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CEN hosts seminar on engineering and science in celebration of AUS Silver Jubilee
As part of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) Silver Jubilee celebrations, the College of Engineering (CEN) hosted prominent speakers in academia and industry, including some of its most successful alumni, in a seminar that reflected the diverse achievements of women and men in engineering, science and technology.
At the event, Dr. Haifa Takruri, Professor in Engineering and Science Engagement at the University of Salford, UK, spoke about her professional journey in the talk, “The Road to Success from a Young Village Girl in Palestine to a Professor in Buckingham Palace.” On behalf of Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar, CEO of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, AUS alumna Malakeh El Haj, Director of Knowledge and Innovation at the Foundation delivered a speech on “The Future of Education and Graduate Employment in the UAE.”
In her speech, El Haj highlighted the importance of aligning higher education with the future vision of industries with a focus on technology, creativity and innovation. She noted the important role Abdullah Al Ghurair Foundation for Education plays in engaging graduates in the workplace through several funding initiatives, and through its partnerships with universities to shape the skills of future graduates.
Dr. Takruri took the audience through her career journey, achievements and challenges. Born and raised in Palestine, Dr. Takruri spoke about her educational journey to the UK, being awarded the Member of the British Excellence (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth for the work she did to support women's access to STEM areas and receiving the Muslim News Award for her great contributions to science and engineering disciplines. She discussed her multidisciplinary research, including wireless sensor networks, mobile networks, and women in engineering and science. She also shared the initiatives she spearheaded to address the underrepresentation of girls and women in engineering and science studies and careers in the UK. Dr. Takruri noted that hard work, persistence and resilience are keys to progression in science, engineering and technology.
The event also included an alumni panel that featured Hind Al-Mutawa, Senior Manager at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority; Rawan Abu Alwan, Research Associate at Khalifa University of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi; Hawazen Diab, Area Manager at Amazon; and Majd Abudagga, Lead Consultant at Software One. The panel was moderated by Dr. Amani Al-Othman, Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at AUS. The discussion focused on some of the considerations that come with embarking on new career opportunities, from applying for a job to getting interviews. Participants also highlighted the positive impact of AUS’ support, including the quality education they received, the support of their faculty and the help from Career Services at AUS in shaping their resumes and getting connected to employment fairs.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Fadi Aloul, Dean of CEN, said that this was the first of many planned events in celebration of AUS’ 25th anniversary.
“When reflecting on how much we have achieved as a young higher education institution and the milestones we have achieved here in CEN since 1997, I am both humbled and excited about what is to come. Looking back at when we first started, CEN began with a batch of 80 undergraduate students, five undergraduate programs, five faculty members and classes held in the present-day Student Center. Today, we have 2,200 undergraduate and 300 graduate students, seven undergraduate and 10 graduate programs, 88 faculty members and 25 lab instructors, three fantastic buildings equipped with state-of-the-art labs and more than 7,000 alumni who have assumed high-profile positions, becoming academicians, CEOs and ministers. This goes to show the caliber of our alumni and how far we have come in realizing the vision of our founder Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of AUS.”
Dr. Vian Ahmed, Professor in Industrial Engineering and event coordinator, said: “This event aimed to inspire students by role models who are making a difference in society, including our alumni.We are honored to be part of AUS as it carries forward the vision of its President, and we are proud of our students who enrich our academic community through their hard work, creativity and diversity. I am also extremely proud to see how our talented alumni have conquered the world with great confidence.”
This year, AUS celebrates 25 years of academic excellence, innovative research and community impact. The celebrations will run over a 12-month period and include a series of festive, reflective and scholarly activities that celebrate faculty, staff, students, alumni, and AUS business and community partners; a range of fun and engaging virtual and on-campus events organized by the Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs (OAAA) to raise the equivalent of 25 scholarships for 25 AUS students to go towards the AUS Silver Jubilee Scholarship Fund; student podcast interviews with prominent industry leaders about the impact AUS has made over the past 25 years; and special performances and celebrations during the popular AUS Global Day. For more information, visit www.aus.edu/jubilee.