The Department of Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering at Qatar University (QU) commenced its one-of-a-kind school intelligent system for solar energy (Green technology) competition in collaboration with Qatar University IEEE Student Branch.

The competition, aimed for high school students, targets to enhance participants’ engineering skills through designing a “Solar Tracker”. Besides being exposed to the engineering design process, the participants will also learn the basic hardware and software skills necessary to lay the foundation of any project.

Commenting about the competition, Dr. Mohammed Al-Hitmi, Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering said that this competition comes within the framework of building connections with the community, which the Department of Electrical Engineering makes with local institutions and secondary schools. Noting that this competition gave high school students an opportunity to design, install and program what we can consider a small interactive robot.

Prof. Nizar Zorba, a faculty member in the Department Electrical Engineering, stressed the department’s constant endeavor to attract talented and distinguished students from secondary schools and encourage them to join the College of Engineering and enroll in its various programs, in order to provide the Qatari community with engineers with outstanding expertise in their fields.

Prof. Nizar adds, “To be exposed to the engineering design process at early stages is very crucial for anyone hoping to enter the field of engineering”, added Mohammad Murtaza, the President of QU IEEE SB. He further added, “This competition will allow the students to get a flavor of Electrical Engineering. Moreover, designing a solar tracker somewhat exposes the participants to the concept of renewable energy which can also be used in solar panels to maximize power generation output, and moving towards achieving self-sufficiency”.

In addition, Tamim Al-Mulla, Vice President of QU IEEE SB, emphasized on the importance of inspiring Qatar’s youth into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors, and to what extinct it does contribute to satisfying the National Vision 2030’s Human Development pillar. He further stated, “Qatar University’s College of Engineering’s aspiration to becoming a model college for outstanding education, research, and community engagement has made it possible for students as us to becoming successful in terms of moving towards to creating a society capable of sustaining its development and providing a high standard of living for the Qatari community”. He has also pointed out to how Qatar University is supporting its students to achieve a high-quality education to reach its vision.

To aid the students in the competition, 3 workshops are to be presented, out of which 2 would be Arduino Workshop where the participants would be introduced to the basics of Arduino and 1 3D printing workshop where the participants would learn how to use a 3D printer which they can use to incorporate in their design. The purpose of having a 3D printing workshop is to allow creativity in their designs, besides also making them familiar with the concept of 3D printing. All 3 workshops are scheduled to be hosted at Qatar University. The Arduino workshops have already been successfully done over the past couple of weeks whereas the 3D printing workshop is supposed to take place this Wednesday.

45 students representing ten groups from ten independent schools participated in the competition, including Qatari students. The participants would be judged based on the complexity of their design, creativity, and the speed of the solar tracker.