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UOWD Innovation Fair 2022 Rewards Young Innovators

by Eddie Rayner

As the UAE’s education sector continues to make advancements in innovation in line with the National Innovation Strategy, The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) played its part through the recently-concluded 15th Annual Innovation Fair 2022.

The Annual Innovation Fair served as an opportunity for senior Bachelor’s students and recent graduates majoring in engineering or related areas to showcase and demonstrate their projects to other students, academics, industries and the public in an interactive and competitive environment.

Approximately 100 students participated in the fair and showcased their projects across three categories, taking in Early Engineering, Advanced Engineering, and Research.

The first category, Early Engineering, saw eight teams participate in groups of four to five to showcase micro controller-based projects, with Abu Dhabi Polytechnic claiming first place. The second category, Advanced Engineering, also saw eight teams participate in groups of four to five to deliver complex engineering projects, with the American University of Sharjah ranking first. The final category, Research, was open to students across engineering topics and for all students for individual participation. UOWD claimed several winning titles in this category, including Best Scientific Contribution; Best Societal Impact; Best Innovation; Best Poster; and Best Presentation. Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai Campus emerged as the Overall Winner.

Approximately 100 students participated in the fair

The Research category featured a Popular Choice award, where the audience and participants voted for their favourite project/research. UOWD was declared ‘Popular Choice’ at this year’s Innovation Fair.

Several noteworthy innovations came out of the Innovation Fair. One of the stand-out innovations from the Advanced Engineering category was a smart chair system that can detect permanent deformities caused by improper and prolonged sitting. Meanwhile, one of the submissions in the Research category highlighted the use of wearable sensors and machine learning for the early detection of Parkinson’s disease.

In addition to the aforementioned categories, computer software company MathWorks judged and sponsored a special category to assess students who leveraged the MATLAB software in their research.

At the close of the fair, students’ innovations were recognised by awarding AED 5,000 worth of prizes by an independent judging panel of representatives from the industry and academia.

UOWD was declared ‘Popular Choice’ at this year’s Innovation Fair

The jury comprised industry experts from several companies, including Etisalat, du, Technology Innovation Institute, Sharaf DG Energy, Google Cloud, Emirates and Expo 2020 Dubai.

Commenting on the Annual Innovation Fair, one of the esteemed jury members, Dr Ray O. Johnson, CEO, Technology Innovation Institute (TII), Abu Dhabi, said: “Innovation is the engine of economic growth and development, and it is a core national priority for the UAE. It was a privilege to join The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) as a guest speaker and main judge at its Innovation Fair and witness first-hand the high-quality student research projects. STEM learning and technology R&D are accelerating the economy in the UAE. I encourage all of the graduates to continue in their development and pursue careers where they can add the maximum impact to the country and to humanity in the years to come.”

Dr Obada Al Khatib, who chairs the Organising Committee at the Innovation Fair and serves as Discipline Leader and Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, UOWD, added: “This year’s Innovation Fair was exceptional; it was the first to be held in-person at the new UOWD campus. The students were excited to showcase their projects and research to the audience and the judging panel. We saw some innovative and attractive ideas that showed great potential to scale into business start-ups. The fair provided students with an opportunity to contribute their knowledge and skills to society and to devise solutions to real-world challenges.”