Are you thinking about boosting your career by undertaking graduate study? We spoke to Amani Alhammadi, who completed a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at American University of Sharjah in 2012. Amani shared with us what it is like to undertake a graduate program at AUS, and what difference a master’s degree has made to her engineering career.
What was the master’s degree that you completed at American University of Sharjah?
I completed a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME).
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s in engineering at the College of Engineering at American University of Sharjah?
AUS is a leading university in the field of engineering, and it is well known for its practice of integrating research with education. It is also very focused on applied science and technology. I believe that AUS is the best environment to conduct research in the mechanical engineering field, as it fosters a sense of innovation.
What is your current position? What impact did your master’s degree have in getting you into that position?
I am currently a senior electromechanical engineer.
The education I received while studying a master’s at AUS has not only given me the right tools to further progress my academic skills, but it has also undoubtedly prepared me for any future challenges I may face, and any endeavors I may choose to undertake during my career path. It has exposed me to the full range of mechanical engineering courses, all of which tended to reinforce and solidify my knowledge in the mechanical engineering fields. My AUS education has allowed me to apply the theoretical and practical part of my study to real-life aspects of my job.
Moreover, the thesis part of my master’s degree formed the platform that I have built my research skills on. It enhanced my ability to conduct independent research, managing projects, designing and configuring mechanical systems, modelling and analyzing mechanical systems, and writing technical papers. The program also enhanced my personal effectiveness skills, such as initiative, flexibility, self-motivation, and my ability to work independently and under pressure.
Did anything surprise you about the master’s degree after you began taking classes?
Yes, I was surprised by the number of advanced courses offered in mechanical engineering, as well as the innovative facilities available through the College of Engineering. The variety of research areas and interests of the faculty members was also something that I did not expect.
What was the highlight of doing your master’s degree?
The highlight was being able to conduct and defend independent research that resulted in a significant knowledge contribution to the field of mechanical engineering. Publishing the following two articles is something that I am very proud of:
What would you say to somebody considering undertaking a master’s degree at the American University of Sharjah College of Engineering?
Studying a master’s degree at the College of Engineering at AUS is a great opportunity. It is a chance that one should not miss, as AUS is as a research-oriented university that follows a strategy of integrating theory and practice. This allows students great access to world-class research initiatives.
The degree can equip students with a variety of practical and research skills to develop their individual academic and professional career, exposing them to the latest advances in engineering.
The College of Engineering has all the required facilities that promote the learning process, such as highly innovative research centers and well-equipped laboratory facilities, providing hands-on learning. Moreover, the degree offers a variety of engineering disciplines that the student can choose from, complementing their areas of interest.
The faculty at the College of Engineering are extremely friendly, encouraging and helpful. The faculty members offer not only academic advice, but also support students in making AUS their home.
Can you briefly describe your thesis?
My thesis, entitled “Integrated renewable energy options for HVAC cooling systems”, is in the area of renewable energy and residential cooling systems. It is intended to solve problems related to the high cooling energy demand electrical grids, and environmental emissions associated with it. Five systems were developed in which fuels cells and solar energy collectors were integrated with absorption cooling systems for sustainable development. Thermodynamic analysis was carried out to study the performance of the integrated systems, considering the design parameters for a residential building in the UAE. The results showed a great opportunity for the integrated systems to replace or run in parallel with conventional cooling energy devices to achieve high performance cooling and lessen the environmental emissions, while providing the required cooling load.
The College of Engineering at AUS currently offers eight engineering master’s programs, as well as a recently launch PhD in Engineering–Engineering Systems Management. To find out more about graduate programs offered through the College of Engineering at AUS, and to obtain information about how to apply to one of these programs, please visit www.aus.edu/cen.