Debate Club Wins Best Delegation Award at AUSMC 2018

Student Team Members Also Collect Three Individual Debate Awards

Three members of the Khalifa University Debate Club won the Best Delegation Award for their excellent overall performance at the first American University of Sharjah Model Congress (AUSMC) 2018, which was held on 15-17 November in Sharjah. A total of 20 teams and 273 delegates participated in the congress.

Nawar Allabban, Debate Club President and BSc in Mechanical Engineering student received the Best Delegation Award on behalf of the University. Additionally, Allabban won the Distinguished Delegate Award in the Senate Committee on Intelligence, while BSc in Mechanical Engineering student Hassan Elsheikh won the Outstanding Delegate Award in the Senate Committee on Finance. Industrial Engineering student Tala Assaf won the Outstanding
Delegate Award in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Dr. Robert Pech, Debate Club Advisor, and Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences, was the faculty guide for the students. Their participation was organized by the Student Services Department.

Allabban said: “The competition gave me the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds. It was an honor to represent Khalifa University at such a competitive challenge, and I am looking forward to being a part of the upcoming events.”

The first of its kind in the world, AUSMC seeks to bring the vibrant and dynamic workings of the US Congress to university and high school students. The student participants were able to test their debating and negotiation skills in a wide variety of situations and scenarios modelled
around the US Congress.

Elsheikh said “My experience at AUSMC gave me insight into how complicated matters such as passing legislation and enacting laws are done in one of the world’s most complex political systems. It was a great honor to be awarded the Outstanding Delegate Award in my committee
and the experience as a whole was incredible!”

For Assaf, it was a thrilling and informative conference. She said: “From the US Constitutional law to the bills written to find a cohesive solution, the AUS Model Congress was an inclusive platform. I enjoyed every moment and learnt a lot. I also realized that what we say and how we
say it, could have the most profound impact on others. That adage will resonate with me forever.”

The Khalifa University Debate Club members are now looking forward to participating in the AUS Model United Nations Conference next year.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
25 November 2018 

Electrical Engineering Student Chosen for Prestigious Fulbright Foreign Student Program

Maryam Abbas Ahmad Hussain Sajwani Keen to Focus her Master’s on Machine Learning to Develop Software that Tests Students’ Skills

For Maryam Abbas Ahmad Hussain Sajwani, currently studying for her BSc in Electrical Engineering at Khalifa University, her most recent birthday proved to be extra lucky. It was the day she found out she was chosen for the prestigious Fulbright Foreign Student Program for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Since June 2018, I had not received any response on my application, so it was a great surprise,” said an elated Sajwani on receiving a call on her birthday from the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

The scholarship program is a two-year fellowship that provides full funding for two academic years to achieve a Master’s degree at a US university. Sponsored by the US Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program designed to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange.

The America-Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST), a private American nonprofit organization engaged in international education, training, and development assistance work, administers the Fulbright Foreign Student Program for the Middle East and North Africa on behalf of the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Sajwani said she would be applying to a maximum of eight universities, but her preference is clear. “My top five choices are Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, University of California Berkley, Georgia Tech or University of Pennsylvania,” she shared.

Sajwani is grateful to Khalifa University faculty and officials, especially Marianne Hassan, former Chief of Staff, who had briefed her about the program and had guided her along the way.

She added: “I had started my application process in April 2018 and submitted my application in June. Then I was called in for an interview, during which I had been asked about my past experiences, my goals and why should I be selected into the program. A week after the interview, I was again invited, along with other applicants, for an alumni get-together, where we socialized and gained further insights into the program.”

Sajwani intends to focus her studies on machine learning. “I am planning to study Applied

Mathematica with a focus on machine learning — a derivative of artificial intelligence (AI). I want to do research on how educational systems can be evolved and how to attain a maximum success rate with development of a software that tests students’ skills, creates a unique roadmap for learning, accelerates their recurring power and increases their thought process.”

She has also set her sights high for further studies to continue with her research work when she is back in the UAE.

She said: “On my return to the UAE, I wish to apply for a PhD program. I aspire to make learning easier and more engaging, by creating a tool that helps educators understand their students learning patterns and helps them get the best out of their learning experiences.”

Clarence Michael
News Writer
4 November 2018

PhD Candidate Selected to Participate in Pitch@Palace Global 2.0 in London

Abdulla Mohammed Alshimmari Keen to Attract More Investors to Transform Food Services Platform ‘Foodate’ into Global Business

PhD candidate Abdulla Mohammed Alshimmari has been chosen among the four finalists to participate in the Pitch@Palace Global 2.0 at St. James’s Palace in London this December.

Alshimmari was selected out of 14 entrepreneurs from the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia who pitched their project ideas in Abu Dhabi as part of Pitch@Palace GCC 1.0, a platform that seeks to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs. The winning entrepreneurs from the UAE and the Gulf region will be given an opportunity to present their ideas before an elite group of businessmen, investors, and high-level company executives, at the London event.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, attended the final event of Pitch@Palace GCC 1.0 at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, in the presence of the His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and founder of the Pitch@Palace initiative that aims to encourage innovation. The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), founding partner of Pitch@Palace UAE and GCC, announced the four winners.

With this year’s theme being ‘Technology serving humans’, Alshimmari, won for ‘Foodate’, an online-based smart system for food and beverage services. It provides high-end tech-savvy services through an e-Commerce gateway, which includes business tools like customized e-Commerce web/app, smart management tools and payment gateways.

Speaking about his experience, Alshimmari said: “Pitching at the Pitch@Palace GCC 1.0 was truly challenging, as the finalists were professionals and I believe all of us had great ideas and applications. However, the bootcamp made me aware of the specific criteria about pitching itself, while the trainers and their course proved beneficial.”

Having come this far, Alshimmari is firmly setting his sights on the final in London, where he will have to pitch in front of the global audience in London.

“The issue we are solving is a global issue, people are wasting around 50% of their food globally. We are providing a solution that reduces unused cooked food, reduce greenhouse gases associated with this unused cooked food and feed the needy. We will work more on how to work this solution suitably for different countries. Additionally, for the business side, we will be working on the value proposition and how to approach more investors in order to grow,” he explained.

Clarence Michael

News Writer

28 October 2018

Khalifa University’s ACE4S Wins Special Recognition Award from Semiconductor Research Corporation

Center Dedicated to Advance Semiconductor Research and Technology in Abu Dhabi Achieves Several Milestones Over Five Years

The Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) has awarded the Khalifa University-led ATIC-
SRC Center of Excellence for Energy Efficient Electronics Systems (ACE4S) the
‘Semiconductor Research Corporation Board of Directors Recognition Award – Pioneering
Semiconductor Research in Abu Dhabi’.

The award was presented to the co-directors, Dr. Ibrahim Elfadel, Professor of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science at Khalifa University, and Dr. Mohammed Ismail El Naggar,
Adjunct Faculty at Khalifa University, in a ceremony at the SRC’s annual TECHCON
conference, which took place in Austin, Texas, last month.

ACE4S has come a long way since its inception in May 2013 as part of Masdar Institute,
generating significant intellectual capital including more than seven issued patents and 18 more pending. The center, dedicated to advance semiconductor research and technology in Abu
Dhabi through local academic research, is supported by Abu Dhabi-Government’s Mubadala
Development Company with Khalifa University equally sharing its total funding needs.

Dr. Ibrahim Elfadel, Professor and co-Director of ACE4S, said: “This is the first time SRC has given such an award anywhere outside the US. Moreover, ACE4S was the only SRC center
outside the US. This in itself was an achievement given that many advanced countries in
Europe, America, and Asia could have hosted such a center dedicated to semiconductor for
research in internet of things (IoT).”

A high technology-based research consortium, the SRC serves as a crossroads of collaboration
between technology companies, academia, government agencies, and SRC’s highly regarded
engineers and scientists. It plays an indispensable part to address global challenges, using
research and development strategies, advanced tools and technologies.

Over the course of five years, some of the ACE4S milestones achieved for the UAE include
developing the first set of PhD graduates in the semiconductor field (with seven already
graduated, and five more in the pipeline), first multi-university research center, first hardware-secure biomedical system on chip (SoC), and first silicon photonics tape-out. It also won four best conference papers, achieved two most-downloaded journal papers of the month, and published two books, demonstrating the research drive at the Center, which formally wrapped up on 30 April 2018 after completing its founding mandate.

Through research and training in self-powered wireless sensing and monitoring systems,
ACE4S aimed to create knowledge, educate, train, and enable a highly skilled workforce to
drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE’s semiconductor sector in line with the Abu
Dhabi 2030 vision. The Center was organized around an overall theme that vertically ties
together local UAE research strengths in energy efficient wireless chipsets and sensors,
wearable devices, MEMS, energy harvesting, power management, and scalable nanometer system-on-chip.

Dr. Elfadel is currently working under the newly created Center for Cyber Physical Systems
(C2PS) at Khalifa University on various aspects of hardware accelerators for artificial
intelligence (AI). “I also continue to conduct research on MEMS for space applications, cloud
and edge computing, and embedded signal processing,” he said.

ACE4S has also encouraged entrepreneurship and tech startups to emerge. A start-up focusing
on heart monitoring technology for early detection of heart attacks is still in progress and the project seems to have a good potential for commercialization in the area of wearable weight and walk monitoring.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
17 October 2018

Student Honored for Contribution to Madrasa E-learning Platform

AlAnood Jumaan Mohamed Ahmed AlBreiki Volunteered to do Voiceovers for Videos on Math, Science, Chemistry and Biology

Not many would think to drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, thrice a week, for over a year, just to spend three hours in a recording booth, even if it is to contribute to a challenging and noble task. But AlAnood Jumaan Mohamed Ahmed AlBreiki, a Bachelors of Chemical Engineering student at Khalifa University, has proudly done that.

AlBreiki volunteered to do Arabic voiceovers for educational videos on Math, Science, Chemistry and Biology as part of the Madrasa project, the largest free e-learning platform in the Arab world, under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI). The project was launched recently by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

AlBreiki appears in a video that was posted by HH Sheikh Mohammed on his Twitter account. She was recently honored with a certificate of appreciation by HE Mohammed AlGergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future of the United Arab Emirates, and the Chairman of the Executive Office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in the Government of Dubai.

“The main reason I chose to be a part of this project was that when I was in high school, I couldn’t find educational videos on the internet in Arabic, especially in Biology and Math. This was a problem for students like me, who were studying in Arabic at school and wanted to use videos to help themselves study further at home. So when I heard about this project, I wanted to volunteer because I liked the idea and wanted to help the youth in the Middle East,” AlBreiki explained.

Though AlBreiki is a busy student, and is currently studying for Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Khalifa Univerity, she found the time and energy to make the 1.5-hour drive from Abu Dhabi to the Dubai Design District, and do her recordings for three hours, because she was energized by the knowledge of the impact the Madrasa project would have.

“All the hard work we did will now reach millions of students. It will also reduce the pressure on parents to get and pay huge amounts for private tutors for their children, because now their children can learn online for free through the new platform,” she explained.

The Madrasa e-learning platform offers 5,000 Arabic educational videos on subjects including science and mathematics and targets all levels of school students from kindergarten to Grade 12. The project provides educational materials in Arabic online at no charge to over 50 million Arab students around the world.

AlBreiki added: “It’s an honor to be part of educating a child who can contribute to the region’s future. I feel so delighted that I contributed to this portal.”

Madrasa is the culmination of hundreds of thousands of hours of hard work put in by translators, proofreaders, designers, technicians, and voice-over artists who volunteered for the Translation Challenge.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
22 October 2018