President of the German Parliament Visits GUtech

H.E. Prof. Norbert Lammert, President of the German Parliament, visited the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) on Wednesday 12 October, as part of his current official visit to the Sultanate of Oman.

The President of the German Bundestag was accompanied by Honourable. Saleh Bin Mohammed Al Nazwani, Member of the State Council, H.E. Thomas Schneider German Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, Joachim Duster Chief Officer of the German Embassy in the Sultanate of Oman, as well as his personal secretary, Officers of the Bundestag Protocol Office and an interpreter.

At the beginning of the meeting, Professor Dr. Michael Modigell, Rector of the University, in the presence of faculty, Dr. Hussein Al Salmi, Vice-Rector for Financial and Administrative Affairs, and Professor Dr. Armin Eberlein, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, delivered a speech welcoming the guests, Prof. Dr. Modigell presented a brief history of GUtech, the milestones, the increase in the number of students enrolled year after year, the rise in the number of programmes GUtech offers, and the scientific projects and researches it has carried out.

H.E. Visited the new exhibition and conference centre at the University, which will host the Centre for the History of Science, which is considered one of the latest additions to GUtech facilities, scheduled for opening early next year.

H.E. also met with members of the Student Council, to discuss their experience at GUtech and their views of current and future challenges. H.E The President of the German Parliament emphasized the importance of education and its relevance to modern and future changes and challenges, stressing that the main challenge students face now is to prove themselves, and to be able to compete in the labor market. H.E. also discussed the importance of student exchange, which provides a good experience for students, to gain knowledge and exchange experiences with their peers in different countries, especially Germany.

Student Team ‘Megadalon’ celebrated during special Shell Eco-marathon 2017 Ceremony

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

Tejas Janardhan

Adhir Kalingapuran

Navaneeth Sadasivan

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

Orientation Days at GUtech

BARKA To welcome the new batch of students, the Orientation Days were held at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). More than 500 students have started their studies at GUtech this week. The students were introduced to academic and student life on campus. The Rector of GUtech, Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, welcomed the students in the morning. “GUtech’s goal is to educate students to become critical citizens, who are able and willing to contribute to the development of the country and the region,” said the Rector while adding: “You are the future of Oman. Being a good citizen is different than being a good engineer,” he said. In addition to the academic studies, the University fosters creative and critical thinking in order to advance research and development.

Ruaa Al Hadhrami who went to Al Sahwa Schools will study BSc Computer Sciences. “I like technology, it is used in our everyday lives,” she said. Ruaa said that she heard from her friends about GUtech and that she is excited about the studies on campus. She wishes to study abroad one day. Ruaa’s school-friend, Arwa Al Hadabi, will study Environmental Engineering at GUtech. “Clean energy and our planet are important issues. I think much more can be done to protect our nature.  Since I was young I have been interested in environmental issues,” she said.

GUtech offers a Foundation Year and BEng programmes in Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Process Engineering and BSc programmes in Computer Sciences, Applied Geosciences, Logistics, International Business and Service Management as well as in Urban Planning and Architectural Design. All academic programmes are internationally accredited and taught in English.


(c) Photo & Text: GUtech/Manuela Gutberlet

Professional Development Days start at GUtech

Blended Learning enhances the Quality of Teaching and Learning

BARKA The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has launched its one week Professional Development Days for all academic and administrative employees. The week will include a variety of lectures on different aspects regarding teaching and administrative matters. The Professional Days were launched by an introduction to ‘Blended Learning’ which has been applied at GUtech in recent years through the Moodle system. Blended Learning includes any kind of mixture of teacher-centred knowledge transfer and self-paced media supported learning. It combines the virtual learning and a non-virtual learning environment. “The aim is to motivate students and to improve student-centred learning, while offering group learning opportunities for some and opportunities to learn individually for others. Therefore, the quality of teaching and the learning experience for the student will be enhanced,” said Prof. Dr. Heribert Nacken, Rectorate’s Delegate for Blended Learning and Exploratory Teaching Space at RWTH Aachen University, GUtech’s partner-university in Germany. The ultimate goal should be to educate creators and innovators instead of conformists.

Therefore, the new teaching technologies including social media, which are familiar communication tools for the new generation should be applied on a regular basis in the classroom. For example mobile phones and tablets are integrated in lectures. “Blended learning needs to suit the teaching habit of the lecturer,” said Prof. Nacken while stressing that it should be highly encouraged but not enforced.

At RWTH Aachen University the Center of Excellence in Academic Teaching supports the different faculties in realizing blended learning techniques in the classroom. RWTH Aachen faculties have introduced video teaching as an effective teaching tool, which is very popular among students. According to Prof. Nacken 60-70 % of the students watch the videos prior to the lecture. RWTH Aachen University is part of the Massive Open Online Courses which are held in cooperation with leading universities in Europe such as ETH Zurich (Switzerland). In addition, the RWTH Aachen app is applied to test the student knowledge anonymously in the classroom. The Phyphox App is used in Physics for experiments outside the classroom by using a mobile phone. At GUtech Blended Learning has been applied through the Moodle software. To improve the quality of teaching of all departments, it is planned to implement further methods.

Text & photo: GUtech/Manuela Gutberlet

Registration is now open

BARKA The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has opened its registration for the winter semester 2017/18. “Students who applied via the Ministry of Higher Education portal were registered with us between 10-16 August. International students can still register until 30 August at the university’s premises in Halban, Department of Registration. The applicants need to fill out the application form that can be found on the university’s website,” said Salim Al Araimi, Head of Registration at GUtech.

GUtech offers a Foundation Year and full-time programmes in BEng in Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering. BSc in Computer Science, Urban Planning and Architectural Design, International Business and Service Management and Logistics. All programmes are taught in English. The university is also planning to introduce MSc and PhD programmes soon. During the summer semester 2017 around 1,600 students were studying at GUtech, the majority of them were Omanis.

International Architecture Summer School in Berlin

A group of GUtech students and their professors participated in an international Urban Planning and Architecture Summer School in Berlin (Germany). The course was organized and held in collaboration between Prof. Alexander Kader of GUtech’s Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design, Iowa State University (USA) and the City College in New York (USA). During the four week Summer School the students were working in the Design Studio Alte Kantine in the Berlin district of Wedding. “It was a beautiful location and a great work space where we worked in groups, sharing our knowledge and our cultures,” said Petrit Pasha, GUtech lecturer. During the workshops, the students were introduced to different computer programmes such as Grasshopper, Diva and Sepheira which help to analyse the energy performance of sustainable building designs.

The students also conducted on-site excursions to different parts of Berlin and they visited the so-called City Models of Berlin, a public permanent exhibition showcasing the urban development of Berlin. Furthermore, the students traveled to other cities in Germany such as Hamburg where they visited the harbor district and they visited the famous School of Architecture the Bauhaus in the city of Dessau with the Master houses of famous modern architects like Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. “The course was a great opportunity for us to learn more about the energy performance of buildings, the culture of Berlin and also meet with people from all around the world. We shared our knowledge, culture and created bridges, which will be integrated in our future work. I recommend this programme to anyone who is interested in learning and developing skills in energy performance, sustainable building design and exploring the bustling city of Berlin,” said GUtech student Salim Al Kalbani at the end of the Summer School.


Caption: The group of GUtech students and Prof. Alexander Kader at the City Models of Berlin exhibition

GUtech signs MoU with PSI Software AG in Germany

HALBAN To elaborate collaboration with international companies GUtech has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the German company PSI to set up a laboratory and training center equipped with special software from PSI Software AG. “We are pleased to sign the MoU with PSI, a leading international supplier of software for utilities and industry, especially in the oil and gas industry,” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. GUtech students who are enrolled in Engineering, Computer Sciences, Applied Geosciences and Logistics programmes will benefit from this unique partnership. “We will train GUtech students especially in SCADA software systems and how pipelines and/or gas and water networks are operated with our Pipeline Management Software,” said Dr. Martin Bürgel, Vice-President and Director Oil & Gas at PSI. The company will also utilize the GUtech laboratory as a training center for its customers in the region.

PSI Software AG is the European market leader for energy control systems for gas, oil, electricity, heat and energy trading. The company develops and integrates complete solutions for energy management (gas, oil, electricity, heat, energy trading), production management (mining, metals, automotive, mechanical engineering, logistics) and infrastructure management for transport and safety. Based in the German capital Berlin, PSI was founded in 1969 and employs more than 1,600 persons worldwide in projects in the US, Europe and Asia. Previous prestigious projects include the delivery, implementation and support of the dispatching and information systems for German gas transporters as well as the Gazprom control systems for gas transmission of Nord Stream and Blue Stream Pipeline in Russia. On the Arabian Peninsula, PSI has developed in cooperation with the Kuwait Oil Company the leak detection and location system for a total of 12 countrywide gas and condensate pipelines in Kuwait.

Applied Geosciences students and professors participate in the International Oman Drilling Project

HALBAN Worldwide Oman is renowned for its ophiolite rocks. To study their composition, age and possible impacts on climate change, a large group of international geoscientists from various universities around the globe have been conducting the Oman Drilling Project. GUtech is on-site partner during the three year project. “The Oman Drilling Project will sample the whole ophiolite sequence in Oman, from the crust through to upper mantle, in a series of boreholes. Data collection includes analysis of rock core, geophysical logging, fluid sampling, hydrological measurements and microbiological sampling,” said Prof. Dr. Michaela Bernecker, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech.

“We will develop research related with the aims and using the core samples or other data such as water and geophysical data of the project. Four female GUtech geosciences students have been involved on site recently,” said Prof. Ana Jesus a Petrologist from GUtech. Prof. Ana and Prof. Dr Ekkehard Holzbecher, Hydrologist of the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech are members of the scientific team and the main persons for liaison for student involvement. GUtech students were involved in the processes that are necessary for the curation of the rocks. “It was a great opportunity for them to learn these procedures within an international team”, said Dr. Ana. The four GUtech students, Maisa Al Busaidi, Nidhal Al Jahwari, Maria Al Balushi and Zahra Al Lawati worked on a drill hole in Wadi Gideah close to Ibra. “They accompanied the core flow, which are all the steps since the core comes from underground until it is finally packed for shipping involving, washing, measuring, photographing, curating, labelling, sketch and logging having participated directly on  most of those operations as well,” said Prof. Ana. The project leader of the Oman Drilling Project, a renowned geoscientist Prof. Dr. Peter Kelemen, Head of the Earth and Environmental Science Programme at Columbia University took the GUtech students to a field-trip. He showed them the so-called core flow on site and the local geology while discussing scientific questions.

In addition, scientists from other universities in the region and worldwide participate in the project, that was launched this year and is scheduled to take another two years. To finalize the full geological and geophysical characterisation of the drill cores that were obtained this winter in Oman, Prof. Ana will travel to Japan and work on board the Chikyu ship with an international scientific team end of this year. More than 40 natural scientists from different continents and a broad spectrum of disciplines will use these new datasets to address a diverse range of scientific questions relating to the formation, hydrothermal alteration and biotic and abiotic weathering of oceanic lithosphere.

(c) Text & Photo: GUtech

GUtech signs MoU with German Water Treatment Company

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

Geosciences students visit the old lead-zinc mine of Mechernich in Germany

MUSCAT To explore the geology of Germany, a group of Omani geoscience students and their professor from the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) have conducted a geological study-excursion to Germany. During the two weeks trip the fifteen 3rd year students visited the Eifel region, located in the Western part of Germany, close to the city of Cologne. In addition, the students visited different cities like Cologne, Bochum, Xanten, and Aachen.

“The goal was to familiarize the students with different aspects of applied geology such as the development of natural resources or the usage of ground- and sub-surface water as well as natural stones in the lower Rhine district. With a focus on the presentation of thermal springs, coal and base metal deposits as well as volcanic rocks, we gave the students an overview of topics that cannot be presented in Oman, due to its geoglogical composition,” said Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech who organized and headed the excursion.

The Eifel region is famous for its magnificient geology and many historical mines that were closed around 50 years ago.  Therefore the group from the GUtech had the chance to visit the old lead-zinc mine of Mechernich in the Eifel region. “Despite the fact that the deposit with 125 million tons ore is the largest lead resource in central Europe, mining stopped in 1957 due to very low commodity prices. Other aspects of applied geoscience like the coal mining in the Ruhr area, cold natural springs of Spa in Belgium and the hot springs of Aachen are further highlights of this trip,” said Prof. Wilfried Bauer. Furthermore, the students had the opportunity to attend various lectures at the Department of Geosciences at RWTH Aachen University, GUtech’s partner-university in Germany. A number of GUtech alumnis are currently studying in MSc programmes at RWTH Aachen University.

Group photo: GUtech 3rd year Applied Geosciences students and Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer (right) as well as mine guide Mr Willy Krämer (left)

(c) Text: GUtech/Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: GUtech/Department of Applied Geosciences