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Engineering freshmen build dome able to withstand 150 times its weight
A team of freshman engineering students at American University of Sharjah (AUS) has built a dome able to carry almost 150 times its weight as part of the 11th NGN 110 Introduction to Engineering and Computing Competition held earlier this week.
Over 340 AUS freshman engineering students at AUS competed to build domes out of basic materials such as paper, glue, scotch tape and rubber bands. Contestants were divided into 70 multidisciplinary teams of five students each and had to practice their engineering skills to design dome structures that could carry 13 kilograms of paper, yet have the lightest weight possible.
Members of the winning team were Malek Safar Malke, Rashid Bassam Nimer, Rowen Mohammed Aleid, Anoushah Seddiq and Kaltham Kamali. Their dome had a weight of only 82.6 grams.
Participants in this competition represented all majors offered by the College of Engineering and had the chance to develop their teamwork, engineering design, problem solving, time management and communication skills.
The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and judged by Dr. Murat Gunduz, Visiting Professor, Department of Civil Engineering; Dr. Rami Asad, Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering; Aqeel Ahmed, Instructor, Department of Civil Engineering; and Naveed Nawaz, Laboratory Instructor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
Designed to familiarize freshman engineering students with the thinking tools and skills required of engineers, this competition is part of the first-year course Introduction to Engineering and Computing, NGN 110, taken by all AUS engineering students.
Dr. Leland Blank, Dean of the College of Engineering, expressed satisfaction over the performance of the freshmen engineering students. "Engineering students at AUS are immediately introduced to a design environment and a team building requirement as they enter the very first year of their university studies," Dean Blank said. "We are proud of all of these excellent freshmen," he added.
"The goal of the competition is to challenge students to think out of the box, explore new ideas and convert solutions from a simple idea to a real product," said Dr. Fadi Aloul, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and organizer of the event. The course stresses on developing the soft skills and applying them to design and build a successful model as a team. The winning dome was able to carry almost 150 times its weight, which was amazing," Dr. Aloul explained.
In previous years, the competition required students to design and construct bridges, cars, helicopters, boats and paper planes, among other structures.