Engineering students are second in the Dell EMC ‘Envision the Future Competition’

For their invention of an “Automated Irrigation System”, a smart irrigation project which contributes to an effective water resource management, three Engineering students from GUtech, Maryam Al- Kaabi, Budoor Al Bulushi, and Basma Al-Amri were awarded with the second place in the Dell EMC Envision the Future Competition in 2018. The students’ project was supervised by Dr. Aydin Azizi and Ali Al Humairi. Engineering students Nasser Al Harmali, Said Al Badwawi and Abdullah Al Rashdi were in the initial team that worked on the project to optimize water consumption in large and small scale areas.

‘Envision The Future” is Dell EMC’s annual graduation project competition for senior undergraduate students from universities in Turkey, Middle East and Africa who are enrolled in the EMC Academic Alliance Program. The competition is sponsored by Dell EMC Centre of Excellence (COE) in Egypt and aims to foster technological innovations among youth in the region. The vision is to spark the creativity of students for their graduation projects and to play an active role in the Transformation of IT and to get the opportunity to shine and win prizes. The competition held for the second time witnessed participation by more than 883 senior undergraduate students and over 214 project submissions. Entries from female applicants were at a majority with 60 percent of the entries received, suggesting a positive trend in the region of increasing interest among young women in technology. Projects from over 18 countries were assessed by a panel of academic experts from around the globe.

Watch the project video of the Automated Irrigation System here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqHUpxJGkaQ&feature=youtu.be

 

Geosciences students to attend the International Carbonate Course in Germany next year

MUSCAT Six Geosciences students of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) will participate in the Annual International Carbonate Course of the GeoCenter at the University of Erlangen (Germany). The students were awarded by the Rector Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell with GUtech study-scholarships for their travel to Germany in February/March 2019. The seminars will cover all classic and modern aspects of carbonate sedimentology and will include practical microscopy exercises using the worldwide largest carbonate thin- section and sediment sample collection of the GeoCenter. GUtech students will attend the course for the eighth time.

© Text: GUtech/Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: Wasan Al Ghazi

German TV Team visits GUtech

HALBAN A TV team from the German-French channel ‘arte’ has visited GUtech today morning. The journalists spoke with Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences (AGEO) about the study-programme that was designed in cooperation with GUtech’s German partner-university RWTH Aachen University, highlighting the important role of geology in Oman. The TV team also attended a geological mapping class. They then interviewed female AGEO students about their studies and their future job aspirations in a male-dominated professional field. As an essential part of their studies AGEO students have to conduct internships and participate in regular excursions, e.g. to Germany. The TV team is on a one week visit to the Sultanate where they visit different locations.

“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

 

GUtech signs MoU with German Company Hydrogen Rise AG

HALBAN To introduce new hydrogen technologies to Oman as part of a ‘Hydrogen Initiative’, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the German company Hydrogen Rise AG (Hydrogen Rise) recently. The MoU was signed by Dr.-Ing. Bernd Wiemann, CEO of Hydrogen Rise, Olav Carlsen, Chief Financial Officer (CEO) and by Prof. Dr.- Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. “Hydrogen produced with renewable energy is now increasingly part of the global vision to create new businesses and new solutions to address climate change. We look forward to working together with GUtech. The final goal of our cooperation is a more detailed plan to introduce hydrogen based energy solutions and to support the building of academic, technological and economic hydrogen expertise here in Oman,” said Dr.-Ing. Bernd Wiemann. Hydrogen can store and provide energy in a widely useable form, and it is one of the most promising alternative fuels for future energy applications. It can be produced pollution-free and without carbon dioxide emissions. Most recently, the summit of the European Union energy ministers was dedicated to hydrogen and energy storage solutions and the ministers highlighted the potential of hydrogen technologies for the energy transition.

The cooperation between GUtech and Hydrogen Rise focuses on the joint development and execution of hydrogen technologies in Oman. This initiative includes the analysis, presentation and communication of the suitability of hydrogen based energy solutions for Oman. The joint activities address the evaluation and description of specific hydrogen applications while raising the overall awareness of the potential of hydrogen. “Hydrogen technologies play an essential role in the future of the global energy, metal, chemical and mobility industry. Our cooperation with Hydrogen Rise focuses on the research and communication of the potential contribution of hydrogen to Oman`s economic diversification efforts and the new employment opportunities that come with it. At the same time we are interested in the analysis of new academic fields in the area of Hydrogen Technology and Economics,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. “Germany is one of the leading countries in the field of hydrogen – in academic research, hydrogen production processes, storage and applications,” said Dr. Bernd Wiemann while adding: “We are pleased that governments and industry leaders around the world develop programs, new processes and applications for hydrogen.”

“Around the world, new projects, policies and investments are initiated in response to the role that hydrogen will play in the energy sector,” said Dipl.-Kfm. Olav Carlsen, CFO of Hydrogen Rise.

“We are very interested in participating in these technological and academic developments around hydrogen and its diverse potential applications in Oman,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell. “It is essential to understand the economic and social benefits of a hydrogen economy around the world and specifically for Oman. With its potential for renewable energy production, our country is very well positioned to play a leading role in the future energy transition and we are looking forward to working with Hydrogen Rise in analyzing and presenting these opportunities in the coming months.”

Together with technology expert companies Hydrogen Rise AG develops solutions for the complete hydrogen value chain from its production, storage, distribution and usage. The company focuses on the development of hydrogen industries in combination with the building of technological and academic competencies as well as continuous research in all fields of the Hydrogen Economy. This includes the planning and testing of pilot systems for the hydrogen production, distribution and usage. The mission of Hydrogen Rise is to develop the technical, academic and economic solutions in partnerships with the industry and the academia of those markets in which hydrogen value chains are established. The company headquarters are in Munich, (Germany) and a representation office in Muscat will be established next year.

(c) Text and photo: GUtech & Hydrogen Rise

 

 

BSc Computer Science Students Conducted their Thesis at RWTH Aachen University

“It has been a truly outstanding lifetime experience”

HALBAN Studying abroad and in a different environment educates and broadens the horizon. Hana and Abeer are two GUtech students who conducted their bachelor thesis at GUtech’s German partner-university, RWTH Aachen University, last semester. Hana Rasheed Al Raisi, has been studying Computer Science at GUtech. “Considering the high recognition and exposure that I have received on an international scale while undertaking my bachelor thesis at RWTH Aachen University has been a truly outstanding lifetime experience for me. I proudly state, I have confronted the challenges and seized my dreams,” said Hana. She conducted her Bachelor thesis at the Chair of Communication and Distribution Systems at RWTH Aachen University where she was supervised by Dr. Oliver Hohlfeld and Helge Reelfs for four months. During her time at RWTH Aachen University, she was part of an international team of researchers and she analysed a social network named ‘Jodel’, which is very popular in Saudi Arabia. “I was part of a team consisting of professors and their Bachelor and Master students. The social network ‘Jodel’ is heavily used in Saudi Arabia. It is about microblogging, like Twitter. But it distinguishes itself by a combination of unique design decisions: being local and anonymous,” explained Hana. For her thesis she analysed  the social media network using different methods. “I also researched related work and got inspired with possible questions of interest and how they may be answered methodically. Also, I worked on extending the analysis further by getting a deeper understanding of the application usage in Saudi Arabia and measuring its results qualitatively and computationally,” said Hana while adding that she is very glad about her study experience at RWTH Aachen.

Abir Al Ansari conducted her Bsc thesis at RWTH University in the Embedded Software Laboratory of the Department of Computer Sciences. Her bachelor thesis was entitled: “Evaluation of the lwIP stack with respect to real-time UDP communication on resource constrained platforms.” It was integrated in a research project on mobilities in cities including self-driving cars. “I finalized and presented my thesis on the 3rd of August. However, I extended my stay for one more month to write the thesis report. During my stay in Aachen, I lived in the student accommodation. It was a great opportunity to get familiar with the research environment in the Computer Science Department in RWTH University, communication with students and attending Bachelor and Master thesis presentations.” She said. Abeer thinks about her future. “RWTH University is one of the universities that I would choose for my MSc studies. In general, Aachen is very nice city and suitable for students.” she said.

© Text: GUtech/Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photos by Abir Al Ansari

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

 

Orientation Days held at GUtech

“I hope to achieve a high GPA. I want to develop myself,” said a student

HALBAN The Orientation Days for new students and academic staff were held on campus today morning. Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy-Rector for Administration and Finances welcomed a large number of Foundation Year students. Foundation Year students will study Academic English, Mathematics and IT throughout one year before they move on to one of the BSc or BEng programmes. “We want to educate you to the best possible. We will teach you but you will be responsible for your education,” said Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at GUtech while adding that the next years will fly by, and the student will still remember this first day at the university. During the induction for students the International Office introduced their services. Aysha Farooq, a GUtech alumni who works at the International Office mentioned that the German language is very important for the students and will help them to persue their studies in Germany including at RWTH Aachen University. The Department of Student Affairs highlighted their services to the students, such as non-academic counselling, clubs and associations, career guidance, social events and accomodation services. In addition, the Department of Registration and Student Affairs introduced the student portal with all its services. “The secret in education lies in respecting the students,” said Fouzia Williams, English lecturer at GUtech during an academic introduction for new teaching staff, which was held on the side-lines of the student orientation days.

Wajd Al Mantheri is one of the new students, she will study International Business and Service Management (IBSM) at GUtech. Wajd went to high school in Kuala Lumpur, where she also studied Management and Business for one year. “At that time I felt that I like business, it is my major. I have selected GUtech because of the International Business programme. I hope to achieve a high GPA. I really want to develop myself, especially in communications. I wish to discover new things and develop tourism in Oman in future, for example cable cars in mountain areas,” she said.

A number of international students and graduates from RWTH Aachen University started their internships or studies at GUtech today morning. Among them is Mariana, an IAESTE exchange student from Mexico, where she has been studying Petroleum Engineering. Mariana will conduct a six months internship in the Department of Process Engineering at GUtech.

(c) Text and Photo: GUtech/Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

The African Leadership Academy visited GUtech

HALBAN To learn more about higher education, a delegation of representatives from the African Leadership Academy (ALA) including one of its founding members, Chris Bradford, visited GUtech along with a Conservative Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber, Amjad Bashir, last week. The Rector of GUtech, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell welcomed, the delegation and provided an overview of the history of the institution before they discussed potential for cooperation. ALA is a residential, secondary institution located in the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. The academy is dedicated to high school students, between 16 to 19 years from South Africa and the rest of the world, with alumni from 45 countries.

Lecturers of GUtech Foundation Programme Train on Finnish Best Teaching Practices

During a four-day workshop, lecturers of GUbridge for the Foundation Programme at the German University of Technology (GUtech) were introduced to the best teaching and learning practices in the Finnish education system. The workshop was delivered by Finnish experts, Mr Antti Saukkonen & Mr Juho Alpua of the Finland-Oman School, from 17th to 20th September at GUtech campus.

The Finnish experts are members of the newly established Finland-Oman School (FOS). The new addition to the group of educational initiatives by Oman Educational Services, OES, the owner company of GUtech, GUbridge, FOS, and other affiliates.

The workshop introduced participants to the Finnish teaching and learning approaches to improve the pedagogy of the Foundation Programme and to furnish the lecturers with a toolkit of practices susceptible to promote active learning among students. “These approaches should entice students to take responsibility of their learning and thus equip them with 21st century skills, mainly cooperation, social interaction, self-assessment and peer-assessment.” Said Saukkonen. “Best practices in the education system of Finland are transferrable and are being successful in other contexts outside Finland” Continued Saukkonen. Most importantly, “The Finnish education system has a toolkit of methods that we apply in the classroom to entice students to learn efficiently and effectively and we are to help the Foundation Programme lecturers to adopt these practices” commented Alpua.

The collaboration between the team of FOS and GUbridge subscribes into the vision set by the management of OES. Speaking of opportunities for collaboration between FOS and GUtech, Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy Rector for Administration and Finance cum CEO of OES, shared: “The workshop serves our vision for bringing efficiency in teaching and learning which will benefit the Foundation Programme students at GUtech, while paving the path for a lifelong collaboration between the team of FOS and GUtech.”

“The one-year Foundation Programme is expected to bridge the knowledge gap students may have before landing onto the Bachelor programmes at GUtech. To achieve this, we want our students to acquire necessary study skills and improve their English language to a level equivalent to 6.0 in IELTS.” reasoned the General Manager of GUbridge, Ahmed Saud Al Salmi. Besides, “Leveraging the school resources brought in by our Finnish experts opens up avenues for cooperation between FOS and GUtech.” He added.

The workshop was an opportunity to engage GUbridge lecturers in active learning approaches as they had the opportunity to get hands-on experience designing and practicing teaching strategies inspired by the Finnish education system, with close guidance and instant feedback. The Finnish experts also got the opportunity to assess the areas that require further efforts for the sake of achieving efficiency and effectiveness in teaching and learning of the lecturers involved in the Foundation Programme.

“We want to equip our lecturers with the Finnish pedagogical approaches in a practical manner to help them adopt and apply them immediately in the classrooms. Educators from across the globe hail the achievement of the Finnish education system. So why we should not learn from our Finnish educators. They are here on campus and are enthusiastic to share their skills and knowledge with the Foundation Programme team” emphasized Ahmed Saud Al Salmi.

GUbridge, an institution under OES, is tasked with preparing students for GUtech’s Bachelor programmes through a one-year Foundation Programme.