Arts and Science Day at GUtech

Halban The celebrations of the 10th anniversary continued with the Arts & Science Day at GUtech on Thursday 7 December.

Students showcased their artwork, their scientific ideas and research projects in the amphitheatre of the university.

Alanoud Al Balushi, Lamya Al Siyabi, Rehan Al Balushi and Yaman Al Hajri are studying Process Engineering at GUtech. They presented an ‘Acquaponics System’ that feeds fish with a sensor measuring the water level, the acidity and the temperature, in order to ensure the well-being of the fish. According to the students, the acquaponics system ensures a balanced life for fish and plants. “We have seen that we can develop the technical parts through an additional sensor”. Moreover, students Heba Al Kharousi, Arwa Al Salmi and Ishraq Al Hatmi, presented a small model of a hydrogen car, that has won several regional awards recently.

Several interns from Germany, who are currently supporting the Department of Sciences and Maths presented the chemistry of food items. For example, the flavour of ginger is influenced by a number of compounds. The pungency of fresh ginger comes from ‘gingerol’, while the flavour comes from the compound of so-called ‘zingiberen’. Cooking ginger breaks down both compounds.

Aisha Al Fazari, BSc Logistics student 2nd year, showcased her paintings during the arts exhibition. According to Aisha there are around 60 student members in the Arts club. Commenting on her own painting showing a sad clown, she said: “spending time in order to make others feel happy, but without caring about the own feelings.”

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The Third International Symposium on Flash Floods in Wadi Systems (ISSF) concluded

HALBAN The 3rd International Symposium on Flash Floods in Wadi Systems (ISSF) entitled “Disaster Risk Reduction and Water Harvesting in the Arab Region,” concluded end of last week at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in Halban. Sessions on hydraulic simulation, water harvesting and sediment management as well as monitoring, meterology, climate change, risk assessment, risk management and hazard mitigation were held.

According to the international experts in the multi-disciplinary field of flash flood management, most Arab countries have been suffering from a rise in flash floods, especially within the past ten years. Dr. Ayisha Al Khatri from the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR) gave a presentation on the Hydrometic network and its role in flash floods monitoring in the Sultanate of Oman. Dr. Ayisha said that the first rain gauge was installed in Muscat in 1893 already. The first flood risk studies was initiated in 1987 already. In 1992 the ministry published the first flood risk maps, indicating areas that are located in flood areas. The hydrometic network monitors flash floods and therefore helps to project and prevent future floods in the country.

A team of researchers from Kyoto University (Japan) Dr. Tetsuya Sumi, Dr. Sameh Kantoush and Dr. Mohamed Saber, raised in their research presentation the question regarding the understanding the dramatic changes of flash floods in terms of their frequency and intensity due to climate change and how to mitigate and manage the flood water and to reduce the risk of disasters? For their research they applied water harvesting and hydrological modelling within a case study conducted in Egypt.

Towards the end of the sessions, the participants of the symposium discussed a joint 5year Road Map towards establishing an international framework of guidelines for the management of flash floods in wadi systems. Short-term measures such as training, construction guidelines and a wadi flash flood textbook were discussed. The framework will also include international research projects, international guidelines regarding the management of wadis, continuous monitoring of the wadi systems, modelling of the wadi flows as well as continuous public awareness through education and health services.

More than one hundred local and international experts from Japan, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi-Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Germany besides other countries, attended the three-day symposium, that included an excursion to the Fulaij Flood Protection Dam in Sur on Thursday as well as a pre-conference training workshop on “Flow and Sediment Transport Modelling in Rivers and Wadi System using TELEMAC 2D and 3D numerical codes”.

The Department of Applied Geosciences (AGEO) at GUtech organized the symposium in cooperation with the Water Resource Research Center in Kyoto (WRRC), the Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GDRAI) of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University, and the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR). Moreover, the symposium is sponsored by Hölscher Wasserbau GmbH, COMSOL Inc., Al Bustan Construction as well as Gulf Lake. The organizers also wish to acknowledge all support received from the Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR).

Since 2015 the Symposium on Flash Floods in Wadi Systems was held in Kyoto (Japan) and in Campus El Gouna (Egypt). The next symposium will be held in Casablanca/ Morocco next year. For further details and registration please check out the conference website isff2017.gutech.edu.om

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Caption: Opening ceremony of the International Symposium on Flash Floods in Wadi Systems held at GUtech

© Text : GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet & Dr. Ahmed Hadidi

The Oman-German Day celebrated at GUtech

HALBAN The celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) kicked off on Wednesday, 6 December with the Omani-German Day celebrated under the auspices of H.E. Thomas Schneider, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Sultanate of Oman. “This is an occasion of joy and pride,” said the German Ambassador in his speech held in the amphitheatre of the university. According to the Ambassador German diplomatic relations between the Sultanate and Germany began in 1972. The Ambassador stressed that German education is not a commercial good, while referring to the vision of the German academic Alexander von Humboldt whereby “universities should enable the students to become independent thinkers” and education should be affordable and accessible for every student. German universities rank among the best in the world and are leading research institutions in many fields. GUtech is affiliated with RWTH Aachen University and was established in 2007 in Muscat. “GUtech will always be a flagship for German-Omani relations,” said the Ambassador.

Further highlights of the Oman-German Day were the distribution of scholarships awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to 19 international and Omani GUtech students. “The scholarship  encourages me to work even harder during my studies. In future I would like to study in Germany and maybe conduct my BSc thesis at a German university,” said Majda Mohammed, who is studying BSc International Business and Service Management (IBSM) in the 2nd year at GUtech. The distribution of scholarships was followed by a classical musical performance of German composers by four members of the Royal Symphony Orchestra.

Towards the end of the evening, the first episode of the documentary film ‘Sons of Sinbad’ about the rich seafaring history of Oman was shown in the amphitheatre of the university. The second and third episode of the documentary will be shown on Thursday, 7 December and on Monday 11 December. To book a seat please contact www.gutecheventbrite.com.

On Thursday, 7 December the Arts and Science Day will be held on campus and on Monday, 11 December a special GUtech Open Day, that will focus on various activities for families and all age groups will be held the entire day at GUtech. The 6th graduation ceremony will be held on Sunday, 10 December and on the 12th December the 5th anniversary of the visit of H.M will be celebrated in the evening. Both events are on invitation only.

Scholarships were awarded to the following students:

Adam Idris, Aly Saad Osman, Mariam Ebeid, Taahirah Khaleque, Anotidaishe Mavazhe, Nusrat Kamal, Mahmudur Rahman, Michael Smith, Shifa Majeed, Habibur Solaim, Ashley Rodrigues, Alfarouk Abdelkafy, Neeraj Krishnan, Majda Mohammed, Melina Naderi, Melika Naderi, Loay Al Lawati, Chaudhry Taimoor Niaz, Shams Al Balushi

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GUtech Sets To Take Part In Shell Eco-Marathon next year

MUSCAT Shell Oman and the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) inked an agreement that will allow a student team from GUtech to participate in the eighth round of Shell Eco-marathon Asia taking place in early 2018. This will be the fourth time for Team Megalodon from GUtech to participate in Shell Eco-marathon with an energy-efficient vehicle in the diesel prototype category. They will be racing alongside students from universities, colleges and technical institutes across 16 other countries from across Asia, Middle East and Africa.

“Shell Eco-marathon is one of the initiatives we support that are focused on the transition in the world’s energy system. Shell Eco-marathon provides the students with the opportunity to tackle serious world challenges – such as energy efficiency – in a fun and educational manner. It promotes technical, leadership and teamwork skills, pushes students’ boundaries and gets them thinking on their feet to overcome a variety of obstacles creatively. We are very excited to see Team Megalodon from GUtech team participate in Shell Eco-marathon for the fourth consecutive. I am especially proud of the diversity this team brings to the competition that ultimately contributes to the success of the team.” Said Muna Al Shukaili, General Manager, External Relations.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Shell Oman, who will financially support our GUtech team during the Eco-marathon 2018. GUtech teams have been participating in the Shell Eco-marathon since 2015. We have witnessed the impact of this international initiative on our students, who work long hour, trying to plan and solve engineering problems in their free time. During the competition, they must work and manage the team and their resources, it is a huge task for young students. The Shell Eco marathon provides an immense value for young engineers, who work in a team and manage their entire project in a timely and precise manner. The new GUtech team has already started the planning of the project and the design of the next eco-friendly car. I wish them innovative ideas and a lot of success for the coming months and the competition in March next year,” stated Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech.

“I have been involved in robotics and programming competitions, but I have never worked on manufacturing a car. I think it is good to work in a team on an actual physical process and to apply the theoretical knowledge. We are in the process of building the car. I think, the experience gained by our team working on a diesel car will be very useful to our future endeavours,” said Neeraj Krishnan, team member and a mechanical engineering student from GUtech.

Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2018 will see 24 On-Track awards with prize money of US $2,000 for Winners in both Prototype and Urban Concept categories. In addition, teams will also be competing for five Off-Track awards: Communications, Vehicle Design, Technical Innovation, Safety and Perseverance and Spirit of the Event.

(c) Text and photo: GUtech and Shell Oman

Third International Symposium on Flash Floods in Wadi Systems to be held at GUtech, 5 – 7 December

HALBAN Flash floods which are caused by extreme weather conditions have created severe damages to the infrastructure and agriculture in recent years in many parts of the world including the Sultanate of Oman. The Third International Symposium on Flash Floods in Wadi Systems entitled “Disaster Risk Reduction and Water Harvesting in the Arab Region” will be held between the 5-7 December at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in Halban.

“Our international symposium aims at creating awareness about flash floods and increase research in efficient flash flood forecasting through hydrological models that predict rainfall and runoff processes and simulate the flood routing,” said Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Holzbecher, Hydrologist at GUtech, who is heading the local organizing committee of the symposium. The Symposium is held in cooperation with the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources in the Sultanate of Oman, Water Resource Research Center in Kyoto (Japan), the Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GDRAI) of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University.

According to the researchers, their occurrence is highly random. “Because of climate change, flash floods will occur more frequently in future. Therefore, there is an urgent need for further flash flood protection and risk reduction. In addition, the rain water can be harvested and used for example for agricultural purposes. This has been done in other parts of the world, e.g. in Africa,” said Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Holzbecher.

In previous years the Symposium was held in Kyoto (Japan) and in Campus El Gouna (Egypt). Around one hundred experts from all over the world are expected to attend the symposium, that will also include a Training Workshop on “Flow and Sediment Transport Modelling in Rivers and Wadi System using TELEMAC 2D and 3D numerical codes”.

The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), COMSOL, Hölscher Wasserbau GmbH, Al Bustan Construction and Gulf Lake are the silver sponsors of the symposium. For further details and registration please check out the conference website: http://issf2017.gutech.edu.om/ or contact ISFF2017@gutech.edu.om.

© Text: GUtech / Manuela Gutberlet and Dr. Ahmed Hadidi
© Photo: GUtech/ Applied Geosciences Department

Caption:

members of the organizing team, from left to right:

Prof. Dr. Tetsuya Sumi, WRRC, Desaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan

Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Holzbecher, GUtech, Oman

Prof. Dr Sameh Kantoush, WRRC, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Japan

Dr. Saif Al-Hinai, Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority, Oman

 

GUtech and Siemens partner on mechatronics certification

  • Highly specialized program is first of its kind to be offered in Oman
  • Collaboration allows GUtech students to benefit from real-world tools from industry
  • Agreement meets the needs of increasingly-digitalized industry

Digitalization is key to increasing productivity and competitiveness in the manufacturing industries. It is also creating completely new business and growth opportunities for companies, as well as new jobs. To train the engineers of the future and to strengthen the collaboration between industry and academia, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and Siemens have announced a new academic collaboration that will provide advanced learning and certification opportunities for engineering students and professionals. Beginning 2018, GUtech will offer the Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program (SMSCP) to all students interested in advancing their skills in automation and manufacturing.

Announced at a signing ceremony hosted at the GUtech campus in Halban, Muscat, the partnership is designed to boost students’ digital skills to meet the needs of an increasingly-digitalized industry sector. The signing was witnessed by the German Ambassador to Oman, H.E. Thomas Schneider, as well as other business leaders and academia experts.

The German Ambassador H.E. Thomas Schneider in his address congratulated Siemens and GUtech on the agreement and stressed “This cooperation gives GUtech access to a global network of advanced technology partners working with Siemens, linking the Sultanate of Oman to the top level of industrial research and education. This is an initiative which we wholeheartedly welcome and which we would like to see become a model for cooperation in other fields. Therefore I consider this ceremony today not only as the conclusion of the MoU, but as a starting point for an ever closer cooperation between the various branches, such as science and business.”

“Education is a long-term investment. We are very thankful for the support of Siemens, one of the global leaders in engineering. We are grateful that our engineering students will be able to use a special mechatronics laboratory here at GUtech, featuring the Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program,” said Professor Dr. Eng. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. “This program will also enhance our close cooperation with the German and Omani industry. In the long run, the certification of our students will enhance their employability.”

Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering integrated to build complex systems. This holistic, hands-on approach to engineering can improve efficiency, productivity and quality and ultimately decrease time to market. Industries that benefit greatly from mechatronics systems include aerospace, materials processing, water desalination, machine building, automotive, transportation, building technologies and mining.

“Today’s industrial sectors are undergoing rapid change. Manufacturing systems are becoming increasingly complex and digitalized and these systems require qualified highly-skilled individuals with the knowledge required to design, operate and maintain them,” said Markus Strohmeier, CEO of Siemens in Oman. “We are honoured to collaborate with GUtech to bring mechatronics training to Oman, offering students the opportunity to pursue this globally recognized certification that will ultimately help them succeed in top industries upon graduation.”

Siemens is the only global industrial company to offer the internationally-recognized program in cooperation with partner colleges and universities throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. Under the agreement, GUtech will be the first university in Oman to offer the training and join an international network of advanced technology partners in education and industry working with Siemens to deliver the SMSCP program.

Upon completion of the program, participants will obtain mechatronics systems certification directly from Siemens. The course will be offered to students in two levels, and taught by the GUtech’s instructors who will be trained at the Siemens Technik Academy in Berlin, Germany. Each level is based on a job profile – a comprehensive description of the tasks that the certified individual should be able to perform. Job profiles are developed by Siemens in collaboration with other industry and public sector partners.

PSI Computer Laboratory opens at GUtech

HALBAN The German company PSI Software Group has opened a specialized Computer Laboratory and Training Center at GUtech, located in Barka. The University and PSI Software Group signed a MoU a few months ago.

“We are delighted to open a specialized PSI Computer Laboratory at our university today. GUtech students who are enrolled in Mechanical, Process and Environmental Engineering will benefit from this unique laboratory as well as our academic staff. To familiarize themselves with the SCADA software the Engineering professors of GUtech were trained at the PSI head offices two months ago,” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. The PSI Software Group will also utilize the GUtech laboratory as a Training Center for its customers in the GCC region.

“The PSI Control system will be introduced from January onwards. We are looking forward to training GUtech students in the simulation of the operation of gas and oil pipelines and water networks. Our software with an extended technology simulation core specifically helps to understand better the fluid transportation process within a pipeline. Therefore, it is a high-end tool to increase efficiency and safety of pipeline operations,” said Wolfgang Klüber, PSI Sales Manager Oman. PSI also plans to introduce an internship programme for the best Engineering students at GUtech.

““We want to train our students in specialized laboratories that give them the skills to implement the practical experience in their future work. Therefore, offering an industrial software like PSI’s SCADA in our engineering programmes will give the opportunity to our students to be trained in Energy Management and Oil and Gas Pipeline Management. Also, this will enrich the engineering programme,” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department.

 

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

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. 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.

 

Caption: Group photo with Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech (second row, center) and Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department (second row, right), Dr. Aleksej Lisunkin, Technology Development Manager of PSI (first row, center) and Rüdiger Schulz, Business Development Middle East/Oman (second row, center), Elena Lvova, Project Software Engineer of PSI (second row, left) as well as GUtech professors and engineering students.

(c) Text & photo: GUtech/ Manuela Gutberlet

Students attend a Language and Culture Course at RWTH Aachen University

MUSCAT A group of 15 students of GUtech recently travelled to GUtech’s partner-university, RWTH Aachen University in Germany to attend a German Language and Culture Course. The annual study-trip has been conducted since 2009; its main aim is to introduce the students to life in Germany and to the classroom situation at RWTH Aachen University. For most of the students it is their first trip to Germany. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has been funding the study trip. The GUtech students of different study-programmes had to apply with a letter of motivation that was followed by an interview.

“From a cultural aspect we learnt a lot, whether it was the history through our city tours with guides, or from our various mentors. Even getting insight into the current culture through observing the people we saw all around us on the streets was valuable for us as students of a completely different culture. The most surprising thing was encountering so many expatriates, especially Arabs. We learnt so much about the dynamics of the daily lives of people and their interactions,” said Maryam Mohamed, GUtech student in Computer Sciences.

At RWTH Aachen University, the students had a campus tour and visited two institutes, the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management as well as the Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika). One weekend the group headed to Bonn, the former capital of Germany where they visited the old city with its city gates, the city hall, the birthplace of the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven, castles and churches. On the third weekend, they visited the cathedral of Cologne and the city hall and the group enjoyed a boat cruise on the Rhine River. The summer school also included a half-day trip to Düsseldorf and Maastricht the Dutch city, located close to Aachen. Also, the students got to know some other border cities such as Roermond, Vaals, and Kerkrade in the Netherlands and Kelmis in Belgium. They enjoyed a hike through the forestland of Germany leading to the common point between Germany, Belgium and Netherlands known as the “Three-Country Point” (in German: “Dreiländerpunkt”).

GUtech students expressed their gratitude to DAAD and GUtech for their support. “The summer school is an excellent opportunity given to GUtech students. It serves to strengthen the connection between GUtech and RWTH Aachen University. Some students even expressed their interest of going back to Germany one day for internships and even post graduate studies,” said Dr. Yathrib Ajaj, Chemistry lecturer at GUtech who accompanied the group. GUtech offers German classes for all BSc or BEng students. The university promotes study and research exchange especially with RWTH Aachen University and with other universities in Europe.

 

(c) text: GUtech/Manuela Gutberlet; photo: GUtech/Nabil al Badri

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

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