GUtech students invent a machine that produces biodegradable plastic

HALBAN To reduce garbage in our environment, a group of five GUtech students has invented a bioplastic injector molding machine that can produce biodegradable plastic. “The aim of the project is to reduce the use of non-recycled plastic which causes environmental damage,” explained Ghadeer Al Lawati, Process Engineering Student at GUtech. The team comprising Ghadeer Al Lawati, Manar Al Hamdani, Samira Al Subhi, Tejaz Janardhan, Wafa Al Akhami won the 3rd place in the 7th Engineering Students Exhibition held recently in the College of Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University. Their project was supervised by Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mahanna, Head of the Engineering Department at GUtech. 45 different teams from twelve universities in Oman participated in the Students Exhibition.

“The competition required an idea that adds something new to the industry while expressing both our engineering and entrepreneurial skills. With our idea we want to avoid harming the ecosystem. We proposed an alternative starch based biodegradable plastics that is renewable and can be recycled by adding plasticizer,” said Ghadeer. The students’ project was split into two stages. Stage one relied on producing biodegradable plastics using a type of corn that has a fast growing rate thus not competing with food resource. “By then adding plasticiser we gave it the thermoplastic characteristics and allowed it to be recycled,” she said. In stage 2 the aim was to construct a small injector molding machine in order to change the amount of plastics obtained in the first step. The student teams’ future ideas are to produce a high quality bioplastic product and to promote the invention in the plastics industry in Oman and abroad.


Megalodon team prepares for Shell eco-marathon

SINGAPORE The Megalodon team from GUtech is preparing their car named ‘Diesel Meister’ for the Shell eco-marathon Asia 2017 at the Changi Exhibition Center in Singapore. A seven-member student team participates in the diesel category. GUtech participates for the third time in the Eco-marathon. For the first time Al Shifa Al Hadi, an Omani female Computer Science student will drive the eco-car. On Saturday the Megalodon team successfully passed the inspections.

Last year, after passing all technical checks the students drove a specific fuel consumption of 0.6 l per 100 km.

Eco-marathon car sent to Singapore

The eco-friendly car developed for the Shell Eco-marathon by a team of eight GUtech students was flown to Singapore recently. The team of Engineering and Computer Science students have placed the car inside a special wooden box including some padding. For the third time GUtech will participate in this global competition. The GUtech team will travel to Singapore along with their professors this week. The team is excited to be part of the big event. They have conducted a test drive last week on campus.

For the first time a female student will drive the car. “I was very interested participating in the competition. I was responsible for the software automatic programming of the car.” Said Shifa Al Hadi, 4th year student in Computer Science. The computer programme will improve the car’s efficiency and reduce fuel consumption. “It will mainly focus on sensing and reporting car-related parameters to the driver.” Said Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis, who has been advising the team on Engineering issues throughout their project. Mr Ali Alhumairi, lecturer at the Computer Science Department at GUtech actively advised Al Shifa about programming and the electronics hardware. The seven team members are very thankful to all their sponsors and supporters throughout the past months. Shell Development Oman, Oman Air, Oman Cables, Europoles Middle East, Engineering Village, Turbo Team and GUtech.

The GUtech ‘Megalodon team’ consists of the following members:

Mohamed Salman (team leader)

Al Shifa Al-Hadi (driver)

Arjawan Al-Hajri

Tejas Janardhan

Adhir Kallingapuram

Navaneeth Sadasivan

Yousef Dak Al Bab

Ayman El Yatmi

GUtech team prepares for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia

HALBAN A group of eight GUtech students from the departments of Engineering and Computer Science are currently building an eco-friendly car to participate in the annual Shell Eco-marathon Asia challenge, planned to be held in Singapore this March. For the third time GUtech will participate in this global competition. For the first time two female students participate, one of them is Arjawan Al Hajri, 3rd year Process Engineering student. She will drive the car: “I love driving cars. I think it will be a very good experience,” she said. The software programming of the car has been developed by another Omani female student, Al Shifa al Hadi. “The automatic control programming is an important feature of the car. The team studied the cars of their Asian competitors in the previous challenges and came up with innovative ideas, such as automatic control programming for the car. “The computer programme will increase the car’s performance. It will mainly focus on sensing and reporting car-related parameters to the driver,” said Prof. Dr. Nafaa Jabeur, Head of the Department of Computer Science at GUtech.

Commenting on GUtech team’s preparations for Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2017, Muna Al Shukaili, General Manager of External Relations at Shell Development Oman stated: “We are very pleased to see that German University of Technology in Oman is set to compete in Shell Eco-marathon for the third time. I hope the competition will help develop students’ talents and make a contribution to sustainability in Oman. We are also very pleased to see that for the first time we have female students in the Omani teams participating in Shell Eco-marathon. I wish them all the best of luck as they arrive in Singapore in March for this challenge.” The chassis of the car is ready, it will take another month to build the body before the shipment. “The team worked hard in their free time and on the weekends. In June they started designing the car,” said Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis, Senior Lecturer of the Engineering Department at GUtech. He is supervising the entire team work. The team used lightweight materials such as aluminium alloys and carbon fibre composites. “The car is very light it should be very fuel efficient,” said Mohammed Salman, the team leader of the GUtech team. A number of companies are sponsoring the team: Oman Air, Oman Cables and Europoles Middle East.

Last year, after passing the technical checks and improving the different features the students drove a specific fuel consumption of 0.6 l per 100 km. Around 100 teams participated in the Shell Eco-marathon in previous years, but many failed the inspection tests and therefore were not accepted for the race.

The students hope that their ideas and inventions can contribute to building lighter and eco-friendlier cars in future. The students would like to motive other students to think in more sustainable ways. After the competition, they are planning to showcase the car to school students in Oman.