Today’s event at the HCT was inaugurated by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology. Regional executives from Siemens outlined the competition’s key aspects and answered questions from students. This year’s award was announced by Peter Loescher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens AG, during the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 15.
“Following the immense success of the inaugural event in 2011, we are very excited to repeat this initiative, which aims to engage the brightest students in the region and provide them with an outlet for their creative ideas,” said Erich Kaeser, CEO, Siemens Middle East. “We were particularly pleased to witness one of the finalist’s inventions registered last year as a patent and we hope to see this again in 2013.”
The award tasks students with selecting one of four assignments and developing a practical and creative solution to it. The assignments, which are defined by Siemens experts, address real-life challenges in the Middle East that will need to be tackled to support sustainable development in the region. Out of four finalists, the frontrunner will be rewarded with a cash prize of USD25,000, followed by USD10,000 for each of the three runners-up and USD 1,500 for the winner of a people’s choice award. Submissions will be evaluated by a high-profile jury whose members contributed to sustainable initiatives around the Middle East.
Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, said the institution was very pleased to be closely linked with the Siemens Student Award, which strongly resonates with HCT being a hands-on, skills-oriented institution.
“The Siemens Student Award perfectly fits our mandate to provide students with experience-based, applied learning environments. It also reinforces our commitment to the learning by doing pedagogy, based on practical or experiential learning, which ensures that HCT graduates are job-ready when they enter the workplace,” Dr. Kamali said. “The competition will challenge and empower students through innovation, and enhance their education, with its strong emphasis on project-based, problem-solving and solution-oriented learning, as they strive to find viable solutions to support the ongoing need for sustainable development,” he added.
In addition to University Days in the UAE, Siemens plans to conduct several other visits across the Middle East region in countries including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Libya and Pakistan.
The deadline for submissions is May 15 and the winners will be announced during an awards ceremony in Qatar in November.