“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

 

Engineering students conduct summer internships and thesis projects at the University of Brescia/Italy

HALBAN In the past six years, GUtech students have been conducting summer internships as well as thesis projects at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia in Italy. A total of four Mechanical and Process Engineering students have conducted thesis projects and six students have done six-weeks summer internships at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University. In February 2014, GUtech and the University of Brescia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was renewed earlier this year.

“The aim of the summer internships in our laboratory is the so-called mechanical and metallurgical characterization of metallic parts (e.g. aluminium alloy, cast iron), in order to find a correlation between the alloy structure and the part properties,” said Prof. Dr. Annalisa Pola, Associate Professor in Metallurgy at the University of Brescia and Fly-in Professor at GUtech. The laboratory tests conducted by GUtech students are used for evaluating the improvement in the performance of metallic parts due to the use of a new alloy chemical composition, a new production route or a new heat treatment.

In the beginning of their internships, the students have to undertake a detailed analysis of the scientific literature. “Recently, one of the topics investigated during the internship was the analysis of Al samples obtained by additive manufacturing and subjected to innovative post processing operations. The process is used for example in manufacturing components for automotive and aerospace industry. In our laboratory the students have been involved in experimental tests to evaluate the performance of the additive manufactured samples such as tensile and hardness tests, as well as density tests. They also had to perform metallurgical analyses by preparing the samples (cutting and polishing), observing by optical microscope or using an image analysis software. They collected and processed all the obtained data to compare them directly. Finally, they have been involved in the analysis of the fractured surface morphologies carried out by a scanning electron microscope,” said Prof. Annalisa Pola.

To get some industry insights, Prof. Annalisa and her colleagues have been also arranging site visits to different local companies dealing with the production of metallic parts that are investigated in the laboratory; all industries are located in the city of Brescia or in the region nearby.

“We are always happy to welcome one or two students from GUtech in our Metallurgy Laboratory. Being a rich industrial district, the city of Brescia is a very interesting location for internships and to further explore Italy. It only takes three hours to go to the capital Rome by train and two hours to Florence and to the Lake Garda,” said Prof. Annalisa Pola. “Overall our cooperation with GUtech aims at promoting and encouraging scientific and academic collaboration including the exchange of Engineering professors, researchers and Engineering students. Activities include but are not limited to student exchange, summer internships and Bachelor thesis, the exchange of Engineering professors, joint research activities, the publication and exchange of academic information and materials in the fields of interest to both universities,” said Prof. Annalisa Pola. Since October 2013 Prof. Annalisa Pola and her colleagues Prof. Marcello Gelfi and Prof. Roberto Roberti have been teaching Material Science (I and II) in the Engineering Departments at GUtech.

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

UN World Tourism Day – The Minister of Tourism visited GUtech

HALBAN On the occasion of the UN World Tourism Day entitled ‘Tourism and Jobs: A better Future for All’, the Faculty of Business and Economics at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has received H.E. Ahmed al Mehrazi, Minister of Tourism in Oman on its campus last Thursday. During the event that was held at the History of Science Centre, the Minister discussed various topics on tourism in Oman with GUtech students. The Minister spoke about the National Tourism Strategy 2040, the role of tourism festivals in marketing the Sultanate as well as cruise tourism and its potential for the Sultanate. Prof. Dr. Osman Barghouth, Head of the Department of Logistics, Tourism and Service Management presented the contribution of the tourism sector in creating employment opportunities especially for Omanis while contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This special event was open for GUtech students, staff and invitees from the academia and tourism destination management companies.

Each year, the World Tourism Day comes at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere, when tourism is on the minds of millions of people worldwide. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the World Tourism Day is celebrated to foster awareness on tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

(c) GUtech/Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Fatma Al Balushi

 

The first Summer School on ‘Climate Change Response Strategies for Sustainable Land Use and Water Management’ held at GUtech

HALBAN The First Summer School on “Climate Change Response Strategies for Sustainable Land Use and Water Management” is currently held at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). The two-week interdisciplinary course is conducted in cooperation with professors from Brandenburg Technical University, Cottbus/ Senftenberg in Germany. The Summer School focuses on Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Climate Change Response Strategies, Emerging Issues on Environmental Law and Environmental Assessment with a special focus on sustainable land use and water management while combining different teaching techniques such as lectures, case-studies and group work. The summer school courses are directly related to all Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Science programmes offered at GUtech. “Since pre-industrial times and due to human activities, urbanisation and industrialization, global greenhouse gas emissions have been rising to more than 70%. As a consequence the frequency of cyclones, heat waves and rain season has been increasing in the past years,” said Prof. Dr. Eike Albrecht during his introduction to Sustainable Development. Today due to climate change especially low-lying areas such as islands are vulnerable to increased sea level rise. At the same time a massive extinction of species has been witnessed worldwide including a drastic decline of insects, for example in Germany, said Prof. Dr. Albrecht, while mentioning that the extinction of plants and species has an impact on the entire ecosystem of our planet and many other species and we human beings will be effected. Over-exploitation of our planet’s resources for food, clothing or other products has accelerated climate change. On the other hand, Prof. Albrecht stressed on the fact that forests are the main producers of oxygen, storing CO2 emissions. These need to be protected on a large scale. According to Prof. Albrecht, currently there are more than 200 international environmental agreements and many bilateral agreements in place.

“The Summer School provides students with in-depth knowledge on highly relevant topics in the field of environmental planning, law, hydrogeology, ecology in the context of sustainable development and coping with the effects of climate change through adaptation and mitigation, such as coping measures to be discussed on a local, regional and global scale. The Summer School provides the students with a new vision of the world they live in, addressing the complexity and interrelation of problems such as environmental degradation, population growth and the scarcity of resources. Climate change in the context of land use and water resource management is gaining importance particularly in Asia and in the Middle East where an increased risk of droughts and mismanagement is projected,” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Department of Engineering at GUtech.

© GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna

Technical Workshop on the Underground Storage for Hydrogen in Oman held at RWTH Aachen

HALBAN A technical workshop on the underground storage for hydrogen gas in Oman was held in July at GUtech’s German partner-university, RWTH Aachen University. The workshop was held in preparation for the Oman Hydrogen Initiative. „An efficient storage and buffer systems for hydrogen are essential for a large scale production and application of green hydrogen,” said the Rector of GUtech, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell. In addition Prof Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences participated in the workshop. Prof. Peter Kukla, Dean of the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Prof. Dr. Janos Urai, Professor of Structural Geology and Tectonics at RWTH Aachen University and fly-in professor at GUtech, and Prof. Dr. Hartmut Krause from TU Freiburg (Germany) as well as Dr. Bernd Wiemann and Gunther Weber from Hydrogen Rise participated in the one day workshop.

During the workshop, Prof. Bauer gave an overview of the Geology of Oman and research that is currently conducted at GUtech. Prof. Krause from TU Freiburg explained the HYPOS project on hydrogen storage in caverns, its framework conditions and the planned project work. According to Prof. Wilfried Bauer there are six exposed salt domes of Ediacaran/Cambrian Ara salt in the central Ghaba Salt basin in the South of Oman. Main source rocks, so called Cryogenian-Cambrian Huqf Supergroup are the oldest source rock for oil and gas. Further research is required to identify the best reservoirs for the storage of hydrogen which could be either an empty old gas reservoir or a cavern within one of the salt domes of Oman.

© GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer

 

Nobel Prize Laureate, Prof. Amano: “Towards a Zero Emission Society”

MUSCAT During an inspiring GUtech public talk by the Nobel Prize laureate (2014), Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano, held at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat last Wednesday, the Nobel winner called for an energy shift from oil-based economies towards renewable energies such as solar energy, reducing CO2 emissions by 80%. Prof. Amano stressed that an energy shift can prevent a further increase in temperatures worldwide. He and his research team are currently working on a long-term, interdisciplinary project to find innovative approaches towards developing a ‘Zero Emission Society”. Within this project, Prof. Amano and his colleagues have invented ‘movable offshore solar power stations’.  The so-called “Future Wireless Power Transmission Network” is an open innovation platform that develops sustainable, smart solutions for future energy challenges of our societies based on an Eco Research System. By using LED light, Japan reduced its annual electricity consumption by 7%. Today even in far reaching areas LED lights are used. A few years ago Prof. Amano visited Mongolia and was glad to see that LED lamps are used in the traditional Mongolian Ger tents.

Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano is a Doctor of Engineering and he is the Director of the Center for Integrated Research of Future Electronics (URFE) at the Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability (IMaSS) and he is the Director of the Akasaki Research Center at Nagoya University (Japan). He was awarded jointly for the Nobel Prize in Physics with Prof. Amano’s colleagues Prof. Dr. Isamu Akasaki and Prof. Dr. Shuji Nakamura in 2014. The three scientists received the Nobel Prize for their invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes LED lights which have enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.

Prof. Amanos talk entitled “Lighting the world with LEDs” and the “Internet of Energy” was held under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Abdul Munim bin Mansoor Al Hassani, Minister of Information, on Wednesday evening at Kempinski Hotel Muscat, Al Mouj. A number of dignitaries including H.E. Hilal Al Hinai, Secretary General of The Research Council (TRC) attended the event, which was organized by the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in cooperation with Kempinski Hotel Muscat. Prof. Amano was accompanied by a delegation from Nagoya University (Japan) and the former Japanese Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, H.E. Seigi Marimoto.

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

GUtech Public Talk: “The Internet of Energy” by Prof. Hiroshi Amano, Nobel Prize Laureate, 11 September at 7 pm, Kempinski Hotel Muscat

A GUtech Nobel Lecture  at the Kempinski Hotel, Al Mouj on 11 September at 7 pm

HALBAN Under the auspices of Dr. Abdul Munim bin Mansour Al Hasani, Minister of Information, the Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics (2014), Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano, will give a special Nobel lecture entitled “Internet of Energy” on Wednesday, 11 September at 7 pm at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat in Al Mouj. The Nobel lecture is open to the general public and organised by the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in cooperation with the Kempinski Hotel Muscat. “We are very honored to welcome Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano as a distinguished speaker. Prof. Amano is not only an outstanding scientist, he is a great teacher and communicator, being able to make the audience curious and let them understand the subject of his scientific research,” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech.

Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Amano was awarded jointly for the Nobel Prize in Physics with his colleagues Prof. Dr. Isamu Akasaki and Prof. Dr. Shuji Nakamura in 2014. The three scientists received the Nobel Prize for their invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources, LED lights. Prof. Amano initiated a network of scientists who works on the “Internet of Energy”.

BSc Logistics and BSc International Business and Service Management receive international accreditation

HALBAN GUtech’s Bachelor programmes of International Business and Service Management as well as Logistics have received full accreditation by the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Control Institute (ACQUIN) based in Germany, for the next five years. “We are delighted to announce the first accreditation of our bachelor programmes in International Business and Service Management and in Logistics. During the accreditation process the curricula were evaluated as well as the infrastructure, the academic staff, etc. Having these programmes accredited by a German agency shows their quality and allows our graduates to continue their studies in Germany. We are particularly proud that we received the maximum accreditation period for first accreditations, which is further evidence of the confidence the panel of German and Austrian experts had in our programmes and educational environment. We value their feedback and their suggestions which further strengthen the programmes,” said Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at GUtech. All BSc and BEng programmes are internationally accredited ACQUIN.

Both Bachelor programmes are aligned with international business trends in the Gulf region while being committed to Oman’s vision for sustainable development, entrepreneurship and innovation. The BSc in International Business and Service Management, focuses on the growing tourism and travel sector worldwide, and the BSc in Logistics focuses on transportation management, supply chain management and the logistics of goods, services, and related information between their point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customer’s requirements.

“Within the wider framework of international business studies, these two Bachelor programmes combine theory and practice bringing students in direct contact with real life business scenarios in both economic sectors which are earmarked to lead the diversification of the Omani economy and create the job opportunities for future generations as per Oman’s vision 2040,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics.

15 students will participate in a Language and Culture Course at RWTH Aachen University in August

MUSCAT A group of 15 students and two supervisors from the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) will travel to GUtech’s partner-university, RWTH Aachen University to attend a special German Language and Culture Course next month. Its main aim is to introduce the students to life in Germany and to a classroom situation at RWTH Aachen University. For most of the GUtech students this will be their first trip to Germany. Students from all study-programmes had to apply with a letter of motivation that was followed by an interview. “RWTH is among the top 10 universities in Germany. I feel privileged to visit the institution. I hope that the trip enhances my knowledge about various cultures and helps me to become an independent individual,” said Osama Pervez Abdul Rahman, who is studying Computer Sciences in the 2nd year. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has been funding the annual study-trip for GUtech students since 2009.

(c) GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

GUtech students completed a unique SAP Training and Certification

HALBAN A group of 25 selected GUtech students from different academic departments  were certified in the application of an intelligent business solution, the SAP S/4 HANA recently. The GUtech students passed the internationally recognized exam as SAP Consultant of Associate Level. SAP is a German global leader in digitalization of organizations. The students were trained for the certification during a SAP Bootcamp earlier this year. “I believe that the SAP TS410 certificate will have a substantial role in my career development and I am eager to learn more about SAP,” said Arwa Al Zadjali who is studying Environmental Engineering at GUtech. SAP supports GUtech students in finding their dream jobs within the SAP Ecosystem, thus providing an ecosystem and linking it with the right talents. The goal is that students understand how organizations operate with SAP and how operational processes are digitalized. With its dual study programme, SAP is geared to tackle youth unemployment worldwide. GUtech has been cooperating within the SAP NextGen Chapter, an initiative that was brought to GUtech by Heiderose Moossen, Training Manager of Oman Education Services (OES) in September last year. “We support our graduates in establishing their own companies by nurturing their entrepreneurial mind-set. SAP consultants are trusted advisors for many companies worldwide,” said Heiderose Moossen. According to SAP, 98% of the top 100 most valued brands in the world are SAP customers and approximately 80% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. The software helps employees to realize their competencies and skills and to develop necessary additional skills within a digital environment. “That means for GUtech students, having additional SAP skills, their reliability in getting a fixed employment is very high,” said Heiderose Moossen.

“My major ‘Logistics’ requires a deep understanding of the operational processes and related activities under the umbrella of logistics and supply chain management. Since I have learnt about new, smart technology trends in the market with SAP, I feel prepared to experience and know more about what is happening behind the walls of big logistics and supply chain companies worldwide. Moreover, I intend to achieve more certificates and to become an expert in SAP related logistics topics,” said Tahira Al Balushi, student in the BSc Logistics programme at GUtech.

“I have learned how the various units and departments of a company are interconnected in an efficient and streamlined fashion, giving me a comprehensive overview of the entire modern business process. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity offered to me by Mrs. Heiderose and GUtech, and I look forward to exercising my newfound knowledge and skills in the future,” said Michael Smith, who is studying in his final year of the BSc International Business and Service Management at GUtech. In February Michael and his study-colleagues attended a five day boot camp held by an SAP instructor at GUtech. Later on the students had access to a special SAP learning platform for S/4HANA, where more support was offered to them. “We had access to the learning platform for about two months. All of this was made available to us completely free-of-charge. I think great training is as important as great technology. SAP software is designed to deliver transformative business outcomes and to truly realize this potential, explore your options to get fully equipped with the right knowledge and skills,” said Michael. He added that “it was a time and learning intensive experience, but one that I am glad to have invested in. It was extremely fascinating for me to get a kind of introduction into the way international corporations operate on a day to day basis, and to discover what the future of business will look like.” He and his colleagues learned functions that employees need within an organization within a so-called ‘Enterprise Requirements Planning Business Suite’.

(c) GUtech