American University of Sharjah

AUS faculty member first person from Middle East to win the prestigious Airbus Global Diversity Award

College of Engineering, GEDC Airbus Global Diversity Award 2015, Dr. Fadi Al Aloul

AUS faculty member first person from Middle East to win the prestigious Airbus Global Diversity Award

December 7, 2015

A faculty member from the College of Engineering at American University of Sharjah (AUS) has become the first person from the Middle East to receive the prestigious 2015 GEDC Airbus Global Diversity Award. Dr. Fadi Ahmed Aloul, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Director of HP Institute at AUS was presented with the award at the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) Conference held in Adelaide, Australia, recently.

Dr. Aloul received the award from Charles Champion, Executive Vice President Airbus Engineering and Patron of the Diversity Award. The award recognizes individuals and projects from across the world that encourage students to study and excel in the discipline of engineering. GEDC is an internationally-recognized organization dedicated to improving engineering education.

Dr. Aloul was honored for his role in developing Introduction to Engineering and Computing, a first-year course that uses minimal resources and low-cost materials to engage and introduce undergraduate students to the field of engineering, stimulating their critical thinking, creativity and innovation. The course endeavors to attract both male and female students of various nationalities, interests and backgrounds to engineering and exposes them to a structured design process. It also helps students develop and enhance important soft skills, making them productive members of the workforce.

Dr. Leland Blank, Dean of the AUS College of Engineering said the winning is a true milestone for AUS to receive. He described it as, "Good news for AUS, UAE and the higher education dimension that His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of AUS has supported for so long at AUS."

He said, "I am very proud that Dr. Fadi has been named the sole recipient of the GEDC Airbus Award for Diversity in Engineering Education. Noting that GEDC is a worldwide recognized organization of hundreds of the world's universities dedicated to improving engineering education. It is a true recognition of what we do so well at AUS - offer quality and expansive education for people from the many nations of the world in a safe and technology-savvy, multi-disciplinary environment."

Commenting on winning the award, Dr. Aloul said, "This competition recognizes an important need in today's industry on engineers with different backgrounds, and winning the award will encourage myself and many others to promote that. At AUS, we are proud to have a very strong engineering program that attracts students from different backgrounds, and helps them to fit perfectly in the workforce."

The GEDC Airbus Global Diversity Award Jury included Charles Champion; John Beynon, Chair of the GEDC and Dean of Engineering at the University of Adelaide; Karen Simmons, Service Quality Manager, Human Resources and Development, Qantas Engineering, Qantas Airways Limited; Alejandro Jadresic, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Sciences, University Adolfo IbaƱez, Chile; and Sushma S. Kulkarni, Director, Rajarambapu Institute of Technology, India.

Airbus Group, a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services, in partnership with GEDC, a leading global organization whose members are individuals responsible for setting the agenda for higher education in engineering in their countries and universities, instituted the Diversity Awards in 2012 to recognize the grassroots initiatives and the people behind them that enable students from all backgrounds and profiles to study and succeed in the field of engineering-both as students and when they join the workforce.

Dr. Aloul has received several prestigious honors in the past including the His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Award for Higher Education for excellence in teaching, research, and service; the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Young Arab Researchers; the Sheikh Rashid Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement; and AUS Excellence in Teaching Award.

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