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AUS students take on engineering challenge
More than 500 students from the American University of Sharjah's (AUS) College of Engineering put their skills to a practical test in a competition held recently on the AUS Main Plaza.
The NGN 110 Competition, now in its eighth iteration, tasked students with building a mechanical sorter system that can take in nine ping pong balls of a different weight in a random order and sort them. The competition drew 560 students in 112 teams of 5 members.
The competition is part of a first-year course entitled Introduction to Engineering and Computing (NGN 110) taken by all engineering students enrolled at AUS. Each team is given six weeks to complete their project. Previous iterations of the event have required students to design and construct bridges, cars, boats and paper planes, among other structures.
The first place winners were Ahmed Mohamed Thabet, a computer science major; Ehab Emad Basta, a computer engineering major; Osama Ziad Nofel, a civil engineering major; AbdelRahman Amr Aboutaleb, an industrial engineering major; and Khalid Magdi Gharib, a mechanical engineering major. The first-place team won a cash prize of AED 1,750. Their system was able to sort all nine balls and weighed just 82 grams. Seven awards were given out to the winning teams, with the system of the team in seventh place weighing 167 grams. In some cases, the difference between one system and the other was only one gram.
"The goal of the competition was to challenge students to think out of the box, explore new ideas and convert solutions from a simple idea to a real product. The competition also encouraged the students to interact with each other, learn how to work effectively in teams, to produce creative designs and compete with each other," said Fadi Aloul, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, who organized the event. "Students prepared hundreds of models, and I was impressed by the quality and effort put into their designs. Their hard work, dedication and excitement made the event a great success that will always be remembered," he added.
Each system was evaluated and tested by a team of judges including four faculty members from the College of Engineering. Students from the student-run Computer Club and other engineering clubs helped organize the competition.