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AUS students win top honors in Explore Mars Competition
Students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) have won first and second place in the Engineering Category of the second edition of the Explore Mars Competition held recently at Etihad Museum in Dubai. Organized as part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center Science Event, the competition was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The theme for this year’s event was “Through Space We Flourish.”
The AUS team that won first place comprised Mohamed Abdelmajid, a mechanical engineering major, and Asmaa Aldhawi, a mathematics major, who collaborated on an innovative research proposal entitled “Mars Robotic Geological Expedition: An Approach to Discover Groundwater in the Arabia Terra.” Both students received a total of AED 10,000 for their win.
Mechanical engineering students Muhammad Bilal Shabbir, Owais Alam, and Ahmed Khalil comprised the team that placed second in the competition. They presented a novel concept to enhance the exploration phase of Mars missions. Their project was entitled “Swarm Rovers in Mars Exploration,” which proposed the use of multiple cooperating robots (swarm) to help in the landing and exploration of the red planet. The students received a total of AED 5,000 for their win. Dr Lotfi Romdhane, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at AUS, advised the students on the project.
The competition was aimed at undergraduate and graduate university students in science or the engineering discipline. It was geared towards identifying and solving a scientific or engineering challenge in planetary exploration. Students were requested to propose an innovative mission design to Mars and highlight a novel approach in either engineering design or in the science mission.
During the event, students presented their projects and proposals as posters, which were judged and reviewed by a specialized scientific and technical committee composed of local and international engineers and scientists in the fields of Mars science and space systems engineering.