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Engineering Students Win Awards at Dubai Research Conference

Two teams of students from the American University of Kuwait (AUK) won Best Poster Presentation Awards at the 7th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference on Applied Computing (URC) held at Zayed University in Dubai, UAE from April 22nd to 23rd, 2015. AUK participated in the Conference with nine projects from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Capstone Design courses. Dr. Mohammed El Abd of ECE supervised the AUK teams in presenting their projects, entitled: Project Leap, All-in-One Pass NFC Wallet, Vehicle Detection System, The Smart Meter Tracker, Robo-Waiter, MTripleS: A Multipurpose Secure Smartcard System, iPlant: The Intelligent Farming System, An Autonomous Firefighting Robot and Mine-Sweeper Robot.

The objective of the URC is to promote undergraduate research activity at educational institutions in the UAE and across the Arab world by providing a forum for students to present their work and interact with other young researchers, faculty, and industrial leaders. The conference featured 156 participating projects from nine countries including Kuwait, Malaysia, UAE, KSA, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Oman, and Qatar. In addition to student presentations and posters, the conference program included talks by prominent speakers in academia and relevant industries.

The senior design capstone courses (CPEG475 and CPEG480) at AUK are courses, in which students deliver a product that has passed through planning, design, implementation, analysis, testing, evaluation and documentation stages; the work requires creative thinking and problem solving and is important for students' academic, personal and professional growth. The capstone project must satisfy a number of requirements by the department and is an extensive piece of work. The ECE holds an exhibition of the capstone projects every year, but this year's participation in the URC and resulting awards is a marker of especially high quality work.

The two winners of the Best Poster Presentation Award at URC were the projects "All-in-One Pass NFC Wallet" and "iPlant: The Intelligent Farming System." The NFC Wallet is technology with the ability to combine multiple accounts into one safe, convenient and wearable pass for a variety of consumers. The product aims to eliminate the need for many smartcards and includes three main elements: wearable technology with an embedded smart chip, a web-based phone app and a smart reader to recognize the chip and provide security for the owner. This approach to integration of smart ID in wearable technology is relatively new and consequently few solutions exist, providing a prime market for the NFC Wallet, with a focus on payment transaction and building management systems.

The team was composed of Alaa Eddin Al-Chalabi, Samer Essa, Haseeb Shahzad and supervised by Dr. Issam Damaj

The project "iPlant: The Intelligent Farming System" also won Best Poster Presentation Award at the conference. iPlant is a system for the agricultural sector in Kuwait that is self-sustaining through environmental interaction: its robotic system monitors and broadcasts plants' vital information and can dispense water, nutrients and care based on this data, thereby reducing usage of natural and financial resources. The iPlant team developed the system with Kuwait's weather in mind and the subsequent need for non-traditional agricultural systems. iPlant is designed to be used in greenhouses and it includes two parts: one, an environment controlling system to stabilize temperature and humidity, send the user climate reports and detect smoke; and two, a line following robot that plants and waters the soil.

The team was composed of Bashayer Al-Beeshi, Bashayer Al-Mesbah, Sara Al-Dousari, and supervised by Dr. Mohammed El-Abd.

In addition to these achievements, many engineering students have published the work developed in their capstone projects in both regional and international conferences over the last three years. These accolades include 11 referenced conference publications; 12 short papers, abstracts in conference proceedings and posters; and 13 exhibition participations.

The mission of the ECE department is to provide high-quality engineering education centered on the key principles of liberal arts; specifically, lifelong-learning, critical thinking, and effective communication. The department prepares students to become successful engineers and to contribute effectively to their profession and community.

Alaa Eddin Al-Chalabi Receiving Award

Bashayer Al-Beeshi and Mohammed El-Abd Receiving Award

Alaa Eddin Al-Chalabi Poster Presentation

Asayel Al-Mutawa and Jumana Al-Jaber Poster Presentation

Bashayer Al-Beeshi Poster Presentation

Hessa Al-Hasan and Reem Al-Sane Poster Presentation

Salma Chiko Poster Presentation

Shahad Al-Mourad Poster Presentation

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 24th May 2015

Photo Courtesy of the 7th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference on Applied Computing (URC)

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