American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) is pioneering an effort to form a nucleus for collaborative research aimed at enhancing the quality and value of university graduates and their scientific output in the Kurdistan Region and the Republic of Iraq at large. The AUIS Research Collaboration Symposium will lay the foundation for establishing an institute that focuses on supporting innovation, research, and development in governmental and industrial sectors.
On April 23, 2019, the AUIS Engineering Department hosted a seminar for students by Dr. Nabaz Sheena titled “Engineers Create the World: Life Beyond Graduation” as part of a series of career-related workshops during the spring 2019 academic semester. Dr. Sheena received his BA from the University of Sulaimani and a graduate degree in the United Kingdom. With 32 years of design experience in a range of engineering-related fields, he is now director at one of the UK’s largest engineering consulting firms. The purpose of Dr. Sheena’s presentation was to inspire future engineers and provide them with a better understanding of design processes as well as potential career paths after graduation. Student attendees gave positive feedback about the event and were happy to learn about Dr. Sheena’s experiences and how he overcame personal and professional obstacles.
Students from AUIS's Engineering Geology class recently visited the Darbandikhan Dam on a recent school-sponsored field trip to learn how concepts taught in the academic program are applied in real-world settings. Taught by Mohamed Shwani, Adjunct Assistant Professor, students made the trip to learn more about dam structures, fluid mechanics, and maintenance of the infrastructure projects. Students were curious to also learn about the effects of recent earthquakes and heavy rains on the structure and safety measures taken.
Students from the AUIS Engineering Department won first- and second-place prizes at the 2019 Engineering Exposition held on April 1 at Sulaimaniyah Polytechnic University. University teams from across the region were invited to participate in the exposition and competition portions of the event. Judges of the competition deliberated before choosing the first-, second-, and third-place projects on display, the prizes for which were $1,500, $1,000, and $500 respectively. In total, four AUIS teams participated in the event, led by Professor Abdelaziz Khlaifat and Dr. Shadi Vafaeyan. The winning teams both presented projects with solutions to everyday problems. The first-place prize (energy category) was a hydropower pipe system by which students were able to generate electricity using water flowing through a pipe. The second-place prize (mechanical category) was a hybrid solar wind system with which students hypothesized it would be possible to continuously generate electricity for 20 years - the estimated lifespan of the device. Students reported a number of local companies have already expressed interest in their prize-wining projects. The participating AUIS students said the exposition and competition were an opportunity to showcase the results of their hard work. “Without the encouragement of our supervisor, we would not have made it to the competition,” said student Jehat Abid. Student Omar Muafaq urged others to seek out similar opportunities. Muafaq said, “I encourage students to participate in any coming competitions and events because this was a great experience for me and I saw new ideas from the other participants.”
As in previous semesters, the AUIS Engineering Department arranged a number of extracurricular seminars for engineering students and the wider University community during the fall 2018 semester. Seminars covered topics in civil, construction, energy, and mechanical engineering. On October 22, Dr. Ahmed Salih and Dr. Aram Hassan, assistant professors at AUIS, delivered a presentation titled, “The Engineering Spirit.” The purpose of this seminar was to help students understand fundamentals of engineering, as well as how to be a good engineer and what to expect after graduation. The professors also shared their own personal experiences in the field of engineering. Assistant Professor Dr. Naufel Bahjat presented a second seminar on November 22 about applications of bio-signal controllers in robotics. The seminar presented topics from the fields of engineering and information technology, giving students across both departments a broad idea of the use of robotics in medicine. Students in Wrya Abdulfaraj’s surveying class took a field trip to visit the site of an ongoing government project in Sulaimani. AUIS students studying civil and construction engineering had a unique opportunity to visit the Sulaimani Chamber of Commerce’s warehouse in Zhalla where they observed practical applications of profiles, cross-sections, cut and fill – all topics they were theoretically familiar with through their coursework. Site engineers at the warehourse took time to interact with the students and offered to be in touch in the future.
The Engineering department at AUIS has hired three new full-time faculty members for the 2018-2019 academic year in an effort to develop and strengthen programming. Professor Abdelaziz Khlaifat, Dr. Ahmed Salih, and Dr. Aram Hassan bring new energy and broad knowledge in different engineering fields, making them valuable assets that add to the efficiency and the quality of education within the department. Professor Abdelaziz Khlaifat has more than 23 years of teaching and industry experience. His experience spans from the United States to Jordan, the UAE, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, back to the UAE, and now AUIS. Previously, he taught petroleum and chemical engineering courses as well as some computer science programming courses as an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. He has also worked as a chairman, director, dean, and president assistant. Professor Khlaifat has also held senior positions in the oil and gas sector. He has authored more than 90 publications. He is an active member of the SPE, AIChE, JGA, JES, JEA, AHWA and SFERA. Professor Khlaifat hit the ground running from day one of his arrival at AUIS and is looking forward to adding value to the Engineering department and contributing toward the growth and success of AUIS. AUIS is pleased to have him. Dr. Ahmed Salih, an assistant professor, joined AUIS as a part-time faculty member in 2017 and has now come back to the AUIS’s team as a full-time faculty member to participate in educating the next generation of engineers. He received his PhD in Civil Engineering/Geotechnical Engineering at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Houston, in Texas, on December 2014 with a GPA of 3.75. His research has focused on the development of hydraulic fracturing and smart cements for oil-well application to prevent disasters. He has authored 45 publications in Petroleum Science, Engineering, and ASTM Testing and Evaluation. Dr. Salih was a teaching assistant in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Houston from 2011 to 2015. Dr. Aram Hassan completed his masters and PhD studies in Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Liverpool, in the UK, in 2009 and 2013 respectively. He decided to join AUIS to share his wide range of experience in the engineering sector and academia with the next generation of engineers. His area of research focuses on finite element modelling for nonlinear solids, i.e. cementitious materials, ultra-high performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) for bridge applications, and shear capacity of high strength fiber reinforced concrete. Dr. Hemin Latif, Acting Chair of the Engineering department stated: “The Department is continuously seeking to bring in top talent and add faculty members to the team. The addition of three full-time professors this semester is a big step towards further growth and continuous improvement.”
As part of the Engineering Department’s plans for continuous improvements and growth, two new engineering lab assistants have joined the department to help students and instructors in facilitating the engineering laboratories. Hanar Hadi and Hazhy Rozh are two AUIS graduates who have had outstanding performance while studying at AUIS and are eager to serve the AUIS community after their graduation. Hanar Hadi is a former AUIS student and a Mechanical Engineering graduate. Hanar is now an engineering laboratory assistant at AUIS and is very enthusiastic to lead the students to deepen their understanding of the theoretical subjects they learn from different engineering courses. Students do not only have to have an engineering course that requires the labs to visit her, they will be able to seek her help to use the labs for various projects and learning activities. Hanar has served as a Physics Lab Assistant and the Engineering Center tutor at AUIS. Hanar has also been a teacher at one of the private schools while she was a student at AUIS. She helps in easing the learning process by putting in all the energy that is needed to train AUIS’ new engineering generation to be more daring and fearless. Hazhy Rozh is also a former AUIS student and Construction Engineering graduate. He works as an engineering lab assistant with Hanar and is ready to give the deep knowledge he has gotten from AUIS to the new engineering students. Hazhy has also served as a Physics Lab Assistant and a Math Center Tutor while he was a student at AUIS. He is highly qualified in his field and his aim is not only to guide the engineering students, but also to find solutions for the challenges he has had as a student during his studies at AUIS in order to improve the engineering department. Hazhy has a lot of hobbies besides his engineering life, a few of which are graphic design, playing the guitar, painting and web development. Dr. Hemin Latif, Acting Chair of the Engineering Department mentioned, “It is very rewarding to see your own students stand out from the crowd and prove that they are the best candidates for a challenging position. Seeing Hanar and Hazhy coming back to AUIS to be part of the improvements and the growth of the Department is promising a very bright future for our Department.” Students are welcomed to contact Hanar and Hazhy if they have any questions regarding access to the various Engineering Laboratories.
The “A.N.S.” team from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) received a first-place honorable mention at the 2018 Earthquake-Resistant Building Competition on April 8 for engineering a structure built to withstand the force of a shake table. AUIS students Ameer Sabir Aziz, Nza Luqman Saeed and Shakar Bahaaddin Mohammed were awarded a first-place recognition for their model structure. Sixteen teams from six universities in the Kurdistan Region participated in the competition. Each group was tasked with designing and building a model structure out of wood that could resist varying frequencies from a shake table that mimicked movements of an earthquake. Due to technical issues with the shake table, however, all participating teams were recognized for having successfully submitted model structures. The judges did decide in the end to award five honorable mention certificates to the teams with the best structures. The Kurdistan Region has experienced numerous earthquakes over the last year, which served as inspiration for this event. The engineering departments at AUIS, the University of Sulaimani, and Ishik University – Sulaimani decided to organize this competition in an effort to encourage future engineers to consider natural disasters in their building plans. Furthermore, students were presented with an opportunity to apply theoretical concepts learned in the classroom to real life situations. The AUIS teams that participated in the competition expressed their gratitude to Dr. Ashty Qazzaz from AUIS, Dr. Sirwan Khurshid from the University of Sulaimani, and Mr. Ilham Ibrahim from Ishik University – Sulaimani for their role in putting the competition together, to supervisor, Dr. Nihad Bahaaldeen Baban, the volunteers from the three organizing universities, and event sponsors Qaiwan Group, My Solution, Kurdistan Engineers Union, Lafarge, and Pepsi. AUIS student and event organizer Muhammad Aristo Hama contributed to this story.
Student teams from American University of Iraq - Sulaimani (AUIS) participated in the third annual Spaghetti Bridge Competition at the University of Sulaimani on April 7. A total of 22 teams from eight universities in the Kurdistan Region participated in the competition. Teams competed to build model bridges out of dry spaghetti, which were evaluated based on a number of criteria, including how much weight they could support. The View Pioneer Company produced the load testing system that determined the bridges’ total weight capacity. The engineering departments at AUIS, the University of Sulaimani, and Ishik University – Sulaimani organized this competition in an effort to encourage future engineers apply theoretical concepts learned in the classroom to real life situations. The AUIS teams that participated in the competition expressed their gratitude to Dr. Ashty Qazzaz from AUIS, Dr. Sirwan Khurshid from the University of Sulaimani, and Mr. Ilham Ibrahim from Ishik University – Sulaimani for their role in putting the competition together, to supervisor, Dr. Nihad Bahaaldeen Baban, the volunteers from the three organizing universities, and event sponsor Qaiwan Group.
Chalac Hamza, a CAE engineer at TECOSIM Technical Simulations held a special seminar for AUIS students to discuss the benefit of using CAE in engineering and product development. TECOSIM Group specializes in engineering services for product development in numerical calculation and simulation, and is a provider of development processes and software. TECOSIM creates solutions for the transport, energy, technology, and health industries.