New course heralds strengthened partnership and drives Emirati talent to join the UAE’s growing aerospace industry.
Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, and United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) held an event on Sunday, 23 February, launching their Aerospace Engineering program at the university’s campus in Al Ain. The course at UAEU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering teaches aerospace theory and practical skills to produce engineering graduates who are well prepared to serve the UAE’s aerospace industry.
The event was attended by representatives from Mubadala and UAEU, including CEO of Mubadala Aerospace and Engineering Services, Homaid Al Shemmari; Deputy Vice Chancellor For Academic Affairs at UAEU, Professor Mohamed Albaili; Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies at UAEU, Professor Reyadh Abdel Latif Almehaideb, Dean of the College of Engineering at UAEU, Professor Amr S. El-Dieb, as well as members of faculty and staff, and students.
During the ceremony Dr. Albaili welcomed guests on behalf of the University’s Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ali Rashid Al Noaimi, and congratulated the University and Mubadala on their strategic partnership, citing it as an important step towards supporting the aerospace industry and preparing a qualified national workforce capable of leading this vital field.
Speaking at the event, Homaid Al Shemmari, CEO, Mubadala Aerospace and Engineering Services said:
“This partnership with UAEU reaffirms our commitment to the development of our homegrown aerospace talent and commitment to establishing mutually beneficial partnerships. The program will provide the necessary skills for young Emiratis to progress in our growing aerospace industry. Not only will the program develop engineers for the future, but it will also address the skills gap, providing young Emiratis with essential training in aerospace and ultimately empowering this talent.”
The program commenced in the fall semester of 2013 and has already experienced significant growth, with the second intake of students almost doubling to 40 students in the Spring semester of 2014. Successful completion of the first subject, Introduction to Aerospace Engineering, will prepare students for enrollment in four subsequent courses that focus on aircraft structures, aircraft stability and control, aerospace propulsion systems, and aerodynamics of subsonic and supersonic aircraft. Mechanical Engineering students who successfully complete the program will graduate with a minor in Aerospace Engineering in addition to their Mechanical Engineering degree.
The program is designed to engage students in solid experiential learning by participating in independent research and hand-on projects in a newly developed Aerospace Engineering laboratory. This laboratory will house essential facilities, including a wind tunnel for aerodynamic testing, a gas-turbine engine, aircraft structural test arrangements, and various other test arrangements. With these lab facilities, students will have opportunities to participate in student-led design teams and have opportunities to partake in undergraduate research.
Successful students will have the opportunity to attend internships at one of Mubadala’s aerospace companies within the UAE or overseas during the course of their program. The internships will provide students with vital work experience on practical projects alongside aerospace industry professionals that will build their experience and prepare them for careers in the UAE’s growing aerospace industry.
To provide students with an environment that fosters creativity, the program supports extracurricular activities that are designed to motivate students and nurture their passion and curiosity. As a result of this support, a group of female students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering launched an on-campus ‘Aerospace Club’, the first of its kind student club at UAEU. This club is officially recognized by UAEU and is currently seeking official recognition to become an international organization recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). 15 UAEU students who have joined the Aerospace Club are now members of AIAA.
These efforts are in line with Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, and support Al Ain’s development into an aerospace hub by creating a talented and skilled workforce capable of filling the 10,000 jobs that are anticipated to be available by 2030.