Dubai: The American University in Dubai has been named the winner of the fifth edition of Al Robot, an EGA competition that encourages students from UAE universities and higher education institutions to design and build industrial robot prototypes for deployment at EGA’s aluminium smelters. Emirates Global Aluminium is the largest industrial company in the UAE outside of oil and gas.
The winning team members from American University in Dubai were Mr. Mostafa Aboelnaga, Mr. Mohammad Rashwan, Mr. Mohammad AlHadi, Mr. Yassin Abdelmeguid and Mr. Bilal Serieh. They were coached by Dr. Salem Haggag.
In this year’s competition, students were challenged to design and build a robot that can measure the thickness of materials within EGA’s reduction cells, a task that is currently performed manually. Through this challenge, students were able to apply their academic knowledge in the field of robotics and automation to think creatively and develop a practical solution for the aluminium industry.
The American University of Dubai team’s winning entry was called Robot for Anode Cover Thickness (R FACT). It uses artificial intelligence to interpret images. Five teams were shortlisted and received funding of AED 50,000 each from EGA to design and build their robots, and three teams proceeded to the finals. The other finalist teams were from Heriot-Watt University and Abu Dhabi University.
EGA’s technology and development team works extensively with universities in both the UAE and internationally, with academic partnerships that include Khalifa University, the American University of Sharjah, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE, as well as the University of Auckland, University of New South Wales, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Through the EGA Ambassador Program, EGA also collaborates with universities to bridge the gap between academic studies and workplace experience. This initiative is spearheaded by young Emirati engineers and professionals, who demonstrate the practical applications of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in UAE industry.
With the goal of reaching 45 per cent in-focus Emiratisation, EGA plans to create 500 additional opportunities for UAE Nationals by 2026 to secure the talent for the future and provide opportunities for young UAE Nationals in the industrial sector. By the end of 2022, EGA had achieved an in-focus Emiratisation rate of 42 per cent, one of the highest of any major company.