Canadian University Dubai's (CUD) team of Mechatronics students has once again achieved the top position at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) competition, marking CUD’s second consecutive victory in two years. The competition, which took place on 29th April 2023, featured participation from over twenty universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The team consisted of four female students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics: Ezza Mirza, Noor Shawqi, Somayya Khalaf, and Jana El Nozamy. Their exceptional interpersonal skills and technical knowledge surpassed all other participating teams in the competition. Speaking about the team’s performance, Ezza said: “As the Secretary of CUD’s IEEE Society, I carefully selected these remarkable ladies for our team, based on their exceptional technical expertise, experience, and excelling application of their knowledge. Their contributions have been invaluable, and I am honoured to have them on our team."
The challenge to design an innovative car without electrical or battery power
The IEEE competition category demanded the creation of an innovative engineering design project centered around constructing a car that is capable of navigating a distance of 3 meters while carrying a load. The rules prohibited the use of any electrical or battery-powered devices in their invention. Throughout the competition, the team actively engaged in three rounds, showcasing a composed finesse that clearly demonstrated their meticulous preparation and the extensive trial and error they had devoted to their project.
Somayya Khalaf spoke about the process behind their successful project: “Our project went through an extensive journey of trial and error. We brainstormed to generate ideas to build the car. Then we experimented with more than ten different models to observe the car’s performance. During these trials, two constants remained, the car had to rely on the force of a rubber band as its driving mechanism, and several gears were required. With each model, we carefully assessed what worked and we looked for new ways to incorporate the successful elements into the next model. The project was a persistent experiment of analysis.”
Preparation and approach through extensive trial and error process
Discussing the process further, Noor said: “Through the process of trial and error, we faced the pressure of determining what factors would contribute to the success of our project. Experimenting with various variables, such as the car's length and width, we aimed to optimize its speed. The challenges and frustrations we encountered during this journey fuelled our determination and empowered our creativity. We approached the tasks with meticulous attention to detail, working on it tirelessly.”
During the close of the competition, the panel of competition judges swiftly approached CUD's team, brimming with an abundance of curious questions, eager to understand the intricacies of the team’s thought process. Noor said: “Confident in our project, we had already visualized ourselves on the stage, poised for victory even before the announcement was made. We thank CUD’s Department of Electrical Engineering’s faculty members, Dr. Ahmed Al-Gindy and Dr. Abdulhamid Alsbakhi, for their exceptional guidance and mentorship during the competition.”
Striving for a hat trick in the next IEEE competition
Dr. Ahmed Al-Gindy noted the importance of the participation of the student teams in these external competitions: “Participation in these high-caliber external events serves a necessary purpose beyond technical skills. It provides students with an opportunity to develop and showcase their communication and presentation skills in a stressful and competitive environment. The requirement to work on the project during weekends, coupled with the inherent stress encountered during the final exam time, contributed to their personal growth beyond the boundaries of the classroom. These experiences serve as valuable lessons, teaching them important skills that will benefit them throughout their academic and professional journeys. In the upcoming year, our aim is to strive to win this event for a remarkable hat trick.”