Without research, we would not have innovation.
Research is the organised investigation of a topic, finding out, discovering new facts and establishing known theories. It is essential for future development, in order to improve and create new products in business and industry.
At the HCT’s Western Region Colleges, in line with the policy of Learning by Doing, there is a real emphasis on students completing detailed research projects as they complete their studies. Accordingly, once students have researched their chosen topic they must present their findings and any proposed future developments to their peers and teachers.
Students were left to choose to investigate a topic that interested them while faculty supported their research when needed. But this was about the students following their own curiosity, which led to a wide range of presentations.
With a strong Engineering department, there were some large and interesting constructions created by the students.
A group of students investigating tidal pumps built their own model to find out about its potential for power creation, another researched wind turbines and yet another group built their own solar greenhouse. There were solar robots, bridge construction, and one group not only researched the mechanism of fountains, they built their own addition to the college fountains, resulting in a spectacular kinetic water display. As well as this, there were presentations on safety at work and how to improve it; building a food waste power plant and an examination of the plasma ball.
Business students researched the cost of living in the United Arab Emirates, comparing the past and present, different locations, different items and some of the reasons for the price rises.
Other Business students researched local businesses, hotels, resorts, festivals and companies that had had an impact on the local economy, such asEtihad Railways. One group started a virtual business, learning all about the joys and pitfalls of owning your own business, without the actual risks involved.
“In the beginning we had lots of problems, we didn’t know what we were doing and our sales were right down, but now we are doing very well, our sales are high and we are making a big profit,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi.
There were some strong presentations from the IT and Foundations students investigating subjects as diverse as fishing in Al Mirfa and comparing life in the cold Siberian desert with life in Madinat Zayed, on the edge of the hot Rub al Khali desert. Ecological issues were popular, along with TED talks and even an investigation of the IELTS test.
“Altogether this has been a very successful Research Fair, embodying everything the college stands for, real learning experiences, using and applying the knowledge gained in the classrooms,” said Dr Peter Stanfield, Chair of Foundations Studies.