Four UAE university student teams to compete to build industrial robot for EGA

Two of the teams are from Abu Dhabi University, one from the American University of Sharjah and one from Heriot-Watt University Dubai

Four UAE university student teams to compete to build industrial robot for EGA

Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, today announced that four student teams from UAE universities are to compete to design and build a semi-autonomous industrial robot or drone for use in EGA’s smelters.

Two of the teams are from Abu Dhabi University, one from the American University of Sharjah and one from Heriot-Watt University Dubai. The teams were chosen based on the innovation and quality of their proposed designs. 

The four teams will now each develop a semi- autonomous robot that is capable of capturing and analysing thermal images of the steel shells of reduction cells in EGA’s production lines.

This routine task, which is one way conditions are monitored in EGA’s production lines, is currently performed by people and involves long hours walking in often-hot conditions. 

A new robotic solution is expected to be more efficient, and significantly, increase the level and accuracy of data collected. EGA is exploring big data and automation in many areas of its operations, harnessing the transformational potential of Industry 4.0.

The student teams now have four months to work on the project. EGA will fund this work, and the winning team will receive a financial prize.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “We are excited to be working with UAE student teams on this robotics competition, and look forward to seeing what our best young minds can create. Our goal is two-fold – to give students an opportunity to apply their learning to a real industrial challenge, and to develop a home-grown UAE solution.”

The students participating in the competition are:

  • Abu Dhabi University team 1 - Abdulrahman Abbas, Ammar Ghazal, Abdullah Alsit, Mohammad Yousef, Anas Mustafa and Mohamed Sayed. 
  • Abu Dhabi Univeristy team 2 - Abdalla Rashed, Maha Yaghi, Razib Sarker and Tasnim Basmaji. 
  • American University of Sharjah - Ahmed Khalil, Ammar Kiftaro, Mohammed Omari, Muhannad Alkaddour, Nidal Sherif and Sara Tellab. 
  • Heriot-Watt University Dubai - Aditya Naik, Mohammed Saad and Azar Islam  

EGA ran a similar competition with UAE universities in 2017, to develop a robot for another application in its smelters. 

EGA has developed technology in the UAE for more than 25 years, focused on improving the efficiency of the aluminium smelting process. EGA’s latest home-grown technology is among the most efficient and competitive in the global aluminium industry.

EGA has used its own technology for every smelter expansion since the 1990s, and has retrofitted all its older production lines.

In 2016, EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its core process technology internationally, in a major step forward for the development of a knowledge-based economy in the UAE.

EGA’s research and development team works with local and international universities on research projects. Institutions EGA partners with in the UAE include Khalifa university, the American University of Sharjah, Rochester Institute of Technology and Higher Colleges of Technology while EGA’s international academic partners include the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Contacts at EGA:
Simon Buerk  
056 3111 536

About EGA
Emirates Global Aluminium is equally-owned by Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi and the Investment Corporation of Dubai.
It is the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside the oil and gas industry, and the largest company jointly owned by the two Emirates.
EGA is an integrated aluminium producer, with operations from bauxite mining to the production of cast primary aluminium. EGA operates aluminium smelters in Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah, an alumina refinery in Al Taweelah and a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in the Republic of Guinea.
EGA’s aluminium is the second largest made-in-the UAE export after oil and gas. In 2018, EGA produced 2.6 million tonnes of cast metal. EGA is the only UAE producer and makes the UAE the fifth largest aluminium producing nation in the world.
EGA has more than 350 customers in over 60 countries. Over 80 per cent of EGA’s production is value added products, one of the highest proportions of any aluminium company in the world.
EGA’s aluminium is primarily used in the construction, automotive, packaging, aerospace and electronics industries.
Over 10 per cent of EGA’s aluminium production is sold in the UAE to around 26 downstream aluminium companies that make products with EGA’s aluminium. The growing broader aluminium sector in the UAE supports 60,950 jobs. EGA itself employs over 7,000 of these people including almost 1,200 UAE Nationals.
EGA has focused on technology development for over 25 years. EGA has used its own technology for every smelter expansion since the 1990s and has retrofitted all its older production lines. In 2016 EGA became the first UAE industrial company to licence its core industrial process technology internationally.
As a corporate citizen of the UAE, EGA aspires in all its operations to be measured amongst the world’s leading metals and mining companies in meeting its environmental and social responsibilities. In 2017, EGA became the first Middle East headquartered company to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, a global programme to foster greater sustainability and transparency in the aluminium industry. In 2019, EGA’s Al Taweelah site became the first in the Middle East to receive certification from ASI for its sustainability practices and performance. ASI certification is the aluminium industry’s internationally recognised standard for environmental and social performance and governance.
EGA was formed in 2014 through the merger of Dubai Aluminium and Emirates Aluminium.
EGA’s Jebel Ali aluminium smelter began production as DUBAL in 1979. At almost five square kilometres, this site is five times bigger than Dubai Mall.
EMAL started production in 2009 and its Al Taweelah aluminium smelter was the largest single-site aluminium smelter in the world when completed. EGA’s Al Taweelah site is five times bigger than Al Maryah Island at six square kilometres.
EGA has its own power stations at both sites, producing electricity to meet its needs. EGA’s electricity generation capacity is 5,450 megawatts, making EGA the third largest electricity generator in the UAE after the Dubai and Abu Dhabi utilities. EGA also produces water through desalination units at its power plants.
EGA began production at Al Taweelah alumina refinery in April 2019. EGA’s alumina refinery is the first in the UAE and only the second in the Middle East. The project reduces the UAE’s dependence on imported alumina and will supply 40 per cent of EGA’s needs once fully ramped-up.
Bauxite exports from Guinea Alumina Corporation, EGA’s wholly-owned subsidiary in Guinea, began in August 2019. The GAC project is one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in over 40 years.

For more information on EGA please visit

© Press Release 2019

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