NGN110 - "Introduction to Engineering & Computing"

The course is offered to all Freshman Engineering students at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The course uses low cost materials to attract both male and female students of various nationalities, interests, race, and backgrounds into engineering and exposes them to a structured design process. The course also helps excite the students about the engineering profession, stimulates their critical thinking, creativity and innovation. It also helps students to develop important soft skills that will make them a better fit and more productive in the workforce.

The course introduces MS Office, Team Concepts, Problem Solving, Design Process, Written & Oral Communications, Engineering Ethics, Time Management, and Sketching. To help students learn more about the Engineering disciplines at AUS, several presentations and labs are given that explain the responsibilities in the 7 Engineering disciplines available at AUS: Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Industrial Engineering.

The students are randomly split into multidisciplinary groups consisting of 5 members each and asked to work on a design project. A design competition is organized at the end of the semester to motivate student performance. Project descriptions for previous semesters are listed below.

To actively engage the large number of students during the lecture, students are frequently asked during the lecture to participate in real-time surveys & answer quizzes using Social Media Apps (e.g. Twitter) or SMS.

The following papers explain and evaluate the course in details:
  1. A Case Study of a College-Wide First-Year Undergraduate Engineering Course
    F. Aloul, I. Zualkernan, G. Husseini, A. El-Hag, and Y. Al-Assaf
    European Journal of Engineering Education, 40(1), 32-51, January 2015.

  2. A Case Study of a College-Wide First Year Undergraduate Engineering Course
    F. Aloul, I. Zualkernan, A. El-Hag, G. Husseini, and Y. Al-Assaf
    IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), 179-184, Amman, Jordan, April 2011.




Spring 2017 - Dome Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 160 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Spring 2017 Course at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The goal is to build a dome made out of A4 paper, card boards, pencils, straws, glue, tape, plastic, and toothpicks. The dome has to carry 15.5 KGs of paper at a height of 35cm, yet have the lightest weight. Competition Organizer: Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Competition Managers: Mr. Hammam Orabi and Mr. Sameer Alawanah. Competition Judges: Mr. Aqeel Ahmed and Dr. Rami As'ad. Photographers: Arpana Murugappan and Hoda Bastan. Video Producers: Maryam Moustafa and Nada Hassan.





Fall 2016 - Ping Pong Ball Sorter Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 500 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Fall 2016 Course at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The goal is to build a ping pong ball sorter made out of paper and plastic, that can automatically sort 8 randomly ordered ping pong balls based on their weight. The ping pong balls are filled with different amounts of water. The winning system is the one that can sort all 8 balls correctly and has the lightest sorter weight. Competition Organizer: Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Competition Manager: Mr. Sameer Alawanah, Mr. Hammam Orabi, and Ms. Catrine Sayegh. Competition Judges: Mr. Aqeel Ahmed, Dr. Mahmoud Ibrahim, Dr. Rami As'ad, and Dr. Rana Sabouni. Video Producer: Maram Elsebakhi. Aerial Photography: Saud S. Al Qasimi. Photography: Batoul Zaky, Sirine Dhaouadi, Mariam Abdullah, Faisal Hussain, Adnan Shahpurwala, Amer Chaar, Jason D'souza, and Amro Jundi.





Spring 2016 - Catapult Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 180 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Spring 2016 Course at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The goal is to build a catapult made only out of wooden Popsicle sticks, tape, rubber bands, and paper clips, that can throw a table tennis ball for the longest distance. The 1st place catapult reached 11.5 meters. Competition Organizer: Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Competition Manager: Mr. Sameer Alawanah and Ms. Catrine Sayegh. Competition Judges: Mr. Aqeel Ahmed and Dr. Rami As'ad. Video Producer: Elhoussine Talab. Media: Batoul Zaky, Adnan Shahpurwala, Hashim Noor, Hani Alrifai, Amro Aljundi, Jawwad Ahmed, and Majed Batal.





Fall 2015 - Toothpick Boat Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 560 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Fall 2015 Course at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The goal is to build a boat made only out of toothpicks and glue that can carry a 0.5L (75% filled) water bottle without sinking. The bottle will be dropped from 20cm from the highest point of the boat. The lightest boats wins! The 1st place boat had a weight of 102 grams. Competition Organizer: Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Competition Manager: Mr. Sameer Alawanah and Ms. Catrine Sayegh. Competition Judges: Mr. Aqeel Ahmed, Dr. Khaled El-Fakih, Dr. Mahmoud Ibrahim, and Dr. Rami As'ad. Video Producer: Sohaib Nasir. Aerial Photography: Saud S. Al Qasimi. Photography: Batoul Zaky, Faisal Hussain, Jawwad Ahmed, Majed Batal, Amr Jundi





Spring 2015 - Light Weight Race Car Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 300 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Spring 2015 Course at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The goal is to build a light weight motorless race car made out of CDs, paper, card boards, pencils, straws, glue, tape, plastic, bottles and BBQ wood sticks. The car can be powered by rubber bands, springs, magnets and balloons. The car has to cross a 10 meters track (1 meter wide) in the fastest time and have the lightest weight. The car cannot be motorized or pushed. Competition Organizer: Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Competition Manager: Mr. Naveed Nawaz. Competition Judges: Mr. Aqeel Ahmed, Dr. Khaled El-Fakih, and Dr. Mahmoud Ibrahim. Video & Photography: Mr. Amir El-Zaher and Mr. Kamran Farooqi. Video Producer & Director: Mr. Yousef Taalab (b00058544@aus.edu).





Fall 2014 - Tower Crane Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 560 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Fall 2014 Course at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The goal is to build a tower crane made out of A4 paper, card boards, pencils, straws, glue, tape, plastic, sand, strings, and toothpicks. Specific dimension constraints are also given. The crane has to carry a 200 grams weight yet have the lightest weight. The maximum allowed tower crane weight is 500 grams. The 1st place crane had a weight of 55 grams. Competition Organizer: Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Video Producer: Majed Batal and Raneem Samer. Aerial Photography: Loay Farhat. Photography: Majed Batal and Salim Alhayik. Competition Manager: Mr. Naveed Nawaz. Competition Judges: Mr. Aqeel Ahmed, Dr. Ayman El-Hag, Dr. Mahmoud Ibrahim, and Dr. Rami As'ad.





Spring 2014 - Lightweight Dome/Cone Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 350 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Spring 2014 Course at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The goal is to build a light weight dome or cone made out of A4 paper, card boards, pencils, straws, glue, tape, plastic, and toothpicks. The dome has to carry 12.5 KGs of paper at a height of 30cm, yet have the lightest weight. Competition Organizer: Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Video Producer: Koroles Ata Alla (b00049018@aus.edu). Photography: Mina Mahfouz Ghaly (b00047882@aus.edu). Competition Manager: Mr. Naveed Nawaz. Competition Judges: Mr. Aqeel Ahmed, Dr. Murat Gunduz, and Dr. Rami As'ad.





Fall 2013 - Motorless Race Car Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 560 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Fall 2013 Course at the American University of Sharjah. The goal is to build a motor less race car made out of CDs, paper, card boards, pencils, straws, glue, tape, plastic, bottles and BBQ wood sticks. The car can be powered by rubber bands, springs, magnets and balloons. The car has to cross a 10 meters track (1 meter wide) in the fastest time and have the lightest weight. The car cannot be motorized or pushed. Competition Organizer: Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Video Producer: Mr. Mostafa Ajjawi (b00038455@aus.edu). Competition Manager: Mr. Naveed Nawaz. Competition Judges: Dr. Ayman El-Hag, Dr. Ibrahim Deiab, Dr. Murat Gunduz, and Dr. Salwa Beheiry.





Fall 2013 - 1st to 9th NGN110 Competitions Video

Video Description:
The video highlights the 9 past NGN110 competitions starting in Spring 2009 and ending in Spring 2013. NGN110 is the "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Class at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), UAE. The class has an average enrollment size of 550 and 250 Freshman Engineering Students in the Fall and Spring terms, respectively. Students are randomly split into multidisciplinary groups of 5 members each. They are asked to work on a common design project. A competition is held at the end of each semester. The video was produced by Shanzeh Shafiq (g00032510@aus.edu).





Spring 2013 - Rubber Band Powered Helicopter Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 200 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Spring 2013 Course at the American University of Sharjah. The goal is to build a rubber band powered helicopter that can fly for at least 8 seconds. Students were allowed to use a variety of material including: paper, plastic, tape, glue, rubber bands and card boards. The winning system is the one that can fly for the longest time. The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Competition Manager was Mr. Naveed Nawaz. Judges were: Dr. Paul Nancarrow and Dr. Rami Haweeleh. Photography by Mustafa Ajjawi. The video was produced by Mina Mahfouz (b00047882@aus.edu).





Fall 2012 - Ping Pong Ball Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 560 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Fall 2012 Course at the American University of Sharjah. The goal is to build a system that can sort 9 ping pong balls based on their weight. 3 balls will be completely filled with water (Heavy). 3 will be half filled with water (Medium). 3 will be empty balls (Light). Students were allowed to use paper, plastic, tape, glue, rubber bands and card boards. The winning system is the one that can sort all 9 balls correctly and has the lightest weight. The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). Competition Manager was Mr. Naveed Nawaz. Judges were: Dr. Ayman El-Hag, Dr. Paul Nancarrow, Dr. Tarig Ali and Dr. Yousef Zurigat. The video was produced by Weitian Zhao (b00045805@aus.edu).





Spring 2012 - Spaghetti Bridge Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 175 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Spring 2012 Course at the American University of Sharjah. The goal is to build a bridge, made out of spaghetti and glue, that can carry the heaviest load, yet have the lightest weight. The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu). The video was produced by Ameer Al-Attar (b00042988@aus.edu).





Fall 2011 - Race Car Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 500 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Fall 2011 Course at the American University of Sharjah. The goal is to build a car made out of 0.5L water bottles, CDs, paper, card boards, pencils, straws, glue, tape and BBQ wood sticks. The car can be powered by rubber bands and balloons. The car has to cross a 10 meters track (1 meter wide) in the fastest time. The car cannot be motorized or pushed. The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul. The video was produced by Ameer Al-Attar (b00042988@aus.edu). Photography by: Bilal Ahmad Maarouf, Mohammed Ahmed, Mostafa Ajjawi, and Mohammed Hukan.




Video Trailer




Spring 2011 - Catapult Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 200 Freshman students as part of the NGN110 "Introduction to Engineering & Computing" Spring 2011 Course at the American University of Sharjah. The goal is to build a catapult made out of wooden Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors, tape, rubber bands, and paper clips. The catapult has to throw a table tennis ball for the furthest distance. The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul. The video was produced by Nihal Khunaizi and Nour Nour.





Fall 2010 - Toothpick Boat Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 500 Freshman students. The goal is to build a boat made out of toothpicks and glue only. The boat has to carry a 0.5L filled water bottle. As a challenge, the bottle will be dropped from 15cm from the highest point of the boat. The boat should sustain the drop and not sink or flip. The winner is the group with the lightest boat. The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul. The video was produced by Nihal Khunaizi and Nour Nour.





Spring 2010 - Paper Airplane Competition (Poster)

Project Description:
A competition offered to 200 Freshman students. The goal is to build a paper airplane that can fly for the longest time. The plane must be made out of A4 white paper with a weight of 15-40 grams. It has to fly for a minimum of 6 seconds. Students can use glue or tape. The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul. The video was produced by Ibrahim Al-Midfa II.





Fall 2009 - Q-tips Bridge Competition

Project Description:
A competition offered to 400 Freshman students. The goal is to build an object out of Q-tips that can carry the maximum amount of books, yet have the lightest weight. The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul. The video was produced by Ibrahim Al-Midfa II.





Spring 2009 - Paper Bridge Competition

Project Description:
A competition offered to 300 Freshman students. The goal is to build an object out of A4 papers only that can carry the maximum amount of books, yet have the lightest weight. The competition was organized by Dr. Fadi Aloul. The video was produced by Ibrahim Al-Midfa II.





For more information, please contact Dr. Fadi Aloul (faloul@aus.edu).

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