Oman Observer

Suhar: The second-year student, Basma Hamed Salim al Kiyumi, from Process Engineering (PE) Department of International Maritime College of Oman (IMCO) won the Oman’s Falling Walls Lab Competition which took place on May 22.

This event was organized by The Research Council (TRC) in collaboration with Falling Walls Foundation for its second consecutive year at the Grand Mosque, Muscat. The idea of the Falling Walls Lab Oman competition is to present an idea of a research project, entrepreneurial or social initiative that is relevant to the world in 3 minutes on the competition’s stage. The competition was held for selecting candidates who will represent the Sultanate in the Falling Walls Conference that will take place in Berlin on November 9.

The conference involves various scientists and researchers from around the world and aims to build and strengthen the links between academics, distinguished innovators and entrepreneurs from all areas. Staff and students from the IMCO PE department submitted five different ideas in total. All five ideas were ranked in the top 20 of the Oman’s Falling Walls Lab Competition and invited for oral presentation to select the best idea of Oman during the competition. Basma won the competition for her idea of purifying water using the clay from the Shuwaymiyah deposits in a project supervised by Dr Meisam Valizadeh Kimahalleh and Syed Farhat Abbas.

“ Water sustains life. The wastewater from industries consists of hazardous substances like heavy metals and organic compounds leading to severe environmental pollution of land, rivers and ocean. A type of clay named Attapulgite from Shuwaymiyah in the southern part of Oman, absorbs hazardous substances in the water.

“Due to outstanding physio-chemical characteristic of this clay, we at IMCO planned to develop novel clay based materials, which not only filter out the water contaminants, but also add value to our local resources as well as look forward to exporting overseas”, said Basma.

IMCO honoured students and academics who participated in this competition. Dr Hilal al Hadrami, Dean of IMCO, said “We are proud of our students’ achievements and IMCO will provide all the needed support for students who are interested in research and innovation”.