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AUS engineering freshmen compete to build lightest boat
Almost 560 engineering freshmen from the College of Engineering at American University of Sharjah (AUS) competed to build the lightest boat that could carry a 0.5L filled water bottle without sinking at the popular NGN 110 Introduction to Engineering and Computing Competition, held yesterday, December 6, 2015, at the university campus.
The competition, in its 14th edition, is part of the first-year course Introduction to Engineering and Computing (NGN 110) taken by all AUS College of Engineering students with the purpose of helping students enhance their skills in multidisciplinary teamwork, engineering design, problem solving, time management, conflict handling and communication.
This semester's NGN 110 competition focused on building a light boat that could carry a 0.5L-filled water bottle without sinking. Students could only use basic materials such as toothpicks and glue. To win, the boat had to keep floating as the water bottle was dropped from 20 cm from the highest point of the boat. The competition saw a large number of participants, with students divided into 112 groups.
"Our goal is to introduce soft skills to the engineering students from day one at AUS, which will help in their daily life not only at AUS, but also after graduation. Students this year came up with amazing boat ideas that reflected creativity and innovation," said Dr. Fadi Ahmed Aloul, AUS Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and organizer of the event. "I'm very thankful to the judges, participating students, and the 30 student volunteers who made this event a success," he added.
The lightest boat at the competition weighed only 102 grams. Members of the winning team were Oday Rayess (computer engineering), Amjad Ahmad Alhamad (civil engineering), Firas Ahmed Harere (electrical engineering), Omar Mohamed Wahby (mechanical engineering) and Farhaan Ahamed (mechanical engineering). The second place boat weighed in at 117 grams, while the third place came in at 155 grams.
Students from all seven undergraduate degree programs offered by the AUS College of Engineering participated in the competition. The college offers Bachelor of Science degree programs in chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and mechanical engineering.
Nour Al Samahy, an AUS freshman majoring in civil engineering, said, "The NGN competition helps us to work in groups and to think outside the box. Participating in this event helped me to do practical work, which was extremely beneficial to my learning process."
In previous competitions, students were required to design and build motorless cars, small-scale bridges, tower cranes, helicopters, boats and paper planes among other structures.
The competition judges included Dr. Khaled El-Fakih, Associate Professor of Computer Science; Dr. Ahmed Aqeel, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering; Dr. Rami Afif Asad, Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering; and Dr. Mahmoud Ibrahim, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering.
The event was attended by members of the AUS community including several members of the AUS Board of Trustees, senior AUS officials as well as faculty and students.