BSc Computer Science Students Conducted their Thesis at RWTH Aachen University

“It has been a truly outstanding lifetime experience”

HALBAN Studying abroad and in a different environment educates and broadens the horizon. Hana and Abeer are two GUtech students who conducted their bachelor thesis at GUtech’s German partner-university, RWTH Aachen University, last semester. Hana Rasheed Al Raisi, has been studying Computer Science at GUtech. “Considering the high recognition and exposure that I have received on an international scale while undertaking my bachelor thesis at RWTH Aachen University has been a truly outstanding lifetime experience for me. I proudly state, I have confronted the challenges and seized my dreams,” said Hana. She conducted her Bachelor thesis at the Chair of Communication and Distribution Systems at RWTH Aachen University where she was supervised by Dr. Oliver Hohlfeld and Helge Reelfs for four months. During her time at RWTH Aachen University, she was part of an international team of researchers and she analysed a social network named ‘Jodel’, which is very popular in Saudi Arabia. “I was part of a team consisting of professors and their Bachelor and Master students. The social network ‘Jodel’ is heavily used in Saudi Arabia. It is about microblogging, like Twitter. But it distinguishes itself by a combination of unique design decisions: being local and anonymous,” explained Hana. For her thesis she analysed  the social media network using different methods. “I also researched related work and got inspired with possible questions of interest and how they may be answered methodically. Also, I worked on extending the analysis further by getting a deeper understanding of the application usage in Saudi Arabia and measuring its results qualitatively and computationally,” said Hana while adding that she is very glad about her study experience at RWTH Aachen.

Abir Al Ansari conducted her Bsc thesis at RWTH University in the Embedded Software Laboratory of the Department of Computer Sciences. Her bachelor thesis was entitled: “Evaluation of the lwIP stack with respect to real-time UDP communication on resource constrained platforms.” It was integrated in a research project on mobilities in cities including self-driving cars. “I finalized and presented my thesis on the 3rd of August. However, I extended my stay for one more month to write the thesis report. During my stay in Aachen, I lived in the student accommodation. It was a great opportunity to get familiar with the research environment in the Computer Science Department in RWTH University, communication with students and attending Bachelor and Master thesis presentations.” She said. Abeer thinks about her future. “RWTH University is one of the universities that I would choose for my MSc studies. In general, Aachen is very nice city and suitable for students.” she said.

© Text: GUtech/Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photos by Abir Al Ansari

First SAP Next-Gen Innovation Lab in Oman launched at GUtech

HALBAN To foster the links between the academia and the industry, the first of its kind SAP Next-Gen-Lab in Oman was inaugurated at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in cooperation with SAP, one of the leading enterprise software corporations yesterday afternoon. The laboratory was launched by members of the Rectorate of GUtech and the SAP Country General Manager, Mr. Waheed Al Hamaid and in the presence of a number of representatives from the industry in Oman and from the German Embassy. “There are currently around 100 SAP Next-Gen Labs worldwide. These special laboratories provide students with knowledge and skills for a digital future. They also connect the SAP ecosystem of customers and partners with students to work on SAP Next-Gen projects and events to connect companies recruiting next generation leaders with students and graduates who have digital transformation knowledge and skills and to showcase their start-ups with corporates seeking to create innovative solutions,” said Waheed Al Hamaid.

“We are very honored to introduce the first SAP Next-Gen-Lab here at GUtech. We wish to create a special space where our Computer Sciences, Engineering, Geosciences, International Business and Logistics students can interact with companies worldwide and work with them on industry-related challenges, for example in the Logistics sector. This laboratory is a co-creation between the academia, students and the industry. It is a working space built on design-thinking principles to stimulate and encourage innovative thinking, collaboration and knowledge-sharing,” said Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, Vice-Rector for Administration and Finances at GUtech. The SAP Next-Gen Lab connects customers to academic ‘thought leaders’ and researchers, students, start-ups, business accelerators, tech community partners, venture firms, futurists and SAP experts. “This unique cooperation will also help build innovations linked to the 17 UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development,” said Heiderose Moossen, Manager Training and Smart Solutions Center (TSSC) at GUtech who initiated the setting up of the Next-Gen Lab at GUtech. Similar SAP Labs already exist on the Arabian Peninsula in Saudi Arabia, at Prince Sultan University, at King Abdulaziz University and in the UAE.

“We are very delighted to welcome GUtech to our SAP Next-Gen Labs global network, which is specifically structured to encourage close collaboration between academia and industry,” said Wissam Kadi, SAP Next-Gen Director in MENA while adding: “The combination between GUtech academic programmes and SAP’s solutions and breakthrough technologies will open up new learning opportunities for students to develop their future-ready tech skills.” Using the SAP Leonardo platform, a digital innovation system, the university will foster a digitally educated, next generation talent pool with skills in both enterprise systems and digital innovation, with analytics, machine learning, blockchain technology and other expertise.

Universities which open an SAP Next-Gen Lab get the opportunities to open new channels to share ‘thought leadership’ and collaborate with other ‘thought leaders’ in the academia and in the industry on the technologies and innovation methodologies driving the future digital transformation of all industries.

SAP started in 1972, when five entrepreneurs in Germany had a vision for the business potential of technology. Starting with one customer and only a few employees, SAP set out on a path that would not only transform the world of information technology, but also forever alter the way companies do business. SAP empowers people and organisations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP is operating in various industry sectors, such as energy and natural resources, public services, consumer industries, consumer industries, financial services as well as in discrete industries such as the automobile industry.

Caption:

Group photo during the opening of the SAP Next-Gen-Lab, inaugurated at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in cooperation with SAP.

(c) Text: GUtech / Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: Umaima Al Zadjali

First ‘Solar Training Programme’ to be established in Oman

GUtech signs MoU with Hussam Technology Company and Three Pillars Consulting

HALBAN To boost the solar energy sector and training of Omanis in the Sultanate of Oman, The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hussam Technology Company LLC (HTC) and Three Pillars Consulting (TPC). The goal of this unique cooperation is to establish the first ‘Solar Training Programme’ in Oman on GUtech’s campus in Halban, just outside of Muscat. This Training Programme is being sponsored by BP Oman’s latest round of Social Investment Programme, and was awarded to and implemented by HTC, along with their partners TPC and Solar Energy International (SEI).

Recently a number of projects and policies have been initiated in response to the role that solar energy will play in the Sultanate of Oman. “We are very glad to participate in the founding of a special Solar Training Programme at GUtech” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. BP Oman will sponsor the supply of the outdoor training facilities and along with HTC, TPC and SEI a total of 3 training classes will be delivered per year. GUtech has agreed to provide the indoor classroom and outdoor training spaces required for such a programme, over the course of an initial 3-year period. The outdoor space will be roughly 400 m2 and provide the capacity to train upwards of 30 students per session.

“Germany has the largest installed solar power generation capacity per capita” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Modigell. He went on to say that “[GUtech] would like to capitalize on the even greater amount of readily available solar resources here in Oman and are looking forward to helping facilitate this state-of-the art Solar Training Programme.” The training curriculum developed by SEI has been used internationally to prepare interested persons who want the work in the photovoltaic sector. It has been further localised with the help of HTC and TPC to meet Oman’s codes and standards. Enrolment into the Programme is open for all but particularly for interested Omani residents. “We expect a wide spectrum of trainees to attend this course, from fresh graduates, to mid-career engineers, consultants and others who might want to participate in this exciting distributed energy generation sector that we see provide great opportunity for local Omani entrepreneurship and employment” said Dr. Firas Al-Abduwani, CEO of HTC.

As well, the students and staff at GUtech will also benefit from the immediate access to the facilities of the Training Programme, which they intend to also use for hands-on academic purposes. GUtech offers several BEng and BSc programmes in which their participation in this Programme will be a great benefit to their students. “In this special training programme, students in Environmental Engineering as well as in Process Engineering, for example, will be able to use and improve their knowledge directly in a hands-on setting using hardware and systems they would see in the real world,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell. The benefits of this have already started to be seen, as several groups of students from the Urban Planning and Development department, under the instruction of Professor Alexander Kader and Lecturer Petrit Pasha, just participated in a design competition to create the first iteration of the outdoor training facilities. “The students really impressed us with both their design talents and skills but also their motivation and understanding of how important and unique this programme is for Oman” said Michael Tsang, CEO of Three Pillars Consulting. The winner of the design competition will help in the final design of the training facility, which is expected to be built by February 2018. “This is just the start of what we think will be a very fruitful and valuable collaboration”, reflected GUtech’s Ali Humairi, who has been working closely with HTC and TPC on the development of this agreement.

One of the main courses that we are offering our engineering students is on the topic of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Having such professional training programme may motivate the students and give them the opportunity to run some experiments. “I am more than happy to see that the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science is hosting and being part of the first professional solar training programme which may bring the awareness of solar technology in Oman”, said Najah Al Mhanna, Dean of Faculty of Engineering and computer Science.

“In the beginning of the project, the biggest motivation to implement this project is that this project meets the GUtech Vision and Mission to serve the community in Oman”, said Mr. Ali Al-Humairi, Lecturer in the Computer Science Department and the CSR Focal Point.

 

Ends

 

Computer Science students awarded to create their own businesses soon

MUSCAT A student project of the Department of Computer Sciences at GUtech was selected for incubation and will become an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) start-up soon. The student’s Bee App was selected out of 69 participating teams; it aims at transforming the retail sector. The project was among the best three graduation projects of the ‘Upgrade’ programme. The Bee App was presented by Sultan Al Subhi, Alya Said Al Shanfari and Hana Al Raisi from GUtech’s Department of Computer Science. The project will get seed funds and incubation at SAS for Entrepreneurship of the Information Technology Authority for three years. While the project designers will have ownership of the companies, they will have to work towards preserving the intellectual property rights.

Another GUtech team was among the best nine teams: Alshifa al Hadi (Computer Science) and Ayman Elyatmi (Mechanical Engineering) were awarded for their innovative Darb.com. “It is an online C2C and B2C marketplace, creating a new interactive environment between customers and vendors. It is also an alternative to manual cash-payment as it provides a full e-commerce marketplace experience,” said Alshifa. Mohammed Yahya al Salmi, senior manager of Corporate Communications at Omantel said: “We are looking forward to seeing these projects in reality as start-ups that enrich the ICT sector in Oman and supporting the Sultanate’s efforts towards the digital transformation, broadband Internet and communications networks and hence, creating a positive change in the community.”

 

GUtech’s Beta Team Wins Microsoft’s Regional Imagine Cup in Beirut

HALBAN GUtech’s Beta Team has won Microsoft’s Regional Imagine Cup Competition held in Beirut recently. The team competed against 47 students in 17 teams from the Middle East and Africa. One month ago, the ‘Beta Team’ won the first prize in the Oman competition. The student team will compete in the global final competition in Seattle (USA) in July, where more than 50 teams from around the world will participate. “Our project ‘Bee’ is an app that is connected with Beacons technology for retail shops. It aims to provide customers with a unique, smart shopping experience while improving the understanding and the context of the world around the app users. Bee aims to enhance the customer experience of shoppers and to empower retailers,” said Alya Al Shanfari from the Beta Team who participated along with the team members Hana Rasheed and Sultan Mohsin Mohammed Al Subhi (pictured).

The Regional Imagine Cup Competition in Beirut was held in partnership with the President of the Council of Ministers, His Excellency Saad Hariri, the GIST initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s and the American University of Beirut. Elizabeth Richard, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon attended the closing ceremony. The Imagine Cup is supported by Microsoft Oman and Omantel.

 

 

Boot Camp about the “Internet of Things”

The Computer Science Club of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in cooperation with Google Development Group Muscat, has organized for the first time a public workshop, a so-called ‘Boot camp’ about the ‘Internet of Things’ last week. Around 30 high school students and university students from around the Sultanate attended the one-day event that was held at GUtech.

The speakers were mainly students who are studying Computer Sciences at GUtech or they were part of the ‘Engineering Village’ organization that creates awareness about engineering issues or the Google Internet group based in Muscat. During the event GUtech students explained the Arduino Smart Technology on various examples, such as a light sensor for automatic street lights and humidity and temperature sensors. Therefore giving participants the opportunity to create their own projects and get hands-on experiences with the Arduino Smart Technology.

text: GUtech/Manuela Gutberlet

Visit GUtech during Ghedex – “Computer scientists provide smart solutions for our everyday lives”

GUtech participates in the annual Global Higher Education Exhibition Ghedex 2017. The exhibition is held between 18-20 April at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center in Muscat. During Ghedex a number of GUtech academic and administrative staff of different departments will respond to enquiries. Visit the GUtech stand.

Representatives of the Computer Science (CS) Department will be at the GUtech stand during the whole exhibition. Computer experts are high in demand. They design and manage communication infrastructures that generates content and services to a large number of people. “Computer sciences is a global field with many local and international job perspectives. “Our world is full of devices on which a myriad of computer programmes are being used to capture, store, process, and exchange data through highly evolving networking infrastructures. Recent trends use this ecosystem to generate and provide people with smart solutions for their everyday lives,” said Prof. Dr. Nafaa Jabeur, Head of the Department of Computer Sciences at GUtech. The CS department is currently working on a number of projects related to the topics such as smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT), where sensors and hardware equipment are endowed with artificial intelligent capabilities to provide customized services for various needs.

In order to provide students with better insights on the techniques used in these smart projects, Prof. Nafaa is travelling from April 25 to May 5 with a group of 3rd and 4th year CS students to Germany. The excursion is sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The group will attend a workshop about the Internet of Things at the renowned German Research Center, the Fraunhofer Institute in Bonn. The group will also travel to GUtech’s partner-university in Germany, RWTH Aachen University and the University of Bremen. At both universities they will meet with professors and students and visit research laboratories.

The CS curricula at GUtech covers many important topics, including networking, database, mobile applications, security, and programming. “These topics are of high in demand in Oman and worldwide,” said Prof Nafaa. “Ensuring the security of our data, our computing platforms, and our communication infrastructures from growing numbers of cyber threats will be increasing the demands for computer scientists”, he said.

GUtech graduates in Computer Sciences are employed in the private and public sectors in Oman and abroad. Some of them have continued their graduate studies abroad, for example in Germany, UK, Australia and other countries.

In addition to the BSc Computer Science programme, GUtech offers the following Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering programmes: BSc in Urban Planning and Architectural Design, BSc in Applied Geosciences, BSc in Logistics, BSc in International Business and Service Management, BEng in Mechanical Engineering, BEng in Process Engineering, and BEng in Environmental Engineering. All GUtech study-programmes are internationally accredited by the German accreditation institute ACQUIN.  In the near future GUtech is expected to open new Master programmes in Geosciences, Industrial Engineering, and in Computer Science.

Photo & Text by GUtech/ Manuela Gutberlet

 

A Young Innovator talk for Generation Z held at the British School Muscat

MUSCAT During an inspiring, motivational talk held at the British School Muscat yesterday Assoc. Professor Basel Dayyani, Department of Computer Science at the Germany University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) encouraged the young school students to think as inventors, creating ideas from an early age onwards, while helping to solve everyday problems. Computer Science is not only about programming but about “how to think” about problems our world is facing, said Prof. Basel Dayyani, during an afternoon talk entitled “The Young Innovator”.

Inventions could be “anything that makes you more comfortable in everyday life. Anything that brings comfort and is easy to use,” he said. “Once you like doing something it becomes fun and you can achieve many things. For example, I love to code with artificial intelligence,” he said. Currently Prof. Basel is involved in many projects such as programming software for Machine Learning as well as for the financial and health sector, e.g. for cancer detection. Professor Basel stressed that technology has become the second nature of the Generation Z, those born after 1997. At the same time it is important to play games, to do sports and to read in order to enhance the production of neurones in our brains and therefore to enhance imagination. “When children play with toys it is not a waste of time.”

Prof Basel Dayyani graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder from the Center of Astrodynamics Research. He is a former NASA scientist. He has worked on mapping the gravity field of Earth at NASA. He also worked in Silicon Valley/ California (USA) and he has over 30 years of experience in the software industry in different engineering fields, working for IBM, Microsoft, Parametric Technology, Synopsys and Unisys. During the talk Prof. Basel showed a short video about the NASA Mars exploration that started in the 1980s; Prof. Basel was part of the initial team that started its research about Mars already around 30 years back.

Looking back on his own work and career path, he had some strong and clear messages for the young innovators in the classroom. To achieve certain goals, patience, hard work and failures are essential. “To train for the World Cup you have to train hard,” he said while adding that failures are important for the entire learning process. “You will fail many times, but the tenth time you will succeed – do not give up. You learn from your failures. Keep on going until you find the solution,” he said, encouraging the students to pursue their ideas.

Prof. Basel Dayyani is teaching Software Engineering and programming at GUtech. The BSc in Computer Sciences at GUtech is a four year programme with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Information Systems.