CEO talk by Dr. Mohammed Al Balushi, Shell Oman Marketing

Dr. Mohammed Mahmood Al Balushi, Chief Executive Officer of Shell Oman Marketing, gave a lecture entitled “Leadership: Driving Progress Through People” at GUtech yesterday. Dr. Mohammed shared his work-experiences with GUtech students from different departments and academic staff members in the university’s research hall. The talk was part of a series of CEO talks for enhancing the university’s relationship with the industry and for providing venues for students to learn about the different industry practices in management and leadership. The talk was followed by an interactive question and answer session. During the talk, Dr. Mohammed shared his people-centred leadership approach, while building-up diverse teams, with a focus on long-term career advancement and planning. He also showcased a number of examples based on more than 27 years of work experience in the banking sector and in the oil and gas industry.

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

Start of the Double Degree MBA at GUtech

WU-GUtech MBA starts with the first batch of executives.

November 2019 marks the start of the double degree MBA by the German University of technology (GUtech) and the Vienna University for Economics and Business (WU).

Representing a diverse range of academic and professional experience, 19 executives have registered for the GUtech-WU MBA; The executives hail from different backgrounds and different business sectors including healthcare, the oil sector, the banking sector, and many more.

The GUtech-WU MBA programme is designed to enable executives to follow a unique professional development opportunity in Oman without the need to travel or take long periods off work said Dr. Heba Aziz the academic director of the MBA.

Modules are delivered once a month, over four days, from Thursday to Sunday. This format allows for less travel time to and from campus and provides a way for participants to bring newly gained knowledge immediately to the work environment. GUtech is currently accepting applications for the second intake.

 

 

 

GUtech Held Triple Accredited MBA Information Session

HALBAN The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) hosted a general information session on its new Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme recently. Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), the partner-university for the MBA programme, is one of the largest and leading business universities in Europe. The university was established in 1898 and founded as the Imperial Transport University.

“Our unique GUtech-WU MBA programme has a triple international accreditation from the most sought-after international accreditations: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS. The 18 months programme will offer a double degree from GUtech and the prestigious Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) in Austria. Our programme is suitable for professionals with at least three years of work experience who would like to enhance their management skills,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech while adding that only 10 per cent of the MBA programmes worldwide have a triple accreditation. The majority of the joint MBA programme, 75 per cent, will be taught by academics from the University of Vienna and 25 per cent by GUtech academics. “The programme offers specialisations in International Tourism, Entrepreneurship and in Logistics. To complete the MBA a total of 90 credit points are required and the majority of the class-work will be conducted in teams,” said Prof. Heba Aziz. The programme will be taught in a so-called 3-tier modular structure through GUtech’s e-learning platform. Entry requirements include IELTS 6.0 but language proficiency could be checked during admission interviews. The Bachelor degrees have to be recognised in Oman and in Austria. Prior to acceptance of the application, all candidates will undergo an interview with GUtech and WU academics who teach in the MBA programme. “Having worked in the private sector in Oman for several years, I would like to enhance my overall career opportunities and my management skills,” said one of the participants in the session.

Scholarships are also available. The first 25 applicants will receive a discount of 30 per cent. In addition, Bank Muscat offers the ‘Shahadati Educational Loan’, covering the tuition fees and other study-expenses. The educational loan will be based on the applicants’ monthly salary. Admissions for October 2019 intake are open till 15 August. More information about the courses and tuition fees are available at https://www.gutech.edu.om/academic/business-economics/master-business-administration/.

ends

GUtech’s MSc in Computer Sciences: Innovation, IT Technology Management and Data Sciences

HALBAN The new Master of Science programme in Computer Sciences at GUtech takes advantage of the strategic direction of the Sultanate of Oman towards industrialisation and entrepreneurship in the field of Information Technology. GUtech’s Department of Computer Sciences will start the MSc programme in March 2019; partial scholarships are available. “The programme provides a unique, comprehensive curriculum consisting of theoretical and applied knowledge of Computer Sciences, IT technology management and emerging technologies in large data processing and analysis. The subjects taught include machine learning, big data analytics, and network forensic as well as network security. By choosing a specialisation, students can prepare for their favourite career paths. In addition, GUtech has signed a ‘Study Abroad’ agreement with Hasselt University in Belgium, which allows students to take one additional semester and earn a second Master degree in Transportation Science. Possible future career paths are as transportation planners, traffic safety consultants or a managers of public transportation companies,” said Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli, Head of the Department of Computer Sciences at GUtech, while adding that the MSc programme is tailored to equip the students with entrepreneurial skills matching the national priorities for a profitable and sustainable growth.

The MSc programme is designed for fresh graduates and working professionals having Bachelor degrees in Computer Science, Information Science, or an equivalent degree with a solid background in programming and software development skills. “Classes will be held during the week between 4 and 7 pm and on weekends. International faculty members from GUtech, RWTH Aachen University as well as from Belgium and Canada will teach the programme. Admissions for students with alternative qualifications are subject to the outcome of an interview,” said Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli.

For more details, please visit the GUtech website: https://www.gutech.edu.om/master-programmes/ or contact Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli by email to pg@gutech.edu.om.

© Text & Photo: GUtech

 

Tourism Management students from Germany visited GUtech

HALBAN A group of 44 students and their professors from Tourism Management Departments of the Cologne Business School (CBS) and the University of Applied Sciences in Stralsund (HOST) in Germany visited GUtech. Students and staff members of the Department International Business Management (IBSM) welcomed the group. During the joint programme at GUtech, the students presented their study-programmes and the locations of each university as well as tourism in Germany and in Oman. The programme also included ice-breaker activities in small groups, a campus tour and a student photo exhibition.

Professor Dr. Heba Aziz, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics stressed in her speech that the cooperation between GUtech and the University of Applied Sciences in Stralsund was the first cooperation of the department established in 2011. Since then several Omani students have studied at HOST. In exchange GUtech offers internships for one semester for Master’s students or a semester in the Bachelor of International Business and Service Management. “I would like to conduct an internship at GUtech and to be involved in research,” said Kristin Beyeler, who is currently studying in her 1st semester, MA Tourism Development Strategies at HOST. Alexandra Flimm, CBS student in the Bachelor of International Tourism Management said that the Omani students are very open-minded and welcoming and that she would like to study one semester at GUtech. “Our excursion to Oman offers an intercultural experience with visits of the university and different companies as well as field-trips around the country,” said Prof. Dr. Volker Rundshagen, Head of General Management, Leisure and Tourism Management at HOST. “The visit to GUtech enhances our cooperation and the exchange of students and staff between both universities,” stressed Steffi Schnierer, Programme Manager and Lecturer at HOST. Dr. Desmond Wee, Dean and Professor for Tourism Management at CBS said that he would like to invite GUtech students to participate in an upcoming five-day international project seminar, a ‘Hotel Placement Simulation’, where students will learn how to set-up a hotel in an interactive environment along with other students from Estonia, UK and Belgium. “Before establishing a hotel, it is important to think about the cultural, social and environmental sustainability of the project,” he said.

For many students from Germany, it is their first travel to the Arabian Peninsula. “This excursion is my first travel outside Europe. In future, during the 5th semester, I would like to study for one semester in Mexico, Peru or in Argentine. After my studies I would like to work on a cruise liner,” said Emilio Anzini, who studies a BA Intercultural Tourism Management at CBS.

Around 1,400 students from 75 countries are studying at CBS in Cologne that was founded in 1993. The university is embedded in a large network of partnerships with around 100 universities all over the world and numerous international companies. At HOST which is located in the far North of Germany, on the Baltic coast, 2,200 students from around the world are studying in 27 programmes. HOST has international cooperations with universities in Cyprus, Sweden, Turkey, Italy, France and Bali. As a study incentive for international students, the city of Stralsund offers 150 Euros to each student at the beginning of their studies, said Ammar Saeb, who studies in the Master’s programme Tourism Development Strategies at HOST.

Caption: Group photo with students and professors from CBS and HOST along with GUtech professors and students

(c) GUtech / Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

International Heritage Conservation Experts discussed the Future of the Bamiyan World Heritage Site

SALALAH Under the auspices of H.E. Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Rowas, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs and President of ICOMOS OMAN, 30 international experts, high Afghan Government officials and international donors from Italy and Japan gathered for a three-day technical meeting in Salalah recently, to discuss the future of the Bamiyan UNESCO World Heritage property and to enhance international cooperation between all relevant stakeholders.

The Bamiyan World Heritage site in Afghanistan has been under UNESCO world heritage protection (since 2003). During the meeting, the participants discussed the recent decisions of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, to improve awareness on international debates regarding the ethics of recovery and reconstruction of cultural heritage, aiming at removing the property from the list of World Heritage in Danger. The international meeting was sponsored by the government of Japan and organized jointly by the Government of Afghanistan, the UNESCO JFIT programme, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and Research Centre Indian Ocean (RIO) at GUtech.

According to UNESCO, the cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley represent the artistic and religious developments which characterized ancient Bakhtria between the 1st to the 13th centuries, integrating various cultural influences into the Gandhara school of Buddhist art. The area contains numerous Buddhist monastic ensembles and sanctuaries, as well as fortified edifices from the later Islamic period. The area is also testimony of the tragic destruction by the Taliban of the two standing gigantic Buddha statues, which shook the world in March 2001.

To reflect on a possible application of the Omani archaeological park model to the Bamiyan World Heritage property, in Afghanistan, the participants of the international meeting undertook visits to the Land of Frankincense World Heritage property, including the Al Baleed and Khor Rohri museums and its interpretation centres. Inspired by the field visit to the archaeological park in Oman and the ICOMOS ‘Salalah Guidelines for the Management of Public Archaeological Sites’, participants actively discussed opportunities and challenges and how to further protect and promote the Bamiyan World Heritage property.

The meeting included six sessions. The  first two sessions presented the current status of the Bamiyan World Heritage Site and current issues of the development in the Bamiyan Valley respectively. The third session focused on the potential rehabilitation of the Eastern Buddha Statue and the fourth session brought up the issue of creating an Archaeological Park in Bamiyan. The following sessions were roundtable discussions regarding donor initiatives in Bamiyan and the final session presented the results of the meeting and opened the discussion for further recommendations. Activities carried out by the Government of Afghanistan, UNESCO and national and international experts, through generous financial assistance from the international community were presented to assess the progress of work in Bamiyan. During the meeting, development initiatives to increase the quality of livelihood of the local community were also introduced by the Afghan government, including a by-pass road and a stone-pavement road in front of the main Buddha cliff, as well as the Bamiyan Strategic Master Plan recently approved by the President of Afghanistan. Prof. Jansen from RIO/GUtech is actively involved in the ‘Bamiyan Cultural Master-Plan’ since 2002.

Group photo of the participants of the International Technical Meeting on the Future of the Bamiyan Heritage Site in Khor Rohri, Sultanate of Oman.

The Dean’s List Award Ceremony – 55 students awarded

HALBAN The Dean’s List Award Ceremony was held in the large GUtech amphitheatre to celebrate the achievements of 55 GUtech students and to commemorate the 6th anniversary of His Majesty’s visit to the university. “We only recently introduced the Dean’s List as a way to recognize outstanding academic achievements. The Dean’s List is a very enviable accomplishment that is only given to our top students” said Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs.

The criteria for the award were an outstanding academic achievement, the top 10% of the students, a minimum GPA of 3.5, registered for a minimum of 25 credit points, no incomplete or failing grades, no disciplinary written warning letters and an IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. Dr. Armin congratulated the students along with the Head of each academic Department. “You should be proud of the award. You worked hard, attended many lectures, and in addition spent many hours studying on your own or in groups. And it paid off. Your efforts were worth it. However, efforts alone are not sufficient to get on the Dean’s List. You also need to have the intellectual abilities that are needed for this distinction. You need to have the skills to work through complexities, solve problems, find solutions and communicate them well. Today you are being recognized for this combination of your efforts and your skills,” said Dr. Armin. Moreover, the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs stressed that the university commemorates the 6th anniversary of the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said to GUtech. On the 24th of December His Majesty honoured the university with a special private visit. “We are proud of His Majesty’s recognition of our achievements. It shows how His Majesty values us as individuals, our university, our educational ethos, and the benefits that we as an institution bring to the country of Oman. Ultimately, it is through you, our students that GUtech contributes to Oman. You get a superb education here at GUtech. In a few years when you join the workforce, you will be the ones who add value to the Omani economy. And this is what makes me proud of being part of GUtech. It allows me to not only educate individuals for the sake of getting a degree, but I can help develop the future leaders of Oman. This is a real privilege,” said Dr. Armin Eberlein. Many GUtech students and friends attended the ceremony. Finally one GUtech student mentioned that this award ceremony serves as a motivational event for other students to study hard in order to be part of the list next year.

(c) GUtech: Text Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: Fatma Al Balushi

The following GUtech students were awarded for their outstanding achievements:

Majd Al Kayyal
Murooj Mohammed Al Busaidi
Mohammed Salim Al Haddabi
Jawaher Said Al Ghadani
Maram Mudather Mohamed
Maha Surur Al Busaidi
Halayel Ahmed Al Saadi
Aisha Salim Al Balushi
Arwa Saud Al Zadjali
Firdaus Nabil Al Barwani
Reem Said Al Mushikhi
Mohamed Saleh Al Alawi
Shadhan Hamood Al Rashdi
Sara Haroon Al Bartamani
Loay Imad Al Lawati
Husam Yaqoob Al Siyabi
Khamis Hassan
Fatma Fuad El Sheibany
Zoudat Mohamed Al Aufi
Ahmed Juma Abdulla
Khuzama Salim Al Shezawi
Badria Humuod Al Mauly
AL Ghaith Ali Al Ghaithi
Anwar Rashid AL Hajri
Fatema Nour Al Din Al Farsi
Belqees Ali Al Hinaai
Riyan Yahya Al Wahshi
Sara Tariq Al Bulushi
Maisa Mohammed Al Hinai
Lora Awadh Al Alawi
Maryam Abdul Razzaq Al Raisi
Haitham Anwar Al Rawas
Taif Mohamed Al Kindi
Eilaf Khalid Al Busaidi
Marah Khalfan Al Aufi
Abir Talib Al Kharusi
Ghazalah Nabi Baksh Al Balushi
Shurooq Mohammed Al Busaidi
Nama Yousuf Al Bulushi
Manaf Mohamed Al Raisi
Alaa Mohsin Al Ajmi
Fatema Jamal Al Busaidi
Sanad Sulaiman Al Rawahi
Mallak Yousuf Al Senani
Shaima Hilal Al Jahwari
Fatma Mohammed Al Farsi
Noorin Adil Al Busaidi
Fatma Ali Al Barwani
Ammar Abdulhameed Al Kiyumi
Sara Hamood Al Naamani
Melika Naderi
Juhaina Abdullah Al Salmi
Qatr Al Nada Abdul Rahman Al Hinai
Samahram Is’haq Al Hashli
Melina Naderi

 

“Perception of Shapes and Spaces” – A Unique Art Exhibition at GUtech

HALBAN GUtech students of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) walked along the staircases of the university to showcase their ‘hat art works’ to other students and GUtech staff members. A special student exhibition entitled “Perceptions of Shapes and Spaces” was inaugurated today on campus. The exhibition showcases a large number of unique art works realized by more than 60 students within the past two weeks.

“Perception is a key concept in design,” said Prof. Michael Schulze, Department of Design at RWTH Aachen University (Germany) who gave a lecture on the importance of arts and sculptural design within the education of architects. During his talk Prof. Schulze highlighted the importance of imagination, the ability to transform ideas and to develop a work concept along with the freedom to play with different materials like wood, glass, plaster, metal, stone, ceramic and others. “Human beings are only human when they play,” said Prof. Schulze while adding that the use of different materials in a creative way is very important for future work concepts, architectural designs and even technical projects. “While experiencing different materials, students are enabled to be create and to plan and design in future,” he said. In the student exhibition held in the large GUtech amphitheatre the students showcase different hat designs as well as other art works made of clay. “Each student had to find his own aesthetic expression,” explained Professor Michael Schulze who has been teaching a block course in the UPAD Department. “We worked for the first time with clay and plaster. For the hats we used tissues and bamboo sticks,” said Zahra Al Hasani, who works as a research assistant in the UPAD department. The exhibition of the various artistic works is temporary and on display in the GUtech amphitheatre.

Caption: UPAD students showcase their hat designs in the GUtech amphitheatre

Prof. Michael Schulze during his talk at GUtech.

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

 

Geosciences Professor conducted a Mining Workshop in Madagascar

HALBAN Professor Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences (AGEO) at GUtech, has recently conducted a scientific workshop on mineral resources and their exploration at the University of Antananarivo/Madagascar. On a global scale, Madagascar is an important producer of nickel, cobalt, ilmenite, and zircon. “The country has significant resources of flaky graphite, chromite, bauxite, Rare Earth minerals, iron ore and the largest known reserves of sapphire. Historically, gold and mica played also an important role but both commodities are currently exploited by artisanal miners only. Minerals account for approximately 35 % of the country’s exports of 2.2 billion USD (2014 data), most of it from a world class nickel-cobalt deposit. International mining companies like Rio Tinto and Sherritt invested in the development of the mineral sector,” said Prof. Bauer. With an increasing number of international exploration companies operating in the country, the need for mineral exploration courses cannot be covered by the existing university staff. “After having given a course about basic exploration techniques, I decided to offer an exploration geochemistry workshop for the specific needs of Madagascar, based on known types of mineral resources and the specific constraints due to tropical weathering and topography in Madagascar.” He said while explaining that he has a long-lasting relationship with the Science Faculty at the University of Antananarivo that dates back to 2005 when the Department of Geosciences supported him in as leader of a BGS-USGS mapping campaign with 10 student interns. Since that time, we upheld our connections,” said Prof. Bauer. The workshop was very successful, despite the fact that English plays a minor role in Madagascar and the normal education language is French. A similar follow-up workshop is planned to be held next year.

This summer, Prof. Bauer also supervised the start of a joint PhD project, between GUtech and the University in Northern Madagascar. The researchers started a petrological study in the North of Madagascar. Research samples are handled and processed at GUtech’s AGEO lab and the analyses are carried out at Lisboa University in Portugal.

Ends

© Text and Photo: GUtech/Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer and Dr. Manuela Gutberlet