Emirati woman engineer who got a US patent for designing driverless car among judges for Dyson Awards - GulfToday

Emirati woman engineer who got a US patent for designing driverless car among judges for Dyson Awards


Reem Al Marzouqi

An expert panel of regional judges have joined the 2020 James Dyson Awards, and will help award the national winners in the UAE. This year’s judges include Emirati engineer and driverless car designer Reem Al Marzouqi; aircraft engineer and aviation adviser Dr Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi; and Shane McGinley, former Arabian Business group editor. Returning to the panel for a third time is Professor Tadhg O'Donovan, head of engineering and physical sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Dubai.

Reem Al Marzouqi is an Emirati engineer and the first citizen of the UAE to be granted a patent in the United States of America for designing a driverless car. She is currently working with Hopemakers.co a social enterprise that is focused on volunteering projects to renovate facilities in healthcare and education in developing countries.


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Dr Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi is an aircraft engineer and aviation adviser who has worked with many of the leading companies in aviation and engineering including Messier Bugatti, Honeywell, Kunz, Airbus and Boeing, Emirates and Etihad. Dr Al Shamsi holds a DBA and an MBA in Aviation Management, a degree in Aerospace Engineering and was awarded an honorary doctorate for her work in supporting and empowering women in aviation. She is also one of the founders of the Middle East Chapter of Women in Aviation and is a member of a number of industry associations. Dr Al Shamsi is currently an aviation consultant for Abu Dhabi’s new Midfield Terminal, one of the biggest airport terminals in the world, and CEO of L2L consultancy.

The judging panel will draw upon their own expertise in varying disciplines and encourage the new generation of design engineers to invent solutions that resolve key issues.

From left: Eng. Dr. Suaad Al Shamsi, Dr. Tadhg O'Donovan and Shane McGinley

“We are glad to welcome on board this year’s judging panel for the UAE, and to have their support on the James Dyson Awards,” said Gemma Wardle, Global Head of the James Dyson Foundation.

The James Dyson Awards is an international competition that calls upon young innovators and engineers to design inventions in line with Dyson’s vision of solving problems that others ignore. Now in their third year in the UAE, the awards focus on the positive impact of design engineering and science in addressing real-world problems.

“The awards are a platform for young engineers to showcase their ingenuity, helping them to turn their ideas into commercial enterprises. Dyson believes in tackling the challenges of global problems through design, including climate change and sustainability.”

This year, James Dyson Award also introduced a new, additional prize that recognises efforts in sustainability. The Sustainability winner will be chosen by Sir James Dyson, and their invention will be recognised for its potential to support today’s sustainable agenda. This could be through its materials, design process, methods of manufacture, or even the solution to the invention itself.

“Our judging panel reflects the same mix of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and engineering know-how. They will play an important role in helping the James Dyson Awards to discover the next generation of design engineers, and the ideas that will help them to build the region’s next innovation powerhouse,” she concluded.

The UAE is the first Middle East country to host the awards. The awards have two stages, the national competition, and a second international prize. Entries are judged on criteria which includes both technical and commercial feasibility, to encourage entrants to develop ideas that could help them found their own companies in future.

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