First ‘Solar Training Programme’ to be established in Oman

GUtech signs MoU with Hussam Technology Company and Three Pillars Consulting

HALBAN To boost the solar energy sector and training of Omanis in the Sultanate of Oman, The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hussam Technology Company LLC (HTC) and Three Pillars Consulting (TPC). The goal of this unique cooperation is to establish the first ‘Solar Training Programme’ in Oman on GUtech’s campus in Halban, just outside of Muscat. This Training Programme is being sponsored by BP Oman’s latest round of Social Investment Programme, and was awarded to and implemented by HTC, along with their partners TPC and Solar Energy International (SEI).

Recently a number of projects and policies have been initiated in response to the role that solar energy will play in the Sultanate of Oman. “We are very glad to participate in the founding of a special Solar Training Programme at GUtech” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. BP Oman will sponsor the supply of the outdoor training facilities and along with HTC, TPC and SEI a total of 3 training classes will be delivered per year. GUtech has agreed to provide the indoor classroom and outdoor training spaces required for such a programme, over the course of an initial 3-year period. The outdoor space will be roughly 400 m2 and provide the capacity to train upwards of 30 students per session.

“Germany has the largest installed solar power generation capacity per capita” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Modigell. He went on to say that “[GUtech] would like to capitalize on the even greater amount of readily available solar resources here in Oman and are looking forward to helping facilitate this state-of-the art Solar Training Programme.” The training curriculum developed by SEI has been used internationally to prepare interested persons who want the work in the photovoltaic sector. It has been further localised with the help of HTC and TPC to meet Oman’s codes and standards. Enrolment into the Programme is open for all but particularly for interested Omani residents. “We expect a wide spectrum of trainees to attend this course, from fresh graduates, to mid-career engineers, consultants and others who might want to participate in this exciting distributed energy generation sector that we see provide great opportunity for local Omani entrepreneurship and employment” said Dr. Firas Al-Abduwani, CEO of HTC.

As well, the students and staff at GUtech will also benefit from the immediate access to the facilities of the Training Programme, which they intend to also use for hands-on academic purposes. GUtech offers several BEng and BSc programmes in which their participation in this Programme will be a great benefit to their students. “In this special training programme, students in Environmental Engineering as well as in Process Engineering, for example, will be able to use and improve their knowledge directly in a hands-on setting using hardware and systems they would see in the real world,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell. The benefits of this have already started to be seen, as several groups of students from the Urban Planning and Development department, under the instruction of Professor Alexander Kader and Lecturer Petrit Pasha, just participated in a design competition to create the first iteration of the outdoor training facilities. “The students really impressed us with both their design talents and skills but also their motivation and understanding of how important and unique this programme is for Oman” said Michael Tsang, CEO of Three Pillars Consulting. The winner of the design competition will help in the final design of the training facility, which is expected to be built by February 2018. “This is just the start of what we think will be a very fruitful and valuable collaboration”, reflected GUtech’s Ali Humairi, who has been working closely with HTC and TPC on the development of this agreement.

One of the main courses that we are offering our engineering students is on the topic of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Having such professional training programme may motivate the students and give them the opportunity to run some experiments. “I am more than happy to see that the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science is hosting and being part of the first professional solar training programme which may bring the awareness of solar technology in Oman”, said Najah Al Mhanna, Dean of Faculty of Engineering and computer Science.

“In the beginning of the project, the biggest motivation to implement this project is that this project meets the GUtech Vision and Mission to serve the community in Oman”, said Mr. Ali Al-Humairi, Lecturer in the Computer Science Department and the CSR Focal Point.

 

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