Tuesday, February 27, 2024

A team of first-year engineering students at the American University of Sharjah is developing innovative transportation solutions using giant mushrooms.


A team of first-year engineering students at the American University of Sharjah worked on a project that relies on the use of a type of fungus to improve Sharjah's transportation system. , a fast-learning, arrogant fungus known as the “Baysarum Police Falm”, which, when placed in a maze with food at one end, branches out through the maze until he reaches the food, which he then withdraws. Branches that do not reach food, he knows, should not go in those directions in the future. University students harnessed the potential of this type of fungus in a project that won first place in a competition organized by the Pearl Initiative in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Group for Culture and the Arts to create a better transportation network in Sharjah.

Speaking about the project, student Hasan Akel, majoring in computer science and mathematics, said: “In our experiment, we created a maze representing the city of Sharjah, grew mushrooms and created a better transport network. Our approach was inspired by the previous success of this concept in Japan, known for having one of the best transport systems in the world. Our proposal is based on reorganizing the current means of transport through this network, once its efficiency is proven in the new system, for example, the Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority can gradually invest up to Sharjah. Reaches one of the world's leading transport systems. Our project is distinguished by its realistic approach and clear management plans, making it a feasible and viable solution to transportation challenges.

The proposed project, submitted under the “Sustainable Cities” category of the competition, intends to make use of existing modes of transport such as buses, as well as maglev rail, underground transport systems and a metro system.

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Student Aql, who proposed the initial project idea, worked closely on the project with his team members Computer Engineering student Radwan Al-Abidin Asim, Mechanical Engineering student Muhammad Salman and Computer Engineering student Rayhan Najm.

Student Asim said: “Under our new solution, with the help of fungi that choose the best route to reach their destination, we have been able to create a proposal for the best routes for buses and metro lines, which can be extended across borders. In Ajman and Dubai, the three emirates work together and one train helps. A magnetic suspension stretches from Al Majaz to Khor Faqan, which facilitates tourism. “Underground transportation systems that can run from densely populated areas to industrial areas in Sharjah will reduce traffic on highways such as E311 and E11.”

During the 10-minute competition jury, the students also presented the economic, social and administrative aspects of their project.

Salman, the student responsible for the social aspect of the project, identified a mechanism to improve the transport system to create a positive social impact on people's lives. The skills he acquired from some of the courses he took at university and college contributed. In his work on the project, he made particular reference to the “Engineering 110” course taken by all first-year engineering students at the American University of Sharjah. Participating in a competition that invites students to innovate among its requirements teaches skills such as teamwork, analytical thinking and problem solving. Student Iqbal also spoke about their previous project and their work: During “Engineering 110” course we learned a lot about teamwork and team building which helped us a lot. “We were open to ideas and constructive criticism, and ensured that all major decisions regarding the project and presentation were based on team consensus.”

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The College of Engineering at the American University of Sharjah is keen to provide a collaborative learning environment and encourages students to participate in practical projects, research endeavors and internships that prepare them to face real-world challenges. The college, with its modern facilities and laboratories, provides students with all the necessary means to excel in their studies, prepare them to be leaders in their fields of specialization and contribute to the advancement of technological and engineering solutions globally.

Bill Dittman
Bill Dittman
"Freelance alcohol fan. Coffee maven. Musicaholic. Food junkie. Extreme web expert. Communicator."

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