Students from the French School in Muscat learn about Smart Cities

HALBAN As part of the university’s local community engagement, a group of fifteen international students and two teachers from the French High School in Muscat visited the GUtech campus today morning. They met with different professors from the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) and the Department of Computer Sciences (CS).

Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli, Head of the CS Department, gave an introduction to the concept of smart cities and the future of cities worldwide. He also elaborated on smart transportation and the social aspects impacting societies in smart urban developments.

Amal Al Balushi and Olivera Petrovic, both from the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design at GUtech then spoke about the work and responsibilities of urban planners and they showcased some recent students’ works to the group. After a short tour around the GUtech campus, the group visited the EcoHaus where they met with Prof. Nikolaus Knebel from the UPAD Department (pictured). He elaborated on the architecture design of the EcoHaus and several smart interior design features such as the cooling system, the solid wall insulation and the recyclable building materials.

© GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

 

Creating Awareness on Electric Transportation – The eMobility Forum held

HALBAN To create awareness on electric mobility in Oman and to bring together various stakeholders from the public and private sector, the eMobility Forum Oman was held at the Hormuz Grand Hotel in Muscat today. GUtech was the official Academic Partner of the event, which was organised by GlobalEVRT.

The electrification of the transport system is seen as one of the best ways to improve the overall quality of the environment, to increase the air quality and to lower global CO2 emissions. Dr. Oualid Ali, Director of Training and Smart Solutions Centre (TSSC) at GUtech and Founder and President of the Future Cities Council gave one of the keynote speeches entitled “Electric vehicles for future smart and sustainable cities: opportunities and challenges for Oman”. In his talk he mentioned some of the challenges facing Oman, such as the implementation of governmental regulations, the citizen’s adaptation of electric vehicles as well as the infrastructure upgrade including charging stations that need to be set up all over the country. According to Dr. Oualid, there are currently twelve existing charging stations for electric cars between Dubai and Muscat. “The network of charging stations is a very important factor,” said Sam Alawiye, CEO of Green Parking while adding that Dubai has one of the largest numbers of charging stations worldwide. “Our company’s goal is to provide charging stations all over the GCC region along with parking facilities so that it is possible to drive from Riyadh to Salalah within a network of charging stations based in commercial centres and hotels,” said Alawiye. On the sidelines of the event, the participants had the chance to test-drive one of the latest electric car models from Renault, GM, Chevrolet and Tesla.

© GUtech/ text & photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

 

GUtech signs MoU with the Department of Architecture, Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

HALBAN The Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule 21) in Germany. The university is specialized in the fields of Building Sciences, Technical Sciences, and Health Sciences. The Department of Architecture at Hochschule 21 offers a four year Bachelor of Engineering programme in Architecture, combining theory and continuous practice at architecture offices for two to three months each semester. “In the frame of an exchange programme funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) entitled ‘University Dialogue with the Islamic World’ our universities have been working in cooperation with each other, in the past two years. During that time we conducted a project on the duality of professional practise in architecture. Due to its success we wish to extend and enhance our cooperation in all fields, including student and staff exchange as well as in research during the next five years,” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Karsten Ley, who is an urban planner, architect and the Head of the Department of Architecture at Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences. Prof. Dr. Karsten Ley has been working as a regular fly-in professor at GUtech since the foundation of the GUtech in 2007.

A group of twenty architecture students and professors from Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences visited GUtech and a group of GUtech students and their UPAD professors visited the university in Germany last year. Three German students are currently studying in the 5th and 7th semester in UPAD at GUtech. In the next semester three students will conduct their BSc thesis at Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences. “We are looking forward to strengthen our cooperation in the coming years. In the next year a small group of students will conduct their Bachelor thesis at Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences,” said Prof. Dr. Gustavo De Siquiera, Head of the UPAD Department at GUtech. “The project will be applied research and conducted for the Ministry of Environment Schleswig-Holstein in cooperation with two other Universities of Applied Sciences,” added Prof. Dr. Karsten Ley. GUtech students will get some insights and benefit from an international research environment and architectural research practises in Germany.

“Our university focuses on application-oriented courses. Therefore the students are well prepared for their professional lives in their field,” said Prof. Karsten Ley. Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences was re-founded as a private university in 2004, looking back at a continuous tradition as academic institution that originally started in 1875. Currently a total of 1,100 are studying at the university, including 200 students at the Department of Architecture. The University is located in the Hanseatic City of Buxtehude, in the greater Hamburg Metropolitan Area and the wider region of the rivers Elbe and Weser in Northern Germany.

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

 

GUtech will partner with the eMobility Forum in Muscat

HALBAN To enhance awareness on electric cars and the electric mobility in the region, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) is proud to be the official Academic Partner of the second annual eMobility Forum Oman to be held on 20 January in Muscat.

When asked about the collaboration with GUtech, Ben Pullen, CEO of Global EVRT, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with GUtech for our second eMobility Forum Oman. The event is designed to help business and government leaders understand the coming wave of disruptive innovation being unleashed by electric vehicles. The global shift to electric mobility is an inevitability and the forum will help ensure that Oman does not get left behind.”

Dr. Oualid Ali, Director of Training and Smart Solutions Centre (TSSC) at GUtech will give one of the keynote speeches on smart cities entitled “Electric vehicles for future smart and sustainable cities: opportunities and challenges for Oman”. “In my talk I will present the challenges and opportunities of the adoption of electric vehicles in the capital Muscat and overall in Oman. As examples of such challenges, I would like to mention the so-called ‘government buy-in’, in terms of regulation and the ‘citizen buy-in’ and adoption of electric vehicles and the infrastructure upgrade such as charging stations.” Said Dr. Oualid. In addition, students from the Mechanical Engineering Club at GUtech will have the chance to test-drive some of the latest electric car models from Renault, GM, Chevrolet and Tesla.

For more information check out the following links:

Register here: https://www.evrtmiddleeast.com/forum-tickets

Media pass: https://www.evrtmiddleeast.com/press-registration

 

© GUtech/ Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet, photo: provided by GlobalEVRT

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

‘Solar Decathlon Middle East’ – International ‘Sustainable Architecture Workshop’ held in Dubai and in Oman

HALBAN A group of international architecture students recently visited GUtech and conducted an excursion to the old district of Nizwa. Following their visit to GUtech the students participated in an international student workshop within the Solar Decathlon Middle East competition held at Zayed University in Dubai. The sustainability of contemporary architecture projects including the building performance and quality control were leading themes of the workshop.

A total of 53 international students from Germany (University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt), Dubai (Zayed University) and GUtech participated in the workshop. The workshop was led by Assoc. Prof. Alexander Kader (GUtech), Prof. Thorsten Lomker (Zayed University) and Prof. Sven Steinbach (Erfurt University of Applied Sciences). Thirteen students from the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) at GUtech worked along with 20 students from the Department of Interior Design from Zayed University and 25 students from the Departments of Architecture, Engineering and Building Technology of the University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt.

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.

A simulation center for oil and gas operations launched

HALBAN The German company PSI Software AG has started this week its training sessions for Engineering students at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). A specialized Computer Laboratory and Training Center was opened at GUtech last year, after signing a MoU with PSI Software AG. The laboratory showcases a small-scale sample industrial pipeline that is connected to an operation desk.

“Our software helps to understand the fluid transportation process within a pipeline. It is a high-end tool to increase efficiency and safety of pipeline operations,” said Dr. Aleksej Lisunkin, Technology Development Manager of PSI Software AG who is currently conducting the block seminar at GUtech. GUtech students who are enrolled in Mechanical, Process and Environmental Engineering will benefit from this unique software as well as our academic staff. PSI Software AG also plans to introduce a thesis programme for Engineering students.

“Today’s experiment shows the students an example of a real engineering work, where they are going to detect a leakage in pipelines. This PSI training centre is a unique centre here at GUtech. It will contribute to the capacity building of the Omani society. The new centre connects the simulation theory with industrial applications. The students will have the opportunity to learn an industrial software “PSIpipelines”, and they will practice the application of simulation techniques” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department at GUtech.

The PSI Software AG is the European market leader for supervision and control systems for gas, oil, electricity, heat and energy transmission and trading. PSI Software AG develops and integrates complete solutions for management of energy flows (gas, oil, electricity, heat, energy planning, transmission, and trading), production processes (mining, metals, automotive, mechanical engineering, logistics) and infrastructure for transport and safety.

The PSI Software AG is planning to use the GUtech laboratory as a Training Center for its customers in the GCC region in future.

The PSI Software AG was founded in 1969, it is based in the German capital Berlin and employs more than 1,600 persons worldwide, in projects in the US, Europe and Southeast Asia. On the Arabian Peninsula, PSI has delivered the leak detection and location system to the Kuwait Oil Company, for its countrywide gas and condensate pipeline system. Previous prestigious projects in the area of gas management applications include such ambitious and sophisticated installations as GAZPROM control systems for the onshore gas transmission pipeline system supporting Nord Stream and for the entire onshore/offshore gas Blue Stream Pipeline System in Russia.

© GUtech/ Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: Umaima Al Zadjali.

“Fieldtrip Istanbul – Meeting East and West” – exhibition opens at GUtech

HALBAN Under the auspices of H.E. Ayşe Sözen Usluer, the Turkish Ambassador to Oman, the exhibition “Fieldtrip Istanbul – Meeting East and West” of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) was opened today morning. The exhibition showcases the creative work realised during the architectural excursion of the 7th semester students. “Every walk through the city can never be made in a seminar room,” said Prof. Ercan Agirbas who organised and supervised the excursion. The exhibition showcased at GUtech includes, Turkish Ebru painting art, students’ sketchbooks and a short film about the excursion. To learn more about contemporary art, the group of students participated in a special Ebru workshop at the Sanathane art studio. Ebru is the Turkish painting on water. The Turkish Ambassador was very impressed of the students’ artworks. Referring to their Ebru art paintings H.E. Ayşe Sözen Usluer, the Turkish Ambassador said: “After your graduation you will mix with other cultures and I hope you will contribute to harmony and peace in the world”.

Prof. Ercan Agirbas explained the painting technique. “As an artist you are able to guide the colour. It is a result of your soul. You try to express your feelings on paper,” he said. During the one week excursion to Istanbul, the group visited many different places in Istanbul including the top tourist sites like the Blue Mosque, the bazar, the Museum for Turkish and Islamic Art and the Hagia Sofia, an important monument for Byzantine and Ottoman Empires which now serves a museum of the Turkish Republic. Throughout the entire week the group was guided by the Turkish tour guide Mr Attila Geridönmez. The students also visited the Turkish-German University (TAU) where they listened to different lectures and met with students. “As architects I believe we should travel to learn about other cultures,” said Aisha Al Hadrami, UPAD student. Due to the success of the excursion, Prof. Ercan Agirbas is planning to offer a summer school in Istanbul next year.

The exhibition “Fieldtrip Istanbul – Meeting East and West” is open to the public during the opening hours of the university.

Caption: Group photo with the UPAD students, the Turkish Ambassador H.E. Ayşe Sözen Usluer, Prof. Ercan Agirbas, as well as Prof. Wayne Swytzer of the UPAD Department.

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

Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs visited GUtech

HALBAN As part of an official visit to the Sultanate of Oman, H.E. Dr. Karin Kneissl, Federal Minister at the Austrian Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs visited the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) on Thursday afternoon. The minister and her delegation was welcomed by the Rectorate, GUtech students and alumnis from different departments. Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech, gave an overview of the development of the university and its achievements in the past ten years. The Minister then gave a talk on the energy transition and the growing importance of gas resources for world economies. “Oil was the main energy resource in the 20th century, gas will be the new energy resource for the 21st century,” said the Minister. The talk was followed by a short discussion with GUtech students.