Three teams advance in Al Robot competition
United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, has announced the three student teams that have been shortlisted for the next round of Al Robot, an open competition for university students to design and build an industrial robot for use in EGA’s smelters.
The teams are from United Arab Emirates University, Higher Colleges of Technology and Rochester Institute of Technology in Dubai.
The three teams will now be funded by EGA to develop their robot designs.
Entries in the first round were judged on their safety, level of innovative thinking, and overall scientific and technical approach.
EGA collaborates closely with local and international universities in its research and development programme, but Al Robot is the first time the company has held an open competition for students to tackle an industrial challenge.
The winning robot will be able to lay the brickwork lining of the pots where aluminium is smelted, a process that is currently done manually.
Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “EGA has been developing technology in the UAE for decades and academic partnerships play an important role by combining the latest scientific thinking with our industrial experience. We hope that this first open competition will encourage students to consider careers in research and development and strengthen local universities further.”
The finalists are Ammar N. Al Mamari, Ahmed A. Altelbani, Ahmed Ben Kraouda, Abdulla G. Hussain and Maryam S. Al Kaabi from the United Arab Emirates University; Omar Alhosani, Abdulla Almessabi and Abdulla Webair from the Higher College of Technology; and Fatma El Sheimy, Cliff Wachiuri and Aswath Sridhar from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Dubai.
EGA’s existing academic partnerships, which are direct agreements with specific academics and their departments, include Masdar Institute, American University of Sharjah, and Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE. Internationally universities EGA works with include the University of Auckland, University of New South Wales, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
EGA also supports students through scholarships. Currently EGA is sponsoring over 150 UAE Nationals in their university studies, including around 15 studying abroad.
EGA has used its own technology, developed in the UAE, in every smelter expansion since the 1990s, and has retrofitted all its older production lines.
Last year EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its core industrial process technology internationally.