Education, UAE

New space programme to prepare youth for UAE’s future

A new Space Science Track will be introduced at the UAE University’s Physics Department in September, with the beginning of the new academic year programme

The track, which will be made available for undergraduates in the Physics Department, was created in response to the new UAE’s initiative and vision to be a pioneer in space science.

“This will help the country for graduates from this programme to participate in different activities related to space science,” said Professor Ahmed Murad, Dean of the College of Science. “We have the Mars Scientific City 2117, which is a long plan and needs graduates from science and engineering. This is the first step in that plan.”

The second step will take place at the beginning of the semester, when the College of Science will work to prepare another proposal in Space Science as a Minor. Open to all undergraduate students at the university, the Minor is considered a diluted version of the Space Science Track in the Physics Department. Its aim is to increase the number of students that have interest and ideas about space science and the future direction of the UAE.

“A total of 18 credit hours will be designed for the Space Track programme and we will have six new courses in this minor programme,” Dr. Murad said. “They will include an introduction to the concepts of space science and will hopefully end with a small project that students can handle.”

According to the university, three new faculty members were hired in space science, adding to a current member at the university. “The UAE is a dynamic country, so our curriculum needs to be dynamic and meet the demand of the country,” he added. “Space science is one of the strategic priorities of the nation so we are responding, as a university and College of Science, to this call by establishing this Space Track programme.”

Dr. Murad believes it will help in building a capacity of the nation in space science, channeling them to study related topics in the future.

Another plan the university has in the pipeline is to establish an interdisciplinary Master programme between the College of Science, Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences and Information Technology in space science in the future.

Some vital courses that will be on offer include the concept related to space science, the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing in Space Science, Technology for Launching Satellites, Planetary Science, Earth Sphere and other related topics.

“Students need to take a research-oriented project before their graduation, as we pay attention to research,” Dr. Murad said. “Nowadays, it is important to have to distinguish ourselves from the other nations. I believe space has a lot of potential, and we need to move forward – I am sure that, within five years, we will be the focal hub for space science in the region and the world.”

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