x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Young inventors put their designs before manufacturers

Among the gems at Dubai's Youth Talent Festival: an eco-friendly way to keep your car cool.

Wafa Abdallah, 22, left, and Nawal Yousif, 21, both from Sharjah Women's College with their invention, a home recycling device, at the Youth Talent Festival.
Wafa Abdallah, 22, left, and Nawal Yousif, 21, both from Sharjah Women's College with their invention, a home recycling device, at the Youth Talent Festival.

DUBAI // Around 80 young UAE-based inventors showcased their latest designs yesterday, hoping to capture the interest of manufacturers.

From car-cooling technology to a plastics recycling device, the three-day Youth Talent Festival provides a platform for people to display out-of-the-box innovations in the fields of art, science and design, according to organisers.

From the practical to the amusing, the event, which wraps up today at Dubai's Festival Centre, presented a host of imaginative ideas to combat the problems of everyday life.

The Emirati students Nawal Yousef, 21, and Wafa Abdullah, 22, both in the electrical engineering programme at the Higher Colleges of Technology, displayed their recycling project to allow plastics to be turned into a malleable form which can be reshaped to form new objects, such as containers.

The box-shaped object works in three stages. First, plastics are immersed in a special solution to contain harmful gases in the material, before being heated and then moulded into the new shape.

"We saw a laminating machine when we were doing our work placement and decided to apply the same concept to our device," said Ms Yousef.

"We also created a touch panel to operate the machine, which tells us what to do and how long it will take."

Also on show was a device to cool down a vehicle's cabin in the scorching summer.

As part of their graduation project in mechanical engineering at UAE University, the former students Fatima al Kaabi, 24, and Rushdia Ali al Zeyoudi, 25, both Emiratis, spent four months researching and another four months implementing their findings to create an environmentally friendly, low cost and pollution-free device.

"We created a passive air-conditioning system by using heat pipes to transfer the heat from inside the car to outside the car," Ms al Kaabi said. "The heat pipes work well with any kind of car, but they can also be modified to suit the size of the vehicle."

The women, who are both working as engineers, say their invention, which has been approved by the GCC patent office, can even be used to cool buildings in the same way that it works in cars.

"If the temperature outside is about 40° and the temperature inside the car is 55°, our device can reduce the temperature in the cabin to match that of the outside - this difference of about 15° is significant in the summer," Ms al Kaabi said.

Their idea impressed judges at the third inventions fair of the Middle East hosted by the Kuwait Science Club this month and they were awarded first prize.

"I hope that the UAE adopts our device and that we see it being widely used across the country," said Ms al Zeyoudi. "I would strongly encourage anyone who has an idea to go ahead and apply it, no matter how small it may seem."