Students participated in the prestigious Geosciences “Flügel Course”

BARKA Six students of the Department of Applied Geosciences (AGEO) at GUtech participated in the International Course on Carbonate Microfacies 2017 at the Geocenter of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany) recently. Four students who are all in their final year in Applied Geosciences: Amal Al Shahaibi, Amani Qasim, Ibtisam Al Kharusi and Wafa Al Ismaili received scholarships comprising the course fees and accommodation on campus. The criteria for the award of the scholarships included the students performance and their motivation in course-relevant subjects. The annual “Flügel Course” is held under the umbrella of the German Geological Society (DGGV). The course strongly supports students interested in working in the field of Carbonate Reservoir Geology and in the Limestone Industry.

The Carbonate Course at the Geocenter covers all classic and modern aspects of carbonate sedimentology. Lectures by professors from several German Universities are held in English. These lectures cover different topics of carbonate microfacies in addition to exercises with so-called thin sections and sediment samples. The main focus of the course is on recent developments in carbonate sedimentology.

The Geocenter of the University Erlangen-Nürnberg owns a world renowned, one-of-a-kind collection of carbonate thin-sections and sediment samples. The famous annual “Flügel Course” is named after its initiator, the late Prof. Dr. Erik Flügel, a renown palaeontologist who launched the course in 1976. Until today, 1500 geoscientists from the academia and the industry attended the course. Next month the first “Flügel Course” will be held at GUtech. The one-week course will be open to Applied Geosciences students studying at the university.

Save Water – The World Water Day celebrated at GUtech

HALBAN According to the motto “Save Water for Future Generations” the World Water Day was celebrated at GUtech under the auspices of H.E. Ali bin Mohammed Al Abri, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources. Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy-Rector for Administration and Finances at GUtech addressed the audience in his welcome speech, while pointing out the importance of water for our lives and for the economy of the country. Therefore, it is important to use water wisely and to save if for future generations. GUtech has initiated various awareness campaigns and research projects to generate more knowledge about saving water. GUtech’s Department of Applied Geosciences recently signed an agreement with Wageningen University in the Netherlands to conduct joint research on harvesting rainwater while preventing flash floods in Oman. In order to mitigate climate change in the region, the project may be extended to reforestation and future agriculture projects.

The World Water Day event at GUtech was accompanied by an exhibition including various private companies and government institutions dealing with water. Water optimizing equipment, an art and photography exhibition and school and university students’ projects were displayed.

According to the Public Authority for Electricity and Water who was among the exhibitors at GUtech, the water production in Oman rose by around 6 % to more than 300 million m3 in 2015 compared to the previous year. Around 80 % of the water produced in the country comes from desalination plants in Al Gubrah, Barka, Sohar and Sur. In addition, there are small desalination plants in eight governorates. Around 20% of the water comes from wells in rural areas in the Interior of the country. Currently, there is no surface water in Oman. However, work is underway to bring water supplies from the Wadi Dayqah Dam to the capital area.

Megalodon team prepares for Shell eco-marathon

SINGAPORE The Megalodon team from GUtech is preparing their car named ‘Diesel Meister’ for the Shell eco-marathon Asia 2017 at the Changi Exhibition Center in Singapore. A seven-member student team participates in the diesel category. GUtech participates for the third time in the Eco-marathon. For the first time Al Shifa Al Hadi, an Omani female Computer Science student will drive the eco-car. On Saturday the Megalodon team successfully passed the inspections.

Last year, after passing all technical checks the students drove a specific fuel consumption of 0.6 l per 100 km.

Smart Cities: Facing Future Challenges

BARKA More and more people live in cities worldwide. However, geographical space, food and energy are limited. According to latest research, by 2050 around 9 billion people will live on our planet. Researchers suggest that we would need 6 more planets if we continue with the current lifestyle. How will future cities look like? What are the challenges for so-called smart cities?

On this topic The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) recently conducted a morning event for a group of students from the French School Muscat. “Generating energy from nature to reduce the CO2 emissions and reducing energy consumption will be important issues for future cities,” said Dr. Oualid Ben Ali, Head of the Training and Smart Solutions Center at GUtech and president of He has been researching the topic for many years. During his talk to the students, he referred to smart cities with zero CO2 emissions like Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. Dr Oualid suggested that smart cities will offer many opportunities for new jobs that do not exist today and that students should be open and prepared for these challenges.

”Smart or future cities are expected to host revolutionary solutions for daily life challenges, including health, education, logistics, social problems, and transportation. To address these challenges, the so called ‘Internet of Things’ is attracting increasing attention for its promising capabilities to collect, process, and share data about a wide range of objects and events in timely fashion.” said Dr. Nafaa Jabeur, Head of the Computer Science Department at GUtech. Dr. Nafaa presented a newly developed smart car based on a mobile app and Arduino hardware. He also showed to the students how such tools could be used to create simple and efficient customized solutions to control house appliances.

Towards the end of the morning session, the Urban Planning Department of GUtech asked the students to draw their ideas about future cities, which included ideas on introducing solar and water energy, green houses and more public transportation (pictured).

As part of GUtech’s community engagement, the university offers regular talks on various topics to schools.

Geoscientists sign agreement on Water Research with Dutch University

BARKA The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has signed a Letter of Intent on conducting joint research projects in the field of water scarcity with Wageningen University in the Netherlands this week. The signing ceremony was joined by H.E. Barbara Joziasse, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Oman and a delegation of Dutch water experts. The joint agreement was initiated and signed by the Netherlands Oman Foundation of Amsterdam.

The main objective of the agreement is to research practical methods for harvesting rainwater while preventing flash floods in Oman. In future, the project may be extended to reforestation and further agriculture projects, which help mitigate the effects of climate change in the Sultanate of Oman. Wageningen University has been successfully working on various water scarcity projects in Kenya, Mali and Vietnam. “Working with Wageningen University provides us with state-of-the art practical and experimental experience. We can easily introduce the techniques applied in other countries here in Oman and therefore improve our water management capabilities. The overall goal is to slow the rainwater on its way to the sea and to give it some time to filter into the ground,” said Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Holzbrecher, Hydrogeologist at GUtech, Department of Applied Geosciences (AGEO).

“We are thrilled to be part of this partnership. Even though it does not rain in Oman, when it rains it pours. With this project we would like to show that every raindrop counts. Every drop of rain that ends up in the sea and has not been harvested is a wasted drop,” said Dr. Philippe Ker Rault of the Environmental Research Team Water and Food at Wageningen University.

“This cooperation means that the Sultanate creates more capacity and knowledge to harvest rainwater more effectively. The research will add directly to the flash flood prevention and to higher levels of sub soil water reserve depletion. It is then possible to stop desertification and re-cultivate large areas with existing rainfall,” said Peter van Ees, Chairman of the Netherlands Oman Foundation. He added that corporations in Oman and the Netherlands will be given opportunities to financially endorse the project and use their support to their corporate social responsibility.

Eco-marathon car sent to Singapore

The eco-friendly car developed for the Shell Eco-marathon by a team of eight GUtech students was flown to Singapore recently. The team of Engineering and Computer Science students have placed the car inside a special wooden box including some padding. For the third time GUtech will participate in this global competition. The GUtech team will travel to Singapore along with their professors this week. The team is excited to be part of the big event. They have conducted a test drive last week on campus.

For the first time a female student will drive the car. “I was very interested participating in the competition. I was responsible for the software automatic programming of the car.” Said Shifa Al Hadi, 4th year student in Computer Science. The computer programme will improve the car’s efficiency and reduce fuel consumption. “It will mainly focus on sensing and reporting car-related parameters to the driver.” Said Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis, who has been advising the team on Engineering issues throughout their project. Mr Ali Alhumairi, lecturer at the Computer Science Department at GUtech actively advised Al Shifa about programming and the electronics hardware. The seven team members are very thankful to all their sponsors and supporters throughout the past months. Shell Development Oman, Oman Air, Oman Cables, Europoles Middle East, Engineering Village, Turbo Team and GUtech.

The GUtech ‘Megalodon team’ consists of the following members:

Mohamed Salman (team leader)

Al Shifa Al-Hadi (driver)

Arjawan Al-Hajri

Tejas Janardhan

Adhir Kallingapuram

Navaneeth Sadasivan

Yousef Dak Al Bab

Ayman El Yatmi

Students receive German language certificates from the Goethe Institut

A group of GUtech 15 students has successfully passed the German language certificate, Language Exam A1 of the Goethe Institut, the German Language and Culture Centre. Studying German is part of the curricula at GUtech. “The certificate is the first internationally recognized German language certificate that has been issued by the Goethe Institut,” said Andrea Cornelissen, German lecturer at GUtech and representative of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Oman. Students study the language for three semesters. However, the language of tuition at GUtech is English.

GUtech is planning to conduct the German exam on a regular basis. The 90 minutes exam evaluates the speaking, writing and listening skills of students. Some students had the chance to practice their language skills in Germany. “We travelled to Germany last summer to attend the German language course at RWTH Aachen University. We learnt a lot by communicating with other students during sightseeing trips or during the Omani Night that was organized by us on campus,” said Marwa Al Mahrooqi, 3rd year Process Engineering student and Abir Al Ansari, 3rd year Computer Science student. Both wish to persue their further studies in Germany. “I would like to reach a higher level of German and continue my studies or conduct an internship in Germany,” said Marwa. Although English is widely used in international companies and at universities, it is an asset to speak and communicate in German on a daily basis.

GUtech fosters exchange between Germany and Oman, especially through its German partner-university RWTH Aachen University. Each year a large number of GUtech students from various departments participate in language courses, laboratory courses or field-excursions to Germany that usually include RWTH Aachen University. 103,5 million people are German-native speakers in Europe. It is one of the most important languages worldwide and the most spoken language within the European Union. German is the official language in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.