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.
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.
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.
MUSCAT Shell Oman and the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) inked an agreement that will allow a student team from GUtech to participate in the eighth round of Shell Eco-marathon Asia taking place in early 2018. This will be the fourth time for Team Megalodon from GUtech to participate in Shell Eco-marathon with an energy-efficient vehicle in the diesel prototype category. They will be racing alongside students from universities, colleges and technical institutes across 16 other countries from across Asia, Middle East and Africa.
“Shell Eco-marathon is one of the initiatives we support that are focused on the transition in the world’s energy system. Shell Eco-marathon provides the students with the opportunity to tackle serious world challenges – such as energy efficiency – in a fun and educational manner. It promotes technical, leadership and teamwork skills, pushes students’ boundaries and gets them thinking on their feet to overcome a variety of obstacles creatively. We are very excited to see Team Megalodon from GUtech team participate in Shell Eco-marathon for the fourth consecutive. I am especially proud of the diversity this team brings to the competition that ultimately contributes to the success of the team.” Said Muna Al Shukaili, General Manager, External Relations.
“I would like to express my gratitude to Shell Oman, who will financially support our GUtech team during the Eco-marathon 2018. GUtech teams have been participating in the Shell Eco-marathon since 2015. We have witnessed the impact of this international initiative on our students, who work long hour, trying to plan and solve engineering problems in their free time. During the competition, they must work and manage the team and their resources, it is a huge task for young students. The Shell Eco marathon provides an immense value for young engineers, who work in a team and manage their entire project in a timely and precise manner. The new GUtech team has already started the planning of the project and the design of the next eco-friendly car. I wish them innovative ideas and a lot of success for the coming months and the competition in March next year,” stated Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech.
“I have been involved in robotics and programming competitions, but I have never worked on manufacturing a car. I think it is good to work in a team on an actual physical process and to apply the theoretical knowledge. We are in the process of building the car. I think, the experience gained by our team working on a diesel car will be very useful to our future endeavours,” said Neeraj Krishnan, team member and a mechanical engineering student from GUtech.
Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2018 will see 24 On-Track awards with prize money of US $2,000 for Winners in both Prototype and Urban Concept categories. In addition, teams will also be competing for five Off-Track awards: Communications, Vehicle Design, Technical Innovation, Safety and Perseverance and Spirit of the Event.
(c) Text and photo: GUtech and Shell Oman
- Highly specialized program is first of its kind to be offered in Oman
- Collaboration allows GUtech students to benefit from real-world tools from industry
- Agreement meets the needs of increasingly-digitalized industry
Digitalization is key to increasing productivity and competitiveness in the manufacturing industries. It is also creating completely new business and growth opportunities for companies, as well as new jobs. To train the engineers of the future and to strengthen the collaboration between industry and academia, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and Siemens have announced a new academic collaboration that will provide advanced learning and certification opportunities for engineering students and professionals. Beginning 2018, GUtech will offer the Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program (SMSCP) to all students interested in advancing their skills in automation and manufacturing.
Announced at a signing ceremony hosted at the GUtech campus in Halban, Muscat, the partnership is designed to boost students’ digital skills to meet the needs of an increasingly-digitalized industry sector. The signing was witnessed by the German Ambassador to Oman, H.E. Thomas Schneider, as well as other business leaders and academia experts.
The German Ambassador H.E. Thomas Schneider in his address congratulated Siemens and GUtech on the agreement and stressed “This cooperation gives GUtech access to a global network of advanced technology partners working with Siemens, linking the Sultanate of Oman to the top level of industrial research and education. This is an initiative which we wholeheartedly welcome and which we would like to see become a model for cooperation in other fields. Therefore I consider this ceremony today not only as the conclusion of the MoU, but as a starting point for an ever closer cooperation between the various branches, such as science and business.”
“Education is a long-term investment. We are very thankful for the support of Siemens, one of the global leaders in engineering. We are grateful that our engineering students will be able to use a special mechatronics laboratory here at GUtech, featuring the Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program,” said Professor Dr. Eng. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. “This program will also enhance our close cooperation with the German and Omani industry. In the long run, the certification of our students will enhance their employability.”
Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering integrated to build complex systems. This holistic, hands-on approach to engineering can improve efficiency, productivity and quality and ultimately decrease time to market. Industries that benefit greatly from mechatronics systems include aerospace, materials processing, water desalination, machine building, automotive, transportation, building technologies and mining.
“Today’s industrial sectors are undergoing rapid change. Manufacturing systems are becoming increasingly complex and digitalized and these systems require qualified highly-skilled individuals with the knowledge required to design, operate and maintain them,” said Markus Strohmeier, CEO of Siemens in Oman. “We are honoured to collaborate with GUtech to bring mechatronics training to Oman, offering students the opportunity to pursue this globally recognized certification that will ultimately help them succeed in top industries upon graduation.”
Siemens is the only global industrial company to offer the internationally-recognized program in cooperation with partner colleges and universities throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. Under the agreement, GUtech will be the first university in Oman to offer the training and join an international network of advanced technology partners in education and industry working with Siemens to deliver the SMSCP program.
Upon completion of the program, participants will obtain mechatronics systems certification directly from Siemens. The course will be offered to students in two levels, and taught by the GUtech’s instructors who will be trained at the Siemens Technik Academy in Berlin, Germany. Each level is based on a job profile – a comprehensive description of the tasks that the certified individual should be able to perform. Job profiles are developed by Siemens in collaboration with other industry and public sector partners.
HALBAN The German company PSI Software Group has opened a specialized Computer Laboratory and Training Center at GUtech, located in Barka. The University and PSI Software Group signed a MoU a few months ago.
“We are delighted to open a specialized PSI Computer Laboratory at our university today. GUtech students who are enrolled in Mechanical, Process and Environmental Engineering will benefit from this unique laboratory as well as our academic staff. To familiarize themselves with the SCADA software the Engineering professors of GUtech were trained at the PSI head offices two months ago,” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. The PSI Software Group will also utilize the GUtech laboratory as a Training Center for its customers in the GCC region.
“The PSI Control system will be introduced from January onwards. We are looking forward to training GUtech students in the simulation of the operation of gas and oil pipelines and water networks. Our software with an extended technology simulation core specifically helps to understand better the fluid transportation process within a pipeline. Therefore, it is a high-end tool to increase efficiency and safety of pipeline operations,” said Wolfgang Klüber, PSI Sales Manager Oman. PSI also plans to introduce an internship programme for the best Engineering students at GUtech.
““We want to train our students in specialized laboratories that give them the skills to implement the practical experience in their future work. Therefore, offering an industrial software like PSI’s SCADA in our engineering programmes will give the opportunity to our students to be trained in Energy Management and Oil and Gas Pipeline Management. Also, this will enrich the engineering programme,” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department.
The PSI Software Group is the European market leader for supervision and control systems for gas, oil, electricity, heat and energy transmission and trading. PSI Group develops and integrates complete solutions for energy management (gas, oil, electricity, heat, energy planning, transmission, and trading), production management (mining, metals, automotive, mechanical engineering, logistics) and infrastructure management for transport and safety. The PSI was founded in 1969, it is based in the German capital Berlin and employs more than 1,600 persons worldwide, in projects in the US, Europe and Southeast Asia.
Previous prestigious projects in the area of gas management applications include such ambitious and sophisticated installations as GAZPROM control systems for the onshore gas transmission pipeline system supporting Nord Stream and for the entire onshore/offshore gas Blue Stream Pipeline System in Russia. On the Arabian Peninsula, PSI has delivered the leak detection and location system to the Kuwait Oil Company, for its countrywide gas and condensate pipeline system.
Caption: Group photo with Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech (second row, center) and Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department (second row, right), Dr. Aleksej Lisunkin, Technology Development Manager of PSI (first row, center) and Rüdiger Schulz, Business Development Middle East/Oman (second row, center), Elena Lvova, Project Software Engineer of PSI (second row, left) as well as GUtech professors and engineering students.
(c) Text & photo: GUtech/ Manuela Gutberlet
MUSCAT Shell Oman organized a special ceremony today at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center to recognize the two student teams from Oman that represented the country during the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2017 held in Singapore in March this year. GUtech teams have been participating in the competition since 2014. Since that year a total of 65 students from Oman participated in the annual competition. This year the teams from GUtech and Sultan Qaboos University competed with their eco-friendly and fuel-efficient cars among 120 teams from Asia, Middle East and Australia.
The GUtech team ‘Magadolon’ is a very diverse, multi-national team having the first female driver, Alshifaa al Hadi. “Regardless various challenges we faced such as a damaged brake cable and a faulty fuel pump, we learnt a lot during the competition. We had to work hard within our team and manage the entire project,” said GUtech Mechanical Engineering student Navaneeth Sadasivan during a passionate presentation to the audience. Chris Breeze, Shell’s Country Chairman said: “Shell Eco-marathon is an opportunity which involves young people tackling a series of world challenges, in a fun and constructive way. I am delighted by the progress in the performance and diversity of the Omani teams represented at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia this year, with two Omani women participants from GUtech contributing to the success of the team.”
Oman Air sponsored the transportation of the vehicles and the flight tickets of the teams.
The GUtech Team ‘Megadalon’:
Mohammed Salman (team leader)
Alshifaa al Hadi (driver)
Arjwan Al Hajri
Yousef Dab Al Bab
Ayman Al Yatim
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis, Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna (Engineering Department of GUtech) and Ali Al Humairi (Computer Sciences of GUtech).
Text & photo: GUtech/Manuela Gutberlet
The Engineering Department at GUtech organizes an excursion to Germany every year so in September 2017, 36 Semester 7 Students from the Process, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering Degree Programs of the Engineering Department at GUtech, will travel to Aachen in Germany to complete the Measurement Techniques Laboratory Course and to go on some Industrial Excursions to see the Industry in the surrounding area. Dr.-Ing. Najah Al Mhanna, the Head of Engineering Department, has been coordinating and organising the excursion since 2015. His aim is to give the chance to the engineering students to participate in practical courses and to visit some well-known companies in Germany. This Trip is being funded by the Engineering Department at GUtech and DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).
Dr.-Ing. Najah Al Mhanna, the Head of the Department of Engineering, will accompany the students during the first week which is planned to be for the industrial excursions. The Students will be supervised throughout the trip by Dr. Hind Barghash (Assistant Professor), Dr. Roghaieh Parvizsedghy (Assistant Lecturer) and Dr. Thomas Lattimore (Research Assistant and Coordinator for the Department of Engineering). This experience will provide Students with first-hand experience of the German University-Level Education system and it will provide them with some experience of Industry in Germany. In addition, it will help them learn more about the German and European Cultures. Overall, it is hoped that this will strongly encourage these mid-high achieving Students to pursue Masters and PhD studies in Germany and Europe once they graduate from GUtech. (Below: picture from last year’s trip in October 2016).
HALBAN The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HARTMANN LLC, a German company, specialized in membrane technology for water treatment . “We are pleased to sign the agreement with Hartmann so that our Engineering students can learn how water treatment systems are functioning and how the systems are operated,” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. The University and Hartmann LLC. agreed to collaborate on establishing a training and research facility at GUtech. “We will equip GUtech Engineering laboratories with Water Treatment Technology from Hartmann, in order to assist the students and enrich their knowledge,” said Dieter Hartmann, Managing Director of Hartmann Technology LLC that was founded in 1983 and has grown rapidly since then, employing a total of 67 employees. In addition, Hartmann will offer internships and training support for GUtech students in their main offices in Germany.
The additional purpose of the collaboration will be a close relationship for educating GUtech students in water treatment technology and to train Hartmann customers from the GCC region at the GUtech facility. The company has several customers in Abu Dhabi.
GUtech offers BEng programmes in Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering. As part of the study-programme all students have to conduct internships.
(c) GUtech / Manuela Gutberlet