique. A special area was set up for kids’ cookery classes, where little boys and girls brimming with joy and anticipation were guided through the fascinating world of cuisine.
“This is our first ever charity food festival here. Buoyed by its huge success, we are planning to conduct this festival every year with a better mix of events and activities,” one of the organizers commented. Renowned chef Issa Al Lamki from Mandoos Restaurant evaluated the students’ recipes and culinary masterpieces and declared the winners, who were awarded medals and prizes. There was also a raffle draw.
Major sponsors of the event included Al Bustan Palace Hotel; Lulu Hypermarkets; Dahabi; Dana; Lake Land; Activity Time; Activity Fitness; Sodexo; D’Arey’s Kitchen; and A’Rayaf; Ahmed bin Majid Private School.
The Vice-President of the German Bundestag (parliament), H.E. Claudia Roth, visited the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) on Sunday 23 March. The vice-resident was received by H.E. Abdullah Al Sarmi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and the members of the Rectorate of GUtech as well as academic and administrative staff and a group of GUtech students of the Student Council. The Vice-President visited the GUtech EcoHaus, that is currently constructed beside the GUtech main building. Furthermore, the Vice-president visited the exhibition of the International Conference on Challenges of Urbanization in Arab Gulf Countries, held at GUtech.
After a short introduction, held by the Rector Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, H.E. Claudia Roth spoke to eight members of the GUtech Student Council. “I feel at home in this building,” said H.E. Claudia Roth about the , a green GUtech campus building. Claudia Roth was heading the Green party in Germany in 2001/2002 and between 2004 and 2013. In 1985 she started her political career as a spokeswoman of the green party in Germany and was elected as the leader of the Green Party in the European Parliament in 1994. “I am happy to hear that our green ideas are considered and applied here in Oman. In Germany many jobs have been created in renewable energies to fight against climate change,” she said to the GUtech students. “When we design houses or urban areas, we always think about green aspects. We try to integrate green designs and alternative traffic systems, for example car free areas or cycling paths and public transportation,” said a student of the Department of Urban Planning.
During the discussion with the students, the Vice-President also stressed that there are different housing projects in Germany: “We have so-called housing projects for four generations which are getting more and more popular in Germany,” The students mentioned that according to the Arab traditions and values in Oman several generations of one family are living under one roof. “Cultures are different but there are common values,” said H.E. Claudia Roth. She encouraged the female and male students to realize their goals. “Every human being has unique capacities,” she said while especially encouraging the female students to persue their dreams and to balance work and family life.
A group of 3rd year students of the Department of Engineering visited the Sohar Aluminium plant in March. The group was accompanied by the Rector of GUtech, Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, and Prof. Dr. Annalisa Pola of the University of Brescia, Italy, who is a fly-in-professor for the lecture “Material Science” at the GUtech. The University of Brescia is leading in the field of metallurgy in Italy and cooperation partner of the GUtech. “The aim of our visit was to apply the theory and to allow our future engineers to observe each step of the aluminium production. Thanks to the kindness and availability of each person who guided our group, the visit was an educational experience at a very interesting and particular industry in Oman,” said Prof. Modigell.
At the beginning of their visit, the group was introduced to the safety rules. Equipped with uniforms, the students were then allowed to enter the production plant, starting from the anodes construction department, where they could see how carbon anodes were built up. “We could see the different processes that are involved in the aluminium production, starting with the mixing of coke, pitch and anodic residues followed by the pressing, heating, up to the rodding phase, during which molten cast iron is poured into the anodes to fix the rods,” said Prof. Pola.
The GUtech group then visited the potline, where they learnt in detail how the cells work following which they visited the Casthouse where the molten aluminium is cast into finished products. The group also visited the Oman Aluminium Rolling Company, where they could witness each phase of the horizontal strip casting process and formation of aluminium coils. The pure liquid aluminium, coming from Sohar Aluminium plant is sent for being rolled in sheets and coils of different thicknesses and used for several applications. The excellent coordination between Sohar Aluminium and Oman Aluminium Rolling Company sets a great example of two companies cooperating successfully.
BARKA The International Student Group of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has organized the first International Night entitled “Unity in Diversity” at the university’s premises in Halban yesterday. Throughout the evening, GUtech students presented poems in German and Arabic, a fashion show of Bangladeshi dresses was showcased and traditional Sri Lankan dances were shown. “The event shows the commitment and the vision of our university being an international university. We appreciate the work of the International Student Group to unite all nationalities,” said Dr. Juergen Werner, Deputy-Rector for Academic Affairs in his speech.
International students and staff attended the event in their traditional attires, making the whole ambience vibrant with rich colours and beautiful dresses. Various food stalls, boutiques, and quiz programs also kept up the multi-cultural spirit of the evening.
“During my initial days at GUtech I was surprised on observing the cultural, linguistic and ideological diversity and richness of students and staff. Cultural events of this kind help create a general feeling of tolerance and appreciation for the unique aspects of various cultures and traditions. Also when various cultures meet, we learn that there are more similarities and fewer differences,” said Shaharin Hassain, president of the International Student Group.
All through the event food stalls offered authentic dishes from Oman, Germany, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Italy, Africa and Iraq and a stand by the US Embassy. There were raffle draws and awards for best dress, best performer and best stall, as well as quiz programs and prizes. “The event has been organized as a means to showcase the rich cultural diversity of GUtech and also to generate among the students a feeling of appreciation for other cultures, views and lifestyles,” said Ayisha Albright, student affairs executive. “Considering conflicts and a sense of distrust and intolerance increasingly becoming the norm, no effort should be spared to bring together various cultures and viewpoints to facilitate meaningful dialogue and mutual understanding and respect,” she said.
Especially a children’s fashion show by Annanya group from Bangladesh, and the traditional Kandyan dance of Sri Lanka as well as Indian and Bangladeshi dance performances received thunderous applause from the cheering crowd. The Arabic Rap also proved to be a hit.
Khafif was the Gold sponsors of the event with Salman Stores, Nissan, Oman Air, Pizza Inn, Caribou Coffee, Annanya Bangladeshi group, City watches, Yusi’sweet and Khansaab Clothing. GUtech is planning to host the international nights as a regular event again in the next academic year.
Six students and their professor of GUtech were awarded with scholarships from the University of Erlangen and participated in the International Carbonate Course offered by the University in February. “This course strongly supports our GUtech students who are interested in working on projects in the field of Carbonate Petroleum Reservoir Geology and in the limestone Industry in the future.” said Prof. Dr. Michaela Bernecker of the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech.
The so-called famous Flügel-course contains all classic and modern aspects of carbonate sedimentology and the course content was trained by practical microscopy exercises using the worldwide largest carbonate thin- section and sediment sample collection of the GeoCenter. “The uniqueness of this course is in the application of the theoretical part by practicing on the thin-sections made from different rock samples, which were brought from various places from around the world. Furthermore, the lectures were given by very well experienced professors who enriched the course by their massive knowledge from their studies and field trips to deliver it to us through their presentations,’’ said Ahmed Al-Taan, BSc Applied Geosciences student. The students also enjoyed the exchange of thoughts with other students and professors. “It is a good platform for open discussions. Being able to observe, analyse and interpret a very large collection of thin-sections has broadened my knowledge and developed critical thinking. Additionally, it was a great chance to interact with international students," said Bushra Al-Quraishi, GUtech BSc Applied Geosciences student. During the five days workshop geosciences professors and professionals in the field of carbonate petroleum gave lectures on different topics of carbonate microfacies.
According to the organizers, a total of 37 students and researchers from 14 different nations participated. “We really appreciate that Professor Michaela Bernecker from GUtech continuously takes part in the course and brings her best students along. The Flügel-course team was impressed by the student’s enthusiasm and eagerness and their well-founded comments. We are looking forward to welcoming more bright students from GUtech,” said Dr. Barbara Seuss from the University of Erlangen. GUtech students and professor participated for the fourth time in this special course.
The Rector and the Department of Applied Geosciences of GUtech have welcomed Professor Dr. Sierd Cloetingh, Royal Netherlands Academy Professor of Earth Sciences at the Utrecht University (Netherlands) last week. Professor Cloetingh gave a presentation entitled: “Integrated Solid Earth Sciences – challenges and perspectives“ to AGEO students and GUtech staff. Professor Cloetingh is a well-known geoscientist who has published more than 300 scientific papers in international peer-reviewed geosciences journals. He is also editor in chief of Global and Planetary Change and member of the editorial board of Tectonophysics. Professor Cloetingh has also been promotor of more than 65 PhD students of 18 different nationalities. He has received honorary doctorates from five European universities and numerous honours and rewards such as the Holmes Medal, the honorary membership of the European Geosciences Union, Fellow and Honorary Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Prof. Cloetingh is also President of the International Lithosphere Programme (ILP), Vice-President of the European Academy of Sciences and member of the European Research Council (ERC).
To discuss future scientific cooperation, Professor Cloetingh has been invited by the AGEO department and the Department of Geosciences of RWTH Aachen University, who have also organized a one week field trip around the North of Oman including a large number of sites of geological interest, such as the exposed crust/mantle transition and the ophiolites in Wadi Al Abbyad, carbonate sequences and source rocks and the uplifted coastal terraces along the Omani coastline, an area that is currently part of a tsunami research project conducted by Prof. Dr. Goesta Hoffmann. Prof. Goesta and Prof. Wiekert Visser of the AGEO Department have conducted the field-excursion along with Prof. Dr. Peter Kukla, Energy & Mineral Resources Group and Director of the Geological Institute at RWTH Aachen University. “We have developed plans for a long-term strategic cooperation embedded in the international lithosphere programme. Specifically the setup of a thematic research programme “TOPO-OMAN”, affiliated to the successful TOPO-EUROPE programme on coupled deep Earth and surface processes with implications for georessources and natural hazards has been discussed. Additionally research training programmes, including workshops and short courses as well as the exchange of staff form an integral part of this collaborative effort.” said Prof. Peter Kukla.
To promote scientific cooperation in the field of Engineering a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between GUtech and the University of Brescia (Italy) was signed at GUtech recently. The Rector of GUtech, Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, signed the agreement along with Prof. Dr. Maurizio Memo, Deputy Chancellor for Research, Internationalization and Higher Education of the University of Brescia.
GUtech is looking forward to expanding its scientific cooperation in the field of Engineering with the Italian university. ``I have been cooperating with the university of Brescia since 2007. Throughout the past years we have published a number of scientific research papers in the field of semi-solid alloys and we are planning a number of joint projects in the next years, such as BEng and MSc thesis,” said Prof. Modigell, who has been a regular guest-speaker at the University of Brescia, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.
GUtech`s German parent-university, RWTH-Aachen University, signed a MoU with the University of Brescia regarding the exchange of students, researchers and professors in 2011. ``In 2012 we started a joint PhD research entitled `Basic investigation on the application of ultrasounds in semi-solid processing`,`` said Prof. Dr. Annalisa Pola of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Brescia.
Currently three professors of that Department are teaching courses in Material Science at the Engineering Department of GUtech. GUtech has signed a number of MoU agreements on scientific cooperation in different fields with universities in Europe in the past years.
BARKA The Department of Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development (STRD) of GUtech has announced today morning the upcoming Oman Tourism Forum (OTF), to be held on Wednesday 26 February from 9am-4pm at GUtech in Halban.
OTF will be held for the first time and inaugurated under the auspices of H.E. the Undersecretary of the Ministry Tourism. The one-day Oman Tourism Forum will invite stakeholders from the private and public sector. “Oman Tourism Forum is a very special event for our university. Our STRD students had the idea to realize this Forum,” said Dr. Juergen Werner, Deputy-Rector for Academic Affairs at GUtech.
The forum is also held to mark the celebrations of the Arab Tourism Day on the 25 February – commemorating the birth date of the Arab Traveler Ibn Battuta and aiming to create more awareness about the rich Arab history in travel and hospitality. The Arab Tourism Day was launched last year in initiative of the Arab Tourism Organization.
Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Head of the STRD Department at GUtech and President of OTF introduced the Forum to the media: “Our aim is to establish a platform for a fruitful discussion amongst all stakeholders on the role this strategic sector for socio-economic development of Oman. The tourism industry benefits the entire economy and different sectors such as the food industry, transportation and others,” she said while adding: “The students were very convincing in attracting important stakeholders to support their initiative. They also designed the logo of the Forum and came up with the different themes, and identified measures in which their event could benefit the local community,” said Prof. Heba.
OTF has been organized by eight 4th year STRD students as part of their event management course. “We contacted the public and private sector and fundraized for the Forum. During our studies we have a number of different subjects including event management course, which is part of our 4th year study-programme,” said Ala Al Habsi, GUtech STRD student. For her and her study-colleagues creating awareness is the main goal. “We wish to create more awareness about tourism studies and the tourism industry in Oman. Here at GUtech a few students are currently studying tourism. Tourism needs all different stakeholders, not only the Ministry of Tourism,” said Ala. The students came-up with the idea to design special conference bags working with a small women group in Sifah. The bags are made of traditional Omani textiles and will be distributed on the day of the conference.
The Oman Tourism Forum (OTF) is open to all interested individuals and organisations and revolves around three main themes: visions and strategies, tourism operations, projects and enterprises and research and innovations. Papers presented will cover the Oman tourism strategy by the ministry of tourism; the main tourism indicators presented by the National Center for Statistics and Information, the reality of tourism employment by the ministry of manpower.
In addition the forum will also include a session on the most recent tourism research conducted in Oman: A study on “The experiences and expectations of Omani tourism students” will be presented as well research on “Tourism careers: perception and expectations of Omani tourism students” and the Oman Tourist Atlas will be presented. In the opening session Nabil Al Busaidy, adventurer and traveller, who was the first Arab and Omani to climb Mount Everest and to row the Atlantic, will give a motivational speech entitled “Discover the journey”.
The STRD Department is grateful for the generous support of The Research Council (TRC), Ithraa (previously, the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development), Omran, the National Ferry Company, Naseej Oman and Al Roya publishing. This diverse range of sponsors is only reflective of all the sectors that the tourism industry can impact.
Registration is free of charge, for further details please visit the website www.gutech.edu.om or please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
To enhance geometrical thinking, students of GUtech have built a large paper tetrahedron (pyramid shape) in the amphitheater of the university within the past weeks. Around 60 students of the Foundation Year and the Bachelor of Science programs as well as staff members participated in this special mathematical activity that may best be illustrated by one composed of many, in Latin “e pluribus unum”.
“With this special class we would like to introduce a new way of geometrical thinking. It is new to most students and has not been taught earlier at high school,” said Professor Dr. Florian Rupp of the Department of Mathematics and Science at GUtech who initiated the activity. The about two meter high tetrahedron sponge, called fractal, was constructed of 1012 small tetrahedrons. “These fractals are similar to what we see in our everyday lives, for example in rivers, mountains, cauliflowers but as well in rocks,” said Professor Florian. A fractal is a geometric object which is constructed from a “simple” initial shape and arranged to form self-similar patterns across different scales and with fractal dimensions. To most of the students this task was new. “We are studying in the Foundation Year, Applied Geosciences. I think these fractals are similar to the fractals we see in rocks and minerals,” said Fatma Al Farsi, GUtech student.
Many students think that geometry can only be taught in class and on the white board, which becomes very boring after some time. “We would like to enhance their spatial thinking and encourage them to think in a playful and easy way, so that they also forget that they are doing geometry,” said Prof. Florian Rupp who recently joined the Department of Mathematics and Science. He previously worked at the renowned Technical University of Munich (Germany). The head of the Department of Mathematics and Science strongly supported this new and very smart way of teaching: “It brings the most effective recent discoveries of teaching to Oman,” said Prof. Dr. Bernhard Heim, Dean of Science. The GUtech students were surprised that high advanced mathematics can be so exciting and applied, they are looking forward to more mathematics classes.
GUtech has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 57 universities around the world to create the World Forum of Universities of Resources on Sustainability (WFURS). In the Sultanate and around the world the growing population, globalization and industrialization along with a steady improvement of the living standards have dramatically increased the demand in natural resources. “All member universities consider it necessary that knowledge about sustainable mining should be propagated, provided on a global scale, harmonized and networked. Through the MoU GUtech and all other universities will be part of a permanent international platform in mining sciences and work together for a sustainable future in the mining sector,“ said Professor Dr. Burkhard Rauhut, Rector of GUtech.
The Sultanate of Oman is rich in raw materials. “Copper, chromite, manganese, gypsum, limestone for cement and ornamental stones, like marble are amongst the most important raw materials in Oman. They are extracted all over Oman,” said Professor Dr. Bas den Brok, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech. "The Bachelor students in Applied Geosciences learn about mineral exploration, about how to find new mineral resources, but also about environmental issues and environmental damages caused by mining. The mineral and mining sector in Oman has a great future. Underground mining will become increasingly important. For sustainable, environmental-friendly mining highly qualified mining engineers will be needed in the near future”, said Professor Bas.
Nowadays the mining industry faces many challenges, not only in securing additional raw material supplies to satisfy the growing demand, but also to ensure that this is done in an economically priced, environmentally friendly and safe manner. “Environmental sustainability in mining also means that the local people living around the mines should profit from the mining activity next door, for example by the creation of new jobs and new industries working with the raw materials, like making gypsum plates and bricks next to the gypsum mines,” said Professor Bas.
The Department of Applied Geosciences is currently carrying out a research study on chromite mining in Oman. “The question of sustainability is best pursued through a comprehensive and multifaceted approach. The economic integrity of a mining development is best ensured through the full utilisation of the product value chain. Primary and secondary exploits that are processed obtain higher prices on the market and can also generate new niche industries,” said Mishal Al Riyami, Mining Engineer and Scientific Researcher at GUtech. “In our current research we propose excavation strategies as well as build geo-terrestrial models. We combine them with best practices to insure greatest cost-effectiveness whilst minimising the environmental impact,” said Mishal Al Riyami.
According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Oman around 34 companies were engaged in the exploration and development of Oman`s natural mineral resources in 2011. The number includes several companies that operate quarries and crushers catering primarily to the construction industry.
At GUtech the students are educated according to international standards of sustainability. “It is important that our students learn sustainable practices as some of our graduates will work in the mining sector,” said Professor said Professor Dr. Goesta Hoffmann, Associate Professor of the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech. As a result of the MoU the signing universities of the WFURS will form working groups and promote cooperation between the universities and thus further develop the sustainability concept in cooperation with the private and government sector. Ends
© GUtech/Manuela Gutberlet
Gabbro quarry near Sohar – © GUtech –Dep. Of Applied Geosciences
Marble Quarry in Northern Oman –© GUtech – Dep. Of Applied Geosciences