UAEU engineering students from Microsoft-run NASA Summer Camp honoured in special ceremony

Microsoft recently held a special ceremony to celebrate the achievements of 153 engineering students from United Arab Emirates University who participated in a Microsoft-run NASA Summer Camp earlier this year.

“We owe it to our young people and to ourselves to prepare a future workforce for the difficult challenges they will face,” said Professor James Klausner, Dean of the College of Engineering at United Arab Emirates University. “This collaboration between UAEU and Microsoft is a modest step forward in our ongoing efforts to facilitate world-class education for all of our students, preparing them to pursue their own goals and contribute to our wise leaders’ economic visions.” The NASA Summer Camp represents the pinnacle of ambition for many engineers who aspire to one day play a key role in the advancement of their country.”

The summer camp, which launched on 25 July and ran for four weeks, was designed to prepare the College of Engineering students for leadership and innovation in the digital era. The young engineers’ specialisms ranged from electrical, mechanical, and civil to more niche disciplines such as aerospace and petroleum chemicals. The programme allowed them to develop advanced, future-ready technology skills and earn Microsoft’s globally recognized certifications in Python Programming, Azure Cloud, and Data Science.

“This program was an empowering experience for the leaders of the future; and what better way to reach for the stars than at a NASA-affiliated training event?” said Ahmed Ameen Ashour, Education Director, Microsoft UAE. “As part of our collaboration, Microsoft shared our own cloud-powered Azure Space innovations designed for use on and off world. Through meeting with space scientists, students were inspired by first-hand accounts of real-world adventures that are likely to have significant impacts on their careers, and hence the future of the nation.”

The participants were initially honoured in a virtual graduation ceremony hosted by UAEU on 21 September, where the Dean of the College of Engineering, Professor James Klausner, and Microsoft UAE’s Higher Education Industry Executive, Layali Eid, both gave keynote addresses.

While attending the camp, the students met with space scientists from the UAE Space Agency and Azure Space – the Microsoft platform that extends the intelligent cloud from its terrestrial home all the way to the stars. The students also got to meet with career coaches and tech professionals from Microsoft, going beyond their technical talents to hone softer attributes, such as collaboration and other interpersonal skills. The camp was designed around the ambitious aspirations of today’s digital natives, to empower them with the practical skills and experience needed to make their mark in the global digital economy.