Abu Dhabi, UAE, August 7, 2016: The Petroleum Institute of Abu Dhabi (PI) announced today that one of its students, Mr. Shihab Mohammed Bin Solaiman of Bangladesh, has won the international “Make Things Better” contest, a part of the prestigious “My Total Campus Challenge.” Sponsored by Total, the French-based oil and energy company, the “My Total Campus Challenge” is an educational competition that each year involves thousands of students from hundreds of universities worldwide. The competition is conducted over social media, and participants this year were invited to vote on-line for their favorite entry on the topic of “Make Things Better.” The competition ended on July 18, and Mr. Solaiman, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at the PI, took first place by garnering 991 votes out of more than 3,700 votes cast.
Mr. Solaiman's entry in the competition was a photograph of the award-winning PI Solar Car in its workshop on the PI campus. In 2015, the PI Solar Car won accolades for its performance in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge race, taking second place against competition that included teams from some of the finest automotive and solar energy research universities in the world, even though this was the PI's first outing as a competitor in solar car racing. As an undergraduate student at the PI, Mr. Solaiman was a member of the 2015 PI Solar Car team.
Mr. Solaiman's success in this year's competition was heralded by leaders of both Total and the PI. Commenting on the award, Mr. Hatem Nuseibeh, President of Total E&P United Arab Emirates and Group Representative in the UAE, noted, “It is critical to engage the next generation of leaders in dialogue around energy conservation and sustainable development. As a partner of the Petroleum Institute, Total is committed to helping develop innovative technologies that enable the UAE to achieve is sustainability goals and make things better for future generations.”
Mr. Nuseibeh, who coincidentally also serves on the PI Governing Board, added, “We believe harnessing the creativity of today's youth is core to addressing current sustainability challenges.”
PI President Dr. Thomas Hochstettler echoed that sentiment. “We are extremely proud of Shihab's achievement in this year's My Total Campus Challenge. We are equally proud of the close ties that the PI and our parent company ADNOC have enjoyed over the years with Total as a partner in promoting the values of responsible energy management and sustainability among our students.”
As this year's winner, Mr. Solaiman will receive from Total a fully funded trip to attend the 2016 Global Student Forum in Seoul, South Korea, in November, 2016. The Forum, which is organized by the Student Platform for Engineering Education Development (SPEED), draws academics, representatives from government bodies, industry and non-profit organizations, and an increasing number of students from around the world to discuss issues pertinent to engineering education.
Of his upcoming trip to Seoul, Mr. Solaiman said, “I am excited to attend the Global Student Forum because it represents a great opportunity for me to further develop my skills and to share my knowledge with other students from around the world. I am grateful to Total for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and to the faculty and staff at the PI for their leadership in always encouraging students to participate in initiatives such as this.”