September 20, 2018, Cairo – A group of students at The American University in Cairo (AUC) won the Public Inspiration Award at the SensUS 2018 Competition recently held at the Technology University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. 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. The SensUS is an annual competition during which students teams 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 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 exemplify the high-quality education students receive at AUC.
The AUC team was made up of Asser Hangal, computer science; Marie Tanious, food chemistry; Manar El-Nagar, nanotechnology; Mohamed Saeed, mechanical engineering; Nabil Mikhael, electronics and communications engineering; Namir Elkhouly, mechanical engineering; and Omar Elsayyad, food chemistry.
Elsayyad, 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 learnt.
He also explained that while all teams were strongly competitive, they have managed to make many friends, “it was a great experience and the environment was positive.”