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AUS graduate students first in the UAE to win prestigious global innovation award
Five graduate students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) MBA and engineering programs won the Houston Technology Center Asia Innovation Award at the mai Bangkok Business Challenge held earlier in Bangkok, Thailand. The AUS team is the first team in the UAE to make it to the finals.
According to its website, the mai Bangkok Business Challenge is a global new venture plan competition in Thailand that encourages graduate students in business administration programs across Thailand and Asia to become more entrepreneurial. The judging committee included leading entrepreneurs, professionals and investors who select the most attractive new venture based on submitted written business plans, live presentations and venture exhibits.
The AUS team's winning project was the Iso-Truss Factory, which manufactures street poles through the use of Iso-Truss, a revolutionary composite product that is being tested by some of the worlds' leading organizations including NASA. Iso-Truss is more environmentally friendly, weighs less and carries more strength than any of the products currently being used to manufacture poles. In addition to winning the Houston Technology Center Asia Innovation Award, the students won the Best Presentation Award.
The winning students are Taak Abou Shahada, Kazim Ali and Nouran Maatouk from the MBA program and engineering graduate students Rashad Al Araj and Hasan Mahmoud. Their faculty advisors were Dr. Andrew Klein, Assistant Professor in Management, and Dr. Farid Abed, Associate Professor in Civil Engineering.
"It is a considerable accomplishment for a combined team of MBA and engineering graduate students to create a plan in an AUS cross-functional course, submit it to an international competition, and win the top award for innovation," said Dr. Klein. "Their award is significant within the field of entrepreneurship and technology."
The award was granted by the King of Thailand's Privy Councilor at the award ceremony after a multi-day competition with several rounds of eliminations. Along with receiving a cash prize of $8,000, the students have been invited to bring their invention to the Houston Technology Center in Houston, Texas, to introduce their plan to the American market.