Twenty scientists from the German Geological Society explore Oman´s mountains, deserts and coasts

MUSCAT Twenty members of the German Geological Society from various universities and research institutions are currently visiting the Sultanate of Oman. The German Geological Society runs the expedition the fifth time. The idea to run fieldtrips and expeditions around Oman is based on the good cooperation between the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and leading Universities of Technology in Germany. Prof. Dr. Gösta Hoffmann from the University of Bonn is the leading scientist of the current expedition. He has been teaching and researching at GUtech for many years and he is the main author of a recently published book on the Geology of Oman: “For me it is a pleasure to invite my colleagues to visit Oman. It is such a beautiful country where certain rock formations allow us to understand how our planet works. Such places are unique in the world and most of them easily accessible in Oman. For example, the country is blessed to offer the opportunity to study the transition between different layers of the Earth. Usually these rocks are not to be found on the surface but they are in Oman.” Furthermore, Prof. Hoffmann lined out that Oman has a very rich archaeological record. This proofs the very long history of the country.

“The benefits to come to Oman and explore the mountains, deserts and coasts are that Oman is a safe country and the geology is spectacular,” said Prof Dr. Martin Meschede, President of the Umbrella Organisation of Geosciences (Dachverband Geowissenschaften, DVGeo). The German Geological Society (Deutsche Geologische Gesellschaft – Geologische Vereinigung: DGGV) has about 3,600 members from universities, industry, and private economy.

Prof. Dr. Martin Meschede pointed out that a trustful local partner is necessary to operate such fieldtrips: “The logistic part of the trip is organised by Golden Highlands. This company has a long experience in conducting these trips for us.” In addition, in a joint effort, the participants of the field excursion together with the local partners from Golden Highlands cleaned the beach at Ras Ruawais in Ash Sharqiyah region from garbage left behind by other visitors. “It is our ambition to keep the country clean so that our visitors go back home with positive impressions. It was a memorable experience to run this clean-up as a joint effort with German professors,” said Mansoor al Shabibi the CEO of Golden Highlands while adding: “We plan to clean other places with other groups in the future. One of the most beautiful places is Wadi al Abbyad. We will also check the situation in Ras Ruwais and clean again in the future if necessary.” Prof. Martin adds that the situation already improved a lot:” When we first visited the place a couple of years ago, it was much worse.” Prof Gösta concluded that it is worth working together to preserve Oman´s natural wonders for future generations.

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Group photo: Twenty members of the German Geological Society from various universities and research institutions are currently visiting the Sultanate of Oman. The group is headed by Prof. Dr. Gösta Hoffmann, Geoscientist at University of Bonn.

 

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New MSc programme in Applied Geosciences – focus on hydrogeology, hydrocarbons and minerals

HALBAN The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) will launch a part-time Master’s programme in Applied Geosciences in September this year. “The programme in Oman focuses on an area which is of key importance to the region’s present and future: Energy, water and mineral resources. A strong emphasis is placed on the employability of our graduates. Many elements of the programme will be accomplished in cooperation with local and international partners from universities in Europe, e.g. RWTH Aachen University and companies in the region” said Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences. The degree programme will be taught in English, including written and oral tests, seminar papers and the Master thesis. The programme may offer the opportunity to travel to Europe to complete coursework at RWTH Aachen or any other University in Germany.

“Numerous mineral resources have been found in Oman, such as copper, chromite, and manganese but the country has also vast resources of industrial minerals. Currently, more than 250 mining and quarrying operations are active; their production accounts for 33% of Oman’s total non-oil exports. In this booming environment, and taking into consideration that exploration for non-hydrocarbons is still at a very early stage, the job opportunities for graduates specialized in mineral resources are considered as very good,” said Prof. Wilfried, who is specialized in mining and who has taught in Germany and Madagascar and was active in geological mapping and exploration for the British Geological Survey and private companies.

Applied Geosciences graduates are also involved in the petroleum industry in the Middle East and elsewhere. This trend is likely to continue as advanced technology is needed to exploit this non-renewable resource. Well-trained and highly motivated geoscience specialists will be on demand, despite the recent economic downturn and the decreased oil prize.

Water is a highly important topic in water-scarce countries in the Gulf region. In Oman the water resources management is lead by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR). Moreover, big commercial activities, e.g. for oil and mining companies as well as large industrial producers, mostly have aspects related to water and thus require experts in that field.

The first three semesters focus on fundamental skills needed for Applied Geosciences in general and they give an overview of the three electives: minerals, water and hydrocarbons. Semester 4 and 5 will integrate the material presented earlier by focusing on advanced applications of these skills in the specialisation PGEO (petroleum geosciences), HGEO (hydrogeology) and MGEO (mineral geosciences). It is during this stage that students have to complete two project modules, including a practical project and the MSc project, either nationally or internationally.

(c) GUtech/Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Prof. Wilfried Bauer; Photo: GUtech/ AGEO Dep.

GUtech team succeeds in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia

HALBAN The GUtech team ‘Megalodon’ has successfully completed the Shell Eco-marathon Asia  in Singapore last Sunday. With a final result of 118.7km for one litre the GUtech team achieved the 3rd place in the diesel category, behind universities from Japan and the Philippines. The team also ranked 17th out of 30 in the Internal Combustion Engine (prototype ICE). Their challenge was to drive as long as possible while using only 1 litre of diesel fuel. “Overall, we achieved all that we had aimed for, which were to pass inspection and get a few runs on track. Our final attempt recorded 118.7km per litre was okay for us,” said Neeraj Krishnan, Mechanical Engineering student and the team leader.

The GUtech team was the only participating team from Oman after the team from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) had pulled out their participation. Initially, the Megalodon team passed all technical inspections. The weight of the vehicle was 75kg without the driver Iman Al Maawali. The female GUtech Process Engineering student drove the GUtech eco-friendly car.

“The student team lead by Neeraj have done a great job and largely improved the efficiency of the vehicle compared to previous years,” said Prof. Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis, Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at GUtech. The material for the body of the car used was different than last year but with the same diesel engine.

The Megalodon team was sponsored by Shell Oman and GUtech.

GUtech’s Megalodon Team members:

Neeraj Krishnan (team manager)

Iman Al Maawali (driver)

Al Jaziya Al Nazwani (reserve driver)

Ahmed Al Amri (team member)

Ahmed Al Dhuhli (team member)

Ashwaq Al Harthi (team member)

Prof. Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis, supervisor of the team

Caption: GUtech team Megalodon after the competition in Singapore

(c) Text: GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet, Photo: GUtech/ Engineering Department

The GUtech team has dispatched their eco-friendly car to Singapore

HALBAN Six GUtech Engineering students of the team ‘Megalodon’ are currently preparing for the Asia Shell Eco-marathon to take place next week in Singapore. The GUtech students hope that their ideas and inventions can contribute to building lighter and eco-friendlier cars in future. Their newly developed car was shipped to Singapore a few days ago. Prior to the departure, the team members and their advising Engineering professor had time to speak about their month-long preparations and the special driving strategy that they will apply. The whole team started the project in November. For the second time an Omani female GUtech Process Engineering student, Iman Al Maawali, will drive the eco-friendly car. As in previous years the GUtech team will compete in the category prototype diesel, against more than 100 other student teams. Their challenge will be to drive as long as possible while using only 1 l of diesel.

“It is a great experience for us. I learnt more about building a car and how to improve its efficiency,” said 3rd year Process Engineering student Al Jaziya Al Nazwani, who worked long hours along with her team colleagues. She added: “I would like to work with Shell in future. The Eco-marathon is a good opportunity for us to learn more about Mechanical Engineering.” She was involved in manufacturing the chassis, the body of the car and the steering system. The material of the body and chassis is aluminium and carbon fibre. The GUtech team including three female students will participate for the fourth time in the Asian competition that was held in Singapore and Manila in previous years. Compared to the past years many features were improved. Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis of the Engineering Department supervised and advised the team during their preparation for the Eco-Marathon. The GUtech Eco-marathon team is sponsored by Shell Oman and GUtech.

GUtech’s Megalodon Team members:

Neeraj Krishnan (team manager)

Iman Al Maawali (driver)

Al Jaziya Al Nazwani (reserve driver)

Ahmed Al Amri (team member)

Ahmed Al Dhuhli (team member)

Ashwaq Al Harthi (team member)

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(c) GUtech/Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

GUtech signs MoU with Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences

HALBAN To enhance scientific and academic cooperation as well as cultural exchange, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HNU) in Germany on Tuesday. The MoU was signed by Prof. Dr. Uta M. Feser, President of HNU and Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech.

The research activities and academic cooperation between both universities will focus on the field of International Business and Service Management (IBSM) and Logistics (LOG). The joint activities will include the exchange of faculty members, the exchange of students including internship opportunities as well as joint research and publications and the exchange of academic information and materials. “From the summer semester onwards, we are looking forward to sending up to three students per semester to HNU. In a first step, a group of our Logistics and IBSM students will be selected to study and conduct their internships at HNU. Last year one student from HNU studied for one semester at our Logistics Department,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Head of the Department of Logistics, International Business and Service Management at GUtech.

“We at HNU educate managers and specialists who have an international experience and who are result-oriented,” said Prof. Dr. Uta Feser, President of HNU adding that cross-cultural communication and team work are important. “We train our students to work in teams, while fostering the application of theory in practise.” Around 4,000 students are currently studying at HNU. The university has 70 professors and 40 research assistants. The university has three academic faculties: Business and Economics, Information Management, Health Management and a Centre for Professional and Postgraduate Studies. The University of Applied Sciences is located in the South Bavarian city of Neu-Ulm, which is an important hub for logistics, engineering, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. The university has around 70 partner universities around the world, all students of HNU have to conduct internships for one semester.

The signing of the MoU was part of a visit of a delegation of professors and 24 students from HNU to GUtech, headed by Prof. Dr. Sibylle Brunner, Professor for Economics. The HNU delegation is conducting a cultural excursion to the Sultanate of Oman organized by students from different departments and held annually to different places around the world. End of last year HNU hosted the Omani exhibition “Tolerance, Understanding and Coexistence” on campus for one month.

During a campus tour at GUtech, the German students were impressed of the facilities and the architecture of the GUtech campus. “I am visiting Oman for the first time. Before my travel, I have studied the Middle East. Oman is a very special, peaceful country,” said Oliver Stadlhofer, who is in the 2nd year of the MA programme in Advanced Management at HNU.

Caption: The MoU was signed by Prof. Dr. Uta M. Feser, President of HNU and Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech.

(c) GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet