PSI training session in the simulation of oil and gas pipelines operations

HALBAN The German company PSI Software AG has conducted its annual training session for Engineering students at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). After the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PSI Software AG, a specialized Computer Laboratory and Training Centre opened at GUtech in 2017. The Training Centre showcases a small-scale industrial pipeline that is connected to an operation desk. “Our software helps the students to understand the fluid transportation process in a pipeline and to link this knowledge with real-life pipeline monitoring and operation applications. The software is a high-end tool for the petroleum industry to increase the efficiency and safety of pipeline operations. This year we have extended the training session with more practical exercises on experimental installations in the laboratory”, said Dr. Aleksej Lisunkin, Technology Development Manager of PSI who has been supporting seminars at GUtech Simulation Lab in the past two years. “The PSI training centre is a unique centre that contributes to the capacity building of the Omani society. The students have the opportunity to learn about industrial software. They can practice the application of simulation techniques theory while conducting pipeline simulation experiments,” said Prof. Dr. Eng. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department at GUtech. GUtech students, who are enrolled in Mechanical, Process and Environmental Engineering, benefit from this unique software as well as academic staff.

GUtech and PSI are planning to introduce a BSc thesis programme for Engineering students and to open the GUtech laboratory as a Training Centre for pipeline engineers and operators in the GCC region. As an independent software producer, PSI has been on the market since 1969 and for many years a technological leader in process control systems for energy grid operators and industrial production. PSI software ensures efficient use of energy, labour and raw materials in energy management (gas, oil, electricity, heating, energy trading, public transport) and production management (raw material extraction, metal production, automotive, mechanical engineering, logistics). To this end, PSI has been successfully relying on a combination of artificial intelligence methods and other industrially proven optimisation methods for two decades. PSI software products stand for safe, efficient energy supply and optimised production and logistics processes worldwide.

 

GUtech Commemorates 7th Anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Visit

The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) commemorated on Tuesday 24th December the 7th anniversary of the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to its campus.

The 24th of December marks the private visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to GUtech campus in Halban. The commemoration of the private visit of His Majesty is annually observed by GUtech community. Students and staff remember the day to reflect on the importance of the visit in GUtech’s history and on the vision of His Majesty the Sultan for Oman’s academic and research development.

In the late afternoon of December 24th, 2012, the founders of GUtech and members of the rectorate welcomed his majesty to GUtech campus and its facilities, few weeks only after its opening.

In visiting GUtech campus and meeting the founders and the rectorate, His Majesty confers upon it an unusual distinction. “We welcome His Majesty’s private visit to GUtech campus as a gracious expression of his trust in our university and a vital catalyser enticing us to work harder and faster for further progress” proudly declares Dr Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy Rector for Administration and Finance.

The significant and ever-lasting contributions His Majesty has made to Oman and to the lives of its people are universally known; not less impressive than the wise introduction of far-reaching reforms which has promoted the development of the education system, and the prosperity of the country in general.

As more as 3000 male and female students enrolled in the university in the last 12 years. More than 400 male and female students graduated from it while there are more than 2200 male and female students are currently pursuing their studies.

(c) GUtech/Text: Fatima El Madkouri

Turning Plastic Waste into Fuel – An Engineering Research Project in Cooperation with Oman Oil and Orpic Group

Promoting sustainable waste management and energy production

To reduce plastic waste, a joint research project between the Engineering Department of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and the Oman Oil and Orpic Group will study the feasibility of converting plastic waste into fuel. Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department at GUtech and head of the research project, presented the research during a talk entitled ‘Pyrolysis of Plastic Waste to Fuel’ during the International Exhibition K2019 held in Dusseldorf (Germany) last month. With more than 230,000 visitors, the exhibition was one of the most leading events in the plastics and rubber industry worldwide.

The research project between GUtech and Oman Oil and Orpic Group is an initiative for the growth of the circular economy in the Sultanate of Oman. “Plastic waste contributes to 20% of the approximately 2 million tons of municipal solid waste every day. Oman is one of the main oil producers. Petrochemical and plastic manufacturing is the main goal of many oil-producing countries. Finding a circular solution and recycling plastic waste will make Oman setting an example in waste management, a key factor in mitigating negative effects of landfilling and increased harmful emissions from incineration,” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna. According to research, the average per capita waste generation in Oman is more than 1.2 kg per day. The research project is scheduled to start this year and will include a group of researchers and Engineering students from GUtech.

“In August this year a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between our university and Oman Oil and Orpic Group to enhance our bilateral cooperation including research and development of new ideas,” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna. By next year Oman Oil and Orpic will increase the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) to 1.4 million tons. “Our aim is to develop an innovative process to convert plastic waste into fuel, thus providing a technical solution to one of the most persisting environmental problems in Oman and as well worldwide. The new process will offer a sustainable solution for recycling millions of tons of plastic waste, thereby reducing CO2 emissions and other chemical pollutants and creating a potential for commercialisation,” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna. Today’s recycling infrastructure and technologies in Oman cannot yet address the challenges of processing diverse types of plastic waste. For example, mechanical recycling requires plastic waste to be sorted and reduced in size before it can be used in the production of lower value products such as carpet fibres, bags, clothes and else.

(c) GUtech, text and photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Dr. Najah Al Mhanna

 

 

Shams Global Solutions and BP Oman Inaugurate Shams Facility for Solar Training at the German University of Technology in Oman

Shams Global Solutions (SGS) in association with BP Oman’s Social Investment Programme, inaugurated a state of the art solar training facility located on the campus of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), yesterday. The event was held as part of Oman’s 49th National Day celebrations.  Qais Bin Saud Al Zakwani, Executive Director of the Authority for Electricity Regulation was the Guest of Honour for the inauguration and was accompanied by Eng. Yousuf Al Ojaili, BP Oman President. Many other senior officials from the public and private sector were also present on the occasion.

“We aim to harness innovation and research skills through delivery of practical and experiential initiatives,” said Shamsa Al Rawahi, BP Oman’s Social Investment Manager. “Oman’s solar sector has the potential for growth and it is necessary to enable people and equip them with the right skill set to complement it. SGS’s new facility is well integrated to do so,” she added.

Located on the campus of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), the facility is the outcome of a unique cooperation between SGS, BP Oman, and GUtech. “We are very glad to see the facility running and being utilised for its purpose” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. The facility includes four different solar systems totaling 18 kWp (kilowattpeak) of solar power and four training zones, one of which is a dedicated interface protection zone. The facility has three different installation types (flat-roof, pitched-roof and ground-mounted systems), designed to the exact specification of the Authority for Electricity Regulation’s (AER) grid-connected solar regulations released in 2017. The facility is designed to simulate real-world building and installation sites. SGS’s trainings are provided in partnership with Solar Energy International (USA) who have been delivering firsthand training for over 25-years.

“The inauguration of this facility is an indication of our commitment to advance the growth of renewable energy in the Sultanate. We want to contribute to energy diversification and increase production from cleaner sources,” said Dr Michael Tsang, Co-Founder of SGS. “We are aiming to strengthen this ambition to keep the renewables sector growing in Oman and tap into other resources of energy,” he added.

SGS collaborated with Solar Energy International to launch a solar photovoltaic training programme that is certified and approved by Oman’s DCRP (Distribution Code Review Panel) last year. The course has enabled hundreds of the country’s next generation of solar professionals to be an integral part of Oman’s renewable energy sector.

Shams Global Solutions is a private company focused on creating and delivering educational and training services for sustainability in the Middle East. Based out of Muscat, Oman, their mission is to develop local capacity and strengthen the renewable energy as well as sustainability of the marketplace both locally and regionally. Working towards this goal, they provide technical training and services related to solar power, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainability.

Engineering Students Visited Barka-1 Power and Desalination Plant

As part of the first interdisciplinary Summer School on “Climate Change Response Strategies for Sustainable Land Use and Water Management” held at GUtech recently, GUtech students from different programmes and their professors have visited the Barka-1 Power and Desalination Plant. The plant is owned by ACWA Power Barka while being operated and maintained by NOMAC Oman. The power and desalination plant provides the Al Batinah regions and Muscat with power and water, generated through the power, desalination and seawater osmosis plants. “During the site visit the group saw the main plant consisting of two gas turbines with a capacity of 117 MW each, one steam turbine with a capacity of 222 MW and three desalination plants, Multi Stage Flushing, with a capacity of 20 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD). The students were also able to visit the Seawater Reverse Expansion-1, having a capacity of 10 MIGD and the Seawater Reverse Expansion-2 with a capacity of 12.5 MIGD. These seawater plants serve the community with drinking water while supplying water to the Public Authority of Water. We comply with ISO 14001 standards and with environmental rules and regulation,” said Talal Al Mabsali, Power and Desalination Team Leader at NOMAC Oman while adding: “At Barka-1 Power and Desalination Plant, we consider the natural and social environment as our main concern. NOMAC Oman has recently initiated various Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives (CSR) in cooperation with the government and the private sector, such as a paper recycling awareness initiative. Recently we also participated in a greenhouse gas initiative in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA),” said Talal Al Mabsali.

The two-week interdisciplinary Summer School on “Climate Change Response Strategies for Sustainable Land Use and Water Management” was conducted in cooperation with professors from Brandenburg Technical University, Cottbus – Senftenberg/ Germany. The workshops were related to all Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Science programmes offered at GUtech. The Summer School was held for the first time and focused on Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Climate Change Response Strategies, Emerging Issues on Environmental Law and Environmental Assessment with a particular focus on sustainable land use and water management, combining different teaching techniques such as lectures, case studies and group work.

 

 

 

 

GUtech and BP Oman Partnership to Boost R&D Collaboration Through Ejaad Platform

The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) receives a funding grant from BP Oman for a multi-purposes research project relating to Solar Photovoltaics (PV) panels through Ejaad Protocol, the platform tasked to boost R&D collaboration between industry and academia in Oman.

GUtech, represented by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell, the Rector, and BP Oman, represented by Yousuf Al Ojaili, the President, have signed a Grant Agreement today, Monday 28 October, to fund a research study on the performance of Solar Photovoltaics (PV) panels.

The first phase of the project will focus on studying the effect of weather parameters (e.g. temperature, shadow, humidity, wind, etc.) and soiling on PV panels. In the second phase, the team will concentrate on creating a robot cleaner ought to address the adverse effects of soiling for a more stable energy production.

Optimising the energy production of PV panels in Oman can’t be achieved without assessing the loss of energy experienced due to the local weather conditions, The Rector of GUtech said at the signing and continued: “we feel a huge responsibility for the success of this ICV partnership with BP Oman.”

Yousuf Al Ojaili, BP Oman President commented about the importance of industry and academia cooperation: “We are proud of our partnership with GUtech. It is aligned with our strategic vision to support research and development in the energy sector and is part of our contribution to In Country Value.” He added, “This partnership reaffirms the alignment between industry and academia which can bring significant progress in research outputs and addresses a specific subject of solar energy hence helping in green energy agenda.”

Under the one-year-long agreement, the study will be undertaken by GUtech researchers and Omani fresh graduates, in collaboration with Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and Hussam Technology Company (HTC).

“PV panels are now increasingly used in Oman. We look forward to opening our laboratories for GUtech team to carry on much needed research on optimising PV panels performance through measuring the adverse effects of local weather conditions on PV cells.” said Dr Rashid Al Abri from the College of Engineering at SQU. Dr Al Abri will be co-supervising the project progress along Al Humairi from GUtech.

We see this project as an incredible opportunity to understand the effect of weather conditions, as well as soiling on the performance of PV panels,” said Ali Al Humairi from the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at GUtech. “We are looking forward to kicking off the work on the project along two fresh graduates in November.”

HTC is chosen for this project as the sole supplier of all parts needed to carry on the study and create the cleaner robot and a provider of technical support. “The cooperation with GUtech and SQU in this project allows not only for the bundling of efforts, but above all brings minds from academia and the industry together for the advancement of research outputs.” Commented Dr Firas Al Abduwani, from HTC.

GUtech campus is home to the BP Oman funded solar facility that has culminated from collaborations between SGS and HTC back in 2018 and since then has been used for providing training and PV certification to technicians and students. “ A cleaning robot to clear out soiling off the panels in the facility on our campus is much needed.” Elaborated Al Humairi. Continuous cleaning of panels can’t be avoided due to the accumulation of soiling which decreases power output. “Creating an automatic device ought to eliminate risks associated with manual cleaning, maximise the panels power output, and minimise humans involvement.” Explained Al Humairi.

The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of Ejaad 2nd Leadership Forum event, under the patronage of HE Eng. Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, and attended by several chief executive officers and researchers from across industrial and academic institutions in the Sultanate.

(c) GUtech Text: Fatima El Madkouri & Photo: Fatma Al Balushi

Engineering Course at the Measurement Techniques Laboratory at RWTH Aachen University

A group of 40 Bachelor of Engineering students and their professors from Mechanical- Process- and Environmental Engineering have participated in a two-week laboratory course at the Measurement Techniques Laboratory at GUtech’s partner-university, RWTH Aachen University in Germany last month. The course was fully sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

“The aim of the excursion was to familiarise our students with industrial applications for processing a variety of products and consumer goods, necessary for our modern societies. During the course students attended laboratory sessions and conducted experiments at different laboratories of RWTH Aachen University. At the end of the Measurement Techniques Laboratory course, students had to sit for the final examination,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Emmanouil Bouzakis one of the supervisors, Department of Engineering at GUtech. At RWTH Aachen University the group also visited the Stem Cell Factory at the Fraunhofer IPT. “The aim of the visit was to familiarise the engineering students with their research activities on Standardized and Integrated Processes for Personalised Stem Cell-Based Drug Prediction using Reprogrammed Blood Cells,” said Prof. Dr. Bouzakis and as well as to “motivate the students to integrate their disciplines with biological related processes or applications”, said Prof. Dr. Hind Barghash. The students also visited, the main building of RWTH Aachen University and the modern, new Central Auditorium for Research and Learning. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Schmitt, Director of the Machine Tool Laboratory at RWTH Aachen (WZL) and the Fraunhofer IPT Research Institute, introduced the group from Oman to the premises of the Production Engineering Cluster at RWTH Aachen. The students also listened to a presentation by Dr. Leah Cheung from RWTH International Academy on opportunities for continuing with their Master’s Studies in Aachen.

As part of the study-trip three excursions were conducted to industries. “First, we visited the paper mill UPM Hürth, the Drinking Water Treatment Plant TWA Roetgen and the Klingelnberg Drive Technology Division, located in the outskirts of Cologne. Our visit was fully guided by two experienced engineers and we were introduced to the main function of the paper production plant. We also visited all the operational units and the control room for more technical explanations. Another day, we visited the Drinking Water Treatment Plant – TWA Roetgen where we were introduced to the drinking water requirements of the three-countries region including Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium and the membrane ultrafiltration process applied in the plant. Our visit concluded with a tour around the different filtration stages and the neighbouring Dreilägerbach Dam,” said Prof Dr. Hind Barghash.

The third educational excursion was a visit to the Klingelnberg Drive Technology Division in Hückeswagen, close to the city of Cologne. In the factory, the students were guided through the machine shop floor and were acquainted with the manufacturing sequence of bevel gears for marine, mining and other applications as well as with the related metrology.

“The entire group, the students and we professors, would like to express our gratitude to DAAD and GUtech for giving us the opportunity to travel to RWTH Aachen University. Not only the chance to have a real laboratory experience but also the visits of several industrial environments were extremely motivational experiences. Some students expressed their interest to return to Germany for an internship or to continue with their post-graduate studies. The chances given to GUtech students, both Omani and international, contribute to strengthen the connection of GUtech with the highly reputed RWTH Aachen University and to familiarise students from the Middle East with the German Higher Education System,” said Prof. Dr. Hind Barghash.

(c) GUtech/ Text and Photo: Prof. Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis, Prof. Dr. Hind Barghash and Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

GUtech Engineering students and professors visit Sohar Aluminium

HALBAN The Department of Mechanical Engineering of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has conducted an annual site visit to Sohar Aluminium last week. The site visit was part of the course Material Science 2. “Thanks to this annual site visit, the students have the opportunity to experience a real production line, that is usually explained in the classroom and from a theoretical point of view. The plant is the first aluminium smelter in the Sultanate of Oman, that is able to produce about 390,000 tonnes/year of primary aluminium using the Hall-Heroult process,” said Prof. Dr. Annalisa Pola, fly-in professor from the University of Brescia. During their site visit, the students and professors visited three plant facilities including the training centre, where several GUtech students have also been trained in the past as well as the ‘Anodes production Plant’ and the ‘Casthouse’. “We are happy to receive the students in our aluminium smelter and get the opportunity to explain to them the different processes involved in the aluminium production thereby supplementing their theoretical knowledge with practical experience.” said Mrs Dana Geadah, Communications Manager at Sohar Aluminium. Mrs Geadah added: “Sohar Aluminium plays an important role in the future of the aluminium industry in the Gulf region where the smelters collectively produce 10% of the total world production and is considered one of the key economic drivers for the region.”

 

The 1st OMAN Hydrogen Symposium Held at GUtech

Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications in Oman, the ‘1st OMAN Hydrogen Symposium’, was held at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) today, Wednesday 9 October. The Symosium was organised by the OMAN Hydrogen Initiative, founded by GUtech and the German company Hydrogen Rise AG. The Symposium was supported by the Ministry of Oil and Gas in Oman and by His Excellency Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al-Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas. During the half-day Symposium experts from the Sultanate of Oman and abroad discussed the potential of green hydrogen as a new energy carrier for the Sultanate. As the global demand for hydrogen is expected to increase in future, experts predict significant export opportunities for Oman. The OMAN Hydrogen Symposium has presented initial research results and has offered proposals for further action including the establishment of a ‘Hydrogen Competence Center’.

Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech welcomed the audience to this 1st OMAN Hydrogen Symposium. The symposium was divided into three parts: opportunities and challenges for Oman, the international trends and developments including case studies from Japan and Germany as well as future plans of the OMAN Hydrogen Initiative. On the side lines of the Symposium GUtech BSc Environmental Engineering students presented their research on the ‘Potential of Bio-hydrogen Production in Oman’, supervised by Dr. Hind Barghash partially by Petroleum Development in Oman (PDO) and GUtech seed funding. In addition, GUtech students presented their Shell Eco-marathon hydrogen car in front of the conference hall.

H.E. Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al-Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas said that it is a global challenge to transform the ecosystem to a hydrogen society. “There is no other way to meet the Paris Agreement and to decarbonize the industry,” he said. “The potential is huge. We would like to contribute and shape the hydrogen economy,” he said and in cooperation with different partners from the industry as well as from the academia. H.E. Thomas Friedrich Schneider, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Sultanate of Oman said that he is pleased to participate in the 1st OMAN Hydrogen Symposium. Germany is undergoing a complete restructuring of its energy sector, reducing its dependency on fossil and nuclear energy resources towards renewable energies. “This is a huge challenge.” Currently some 44 % of Germany’s energy production is generated from renewable energies. By 2050 the amount shall increase to 80-95% with the aim to protect the environment and to limit the consequences of climate change while creating new business opportunities. A National Strategy for Hydrogen will be published by the German government by the end of the year. Therefore, Germany needs green hydrogen imports. Green hydrogen is already used by German companies like Siemens. The German Ambassador stressed that there is an urgent need for further investment in research cooperations and in common standards and policies leading to a sustainable energy future worldwide.

Dr.-Ing. Bernd Wiemann, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hydrogen Rise AG stressed in his speech that Sultanate of Oman, with its expertise in the energy sector can emerge as a major player promoting hydrogen as an alternative resource and for export while at the same time developing competencies and human resources for the new hydrogen industry.

Mr. Olav Carlsen, Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of Hydrogen Rise AG, spoke about the Green Hydrogen – The Global Game Changer and Significant Opportunities for Oman. “Today 18% of the energy worldwide is already supplied by renewable energies. The energy transition needs new energy carriers to decarbonize the industries worldwide. By 2050, 65% of the global energy is projected to be generated by renewable energies. By 2050 the production will increase to 500 million tons of green hydrogen compared to only 2 million green hydrogen in 2017. This energy transition will offer plenty of opportunities for local businesses. Hydrogen can be exported in a large scale while generating little CO2 emissions. According to Carlsen hydrogen is non-toxic and non-polluting, while complying with strong safety regulations. He pointed out that heavy trucks in Chile were already replaced by hydrogen trucks. In Europe and Asia hydrogen trains as well as hydrogen cars are already used for transportation. Overall it is projected that hydrogen creates ‘deep tech jobs’ while attracting energy intensive industries offering a potential for numerous carbon-free industry certifications. In her speech on the Oman Hydrogen Capacity Potential, Ms. Clara Orthofer from the Technical University Munich (TUM) in Germany spoke about the prospects of hydrogen for the local economy. “Oman’s technical electricity potential lies 136 times above the current electricity demand” while adding that the Hydrogen production potential is up to 10 times the current oil exports. For the production of hydrogen only a surface of 1 % is required and 8-17 % of Oman’s water that was generated in 2016. Dr. Abdullah Al-Abri, Executive Director of EJAAD in Oman spoke about Hydrogen: A Promising Economic Engine for Oman”. He said that “Hydrogen is an opportunity for Oman”, e.g. as a chemical feed-stock to produce ammonia and chemicals for EOR such as Dimethyl Ethel and others as well as to blend hydrogen with natural gas.” Mr. Emanuele Taibi, Analyst for Power Sector Transformation Strategies of International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, elaborated on Hydrogen: A Renewable Energy Prospective. Dr. Uwe Albrecht, Chief Executive Officer, Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik – LBST from Germany spoke about the ‘Global Trends and Developments’ while Mr. Toshiyuki Shirai, Director of Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division – Agency for National Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan elaborated in his speech ‘Japan – On the Way to a Hydrogen Society’ on the experience in hydrogen from Japan, one of the leading hydrogen technology nations. Mr. Holger Lösch, Deputy Director General of Federation of German Industries- BDI, Germany spoke about the ‘Energy Transition within the German Industry’ and Dr. Karoline Steinbacher, Managing Consultat, Navigant, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany explained in her speech the ‘German Hydrogen Orientation’. The Symposium concluded with a short overview: ‘Next Steps of the OMAN Hydrogen Initiative’, outlined by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech and Dr.-Ing. Bernd Wiemann, CEO of Hydrogen Rise AG. As part of the OMAN Hydrogen Initiative actions, GUtech is to introduce a hydrogen collaboration, piloting and demonstration with different partners in the industry, government and academia while establishing a Hydrogen ‘Competence Center’ for research and development and to further on to build and operate the first green hydrogen pilot plant on campus while at the same time raising public awareness about the potential of hydrogen as a green energy carrier and industrial feedstock for many new industrial businesses in Oman. Due to the success of the Symposium, the organizers are planning to hold a second symposium with different stakeholders in future.

(c) GUtech, Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet/ Fatma Al Balushi

Engineering students conduct summer internships and thesis projects at the University of Brescia/Italy

HALBAN In the past six years, GUtech students have been conducting summer internships as well as thesis projects at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia in Italy. A total of four Mechanical and Process Engineering students have conducted thesis projects and six students have done six-weeks summer internships at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University. In February 2014, GUtech and the University of Brescia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was renewed earlier this year.

“The aim of the summer internships in our laboratory is the so-called mechanical and metallurgical characterization of metallic parts (e.g. aluminium alloy, cast iron), in order to find a correlation between the alloy structure and the part properties,” said Prof. Dr. Annalisa Pola, Associate Professor in Metallurgy at the University of Brescia and Fly-in Professor at GUtech. The laboratory tests conducted by GUtech students are used for evaluating the improvement in the performance of metallic parts due to the use of a new alloy chemical composition, a new production route or a new heat treatment.

In the beginning of their internships, the students have to undertake a detailed analysis of the scientific literature. “Recently, one of the topics investigated during the internship was the analysis of Al samples obtained by additive manufacturing and subjected to innovative post processing operations. The process is used for example in manufacturing components for automotive and aerospace industry. In our laboratory the students have been involved in experimental tests to evaluate the performance of the additive manufactured samples such as tensile and hardness tests, as well as density tests. They also had to perform metallurgical analyses by preparing the samples (cutting and polishing), observing by optical microscope or using an image analysis software. They collected and processed all the obtained data to compare them directly. Finally, they have been involved in the analysis of the fractured surface morphologies carried out by a scanning electron microscope,” said Prof. Annalisa Pola.

To get some industry insights, Prof. Annalisa and her colleagues have been also arranging site visits to different local companies dealing with the production of metallic parts that are investigated in the laboratory; all industries are located in the city of Brescia or in the region nearby.

“We are always happy to welcome one or two students from GUtech in our Metallurgy Laboratory. Being a rich industrial district, the city of Brescia is a very interesting location for internships and to further explore Italy. It only takes three hours to go to the capital Rome by train and two hours to Florence and to the Lake Garda,” said Prof. Annalisa Pola. “Overall our cooperation with GUtech aims at promoting and encouraging scientific and academic collaboration including the exchange of Engineering professors, researchers and Engineering students. Activities include but are not limited to student exchange, summer internships and Bachelor thesis, the exchange of Engineering professors, joint research activities, the publication and exchange of academic information and materials in the fields of interest to both universities,” said Prof. Annalisa Pola. Since October 2013 Prof. Annalisa Pola and her colleagues Prof. Marcello Gelfi and Prof. Roberto Roberti have been teaching Material Science (I and II) in the Engineering Departments at GUtech.

(c) GUtech/ Text and Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Prof. Dr. Annalisa Pola