GUtech participates in the Oman Science Festival held in Muscat

GUtech’s Engineering and Computer Science Student Clubs are participating in the Oman Science Festival held at the International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat this week. The exhibition is organised by the Ministry of Education and it is open to the general public until the end of the week. The Science Festival offers a platform for school students to participate in scientific experiments and hands-on workshops. Around 40 students from GUtech’s Hardware Club and the Applied Geosciences Club are conducting experiments and practical programming activities during the Science Festival. “At our stand, the Hardware Club showcases an automatic light system, building a robot from Lego EV3 and presenting the World of Electronics, some simple electrical experiments for school children,” said Ali Al Humairi, Lecturer in Computer Science and Engineering Faculty and Supervisor of the Hardware Club at GUtech.

As part of the Festival, stalls display various inventions and innovations. At the Shell booth, the GUtech Eco-marathon hydrogen car is on display. The GUtech team ‘Megalodon’ participated in the annual Shell-Eco-marathon Asia competition ‘Make the Future’ held at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia in May this year. In the past four years GUtech teams participated in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia, a competition held for student teams in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions.

“Our team Megalodon made its debut as the first student team from the Arabian Peninsula participating in the Shell-Eco-Marathon Asia Prototype Category with a Hydrogen Fuel Cell three-wheel vehicle,” said Prof. Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis from the Mechanical Engineering Department at GUtech and Supervisor of the Megalodon team. Over 100 teams from Asia and the Middle East demonstrated their self-built, energy-efficient, eco-friendly cars during the competition. The challenge is to use the least amount of energy for a long distance.

(c) Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

 

 

”SAP Arabic Terminology Revising Initiative” launched at GUtech

In cooperation with SAP, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), has recently launched the SAP Arabic Terminology Revising Initiative which aims to create a unified language for their products and services, while considering cultural and technical aspects. Technical terms are understood differently from one culture to another. SAP wishes to harmonize these technical terms from the “source language” to the “target language”. Since languages are like living things, they can develop as societies grow, SAP has come up with an initiative to revise and enhance the technical terminologies in Arabic in collaboration with a number of selected distinguished universities in the Arab world. Through this unique initiative, student teams in their final years of university are to conduct a terminology revision together with SAP experts and professional translators. Revised terminologies are then to be made available to Arabic-speaking researchers, students, translators and editors through our open source and free-of-charge portal: SAPTERM.com. GUtech students from Computer Sciences, Urban Planning and Architectural Design, Applied Geosciences, Mechanical Engineering, Process Engineering, Environmental Engineering will contribute with their expertise to the localization of Arabic in software applications in Oman.

“In our project at GUtech, the aim is to find Arabic terms, that are widely understood and “to hit the nail”, to reflect the exact and concise meaning of what is meant in the source language. For our students involved in such a project, it opens a wide range of opportunities to understand and apply ‘tech-lingo’ in their future work environment,” said Heiderose Moossen from TSSC at GUtech. Heiderose Moossen is the supervisor of the SAP project, having initiated the cooperation with SAP two years ago. Throughout the last decade, it was noticeable that a considerable number of Arabic users were ignoring the Arabic versions of the software products offered by various companies including SAP. They preferred to use the products in other languages such as English.

“GUtech is one of the leading Universities of Technology in the region and is well known for its social responsibility and support of the Arabic language, we are honoured to be invited as the first university in Oman for partaking in this initiative. Together, we can enrich the Arabic electronic content on the Internet by unifying the technical terminology in Arabic, which in turn will benefit the Arabic end-users and help Arabic speakers to make the best use of modern technology without the need to rely on other languages,” she said. “Students will work in teams and will receive given sets of terms, where they undertake the required research and finalize their revision, followed by supervisory calls and discussions on the results in upcoming meetings with Mr Abdullah El Sahhar, SAP Project Manager in Dubai. All needed materials will be provided by SAP. The project duration is 15 weeks. We request students to invest 3 hours work per week into the project,” said Heiderose Moossen while adding that “The localization of products is a process that developed through globalization. It is a rather unknown concept, as many suppliers believe, they can simply transfer their products unadapted to a new market, without understanding the local culture, handling, or even care to know whether people need their products or not,” said Moossen.  Therefore, the localisation supports the adaptation of international products while respecting local identities. The way products are used and marketed in Europe may not apply to the Middle East and vice versa. The same applies for the use of a certain terminology. Heiderose Moossen said: “This SAP project facilitates a deep understanding of terminologies, efficient team-work and cooperation as well as marketing and applying new technologies. It represents a strong commitment to the global community. Students will contribute with their work and knowledge to the community needs. The final results of the SAP Terminology Revising project will be disseminated free-of-charge and online via SAP, so that everyone can look up certain terms. “We at GUtech value this project as a community service. It is allocated under the GUtech ICE, Industry & Community Engagement Committee. SAP is investing in 2 million terms for each foreign language, and each term in its determination process costs 10 Euro, i.e. 20 Mio Euro. One can imagine, how important it is, when people from different cultural and language backgrounds, use a specific terminology so that experts understand each other immediately without further discussions on the meaning,” said Heiderose Moossen.

At the end of the three months “SAP Arabic Terminology Revising Initiative” project, participating students will receive a “Certificate of Participation & Appreciation”. Students will also be able to register for other upcoming SAP training, such as YPP, held in Oman. GUtech alumni can also register and submit their CVs to the SAP clients’ pool. GUtech is cooperating with SAP since 2017. The university is running the S/4 HANA in its NextGen Laboratory. SAP is the largest global software producer, operating in over 180 countries, with more than 350,000 customers. A selected group of 25 students studied in Feb 2019 SAP Business Integration touching the fundaments of the state-of-the-art SAP system S/4 Hana used by many companies worldwide including in Oman.

(c) GUtech

 

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

Learning about Logistics in Europe – An Excursion to Germany

HALBAN A group of 16 Logistics students from the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and their professors have conducted a two-week study-excursion around Germany recently. As part of the excursion, the group participated in a special logistics course at RWTH Aachen University, Department of Business. At RWTH Aachen University the group was welcomed by Professor Dr. Oliver Lorz who is the Inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech. The Dean of the RWTH Aachen School of Business and Economics, Prof. Dr. Peter Letmathe RWTH Aachen welcomed the students. “For the trip, the best among their cohort were sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to RWTH Aachen in Germany. At RWTH Aachen, the students were happy to meet Prof. Dr. Oliver Lorz who is teaching at GUtech as a fly-in professor. Students were fascinated by the different research areas, in particular, “Operations Research and Management” which is supported by the “Business Analytics Lab”. In this laboratory, contemporary management situations are supported by methods from Operations Research. This area is very strong in Logistics education at GUtech and combines practical applications with basic research, which is in particular, relevant for Logistics,” said Prof. Dr. Tobias Buer, Head of the Logistics Department, Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech.

As part of the excursion, the group visited the city of Cologne and a number of companies such as Zalando in Essen and the Zeche Zollverein that was once the largest and most modern hard coal mine in the world and a symbol of industrialization in Germany. The group also visited leading Logistics companies such as the DHL Innovation Center in Troisdorf. In its ‘Innovation Centers’ around the world, DHL showcases the latest logistics solutions and discusses visions and trends for the future. The students also experienced Electric Vehicle developed for Deutsche Post DHL by professors and students at RWTH Aachen. At Duisport, Europe’s biggest hinterland hub that connects rail, inland-waterway, and road transport, the students saw containers that arrive via deep-sea vessels at the port of Rotterdam or Antwerp. The containers are shipped via the river to Duisport and then continue their transport via Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan to other ports around the world and as far as China.

During the excursion, students also experienced everyday life in Germany. “They were exposed to the benefits and hassles of complex public transport systems in Germany. Through several cultural visits, the students also learnt a lot about German and European history. For example, we visited the ‘House of European History in Brussels’, Belgium, and the UNESCO World-Heritage Site Zollverein Coal Mine industrial complex in Germany. Zollverein was one of the largest and most advanced mines in Europe until it closed in 1986. Until then it was the heart of the industrialization of Germany, it is a symbol for hard-working miners that brought wealth back to Germany after World War 2, and a painful but necessary transition from an industrial, coal-based region to a cultural and technology-driven region today,“ said Prof. Dr. Tobias Buer.

(c) GUtech Text & Photos: Prof Dr. Tobias Buer and Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

 

 

Promoting Internships abroad: OES signs MoU with Trimedia Finland

HALBAN Oman Educational Services (OES), the owner and mother-company of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Trimedia Finland. The main objective of this cooperation is to support GUtech’s efforts to link the Department of Computer Science with international companies based in Finland. As part of their CS study-programme, GUtech students have to conduct summer internships. The students will work remotely on a project here at GUtech and they will be sent to Finland to get more international exposure and training. “We wish to bring reputable European companies to Oman so that Oman can be developed as their regional hub. At the same time, we wish to connect our students to European companies, providing them opportunities to work here in Oman and also on projects in Europe. Hence, this cooperation will allow GUtech students to learn from the business acumen and mindset of these companies while it will, simultaneously, stimulate their interest and hopefully be an incentive to establish their own start-ups in Oman,” said Ahmed Saud Al Salmi, General Manager of OES. Arto Saksola from Trimedia also expressed his excitement for this opportunity to build cooperation between Trimedia and GUtech/OES. Trimedia will get an insight into the skills of GUtech students and develop further cooperation based on these experiences. At the same time, Trimedia’s employees are delighted with this international cooperation.”

Caption: Mr. Ahmed Al Salmi, General Manager of OES and Mr. Arto Saksola along with OES representatives.

 

‘Understanding Carbonate Mudrocks’: Sedimentary rocks that produce oil and gas

A special lecture by Dr. John D. Humphrey at GUtech

Carbonate mudrocks are limestones that exist in many parts of Oman and elsewhere. The process of their formation and significance in different environments and their application within the oil and gas sector was explained yesterday by Prof. Dr. John D. Humphrey at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) as part of a special student lecture tour organized by the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). Dr. Humphrey is from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals in Saudi Arabia. He presented a lecture entitled “Understanding Carbonate Mudrocks” in the University’s Research Hall. According to Prof. Humphrey, Oman is a great place to study carbonate rocks, for both conventional carbonate systems and unconventional deep-water carbonates. During the lecture, case studies of mudstone/chalk reservoirs were presented. Carbonate mudrocks are made of calcium carbonates, many of which are so-called source rocks that produce and store reservoirs of oil and gas. They have been deposited millions of years ago as chalks, starting with the Jurassic age. These carbonate mudrocks are increasingly becoming the targets of unconventional petroleum system exploration and development. These deposits are important for both conventional and unconventional petroleum systems. Amal Al Hajri, 4th year student in Applied Geosciences said that Prof. Humphrey’s talk helped her to plan for her thesis. “I would like to include chalks in my Bachelor thesis studies,” she said.

Prof. Humphrey visited Oman in 2002 for the first time from the USA. He has more been recently working at KFUPM, and has been a regular visitor for summer school excursions with his students. “There are many amazing, remarkable geological exposures in Oman,” he said. He and his students and other professors usually visit and explore different rock formations in Jebel Shams, Wadi Tiwi, Salalah, and other sites in Oman every summer. There are plans to have joint summer excursions with GUtech in future.

Dr. John D. Humphrey is Associate Professor and Assistant Chairman of Geosciences at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. His appointment is in the Department of Geosciences, within the College of Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences. Prof. Humphrey received his Ph.D. degree from Brown University/ USA in Geological Sciences. Prior to joining KFUPM in 2017, he spent 25 years on the faculty of Geology and Geological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines in USA. He was Head of Department for seven years there.

His areas of specialisation include carbonate diagenesis and geochemistry, carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy, carbonate reservoir characterization, unconventional carbonate reservoirs, stable isotope geochemistry, and paleoclimatology. He has been a consultant to the oil and gas and mining industries for thirty years. Dr. Humphrey is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and a Trustee Associate of the American Association of Petroleum.

Engineering Course at the Measurement Techniques Laboratory at RWTH Aachen University

HALBAN 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

“Training on the job. An apprenticeship is the key to solve youth unemployment”

An Apprenticeship Training System for the Construction Sector

HALBAN Apprenticeships have a long tradition in Europe, where they are well-established for more than 800 hundred years. The introduction of apprenticeships in Oman, especially in the construction sector could help solving youth unemployment.

“Training on the job is the key to solve youth unemployment in Oman,” said Mrs Heiderose Moossen, Manager Vocational Training at GUtech during a presentation on ‘Apprenticeship Training System for the Construction Sector’ held during the 9th Infra Oman – Oman’s biggest and only exhibition related to Construction & Infrastructure, held at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre last week. “With more than 91% foreign labor, the construction sector is the biggest employer for foreigners in Oman, at the same time generating high levels of energy consumption and resources due to the low level workmanship, outdated installations and technologies, that do not promote energy saving. 50% of the energy production is consumed by private households in Oman. Therefore implementing alternative energy technologies is one side of the medal, but reducing energy consumption is the other side, which is needed to complement the efforts of the Omani government to control energy,” said Heiderose Moossen.

Here apprenticeships could support the local economy in the long run. “The duration of an apprenticeship is usually three years. The requirement is a secondary diploma and apprentices are selected by the companies. Throughout the three years, youngsters are trained on their jobs. In Europe, for example masons or steel reinforcement technicians are among the 10 highest paid jobs. Their training on the job exists for more than 800 years all over Europe,” said Heiderose Moossen while adding: “A job is the best social security for society and for the economy at large. From a young age onwards, children grow into their social responsibilities by watching and learning from the elders, becoming the lead drivers, role-models and supporters of tomorrow and future generations. During an apprenticeship program a young person learns to work autonomously, while getting three years of professional experience after their apprenticeship and qualify for the highest level of vocation training worldwide, level 5. Then they know their work, no doubt,” she said.

“Computer Science offers recession-proof jobs”

HALBAN Computers are part of our every-day lives. “A Bachelor in Computer Science offers a well-rounded programme where students can learn various skills like reasoning, rational thinking and problem-solving,” said Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science during the Avenir Career Fair held at the Indian School Seeb last week. “Computer Science offers recession-proof jobs, withstanding economic changes worldwide,” he added. During his talk to the students, Prof. Nabil mentioned that 60% of the future jobs in science will be related to Computer Science, although only 2% will have the specific skill-set required for the jobs. “Computer scientists will be highly in demand in future, focusing on data sciences, data security especially with regard to the dramatically increasing e-commerce businesses.” He added that Computer Science is a door of opportunities when you have unique ideas that attract a large audience. He stressed that some GUtech graduates in Computer Sciences have started their own start-up businesses in Oman, even representing Google in the Middle East or they work for telecommunications companies like Omantel, Oredoo or consultancies like Ernst & Young. “Our Computer Science graduates have a very good reputation in the local market,” he said. Prof. Dr Nabil Sahli got his PhD from Canada in 2006. He has extensive teaching and research experience in Computer Science. Currently, he is involved in different research projects related to sensor networks and road traffic management.

At GUtech’s BSc Computer Science programme, students attend around 30 hours class per week including hardware and software. In addition, they have to conduct a summer internship and write their Bachelor thesis at the end of the programme. The students are also participating in international competitions such as the Dell EMC competition, Microsoft Imagine Cup, ACM programming or the Google Hackathon. In cooperation with GUtech’s partner-university RWTH Aachen University, GUtech has started a MSc programme in Computer Sciences with an option to study at Hasselt University (Belgium) and to earn an additional Master degree in Transportation Science.

(c) GUtech/ Text & Photo: 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.”