On 20 September, a group of American University in Cairo (AUC) students won the Public Inspiration Award at the 2018 SensUS competition recently held at the Technology University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
The AUC’s team of students was the only team from Egypt, the Middle East and Africa to be selected for participation, competing against 12 top technology universities worldwide.
SensUS is an annual competition during which the teams of the students develop biosensors to measure biomarkers of diseases or therapeutic drug monitoring.
This year, participants were challenged to determine the right dose of vancomycin, a potent antibiotic, in 24 human plasma samples. Each team made three different oral presentations, presented a poster and submitted a complete business plan on the developed biosensor.
AUC's student team completed this task by using their combined knowledge of chemistry, biotechnology, analytics and more to address this real-world global health problem.
"I am very impressed with the technical and soft skills of our students, who represent several departments," said Hassan Azzazy, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. He highlighted how such competitions demonstrate the high quality education students receive at AUC.
The AUC team was comprised of: Asser Hangal, computer science; Marie Tanious, food chemistry; Manar El-Nagar, nanotechnology; Mohamed Said, mechanical engineering; Nabil Mikhael, electronics and communications engineering; Namir El-Khouly, mechanical engineering; and Omar El-Sayyed, food chemistry.
El-Sayyed, the team coordinator said: “This competition gave us a chance and a path to give back to the community. All of our undergraduate experience was about learning the concepts, while this competition gave us the hands-on experience and the chance to apply what we have learned."
He also explained that while all teams were strongly competitive, they managed to make many friends. “It was a great experience and the environment was positive.”
Photo: Courtesy of the AUC Office of Communications.