Solar Photovolatic Course Held at GUtech

A Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Course was held at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) last week. Over 20-participants from industry, SMEs and academia attended the 5 day course. The course was conducted for the third time at GUtech by Shams Global Solutions (SGS) in partnership with Solar Energy International (SEI). Throughout the week of training, participants got a solid understanding of various components of solar PV systems, including system components, design, installation and maintenance of these systems. Oman’s Distribution Code Review Panel (DCRP) officially certifies the course in support of individuals who want to become licensed Junior or Senior Solar Experts. The development of the course, along with the hands-on outdoor training facility located at GUtech, has been sponsored by BP Oman.

(c) Text and Photo: GUtech/Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Shams Global Solutions


Shell Oman, together with GUtech and Caledonian College of Engineering signed an ‘Agreement of Commitment’ for the institutions’ participation in next year’s Shell Eco-marathon, one of the worlds’ leading energy efficiency competition. The competition requires engineering students from around the world to design, engineer, and build energy efficient vehicles to be tested during the Eco-marathon, determining whose vehicle can go the distance on limited amounts of fuel. GUtech Professor and Deputy Rector for Academic Affairs, Dr. Armin Eberlein, Caledonian Professor Dr. Ahmed Hassan Al-Bulushi, Shell’s Country Chairman in Oman Chris Breeze, and Shell Oman Marketing Company CEO Mohammed Mahmood Al Balushi all signed the agreement.

Chris Breeze, Shell Country Chairman in Oman said, “We are excited to be signing this agreement with both GUtech, and Caledonian and look forward to their participation in the Shell Eco-marathon. There is a lot of growing talent and innovation in Oman and through their involvement in the Shell Eco-marathon, students are gaining experiences they may not get in the classroom, but more importantly, they are realizing the power they have to make a change and their roles as participants working towards global energy solutions. It is our responsibility as energy leaders, to not only work towards solutions amongst ourselves, but to mentor and inspire our youth, who will inherit the world, and who want to make it better.”

Mohammed Mahmood Al Balushi, CEO of Shell Oman Marketing Company stated, “Shell Eco-marathon provides an opportunity for the new generation of innovative leaders from Oman to engage in a global dialogue on the future of energy transition and sustainable mobility. This initiative is meant to inspire innovative thinking and creativity which are embedded in the way Shell Oman operates.”

Students compete with over 100 students from nearly 20 countries throughout Asia and the Middle East. Participants take their vehicles to the track in the Mileage Challenge to see which vehicle can compete to go the farthest on the least amount of fuel. In preparation of the competition, students are challenged to design, build and test energy-efficient cars, pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible.

“We are privileged to have Shell’s support for GUtech’s participation in the Shell Eco-marathon over the past 5 years. The program has made a significant impact to our teams, allowing us to refine and improve our designs from year to year. As a result, we were the best team from Oman in last year’s Eco-marathon Asia, achieving 3rd place amongst the Diesel engines,” said Dr. Armin Eberlein.

The 2019 Shell Eco-marathon will be GUtech’s 5th consecutive year and Caledonians 3rd year to participate. In 2015 the GUtech team was the first team from Oman to participate in the final competition in Manila, they were fifth in the diesel category. In 2018, GUtech finished taking third place in the prototype diesel category and a commendable 17th place out of 30 in the prototype internal combustion class.


Photovoltaic Training Course to Boost Oman’s Renewable Energy Sector

Halban A five-day solar photovoltaic course was held at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) last week. Oman’s Distribution Code Review Panel (DCRP) officially certified this technical training course. Over twenty participants from the industry, energy distribution companies and the academia (including Engineering professors from GUtech) were enrolled in the course. The course was one of four different courses currently offered by Shams Global Solutions (SGS), in partnership with Solar Energy International (SEI).

“Through our course, we are aiming to fulfil the objective of preparing locals to take up important roles in the renewable energy sector. The Shams training programme covers fundamental aspects that enhance the knowledge and capabilities of individuals and professionals,” said Dr. Firas Al-Abduwani, Co-Founder of Shams Global Solutions.

The PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation course was developed by SEI, a photovoltaic technical training organization with over 55,000 alumni worldwide, and localized by SGS, a local Omani company offering educational and training services on sustainability. “It is a pleasant moment to realize the project and offer the first professional solar training in Oman.  The success of the training can be noticed from the motivation of the participants who have showed their interest to join our other training levels in the near future. The class was full and we have got many applications for the upcoming training. It is our honour to be one of the first participants in the capacity building of Oman in Renewable Energy Field.”

“The course gave us a strong introduction into the design and installation of solar photovoltaic power systems, including how to conduct solar site analyses, to understand equipment specifications, to correct cabling and mounting requirements, as well as the inverter selection, the interface protection and safety. We are looking forward to the other three courses SGS is offering in Oman,” said Ali Al Humairi, Lecturer in the Department of Computer Sciences at GUtech.

“It is a pleasant moment to see that we have realized the project and to offer the first professional solar training in Oman.  The success of the training can be noticed from the motivation of the participants who have showed their interest to join our other training levels in the near future. The class was full and we have got many applications for the upcoming training. It is our honour to be one of the first participants in the capacity building of Oman in Renewable Energy Field,” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department at GUtech.

In addition, the PV101 course, SGS will provide lab/field-based courses and advanced theory courses on grid-tied photovoltaic systems. Just recently they broke ground and started construction on a nine kW outdoors training facility at GUtech that is being sponsored by BP Oman.


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)



(c) GUtech/Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

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IChemE Oman Members Group Event at Muscat University

On Sunday 15th October, Dr. Ayham Al-Rahawi, an Assistant Professor of Process Engineering at GUtech, attended the IChemE Oman Members Group Event at Muscat University with several Level 4 Process Engineering students. Trish Kerin was the key note speaker at the event and she discussed the topic of Process Safety, which included some interactive case studies, to teach the audience about the topic. Furthermore, the event acted to engage the Process and Chemical Engineering communities in Oman with opportunities for Professional Development, support with achieving professional qualifications and networking.

Trip Report for Measurement Techniques Laboratory Course at RWTH Aachen in September 2017

Between 18th September and 1st October 2017, 36 students along with 3 Trip Supervisors (Dr. Hind Barghash, Dr. Roghaieh Parvizsedghy and Dr. Thomas Lattimore) went to Germany for the Measurement Techniques Laboratory Course at RWTH Aachen. The Trip was primarily organized by Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, who was assisted by Dr. Thomas, along with Dr. Hind Barghash and Dr. Roghaieh Parvizsedghy. The DAAD sponsored the trip and the Department for Engineering also helped to fund the trip. The students visited RWE Nuclear Power Station in Lingen, Germany, as part of the trip, as well as having the opportunity to visit some local tourist destinations, and of course, completing the Measurement Techniques Lab at RWTH Aachen University. Not everything went smoothly on the trip but overall, everybody had a very good time and it provided the students with the experience of International Industry and the experience of studying a University Level Course abroad.

GUtech professor receives the National Research Award for his research in Mechatronics

HALBAN Prof Dr. Aydin Azizi, Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at GUtech has received the National Research Award from The Research Council (TRC) for his published research in the field of Mechatronics. The research was awarded as the best research work in the energy and industry sector for the year 2017.

In his research conducted in the past three years and recently published in an international, Q1 ranked, peer-reviewed engineering journal, Prof. Aydin has introduced a novel Hybrid Artificial Intelligence Algorithm to analyse and calculate the optimized number and the position of RFID antennas needed to be deployed in the network in order to track and identify materials, products, and even live subjects. “Artificial intelligence includes the design of intelligent agents to solve real-world every-day problems, and nowadays it is in high demand of the most companies. My research can be applied in the different sectors such as telecommunication, transportation, energy, industry and even health care, e.g. through network of tracking identification cards, pattern recognition of rescue robots and etc.,” he said. His results show the proposed new algorithm, a so-called “Hybrid Artificial Intelligence Algorithm”, which is a high performance and accurate technique to solve  complex problems. According to Prof. Aydin applications of Artificial Intelligence are currently researched in Oman whereas in Europe they are already applied in many fields, e.g. in the automation industry.

Prof. Aydin Azizi has been working at GUtech in the past three years. He is the research focal point of the Research Council of Oman (TRC). His main research interest is Mechatronics, focusing on developing and investigating different Artificial Intelligent Techniques to model, control and optimize complex nonlinear systems for industrial applications, e.g. in telecommunications.

Prof. Aydin holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering of Urmia University in Iran, an MSc in Mechatronics of Sharif University of Technology in Iran and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering of the Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus.

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.