Team from Abu Dhabi University wins first place in EGA student industrial robotics competition

Winning robot concept will be used at Emirates Global Aluminium smelters to capture thermal images of pot shells at its reduction area

Team from Abu Dhabi University wins first place in EGA student industrial robotics competition

United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, today announced the winning team for the 2020 edition of Al Robot, a robotics competition that challenges students at universities and higher education institutions in the UAE to design and build industrial robots for use at EGA’s aluminium smelters.

The winning team was from Abu Dhabi University and competed against another team from the same university who came in second place, and student groups from American University of Sharjah came on third place.

Abu Dhabi University’s semi-autonomous robot concept will be used at Emirates Global Aluminium’s smelters to capture thermal images of pot shells at its reduction area, reducing the heat exposure to our technicians. The robot will also contribute to EGA’s ongoing drive to use big data and automate routine tasks throughout its operations and functions and capitalise on the opportunities of Industry 4.0.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, EGA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Big data, automation and robotics is playing an increasingly important role at EGA and in many other industries. Our objective with this competition is to engage bright young UAE minds in the global transformational potential of Industry 4.0, which promises to be vital to maintaining and extending competitiveness of UAE industry in the years ahead.”

EGA provided funding for the teams to design and build their robots, and the winners received an additional financial prize. 

Abdulla Rashed, a student from the winning student team said: “This experience and competition has provided us with a great experience in manufacturing practical devices and equipment as we faced problems that are theoretically invisible. I was also able to explore and apply more applications in object recognition, neural networks, and 3D design and manufacturing. I encourage all students to participate in such competitions if they are interested in artificial intelligence and robotics.”

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

EGA’s research and development team works extensively with universities in both the UAE and internationally. EGA’s academic partnerships include Khalifa University, the American University of Sharjah, Rochester Institute of Technology and Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE, and the University of Auckland, University of New South Wales, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

EGA has developed smelting technology in the UAE for more than 25 years. The company has used its own technology in every smelter expansion since the 1990s, and retrofitted all its older production lines.

EGA was the first UAE industrial company to license its core process technology internationally in 2016, in a major milestone in the development of a knowledge economy in the UAE.


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 August2019. 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 2020

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