Four of the seven-strong mixed group who made up the winning team came to the UK for the visit. The team, from Al Ain Colleges, Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, visited BAE Systems’ air sector business having won third place in the 2013 UAE Innovation Challenge, an annual award that is now in its third year and involves designing and building an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) developed and sponsored by HCT, Northrop Grumman and ADASI as the main sponsors from inception in 2012.
During their three day visit, the students met with the BAE Systems team responsible for designing and delivering world-leading UAV advanced technology demonstrator programmes such as Mantis and Taranis and were given the opportunity to show case the UAV design that won them the trip.
In addition, the team also saw for themselves the world class facilities which sit behind programmes such as Mantis, as well as taking a tour of the Typhoon final assembly building to see how this cutting edge jet fighter is put together before being put through its paces and shipped to customers in the UK and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Ahmed Al Faheem from Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments LLC. (ADASI), one of the main sponsors of the UAE Innovation Challenge, who joined the students on the visit, commented: “We are now in the third year of sponsoring the UAE Innovation Challenge, including the 2nd prize winners and we send them on an inspirational tour to one of our international partners, this year it is BAE Systems. This has already proven itself as a great way of encouraging and stimulating innovation in the important aerospace and technology arena, and the Seven Stars team had to beat off tough competition. This year’svisit to BAE Systems’ facility by the Seven Stars teamhas been very inspirational, expanding our students’ horizons into understanding the extent of such a career in this field and how you can always keep pushing the boundaries of technology.”
Martin Rowe Willcocks, head of business development for BAE Systems’ Future Combat Air Systems team, commented: “The United Arab Emirates is building a well-earned reputation for academic excellence and we were honoured to host the Al Ain Colleges team. The students were a pleasure to host and we were greatly impressed by the maturity and technical ability they demonstrated when taking our team through their award winning UAV design. I believe we have been able to give them a deeper understanding of how academia and industry can work hand in hand to transform innovation into leading-edge capability, in particular in the field of unmanned systems.”
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