GUtech and the Oman Oil and Orpic Group have signed a MoU

HALBAN The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), represented by the Rector, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell and the Oman Oil and Orpic Group, represented by Gilles Rochas, the GM Polymer Marketing, Orpic, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding last Thursday to collaborate on research projects, internship opportunities for Engineering students as well as excursions, professional seminars for GUtech students and any other activities that may support enriching the knowledge of the students. “Orpic’s production of Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) is about to increase to 1.4 million tons by next year; this collaboration with GUtech is so timely and instrumental in accelerating the execution of the circular economy agenda in the country,” said Gilles Rochas, General Manager Polymer Marketing, the Oman Oil and Orpic Group. One of the first joint projects will be on the setting up of a research project on “conversion of plastic waste to fuel” conducted by Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department at GUtech. “Our aim is to develop a novel and innovative process that provides a technical solution to one of the most persisting environmental problem in Oman and in the world. The new process will offer a sustainable solution for recycling million tons of plastic waste in Oman,” said Prof. Najah Al Mhanna.

(c) GUtech

Nobel Prize Laureate, Prof. Amano: “Towards a Zero Emission Society”

MUSCAT During an inspiring GUtech public talk by the Nobel Prize laureate (2014), Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano, held at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat last Wednesday, the Nobel winner called for an energy shift from oil-based economies towards renewable energies such as solar energy, reducing CO2 emissions by 80%. Prof. Amano stressed that an energy shift can prevent a further increase in temperatures worldwide. He and his research team are currently working on a long-term, interdisciplinary project to find innovative approaches towards developing a ‘Zero Emission Society”. Within this project, Prof. Amano and his colleagues have invented ‘movable offshore solar power stations’.  The so-called “Future Wireless Power Transmission Network” is an open innovation platform that develops sustainable, smart solutions for future energy challenges of our societies based on an Eco Research System. By using LED light, Japan reduced its annual electricity consumption by 7%. Today even in far reaching areas LED lights are used. A few years ago Prof. Amano visited Mongolia and was glad to see that LED lamps are used in the traditional Mongolian Ger tents.

Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano is a Doctor of Engineering and he is the Director of the Center for Integrated Research of Future Electronics (URFE) at the Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability (IMaSS) and he is the Director of the Akasaki Research Center at Nagoya University (Japan). He was awarded jointly for the Nobel Prize in Physics with Prof. Amano’s colleagues Prof. Dr. Isamu Akasaki and Prof. Dr. Shuji Nakamura in 2014. The three scientists received the Nobel Prize for their invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes LED lights which have enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.

Prof. Amanos talk entitled “Lighting the world with LEDs” and the “Internet of Energy” was held under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Abdul Munim bin Mansoor Al Hassani, Minister of Information, on Wednesday evening at Kempinski Hotel Muscat, Al Mouj. A number of dignitaries including H.E. Hilal Al Hinai, Secretary General of The Research Council (TRC) attended the event, which was organized by the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in cooperation with Kempinski Hotel Muscat. Prof. Amano was accompanied by a delegation from Nagoya University (Japan) and the former Japanese Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, H.E. Seigi Marimoto.

© GUtech/Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: Fatma Al Balushi

Engineering student gave a workshop on ‘Building a Smart System’ at Siegen University

SIEGEN / Germany. A fourth year Mechanical Engineering student at GUtech, Alazhar Al Azri, gave a workshop on “Building a Smart System in a Digital Fabrication (FAB) Lab” at Siegen University in Germany. Worldwide there exist more than 1,800 FAB labs. “A Fabrication Lab is a digital laboratory where you can make almost anything. It includes laser cutters, 3D Printers or a CNC machine that can be used to build even a car, a bicycle or some medical parts. One of the main goals of Alazhar’s internship is to support the establishment of a “Fabrication Lab” in Oman and that is open to the community,” said Ali Al-Humairi, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science and the Hardware Club Supervisor at GUtech. GUtech is planning to open a FAB Lab in cooperation with the FAB Lab of Siegen University. Alazhar who is also the president of the Hardware Club at GUtech is currently conducting his summer internship at Siegen University. “Training young Omani students like Alazhar is the first step towards establishing a Digital Fabrication Lab at GUtech,” said Ali Al-Humairi. The duration of a summer internship varies between 6-8 weeks. The main goal of the internship is to support the students learning process while applying the theoretical knowledge in practice. In addition, while traveling and working abroad, students learn about other cultures and languages.

GUtech has a number of laboratories on campus including a Hardware Laboratory, a Computer and Troubleshooting Laboratory, a Computer Network Laboratory in the Computer Science Department; and a Mechatronic and Measurement Technique Labs in the Engineering Department.

 

 

GUtech Public Talk: “The Internet of Energy” by Prof. Hiroshi Amano, Nobel Prize Laureate, 11 September at 7 pm, Kempinski Hotel Muscat

A GUtech Nobel Lecture  at the Kempinski Hotel, Al Mouj on 11 September at 7 pm

HALBAN Under the auspices of Dr. Abdul Munim bin Mansour Al Hasani, Minister of Information, the Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics (2014), Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano, will give a special Nobel lecture entitled “Internet of Energy” on Wednesday, 11 September at 7 pm at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat in Al Mouj. The Nobel lecture is open to the general public and organised by the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in cooperation with the Kempinski Hotel Muscat. “We are very honored to welcome Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano as a distinguished speaker. Prof. Amano is not only an outstanding scientist, he is a great teacher and communicator, being able to make the audience curious and let them understand the subject of his scientific research,” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech.

Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano was awarded jointly for the Nobel Prize in Physics with his colleagues Prof. Dr. Isamu Akasaki and Prof. Dr. Shuji Nakamura in 2014. The three scientists received the Nobel Prize for their invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources, LED lights. Prof. Amano initiated a network of scientists who works on the “Internet of Energy”.

Engineering student conducts an internship at the Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany

MUSCAT A GUtech student from the Department of Process Engineering, is currently conducting a two months internship at Faculty of Chemical Engineering of the Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe. During his internship, Khamis Hassan is involved in the institute’s research group that works on the chemical processes for manufacturing solar cells. “My supervisor is very kind, knowledgeable and he knows how to instruct students. In general, Karlsruhe is a nice place for engineering students because great engineering works like electromagnetic waves, cathode ray tubes and others were invented here. There are two large museums in the city centre, where you can learn a lot about the history of Karlsruhe and of Germany in general,” said Khamis who has been studying Process Engineering at GUtech in the past three years. His internship was organized through the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) worldwide and the IAESTE office in Oman. IAESTE is an association of national committees representing academic, industrial and student interests. IAESTE serves around 4000 students, 3000 employers and 1000 academic institutions through career-focused professional internships in Engineering and in Sciences abroad, including social and intercultural reception programmes, international networking and other career and employer branding activities in more than 80 countries worldwide. Since three years GUtech has been participating in the international exchange of engineering students. In exchange for the internship at the Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, GUtech’s Department of Engineering will welcome two international IAESTE students in the next semester.

 

 

 

Environmental Engineering students visit a Desalination Plant

HALBAN To learn more about desalination processes and power generation in Oman, a group of students of the Department of Environmental Engineering and their professor visited the NOMAC/ACWAPOWER  sea water desalination plant in Barka recently. On site the students were introduced to two different chemical processes such as the Multi Stage Flash (MSF) process as a thermal desalination process and the Reverse Osmosis (RO) as a membrane process. Overall, the visit was very fruitful and the group would like to thank NOMAC for receiving them on site.

“Our students were introduced to the main functions of a desalination plant prior to their visit to the site, they received a safety induction session which was delivered by one of the NOMAC staff from the safety and health department. After the induction students were divided into four groups and each group was guided by one of NOMAC engineers to follow for the site visit. The students were excited throughout the visit as it was a great opportunity for them to improve the theory with the practice through an industrial site visit,” said Prof. Dr. Hind Barghash, from the Department of Environmental Engineering at GUtech.

This industrial field-excursion is integrated within the course of Sea Water Desalination which is one of the mandatory courses taught to Environmental Engineering students in the third year of their Bachelor study-programme.

(c) GUtech; Text and Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Prof Dr. Hind Barghash

 

 

Zero Emissions Car: GUtech team participated in the Shell Eco-marathon 2019

HALBAN The GUtech team ‘Megalodon’ participated in the annual Shell-Eco-Marathon Asia competition ‘Make the Future’ that took place at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia between 29 April 29 and 2 May. The Shell Eco-marathon Asia is an annual competition held for student teams in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Over 100 teams from Asia and the Middle East demonstrated their self-built, energy-efficient, eco-friendly cars. The challenge is to use the least amount of energy for a long distance. In the past four years GUtech teams participated in the diesel category.

“This year, the team Megalodon made its debut as the first student team from the Middle East participating in the Prototype Category with a Hydrogen Fuel Cell three-wheel vehicle,” said Prof. Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis from the Mechanical Engineering Department at GUtech and supervisor of the team. “The competition is always very demanding, especially for all the hydrogen teams, having to meet high safety standards as well an advanced technical level. In my view, our GUtech team has gained important technical experience with Zero-Emissions Automobile Technologies during this competition and we all are very optimistic for great future achievements in this field,” said Prof. Bouzakis.

The GUtech team is grateful to all their sponsors and supporters: INFINITI Oman and PAINTGREE as well as Shell Oman and GUtech.

GUtech ‘Megalodon Team’ members:

Neeraj Krishnan Gopikrishnan, team manager

Hussam Al Siyabi, deputy team manager

Iman Al Maawali, driver

Al Jaziya Al Nazwani, reserve driver

Anoud Al Wahaibi, team member

Fatma El Sheibany, team member

Sadiyah Manidhar, team member

Sulaiman Al Shaaili, team member

Zamzam Al Farsi, team member

(c) GUtech

Current Situation and Future Direction of Mineral Resources Education in Oman discussed during the Oman Mining Expo

During the Oman Mining Expo 2019 which is currently held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech and Prof Dr. Frank Mattern from Sultan Qaboos University gave a presentation entitled: ‘Current Situation and Future Direction of the Mineral Resources Education in Oman’.

“With a growing mineral resources industry in Oman the demand for well-trained graduates and post-graduates in the field of geosciences will increase over the next years” said Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer. Therefore, applied geoscientists play a key role through the lifetime of a mining project that can take up to 20 years. Graduates in Applied Geosciences as well as specialist in Economic Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, and Geoengineering will have ample opportunities in the mining sector.

Over the next 5 years, approximately 70-80 graduates will graduate from both universities in Oman each year. According to internal surveys conducted at GUtech , up to 30% of these graduates consider continuing with Master studies abroad or in Oman. However, this number strongly depends on the availability of financial support for Master degrees. In countries with a developed mining industry, e.g. in the United States, the ratio between academically trained workforce in the mineral industry is 1 PhD-holder versus 2.2 Masters versus 6.5 Bachelor graduates. Taking into consideration that Oman’s basement is still underexplored, it is recommended that a high number of post-graduates can adjust standard mining methods and develop exploration programmes in largely greenfield settings.

“From a higher education perspective, a lack of mining engineers has been identified. This could be a bottleneck for future developments of the industry. During the last years, global employment rates of mining engineers were above 95%  which means there are limited open job opportunities on the global job market. From the side of the job seekers, Omani graduates are currently focusing on jobs in the oil and gas industry. It will be a challenge to create more interest in jobs in the mineral industry and attract the brightest minds” said Prof. Wilfried Bauer.

Currently only two higher education institutions in Oman, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), provide advanced education for the mining industry. The education in the mineral resource sector covers principal courses in Mineralogy, Mineral Resources and Mineral Exploration at the bachelor level. Courses in Ore Mineralogy, Orebody Modelling, Mineral Production & Processing are part of a recently introduced or running Master curricula at GUtech.

The objective of the two-day mining conference is to provide a venue for the industry as well as regulators to discuss various issues and challenges as well as to explore emerging opportunities and latest developments in Oman’s mining and minerals sector.

 

GUtech and Outward Bound Oman are conducting joint Life Skills Courses for Engineering students

HALBAN To enhance the student’s overall life skills, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and Outward Bound Oman (OBO) have jointly conducted a theoretical and practical course for twenty GUtech Engineering students. The main aim of the course is to develop to students’ personal and professional skills. ”Life skills courses have become a key parameter to prepare the students for their future work environment while achieving their highest level of performance. The Engineering Department has taken the opportunity to offer this special course to our students. While preparing them for their employment, we believe that such courses are very important in driving our graduates to achieve their goals and to be successful engineers in the future,” said Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department.

A Collaborative Agreement (CA) was signed between GUtech and OBO in September last year. In the first part of the course, GUtech staff delivered the theory, whilst the OBO team organized the relevant field-based elements outside the university, during an excursion to Wadi Al Abyad. Throughout the seminar, key-life skills such as taking responsibility, active engagement in learning and work, creative thinking and problem solving, innovative thinking, leadership, time management, study attitude towards mistakes, planning, communication and teamwork skills were discussed. “The course helps students to enhance their future employment, as well as to equip them with vital project management skills,” said Ali Al-Humairi, Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department and the leading coordinator of the programme. “The main objective of the theoretical course is to provide students with basic employment skills like leadership, teamwork and work ethics,” said Prof. Dr. Ayham Al Rahawi from the Engineering Department who was responsible for the theoretical part.

“We are very glad to have partnered with GUtech and to conduct the first practical part of the course for their outstanding Engineering students. Our carefully designed course helped the students to be ready and willing to make a positive contribution to society, ensures they are exposed to the key life skills sought by leading employers in Oman, and to have a greater appreciation of the natural environment,” said Mark Evans, General Manager of OBO. OBO is a non-profit organisation that operates under the Ministry of Social Development. The company was founded in 2009, and further established by a Ministerial Decision in 2014.

(c) GUtech

Creating Awareness on Electric Transportation – The eMobility Forum held

HALBAN To create awareness on electric mobility in Oman and to bring together various stakeholders from the public and private sector, the eMobility Forum Oman was held at the Hormuz Grand Hotel in Muscat today. GUtech was the official Academic Partner of the event, which was organised by GlobalEVRT.

The electrification of the transport system is seen as one of the best ways to improve the overall quality of the environment, to increase the air quality and to lower global CO2 emissions. Dr. Oualid Ali, Director of Training and Smart Solutions Centre (TSSC) at GUtech and Founder and President of the Future Cities Council gave one of the keynote speeches entitled “Electric vehicles for future smart and sustainable cities: opportunities and challenges for Oman”. In his talk he mentioned some of the challenges facing Oman, such as the implementation of governmental regulations, the citizen’s adaptation of electric vehicles as well as the infrastructure upgrade including charging stations that need to be set up all over the country. According to Dr. Oualid, there are currently twelve existing charging stations for electric cars between Dubai and Muscat. “The network of charging stations is a very important factor,” said Sam Alawiye, CEO of Green Parking while adding that Dubai has one of the largest numbers of charging stations worldwide. “Our company’s goal is to provide charging stations all over the GCC region along with parking facilities so that it is possible to drive from Riyadh to Salalah within a network of charging stations based in commercial centres and hotels,” said Alawiye. On the sidelines of the event, the participants had the chance to test-drive one of the latest electric car models from Renault, GM, Chevrolet and Tesla.

© GUtech/ text & photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet