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AUS showcases innovative projects at 39th GITEX Technology Week 2019

A diverse range of inventive and original projects will be highlighted by the university throughout the week-long event.

Gitex, Gitex Technology Week

Innovative projects conceived and executed by students and faculty from American University of Sharjah (AUS) are being showcased at the 39th GITEX Technology Week which commenced today, October 6, at the Dubai World Trade Center. As with the last edition, this year, too, a diverse range of inventive and original projects will be highlighted by the university throughout the week-long event.

The university’s students regularly win awards and are recognized for their work both at home and abroad. Among its recent success stories on display as part of the exhibit is the Air Chair, which won the UAE category of the prestigious James Dyson Award last year and was also declared as the international runners-up.

This marvelous invention aims to make the travel experience more comfortable and dignified for travelers with disability. The Air Chair is designed to allow people to use one chair for their entire journey from the departure lounge to plane take-off. The chair can be operated electrically or manually inside the airport terminal. Once it enters the plane cabin, the chair's concept design allows it to pass through the aisle, which is usually too narrow for regular wheelchairs to pass through. The locking mechanism in the chair restricts it from moving during the flight. The device can also be easily folded reducing its height by more than two thirds when not in use.
Talking about what inspired them to come up with the idea for the Air Chair, Amer Siddique, who is one half of the duo responsible for this project along with fellow engineering student Ali Asghar, said: “While flying back home, (I saw) a group of disabled, wheelchair-bound people. The whole travel process appeared extremely cumbersome because these people actually had to be shifted from their wheelchair to the existing aircraft seat. And you could see the sense of visible pain on their faces (as they underwent that process).”

“The solution we came up with was the Air Chair. This special chair is designed in such a way that it fits right on top of the regular aircraft cabin seat. This does not require any modifications; the passenger just has to lift the armrest and slide the chair in. This would change the lives of millions of air travelers who are wheelchair-bound,” he said.

The main goal of another interesting project being showcased – entitled the “Design and manufacture of an extrusion machine hopper with an embedded shredder for recycling plastic – was to turn the hopper into a grinding machine. The project was designed and executed by four third-year engineering students at AUS. Speaking about the project, student Laian Hajaer said: “We wanted to focus on the hopper, which looks like a funnel connected to a machine that melts the plastic and re-models it to produce different kinds of objects. So we turned this funnel into a grinding machine and added a viewing window to allow us to see what is happening inside. This allows us to put big plastic pieces inside the machine for recycling. This comes as part of the many initiatives that aim to achieve sustainability and encourage recycling.”

Known throughout the region for its dedication to academic excellence, AUS strives to provide its students with opportunities and experiences that help them lay a solid foundation for their future academic or research endeavors.

Emphasizing the university’s focus on community outreach, Dr. Mohamed El Tarhuni, Vice Provost of Graduate Studies at AUS, said: “We are very pleased to continue our participation in GITEX to demonstrate some of our faculty research and students’ projects. We hope to highlight the quality of the work done at AUS and draw partnerships with local and regional industries and organizations to enhance our student experience and community engagement.”

Throughout the week, representatives from a number of AUS departments and units will be present at the exhibition, which runs till October 10. Apart from officials from the university’s colleges and school, representatives from the Office of Graduate Studies, the Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs, and Executive Education, will also be available.

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