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AUS course showcased in global webinar series
Representatives of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) College of Engineering shared insights on programs aimed at increasing diversity in engineering during a recent webinar of the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES)/Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC). The global event focused on programs honored by the Airbus-GEDC Diversity Award.
Dr. Sirin Tekinay, Dean of the AUS College of Engineering (CEN) and Chair of GEDC, chaired the global webinar and Dr. Fadi Aloul, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and 2015 Airbus-GEDC Diversity Award winner, participated in the panel, which featured a select group of relevant intellectual leaders interacting with a global audience of around 500.
“I had the opportunity to present the winning NGN 110 course in a discussion that also featured the winners in 2016 and 2019. This course attracts students of different backgrounds to engineering and excites them about the profession. It is intended to simulate their critical thinking, creativity and innovation and help them appreciate diversity in engineering,” said Dr. Aloul.
Entitled Introduction to Engineering and Computing, the NGN 110 course is taken by all first-year AUS engineering students. As part of the course’s assignments, students are assigned to random teams and work on simple projects using their knowledge and basic resources such as string, pencil, glue and paper to create engineering structures and devices. Students have built bridges out of spaghetti and glue, low-weight dome-like structures able to support five paper packs, race cars that could carry 500 milliliters of water, toothpick boats and rubber band helicopters.
“The course makes first-year engineering students from all backgrounds and from different specialties come together to work on the projects. In the process, they do not only focus on engineering concepts but also develop their skills in teamwork, communication, time management and conducting research,” said Dr. Aloul.
Launched in 2012, the Airbus GEDC Diversity Award aims to shine a light on successful projects that inspire students from all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering. Dr. Tekinay has served on the jury of the award program for many years, and most recently presided over the jury deliberations for the 2019 edition.