Workshop held on flood management

The German University of Technology (GUtech) recently hosted a workshop on flood mapping as part of a joint hydrology and GIS research project, entitled ‘Towards a flood-resilient Omani Society: Improved Tools for Flood Management’. The three-year-long inter-disciplinary research project which started in February this year is funded by The Research Council (TRC).
“The workshop at GUtech was part of a work package on data visualisation. It was about gaining an understanding of current flood mapping practices in Oman. We discussed the availability and the use of flood maps by different stakeholders, the differences between different map types, eg flood hazard maps and flood risk maps, as well as flood map content and layout,” said Associate Prof Dr Adrijana Car, who is leading the research project package related to data visualisation, along with her colleagues from different departments at GUtech, Associate Prof Dr Ekkehard Holzbecher (Applied Geosciences — Hydrogeology) and Associate Prof Dr Nabil Sahli (Computer Sciences), and Dr Edda Kalbus, former professor of Applied Geosciences at GUtech (Hydrogeology).
Prof Adrijana has extensive experience in GIS education and application in various projects around the world and she has been teaching GIS at the University of Salzburg, Austria.
Employees from the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, Muscat Municipality, Supreme Council for Planning, ESRI Muscat and GUtech, participated in the daylong workshop.

SCIENCE, TECH PROFESSIONALS TO SPUR OMAN’S GROWTH PLANS

Oman needs science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals to drive Oman’s innovation and competitiveness, experts have suggested.

Ithraa’s fourth seminar in the Oman at Work series, dedicated to the topic ‘STEM: Jobs of the Future,’ and held at the Bank Muscat Head Office, explored how science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers will drive Oman’s economic success by generating new ideas, companies, products and industries.

The panelist for the final day were Dr Basel Dayyani from GUTECH, Dr Mohammed Al Mugheiry of Blue Ocean Consultancy, Dr Wael Al Harrasi from Petroleum Development Oman, Dr Sana Al Balushi from the Ministry of Education, Salim Al Mahrooqi from Technical Innovation Services, and Rayan Al Kalbani of Mazoon Environmental and Technological Services.

The final session of the series was moderated by Dr. Nadiya Al Saady, Executive Director, Oman Animal, Plant & Genetic Resources Center. According to Al Saady, both traditional and emerging industries will rely on science, technology, engineering and mathematics -trained workers to ensure future economic success.

The discussion pointed out that changes in the global economy are increasing and stressed the need for science, technology, engineering and mathematics trained personnel.

The discussion also touched on why the representation of women is less in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workplace.

STEM is a natural priority in this region, said the panelists.

The Oman at Work seminar also discussed why there is a need for a shift in the approach to teaching and leveraging science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

According to Sana Al Balushi, the arts are a necessary adjunct to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

Also, the speakers emphasized that private foundations should focus on developing Omani innovation.

“We must offer opportunities to Omanis and believe in their abilities. Omani skills are historically known in various areas,” says Dr Wael Al Harrasi.

The infrastructure in Oman is ready to accept science, technology, engineering and mathematics experts, and there are many opportunities in Oman, the panelists noted.

The four evenings of discussion received positive feedback from participants.

The panelists agreed that the country must be united to equip Oman’s citizens with the modern science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills they need to compete. Panelists also said that all sectors need to recognise that the demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics -trained Omani talent is only going to increase in the years to come.

Following this discussion, the four part Oman at Work seminar series came to an end. The series was designed by Ithraa, Oman’s inward investment and export promotion agency, to help Oman’s public and private sector better understand the challenges and opportunities of today’s evolving work environment.