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CEN engineering students receive funding for research projects
Two student teams from American University of Sharjah (AUS) were declared recipients of Sandooq Al Watan Fellowship’s Capstone Design Project which supports undergraduate students in the UAE fund their research projects. The two teams received a total funding of AED 25,000.
Some of the criteria the projects were evaluated on included innovation, approach, delivery and impact and resources and budget.
The AUS projects that received funding are entitled "Emergency Evacuation System using BLE Beacons,” and “Design, Development, and Performance Analysis of a Smart Photovoltaics (PV)-Solar Panel System,” and are senior projects from the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering respectively.
The computer science and engineering team included Vikram Sakkia, Hasan Al Noman, Omar Al Hammadi and Salman Sowdagar with Drs. Fadi Aloul and Imran Zualkernan, professors of computer engineering, serving as advisors. The team received a funding of AED 15,000 for their project which is a fire safety intelligent exit system with building being equipped with smart exit signs. In case of a fire, occupants in buildings will be directed through their mobiles on the safest way to evacuate. Based on their current location, they will be notified on which exit to use. This project does not require power and can work independently with batteries.
On discussing the relevance of the project to current practice, Dr. Aloul said:
“Fire safety is a major concern and buildings today are still not up to the standards in terms of helping people to evacuate and exit safely. By using technology, we can make the exits faster, safer and smarter and save lives. Sandooq Al Watan is a great initiative allowing undergraduate students to secure budgets to work on real life applications and turn their ideas into reality.”
The team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering consisted of students Mohamed Farouq Alshaikh, Issam Alagha, Rashid Banihani and Omar Shanan and was advised by Drs. Mohamed Gadalla and Mehdi Ghommem, professor and assistant professor of mechanical engineering, respectively. Sandooq Al Watan approved a fund of AED 10,000 to support the design, manufacture and testing of a prototype of a smart PV solar panel system.
Speaking about the solar panel system, Dr. Mehdi Ghommem said:
“We believe that the proposed PV-solar panel system will outperform its conventional counterparts given the tracking and folding mechanisms to maximize the utilized solar energy along with the use of the self-cleaning and cooling processes to expand the lifetime of the system. The proposed integrated system has many applications for supplying electricity in cities, town-bus stations, and rural areas in the United Arab Emirates.”
The teams are required to deliver a quarterly progress report to Sandooq Al Watan.