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News Details
22 February 2017
SOE Hosts Engineering Students at Forum during 4th Arabian Tunnelling Conference, AL HOSN University Team Wins challenge

Organized and hosted by Society of Engineers-UAE, the 4th Arabian Tunnelling Conference 2017, in conjunction with the 20th Gulf Engineering Forum, featured a Young Engineers Forum focused on ‘Advancing Underground Space’. The forum was attended by student delegations from various universities across the UAE, such as the British University in the UAE, Abu Dhabi University, Al Hosn University, American University in Dubai, and New York University Abu Dhabi. Dr. Zahid Khan, American University in Sharjah, chaired the forum, which was opened by Eng. Ahmed Bukhash, Board of Directors Member of Society of Engineers-UAE, and Director of Urban Planning at the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority. Eng. Bukhash emphasized that “Every year we put together a creative program to give you a brief window to the underground world, to encourage you, the next generation, to investigate the field of underground space, and explore opportunities that lie therein.”  Special guests Engs. Han Admiraal and Antonia Cornaro, Chair and Vice Chair of the ITA Committee for Underground Space, presented an introduction to Underground Space and the possible uses in urban city planning.  Under the motto “Think Deep – Down Is The New Up”, they stressed that “It is necessary that the urban planner thinks deep and that underground development of cities is done not through random necessities, but according to a definite commitment, legislation and a predetermined plan.”

The presentation was followed by a challenge to plan an underground project in the UAE within a limited time, with points given for innovative use of underground space, design considerations, environmental and sustainability considerations, and construction methodology. The winning team consisted of Muhanad Asaad Airan, Ahmad Ibrahim, and Mohammad Ouda, from AL HOSN University, whose concept involved an underground football stadium to account for the high summer temperatures in the UAE. Their plan included ventilated access tunnels as entry points, using solar and wind energy as power sources, green and sulfur resistant concrete to reduce environmental impact and resist the typical ground water conditions, and thermal resistant glass to improve energy efficiency.   

The Society thanks all attending students and academic partners for their support and efforts in the challenge, and looks forward to a future generation that connects urban planners and engineers to work together in smart, sustainable and efficient use of both the surface and the underground space.