Muscat, Nov 5 – A total of 1,818 science students graduated from the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) at a ceremony held at the university’s amphitheatre on Sunday. The first phase of SQU’s 28th graduation ceremony was held under the auspices of Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah al Hinai, State Adviser. A total of 1,818 science college graduates received their certificates. They are as follows: College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences (256); College of Engineering (408); College of Medicine & Health Sciences (173); College of Nursing (100); College of Science (422); and College of Economics & Political Science (459).
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ali bin Saud al Bimani, Vice-Chancellor of SQU, outlined the major achievements of the university’s science colleges, staff and students in the previous academic year. “A group of students from the College of Engineering won second place in the GCC Gulf Robotics Challenge in its second edition at Qatar University. Students from the Department of Civil & Architectural Engineering won first place at the 9th Annual Wooden Bridges Competition, which is held annually at the American University in Dubai. A team from the Department of Computer Science, College of Science, won the fourth place in the Gulf Programming Competition held in Kuwait,” he said.
Touching upon the staff achievements, Dr Al Bimani said Prof Nicholas Woodhouse, College of Medicine & Health Sciences, and Dr Omeyma Taha Elshafie, Senior Consultant at SQU Hospital, won an award from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists for the best scientific paper for describing Euthyroid athyroxinemia, an endocrine syndrome.
Dr Omeyma also won the Ibn Sina Distinguished Service Award instituted by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
Dr Maha bint Mubarak al Khaduri, Assistant Dean for Training and Community Services, College of Medicine & Health Sciences, won the Al Mar’a Excellence Award in 2016 for health and education from Women’s Foundation in the Sultanate.
Dr Mahmoud Ibrahim Masoud, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, received the best research award in engineering education from among 403 papers presented at the International Conference on Engineering Education in Athens.
Dr Ali bin Masoud al Harthi was appointed the external evaluator at the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in USA. Prof Salma Mohammed al Kindy, Dean of the College of Science and Professor in the Department of Chemistry at SQU, received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award in Chemistry’ from the Venus International Foundation (VIF), India.
Dr Nasser bin Said al Salti, College of Science, was selected as the Young Affiliate for 2017-2021 by The World Academy of Sciences Arab Regional Office (TWAS-ARO).
The American National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine chose Dr Majid bin Salem al Ruqaishi from the Department of Physics at the College of Science to participate in the Fifth Arab-American Symposium to be held in Rabat, Morocco at Mohammed V University.
In addition, he received a research fellowship from American National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which qualifies him to conduct advanced research in nanotechnology at the University of Illinois.
Dr Al Bimani listed the patents received by the university in the previous academic year. A research team from the College of Engineering received a patent for the invention of a multi-port portable wireless charger. A student team from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering received a patent for the invention of a convertible wheelchair for persons with special needs.
A research team from the College of Science received a patent for the application of nanostructured zinc oxide membranes for separating oil from water.
A research team from the College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences received a patent for the production of value-added date syrup through the crystallisation of sugar (date honey).
Listing out the progress of SQU in terms of research and academic accreditation of programmes, the Vice-Chancellor said that two research centres have been established: Sustainable Energy Research Center and Nanotechnology Research Center, taking the total number of research centres at the university to 12.
The research centres conduct research and build capacity in areas that are of great importance to the Sultanate.
The Department of Computer Science, College of Science, received the academic accreditation from ABET for six years. In addition, a self-study report of the department has been chosen among the best 50 well-written self-study reports in 2016.
Dr Al Bimani further said that the university is working on implementing its strategic plan 2040.
“Each year, we feed all vital sectors at the Sultanate with qualified and highly knowledgeable national cadre to be part of the system that drives the process of building on the Renaissance,” he said.
He said SQU has initiated the process of establishing a club for the graduates of the university, which will serve as a communication channel between graduates and the university.
Ghassan bin Abdul Malik al Mazroui, a student from the College of Engineering, delivered the graduation speech, in which he expressed gratitude towards the university and its staff for all the support they had received during their academic life at SQU.
The ceremony marks the graduation of ninth batch of PhD graduates, 22th batch of Masters degree holders and 28th batch of Bachelors degree holders.
A total of 3,227 students from different colleges at the SQU will receive their certificates this year.