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Innovative creations and mathematical genius wow judges at RIT’s 8th Annual Engineering Competition

Friday, November 24, 2017

The eighth annual Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai Engineering Competition recently saw over 150 grade 10, 11 and 12 students from across the UAE wow a panel of expert judges with their imaginative inventions and mathematical process.

The day-long event saw pupils participate in teams of three across three different categories; an autonomous car competition, a mechanical engineering competition and a mathematics competition. During the autonomous car competition, sponsored by Zero-Ohm, students battled it out to create a self-driving car that could successfully navigate a race-track without human intervention. Competitors then then competed in a close fought time trial to establish the fastest creation.

The mechanical engineering competition pitted teams against each other to present their solutions to a selected design problem. Provided with a choice of construction materials, pupils were tasked with first sketching a design for a robotic arm that can make a move to locate a cup, lift it in the air and put it down on the table, and then putting their ideas into practice by building their creation. A team of judges, including Ghanim Al Falasi, senior vice president of corporate services of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Dr. Ghalib Kahwaji, professor of mechanical engineering and division chair at RIT Dubai, put their inventions to the test under a pre-set judging criteria.

Finally, mathematics competition entrants had an hour to prove their numeracy genius with a series of challenging questions that they had to answer without the aid of a calculator.

Participants of all competitions also enjoyed a great robotics session run by specialized Dubai-based robotics center, Fun Robotics, discounts on electronic components from training specialists Zero-Ohm and a chance to take a look at some of the research undertaken by RIT Dubai’s own engineering students including the university’s very own racecar.

Cambridge International School were awarded winners of the Mathematics Competition, Pristine Private School clinched the top spot in the Autonomous Car Competition and The Westminster School were first in the Mechanical Engineering category. The winning teams walked away with prizes including AED50,000 RIT Dubai scholarships, while all participants automatically qualified for a 10 per cent scholarship for September 2018’s intake.

Speaking about the event, Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, president of RIT Dubai said: “Today has been an excellent showcase of the amount of talent that young people in the UAE have when it comes to engineering and math. All of the competitors have showcased great prowess in this area and it was a privilege to be able to organize this event to help to nurture the engineers of the future. We are looking forward to welcoming some of them to study at RIT Dubai soon!”

Mohaned Saleh, associate director of Admissions and Recruitment added: “The University Competition is always a great way for us to interact with high school students, and teachers, especially those that are both academically achieving, as well as actively involved in extracurricular activities.  It’s an important part of our community outreach and a fun day.  It’s interesting to see how today’s youth can combine the knowledge that they’ve accumulated from school, reading, movies, and video games into real life scenarios, situations, and tasks.”

The original article was published on the RIT Dubai website and can be found here.