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Hundreds of AUS engineering freshmen compete to build lightest tower crane
More than 500 engineering freshmen at American University of Sharjah (AUS) competed to build the lightest tower crane as part of the annual NGN 110 Introduction to Engineering and Computing Competition, held at the university plaza yesterday evening.
The competition, in its 18th edition, is part of the first-year course Introduction to Engineering and Computing taken by all of the university’s College of Engineering (CEN) students with the purpose of helping them enhance their teamwork, engineering design, problem solving, time management and communication skills.
This semester’s competition focused on building a light tower crane that could carry a 75-gram weight. The participating students were asked to build a crane out of different types of materials such as paper, plastic, strings, glue, tape and cardboard. The students were divided into 108 groups.
Commenting on the popular competition, Dr. Richard Schoephoerster, Dean of Engineering at AUS, said:
“The NGN 110 competition is the most exciting annual event in the College of Engineering. It requires all entering freshmen to enlist all of the creative skills on an engineering design and build project. This year was very special because the project was the design and construction of a tower crane – just like the one currently being used for the construction of the new engineering and science building on campus. This is the first opportunity for our students to learn about the impact that engineering has on our daily lives. These young men and women will change the way we live over the next 50 years, in a very positive way. This was their first step.”
Students from all seven undergraduate degree programs offered by the College of Engineering participate annually in the competition. The college offers bachelor of science degree programs in chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and mechanical engineering.
Dr. Fadi Ahmed Aloul, Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and organizer of the event, said:
“This competition is part of the NGN 110 course where students have to work in multidisciplinary teams on a different project every year. This year is about building the lightest tower crane that has different measurement specs and has to carry a 75-gram weight. As freshmen, students learn a wide variety of technical and soft skills through this project. This is what distinguishes our students from others as they learn problem solving, time management, engineering design, communication and research skills, along with conflict resolution. This AUS course was internationally recognized in 2015 with the prestigious Airbus Diversity Award given by the Global Engineering Deans Council and is the only award given to such a project in the Middle East.”
The competition saw students utlize a wide range of designs for their cranes, using a wide variety of materials. After a hard-fought competition, the team that was declared winners of the event included Faisal Ayman Alhendi, Yousef Mohammad Jaber, Yomna Hesham Morad, Shouq Mohamed Khalifa AlShehhi and Fareha Khan. The team that placed second comprised Khaled Hashem Sorayanejad, Fahd Abdulla Alyammahi, Aisha Saeed Alkhyeli, Mariam Sameh Louka and Rawan Nabieh Elashwal. Third place went to Abdallah Hazim Al Hajar, Husain Ali Akbar Zainal, Tariq Ali Ibrahim Rida Ismail, Abed El Hadi Riad Kesrouan, and Kareem Mohamed Mahmoud.
In previous iterations of the competition, students were required to build design and construct a catapult, light motor cars, small-scale bridges, tower cranes, helicopters, boats and paper planes among other structures.
The competition judges this year included Aqeel Taher, Professor-of-Practice of Civil Engineering; Dr. Rami As’ad, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering; Dr. Shayok Mukhopadya; Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Dr. Imran Qureshi, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
The competition managers included Hammam Orabi and Sameer Alwanah, Laboratory Instructors; and engineering student Majd Basem. The event was attended by faculty members, university officials as well as a large number of students.