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Stay Connected inspire




Vo l u m e 1 / I s s u e 2 / M a y 2 0 1 0

From the VP of Academics This Issue:

I enjoyed very much reading the first issue of Stay Connected. It is indeed a great initiative that will allow our alumni to remain connected with each other and with their alma mater. It is therefore a pleasure for me to make a contribution to this second issue of Stay Connected, to introduce myself to you and to share with you my thoughts on teaching and on the latest developments at UOWD. While pursuing my Master and PhD degrees at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, I did not give much thought to the prestige of my institution. I was rather concerned about how hard it was to compete with my excellent peers. It is only when I started seeking my first academic job that I realized the importance of being a Whartonite, a graduate of the Wharton Business School. The term OWhartoniteP can in fact be found in many dictionaries. I became very proud of my alma mater. From my interactions with the UOWD alumni I could tell that they also feel such a pride. It made me feel a strong sense of responsibility to keep them proud of their institution. I know that this feeling is shared by many of my colleagues. After completing my MasterRs degree, I had to decide whether to continue with the PhD program for another four years in order to pursue an academic career or to go to work immediately as a business professional. My classmates who chose to pursue a professional career were recruited by the best employers at high salaries. I preferred to follow the harder, less lucrative but noble path. Teaching to me is indeed a noble profession. A teacher affects eternity; we can never tell where his/her influence stops. There is a debate on whether teaching is a science or an art. I believe that good teachers are artists who know the science of teaching. To master the art and science of teaching it is necessary to be a good communicator in addition to being an expert in the subject matter and to practicing effective pedagogical methods. While an average teacher explains complexity, a gifted teacher reveals simplicity. I think that it is Albert Einstein who said that teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty. I consider receiving the Teaching Excellence Award twice in my career as a great honor. The first award was in recognition of the effectiveness and innovation of my teaching. The second award was particularly prestigious as I had to demonstrate excellence in teaching over and above what is required to win the first award. I consider myself as very privileged to have accomplished such an achievement. When asked for advice by my colleagues who are starting their academic career, I simply recommend the demonstration of passion and care. Your students know it when you care. They become more receptive and are motivated to make the extra effort for acquiring more in-depth knowledge, critical thinking and analytical skills. I am happy that many of the faculty members at UOWD have what it takes to be excellent teachers. The University is starting a new chapter in its 17-year journey of providing high quality education in the UAE by offering the DBA and PhD programs. I am happy to take part in this important development which is the result of the vision of the UOWD President, Rob Whelan, of making the University more comprehensive and more research-oriented. Launching the first DBA program in the UAE is as such a historical event not just for UOWD but for the country as well. I hope this event will contribute further to your sense of pride and will provide you with an opportunity to return to your alma mater.

Mohamed Khalifa

We’re bragging about a couple of things this quarter. Find out what our friends think about our work, the winner of the lucky draw and the latest happenings and news at UOWD.


Our Spotlight section takes a closer look into the life and work of our Vice President of Academics and Manager of Property & Services. Find out stuff you never knew about them right here.


In our Faculty News section, find out how Dr. DavidVan Over made his own destiny by merging his interest in psychology with his understanding of technology to reach where he is today.


Hanan Al Muhairi gets voted as our ‘High Achiever’ this issue. Check out how this fellow graduate is making history and media headlines all over the globe.


Josyln Walters just moved base to Ontario, Canada. She tells us about her career and life.


Lovers Unite in our new section “Cupid’s Corner”. Fellow alumni, Rosh & Santripti finally tied the knot and are happily settled in NYC.


Professor Sumit Mitra gives us some thought provoking advice in the Last Word where he dishes out some strategic options to consider.


VP of Academics, UOWD


From the


Hiya friends

WeRve successfully made it to stage two, with this issue of SC and after much bickering and bashing, IRm happy to say T we survived. Meeting so many of you at the dinner with the President in February was probably the height of my excitement especially when I got home to look at a bunch of business cards and around 12 volunteers who signed up to help us out on this issue of SC. However, just 2 weeks down the line I realized that not many people can live up to commitments. Of the many I contacted, we only connected with two dedicated volunteers who stuck through with us and I just have to say it out loud T thanks to their efforts and that of my friend and partner, Aly T we can finally take a deep breath and go out to party! You are most welcome to join the bandwagon of course J Change is the only Constant: I guess that saying it probably is the only truest thing in life and before I get too happy with those party plans, let me share with you a few inevitable structural changes that have come into effect this issue onwards. Due to time constraints, work demands and the general ho-hum of challenges that pop up in everyoneRs lives, many people who joined Uand intended to joinV the SC team have not been able to commit to their roles. Hence, from now on we will rotate between contributors, depending on their time commitments, availability and flexibility. In the meantime our friend Arwa has taken on the role of a Proof Reader and Aly will continue his role as the News Editor and take on the responsibilities of the Deputy Editor, as he has been unconditionally present to efficiently handle most of the work involved in compiling both issues of the newsletter T and that too while coping with travelling to and fromAbu Dhabi for work, studying after work hours and having his weekends cut short due to altered work schedules. A New Idea: On a fresher note, IRd like to mention the introduction of a new section: Alumni Reaching Out - where anyone can state what they want, need, or rather can offer. Be it selling your car, looking for a job, business collaboration, recruitments, or searching for friends in a particular city. Its needless to say, that theres no better way to strike a conversation with someone from your university and help others out while connecting to fellow alumni. Let me know of your interest in this and if you like it, do write back should you have anything for inclusion in the next issue. Gift Giveaways: Talking about the next issue, here is what weRre giving away to one lady and one gentleman. FOR HER ck One Summer is a fresh new fragrance that captures the spirit and energy of a fun-filled summer. The juicy cocktail has hints of peach, mandarin and kaffir lime leaves and comes in a bottle that mimics the radiant glow of the sun. Just a whiff of it is sure to put a spring into your step. FOR HIM ckin2u Heat is spontaneous, energetic, addictive and sexy. The scent has an energetic heart that pulsates with spicy nutmeg, coriander and a splash of a sun tea accord. The bottle sleeve has been treated with a unique translucent metallization process, and the scent inside is just as intoxicating as the visually attractive abstract smoke motif graphic seen on the outer cover.

Until next time, happy reading!

Odelia Mathews Xavier MIB (2005)


Dear Friends

Let me take this opportunity to let you know that I am not the ibot you come across when you log on to the uniRs website. I am in fact, somebody who leads a hectic work life in one of the biggest construction companies based in Abu Dhabi. Apart from dealing with my Qneed for speedR Ufar from it I assure youV on my daily drives to and fro the capital city, I do my best to keep our beloved SC up and running. Now, for those of you wondering why I said, what I just said, let me narrate a funny incident that occurred during the dinner with our President in February UCheck out our highlights within the Alumni SceneV. As I went about networking and spreading the word on SC, I was actually confronted by a girl who came up to me and said OOh so you are the guy I speak to every time I go on the website?P !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nuff said and hence the clarification! So while I lead a busy life, let me assure you, once again, that I am not the ibot. However, should you have any ideas to share and would like to talk to a QrealR person or just hang out sometime; IRm always available to socialize. I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy this issue as much I detested working on it, given my hectic work schedules that seemed to come crashing down these last two months. I look forward to a better 3rd issue and whoever said that we had all the help needed, I leave you with that thought to do more, talk less and write back!

Poll Results: After constant follow ups, we are finally able to announce the answers of the Poll we announced in the last issue for Speed Networking. Given the fact that our President, Professor Rob Whelan, is planning to host regular Alumni networking evenings every quarter, this could be something to look forward to. So letRs hear it for Speed Networking and a big thank you in advance to Sherri for getting this act together. Lucky Draw Winner: Yes, I do promise that I was absolutely honest when I blindly picked up a number and it corresponded to Hanan Al Muhairy T our High Achiever in this issue. Congratulations Hanan! You can claim your basket of goodies from Sherri, whenever you have the time. Our lucky draw winner Hanan gets gift vouchers from fashion label Dhaani, and the Pink Nails Saloon, along with a painting from Sanaa Merchant and some UOWD merchandise. Until later,

Aly Khan MEM (2009)



UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

This issue’s

Contributors ThomasV. Rodrigues (MBA 2008) If satisfaction could take a human form, youRd get to see Thomas in person. Yes, this is one guy who is smug with life T including its ups and downs. Living in Dubai, he has a family back home in Mumbai, India with two young girls and an amazing wife, who he never fails to give credit to. He graduated from UOWD in 2008 with an MBA and actually got back to the studentRs life after an astounding gap of 20 years! He says of it, OI was working 14 to 16 hours a day, including Fridays on the Atlantis project, The Palm. The faculty was fantastic and the experience of going back to college was awesome. I never missed any lectureP. Now that is what we call an undying passion for education! Given that he is a Civil Engineer by profession and was yet ever so keen to help us out on this issue, we were floored by the dedication he showed. What is your work like? As a Civil Engineer I am presently involved in designing and building swimming pools, water features, landscaping, hardscaping, artificial rock formations, specialized LED lighting, guniting UshotcreteV waterproofing, industrial and sports floorThomas & his wife ings, turnkey podiums, etc. Bold, beautiful and brilliant are three words that best describe our new contributor for this issue. Based in Abu Dhabi, Desma is an HR Business Partner for the InFlight Services at Etihad Airways. Despite her hectic work schedule, she exudes team spirit and is a go-getter in every sense T a graduate with an Honors degree in Psychology from the York University UToronto, CanadaV, a postgraduate degree in MSHRM from UOWD USept. 2008V and an aspiring entrepreneur who plans on starting her own business in the near future. Just when we begin to marvel at her ability to stay connected with us and to accommodate the many delays and changes we encountered while compiling this issue, she admits to facing her own time battles and interests. OI love to salsa but I am guilty of not making enough time for it in the recent past. I try to balance weekends between my family and friendsP. To be honest, weRre not sure we would have made it through this issue T smiling - if we did not have a talent like this on board. What is the Importance of Pro-activeness? It is probably OTHEP most important thing which, when coupled with hard work and a vision, will allow you to achieve any form of success in life.

Cecilia, our Head of Photography, had a baby boy named Lucas Max Andres born on February 23rd, 2010. OHe is very healthy and very round. Although I have sleepless nights, I am grateful to have him and canRt wait for you guys to meet him in person,P says the exuberant mum. HereRs the mother and baby looking all healthy, hearty and sleepy! The Stay Connected team wishes them both blissful days ahead!

Rana Al Jamal ( A colleague and friend of mine, Rana joined our team on this issue in the nick of time, completing the design you see before you in just 2 days. With our friend Ammara tied up with exams and studies, Rana took over with a professionalism that she is known for within the Media Industry. Having worked on titles such as Mondanite, Decoration, Elle, Ahlan, and Emirates Home to name but a few, she has also worked on newsletters and ad campaigns, and creative projects under her business name QOnce Upon a Time, I‌R Rana brings with her fresh creativity and an art direction that defies the norms, breaks the rules and creates its own standing in within redefined confines of Art, Design & Direction. The SC team welcomes her on board with a huge sense of satisfaction, now that we have the 2nd issue out even though itRs a tad bit late.

The Team: EDITOR: Odelia Mathews-Xavier (MIB 2005)

NEWS COORDINATOR: Rumana Rahim ( MITM 2009)

DEPUTY / NEWS EDITOR: Bahjat Khan (MEM 2009) PROOF READER: Arwa El Baitam (MQM 2005)




From you

‘Mail Bonding’

If you’d like to share your comments or ideas, or would like to respond to any of the statements made here, do write back

Hi Odelia! Thanks for the mail. It was a pleasure meeting you last evening. The first issue of OStay ConnectedP was brilliant - congrats - the excellent work did show. I was indeed quite surprised at seeing this level of activity in the alumni network suddenly after all these years and I am quite glad at the direction it has now taken. It is a great initiative targeted at getting together alumni spread across a wide segment and that too in large numbers. The print, quality of material and design are all quite good and we hope to see more of the same in the coming editions Keep up the good work! Sunil Ramakrishnan Director Eco System .L.L.C.

Hi Odelia! How are you? Congratulations on the newsletter ... ItRs fantastic! Good job! I also liked the rest of it. ItRs a good read.. I heard good reviews from Sherri last week, so I was looking forward to reading it and it did not disappoint.. Keep up the good work! Gladwin Menezes President SRC UOWD

Hi, I was truly happy to get the first stay connected Alumni Newsletter, in which I saw many attractive hints and valuable news; hence, and would like to be interviewed in the coming issues as I have now started my own company. Ahmed R. Jadallah Manager-Business Development Rima Systems andTech. Solutions Great work - congratulations to Odelia and all involved in producing this excellent bumper first issue! I was proud to read all the achievements and activities of our alumni. Best, Dr. Michael Willemyns Associate Professor of Management Simply fabulous….I was glued from the beginning to the end. Many thanks to you and your team! Cheers, Rumana

Looks great, well done! Your photo was wonderful and so was your work. I hope this will allow UOW alumni to get connected Shawqi

Hi, I think the outcome was really nice and well-balanced. Keep up the good work!!! Regards, Sanaa Merchant Stay Connected was just fabulous and amazing….I loved every bit of it....simply fantastic....well done...superb! DeekshaTuteja By the way, good job on the 1st issue of the Newsletter. I just got the chance to go through it and loved it :-V Somayeh JavanBakht Well, I noticed that the Alumni are much active, especially with people like yourself and Ms. Sherri Van Over. It is my pleasure to be one of the volunteers who participate through my earned knowledge and experience. My message for my friends is that you have the honor because you are one of UOWD ambassadors! TarikYassin Al Hraki I think Alumni members can play a greater role in giving a hand to each other and in supporting UOWD. We can have chapters in the different emirates where we can meet on a regular basis to discuss work opportunities and contribute to our universityRs growth. Arwa El Baitam The OAlumniP concept is great IF it achieves what it intends to do. The alumni group is a great place for group identification, as we all will have similar experiences to share, and is beneficial to all as a result of the networking that can take place. I also strongly feel that all members can and should play a strong part in terms of providing sound advice to new and upcoming graduates, as we all know what it felt like to be fresh out of university with an ambitious will to take on the world. This is where the Alumni can play a key role; as graduates of UOWD, we are assured of the quality of education of the graduates; therefore, alumni can provide direction and make recommendations to future employers on the basis of this. Desma D’Souza

Erratum: The email address printed for Mitten Shah 4 Pg. 235 in the 1st issue was incorrect. You can reach him on


UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai





Dr. Jim Landridge Ualso known as the QChief Architect of UOWDRV was presented with the QFellow of the UniversityR award during the April graduation ceremony. For those of you who donRt know Dr. Jim, played a pioneering role when in the early 1990s he explored the idea of the Internationalization of Higher Education, and recognized an opportunity for UOW within the Gulf region. Prior to this award, Dr. Jim had retired from his Senior Executive position at the university last year, and from the Board of trustees of UOWD, but by receiving this award, he has now become a permanent member of the UOWD family.


GREE NEW DREIN OFFE ion CG ld eremony he

Graduat the At the Spring announced D officially W O ing E in April, U of achelor ent of the B s on si commencem is s. Adm ree Program neering Deg can contact u yo ar and start this ye . more details the Uni for


Two of UOWDRs postgraduate students are actively working on a potential campaign as part of their live project which is aimed to promote Bu Tinah among the world most amazing natural wonders in The New7Wonders Foundation. When they started off in November 2009, Bu Tinah was at the bottom of the list, but just within a month after some basic marketing, Bu Tinah was quickly rising to the top. The students Khalifa Al Murair & Haakon Rist worked hard for 10 weeks under the guidance of Dr. Melodena Balakrishnan Uwho is an Associate Professor and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business and ManagementV to create this campaign in which they decided to utilize school children and expatriate population in the UAE to their advantage in creating awareness for Bu Tinah. Being a protected restricted marine park, unlike the other entries, students have used the strategy of surrogate tourism to make the beauty of Bu Tinah available for one and all which now ranks at No. 12 in the world ranking. So come forward and vote for Bu Tinah at and make it one among the QOfficial New7Wonders of NatureR. We wish The Bu Tinah UOWD team great success with their project.

Compiled by Aly Khan

The UOWD Scholar is back with a fresh look and content covering more diverse information about the newest developments in the University such as the Faculty Research Corner, the Government Industry & Community Collaboration and the proposed Doctoral programs at UOWD. Our very own Editor, Odelia Mathews and Design Director, Ammara Rounaq, from the Stay Connected team along with many others worked hard on this issue of the Scholar which now also highlights a new feature on the research work done by our students and Alumni members along with an QEarly Career Research Assistant Mentoring ProgramR. All the research activity and publications made by UOWD faculty members are posted in this newsletter. Make sure you download your own copy at,7




While a lot more was happening at the University, we bring you some of the best events during the first quarter of 2010. You can always log on to to see the rest of the events.


ices t. ComStudent Serv is tournamen The UOWD ty table tenn si er iv doubles un Rs aen annual intr ubles, wom hosting the es; menRs do ing ri go te in ca t t go terest ree differen petition and m co f if peting in th st ent was , M. Shaher ubles; this ev les category e menRs doub and mixed do th In t. fa. In the en ai ssing mom Loy & Huz with ever y pa by defeating t en m ing vicna ph ur d a trium on the to & Mustafa w il & Rekha ha ga bi A , in the ry , go lly ubles cate Margin. Fina womenRs do o with a 3-1 bo sh over hu n K aw helsea & gail and Sh tory over C r win for Abi ea cl a as d as w ge les, it who emer Mixed doub sets. Abigail id, in just three f ti A d an a two titles sa Rit by winning g in en ev e a star of th in. Thanks to ly great to w QIt feels real !R. my partners

Compiled by Aly Khan



The UOWD Research Committee organized the first of its kind UOWD Research Seminar Series on the topic QNanotechnology & BionicsR which was presented by Professor Gordon Wallace, Director of Australian Research councilRs Centre of Excellence for Electro Materials Science, which is an Australian Government funded research centre based in the University of Wollongong in Australia. The discussion was focused on how the Bionics fascinated biologists and medical engineers and encouraged them to continue research in that field - which has led to amazing breakthroughs like Cochlear implant, heart pacemaker - and the newly emerging field of neural prostheses which enables nerve regeneration with limb placements & repair of spinal cord injuries.

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai



ATES CELEBR UOWD DAY it was on AUSTRALcoIA e as lorful and aliv

ver so The illage was ne ustralia DayR. Knowledge V Celebrated QA D W O ing the U nn n ary whe & guests do the 26th Janu staff, alumni , ts en y filled ud st da h a packed wit ey enjoyed goldR while th event was jam & n w the ee lo Qgr QB rs & ExecutiveR aditional colo Australian tr tossR, QBowl an g e likes an th er h m it w oo e up music vities like QB Australian lin with fun acti l al while e e th or d m ye y XS and man veryone enjo E . IN , oR re do nd ri A ge r Did tato salad, Garden, Pete sausages, po ogue, Savage ussie BBQ of of Kylie Min A g in er lan took at w he on mouth sor Rob W they splurged ident Profes es Pr D cutting W d O an ingtons. U students Onions, Lam icket, meeting cr g in enay ts pl en n event by am of stud part in this fu . A special te ke ca R ay lp D n he ustralia ons to lend a the special QA ntary donati lu vo ed ct t lle d co rthquake hi couraged an ims of the ea ards the vict ing hand tow ue blueR ng event as Qtr Haiti remarki Aussie!


The first and by far the most awaited UOWD Alumni Network series for the year 2010 was presented by Dr. Marouane Ben Bechir Trimeche, the Strategic Business Development Manager of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Est. for Young Business Leaders. This establishment was formed in 2002 with an aim to encourage & nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in Dubai & to help the development of businesses while addressing a key sector of the economy, which is the small & medium business sector. During the presentation held in January, Dr. Marouane stated that the key activities of this establishment were to create a platform for new business ideas while offering financial support, raise awareness of business opportunities while spreading knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit, and provide assistance and market opportunities to businesses run by UAE Nationals. The event was attended by a large audience that included UOWD President Professor Rob Whelan, Alumni Network members, UOWD faculty & staff.




Dinner with the President For the first time in the history of UOWD, the Alumni community in the UAE was invited to dine with President, Professor Rob Whelan. The dinner, hosted by him on the 24th of February at the University, was attended by approximately 200 Alumni members who did not miss the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the President, the Faculty and fellow Alums. In a way, this was also the first Alumni Networking meeting where we sighted a few old friends and reignited our QstudytiesR.

The four reasons, according to Prof. Rob Whelan for hosting this event were for him to meet Alumni members, for alumni to network with each other, to announce and discuss future development plans of UOWD, and for Alumni to align themselves with new initiatives at UOWD. Held near the Majlis area on the 3rd floor of Block 15, this evening was a great way for the President to encourage communication and collaboration, and he did so by breaking the ice through a two-part speech. After the first half, we enjoyed catching up with fellow alums, schmoozing, sipping cocktails and nibbling on a delicious variety of canape´s, served by courteous waiters. Later, during the second half of his speech, Prof. Rob highlighted a few major achievements and plans lined up.

If you missed it, here’s what you should know:

UOWD is the longest standing university in the region with a staggering count of 4437 Alumni members who graduated from UOWD over the past 16 years in the UAE U15th year anniversaryV. UOWD awarded an honorary degree to the Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, Sheikh Nayhan bin Mubarak al Nahyan. Prof. Whelan announced the expansion of the university and invited Alumni members to offer suggestions on how they would like the new UOWD Campus to be. Apart from our suggestions, he said he intends to have a swimming pool and a Duck Pond. A University has got to have a Duck pond, he added in a tone that was rather, matter-of-factly.

The New DBA/PhD Programs:

Mohsin, Aly, Prof. Rob, Odelia and Mitter

The Difference between a DBA and a PhD:

Clearing out the most common doubt faced by many people, Prof. Whelan clearly explained the difference between a DBA and a PhD, as pointed to him by Prof. Mohammed Khalifa, VP of Academics.

"A DBA is the Doctoral degree for ‘Researching Professionals’ - people who in their profession have a need to do research and to integrate research into their day-to-day activity. A PhD is the Doctoral degree for Professional Researchers – i.e. for people who want to have research as their career in a research institute or a University"



Prof. Whelan announced that an integrated part that he wanted to see happening at UOWD was developing research whilst offering research degrees & research training. Stressing on the importance of having research-oriented programs and Faculty at the university, Prof. Whelan announced that the next step in this universitys maturity has got to be the development of the doctoral programmes. The Doctorate program, if approved, would have three components to it, namely; Masters of Business Research, Doctorate of Business Administration & a PhD program. The Masters of Business Research program however is best suited for people who would not like to have a Doctoral degree but would prefer a Masters degree in the research area. Elaborating more on the contents of the programs, Prof. Whelan explained that each program would have a coursework component where students would learn the skills of research and a research component which usually would be done in an Organization or a Workplace which can be done part-time or full-time depending on the work opportunity.

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai



Here’s just the right amount of information to keep you up-to-date with the latest news happening at UOWD.


During his visit to Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department, Professor Rob Whelan, President of UOWD, was greeted by its Director, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al-Marri, who gave a tour of the new training centre and introduced Professor Whelan to a number of staff members at the department. Among the staff was a talented graphics designer, Lieutenant Ibtissam Al Mazroui, who is known for her skills for designing many of the DepartmentRs informational posters. Professor Whelan and Major General Al-Marri agreed to jointly sponsor an exhibition at UOWD to portray Lieutenant Al MazrouiRs work. This exhibition aims at educating the students and visitors of the university about the various services provided by the Dubai Neutralization and Residency Administration Department.


Located conveniently on the second floor of Block 15; the brand new UOWD nursing room is a solution to a lot of problems faced by working mothers. Specially designed to cater to the needs of UOWD staff, students and visitors, the nursing room is a private area with comfortable chairs, a fridge and a baby changing unit. Mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies at a convenient time during working hours can do so here comfortably. This service would help the students who need to bring their children and require a place to nurse or change the child. This new initiative is among the many taken up by the university to become the UAERs QEmployer of ChoiceR which promotes a healthy work-life balance and encourages initiatives that support it.


In a first of its kind agreement, UOWD signed an MoU with Dubai Courts that covers co-operation between the two parties in various areas such as training programs for students of UOWD at Dubai Courts, joint projects in HR development, mutual field visits and many more. The agreement was signed by Professor Rob Whelan, President of UOWD, and Dr. Ahmed Saeed Bin Hazim, General Manager of Dubai Courts. A few highlights from this MoU include: Dubai Courts providing short-term and long-term opportunities for UOWD students, mutual involvement of both parties in projects related to the development of human resources and UOWD providing consultancy and training to Dubai Courts staff. Dr. Hazim took the delegation on a tour of the department where he explained the various e-services provided by Dubai Courts which list it among the most advanced organizations in this region.



Professor Mohamed Khalifa On

Vice-President of Academics, UOWD

A graduate from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where personalities such as Donald Trump UFounder and CEO, Trump OrganizationV, Warren Buffet UCEO of Berkshire HathawayV, Donny Deutsch UChairman of Deutsch Inc.V and J.D. Power III UFounder of J.D. Power & AssociatesV, have all earned their education, Professor Mohamed Khalifa has carved a niche for himself in his own unique way. As VP of Academics he brings with him extensive teaching experience from the most prestigious Universities, globally and locally. Fluent in Arabic, English and French he is a man who has introduced and maintained a high degree of transparency between students and higher management, solving issues through various informal meetings and focus groups.

Information Systems, Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on Systems Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, and Data Base. Professor Khalifa is currently serving as Senior Editor for the AIS Transaction on HCI and Associate Editor for the European Journal of Information Systems.

Professor Khalifa has gained extensive professional and academic experience in several countries including the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, China, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. He started his academic career in 1989 in the Department of Decision Sciences at Concordia University UMontreal, CanadaV and subsequently moved to City University of Hong Kong where he served for over 11 years. In 2006, he was appointed Dean of the College of Business Administration at Abu Dhabi University, where he also served as a Provost. The professional experience of Professor Khalifa includes the positions of Senior Consultant for the Institute of Research on Higher Education in the USA, Senior Consultant in Electronic Business and Knowledge Management for the Hong Kong Productivity Council and Senior Consultant in Business Process Reengineering for the Hong Kong Government. A Gifted Teacher: Respected, admired and awarded twice with a Teaching Excellence Award in 2003/2004 and in 1997/1998 by the City University of Hong Kong, Prof. Khalifa demonstrates neoclassicism in his approach to the monotonous student-teacher relationship. In an interview with UOWD Boomerang Uthe universityRs newsletter for currently enrolled students and available for download on the UniversityRs websiteV, Professor Khalifa was quoted saying, QIn my opinion, Uas a teacherV it is not enough to be knowledgeable of the subject and to follow a good pedagogy. A good teacher should also be able to communicate complex concepts in a simple way. Most importantly, the teacher should demonstrate passion and care. Students know it when you care. They become more receptive and are motivated to make the extra effort for acquiring more in-depth knowledge, critical thinking and analytical skillsP. Research Work & Published Articles: As part of his career, he has conducted extensive research in the areas of innovation adoption, electronic commerce, IT-enabled learning and knowledge management and has published over 90 refereed articles. His work appeared in journals such as Decision Sciences, Information and Management, Communications of the ACM, OMEGA, Journal of the Association of Information Systems, European Journal of


oOWD, Prof. M D or DBA at U Ph a g in g rsu rin pu du rested in t Supervision If you are inte llowing Studen fo e th ed id ov a has pr hammad Khalif s career: hi of se the cour dents isor of 4 PhD stu - Thesis superv students isor of 6 MPhil s - Thesis superv 5 PhD student ittee member of s nt - Thesis comm de stu A d6M isor of 5 MSc an students BA - Thesis superv M /E rvisor of 15 MBA pe su r pe pa ch nts - Resear d 6 DBA stude iner of 5 PhD an - External exam lvania rsity of Pennsy n School, Unive rto ha W e Th ste Sy ms Ph.D. t Information eld: Managemen Fi r ajo M 1991 s ecision Processe sylvania Minor Field: D iversity of Penn Un , rton School s m M.A. The Wha ste Sy t Information eld: Managemen Fi r ajo M 1986 de Tunis ur de Gestion agement Institut Supe´rie B.Sc. Applied to Man ce ien Sc r te pu m Co : Field 1983 Major

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

Eduardo Hamzi



Manager, Property & Services

Eduardo with President Rob Whelan

Eduardo with Arpana Sharma & Sherri Van Over

What is the toughest part of your work? Looking for additional and new storage spaces within the Campus. When did you come to Dubai? Where are you originally from? I am a Lebanese with dual nationality ULebanese and ArgentineanV. My father was born in Argentina and my family lived there for more than 5 decades. I came to Dubai in 1988 and I will complete 22 years soon.

Since how long have you been working with UOWD? I joined the University in June 2002 and it has been almost 8 years since IRve been working here. What are the major responsibilities for you at work? Supporting the goals of the university by providing a clean, comfortable, functional and safe facility to students and staff .We maintain, operate and protect the University facilities and provide the necessary services for the facilities to be used by the University community. Our aim is to provide an efficient customer service in a clean, safe and comfortable environment. Our motto is to be an accessible, approachable and professional department. How about previous work experience? I am a Law graduate, with Banking Experience UOperations and AdministrationV in and out the UAE. What do you love/hate the most about working at UOWD? I enjoy the multinational culture environment of the University with mutual respect amongst colleagues. I believe some staff are merely OyesP man and agree to everything suggested by their superiors.

Have you lived in any other part of the world before? How is the UAE different? I visited few countries but I have spent almost half of my life in the UAE and the other half in Lebanon .There are not much difference between the two countries; friendly and optimistic people, and patriotic .The UAE is a safe, well-controlled country where people respect rules . Tell us about your family and life? I am divorced without children and my small family consists of my mother and sister who are living in Lebanon and brother who is living in the USA for more than 35 years. Any hobbies and interests? I like all kinds of music, reading mainly politics, gardening, watching basketball and Soccer. Like most Lebanese and the Argentineans, I spend the weekends with friends cooking or going out for drink or a late dinner

er or ke to be a Lawy n, I would… Li ai ag er ov l al y life If I could live m ly your close . an ici lit ming - trust on a Po m life is….. Ti fro nt ar le e One thing I’v side yourself in the mountain friends and be ith close friends .w e, … sid be y ld tr un ou nd w . walk in the co My ideal weeke stress is to… ith w er al nn di de e to drink or lat The best way se friends for a althy food go out with clo rs specialized he fe of at public parks or th t an ur sta re a … My dream is to




With an academic profile of a B A in Psychology, an MA in Psychology, an MB A in Mar ket Research and fin ally a Ph D in Infor ma tion Syst ems, all f rom th e Univer sity of Hou ston (USA), our faculty feature for this issue of the newsletter is DR. DAVID VAN OVER , the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management. Here Desma Rovina D’Souza gets this inspiring faculty member to share his education and career highlights with us.

Dr. David has held positions similar to his current one at UOWD at various American universities including the University of Georgia, University of Idaho, University of Houston and Texas A&M University. He has also made several written contributions towards areas of group decision-making, simulation and pedagogical issues in the IT field and has won numerous teaching awards including being named OTeacher of the YearP at the University of Georgia.

In addition to the above, Dr. David is a corporate consultant, a trainer and a group facilitator and has been employed in the capacity of a Business Consultant with companies such as Deloitte & Touche and IBM. The oil & gas and engineering industries are areas in which his experience is particularly extensive. Last, but definitely not the least, he was a Systems Analyst, Systems Designer U6 systemsV and the Director of IT for an international oil and gas services company. In the midst of his busy schedule he took time to chat with us as we got to know him better. Here is what he had to say: Q) Your educational background began with a focus in Psychology and was completed with a PhD in Information Systems (IS). Was there a particular approach you employed in determining your path? No. I started in psychology to learn about myself and people around me. I learned that, while it is a fascinating area to study, I did not want a lifetime career in it. The IS thing just sort of happened. I started using computers


and creating programs to do data analysis. A recruiter came to the university looking for people who could understand engineers and turn their needs into computer solutions. I met him through a friend of a friend. He thought that someone from psychology, with an interest in technology, might make a good analyst/designer. I guess he was right! Q) When did you complete your PhD? We hear you did it in a very short span of time, where the average course usually takes around 4 years to complete. How did you manage? Actually I completed it in 2.5 years. I had great advice from my mentor. He had me focus on completing the degree from the very beginning. So every paper I wrote and every project I undertook were building blocks for my dissertation. Once a student finishes their course work and passes their comprehensive exams they start on their dissertation. In my case, because of some good advice and planning, when I completed my comprehensives I had already completed about 50% of my dissertation. Q) Did the PhD help you in your career? Why would you say it is important? In academics a PhD is critical. It is the Oprice of admissionP for a career. However, even in the business world, it gives you credence. When I worked with IBM as a consultant, I was given much more credit than I deserved because of the doctorate. People assume that if you are a PhD holder you must be very knowledgeable.

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai



Dr. David with his son Hayden David in India Dr. David with his son Shannon at his Prom

Dr. David Van Over with his wife, Sherri Van Over

Q) Since you have such a broad employment experience, what would you say is your most challenging and engaging experience and why? I designed an accounting system for the oil and gas industry when I was with Deloitte. The client company liked the idea and hired me to build and deploy the system around the world. It was my first international experience so I got to learn about many cultures, and financial practices, and see parts of the world I had only imagined. Q) What would you say is your one greatest achievement in your career and why? The greatest achievement in my career was when the IS student group at the University of Georgia collected donations to create a scholarship in my name. It was the most humbling experience I can imagine. The greatest achievement in life is to be a part of my amazing family. Q) What are your plans moving forwards in terms of further career achievement, if any? Not much. My life is great as it is. I would like to become a full professor and eventually, not soon, a grandfather. Q) How do you relax and unwind? I spend time with my family. We explore new places, play golf, and enjoy water sports. In fact my wife, Sherri, and one son, Hayden, are

“Follow your passion. Do not do what others think you should or what might pay the most or provide the most status. Do what you love to do. Our only currency is time. We exchange our time for a salary. Why not exchange it for what you love to do?�

certified scuba divers. My other son, Shannon, and I are taking classes this summer. I guess that will be my next way to unwind. Q) What is the one piece of advice would you give a young graduate in terms of pursuing a dedicated career in the current economic climate? This one is easy. Follow your passion. Do not do what others think you should or what might pay the most or provide the most status. Do what you love to do. Our only currency is time. We exchange our time for a salary. Why not exchange it for what you love to do? If you do not know what you love, try things that are interesting and do not be afraid to change. Eventually you will find what brings you joy. I am not sure of what I started out to be. The only thing I know is that it was not to be an educator. I was not the best student and in fact did not particularly like school or teachers when I was young. I stumbled into the field but now I cannot think of anything else I would rather be than a teacher. Q) Is there anything else you would like to add/like us to know about you? Not really. Thank you for this opportunity and your interest. Best of luck with the newsletter and the alumni association.



High Achievers



At the age of 25 years, Hanan Al Muhairi (MHRM 2010) is an aspiring individual who has already come a long way in her career. She has done a great deal in propelling the image of the International Modern Arab Woman across the globe and for someone who has a passion to produce movies, ride horses, capture photographic excellence and pursue a higher education – that too in flying colors (phew!) she is unquestionably a beacon of light in her own right. We got in touch with her to find out how she does it all.

Compiled by Odelia M.

Hanan Abdulla Mohammed Al Muhairi graduated from the Dubai WomenRs College in June 2008, passing out with a High Distinction in her Bachelors Degree in Applied Sciences and Applied Media Communications. Soon after, she joined UOWD for her Masters in Strategic Human Resources Management, which she completed this year in April. But between the studies and working with the Dubai Police, she has packed in just about everything T from movies to photography and more. During her internship while at DWC, she successfully produced two video documentaries T Give Them Way and Under the Abaya T and went on to acquire a Diploma Certificate titled OHollywood Institute Director and ProducerR in the year 2007. About five years back, Hanan participated in a photography competition and surprisingly won the 1st place. She says, Othis competition was about still photography at one of the endurance races that was held in Seeh Al Salem UDubaiV and I was handed the award by H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al NahyanP. Least expecting the doors that would now open before her, she received an unexpected offer from Al Ahli Horse Riding Club to be the main organizer for an event called QThe UAE Love and Faith TripR which was about seven female riders of Arab origin, who wanted to pay their tribute to the UAE and its rulers. OThe trip started in Al Fujairah, the northern emirate of the UAE, and culminated successfully in Abu Dhabi 15 days later,P recalls Hanan, and that was her first experience in the equestrian field. As a little child, Hanan always nurtured a strong passion for horses and with the astounding success of the UAE Love & Faith trip, she began her equestrian training in June 2006. By the end of the year, Hanan embarked on a new journey with six other friends from the Dubai WomenRs College who shared the same interest and passion


for horse-riding. Together they set up Arabyana T The UAERs first female horse riding team. As President of Arabyana, Hanan has indeed taken her team to witness success and victory in so many ways. She says, OArabyana has gained tremendous ground and shows no signs of slowing down. A great deal of commitment has been displayed in both progressive riding and stable management. One of their main missions is to represent the Emirati woman in a brighter light and change the peoples perspective against women riding horsesP. Apart from encouraging female rider to compete in competition locally, this all-women team is encouraging them to go bigger at an international level too. OThe intention is to place a strong footprint in the field of horse riding,P explains Hanan who is currently training at the Emirates Equestrian Centre in the areas of both, progressive riding and horse care and stable management. She has successfully passed tests 1 and 2 in progressive riding based on the British Horse Society System. Confident that she has changed peopleRs perception about Arab Women, she brings a few amazing facts to light to support herself, OOne evidence of that there are now more people participating in endurance races more than it used to be in the past. Before, people used to see around 18 entries for the female races but now it has reached about 80 entries for each race.P Judging by the figures mentioned, and the fact that the Arabyana facebook site has 3,677 fans already, there is no doubt that Hanan has veritably made history from what started as an unexpected calling. As a woman with an opinion and an intellect fit enough to tackle the best arguments, Hanan did not stop herself from going further into the subject of female horse rid-

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


High Achievers

Achievements & Awards 2010 * Documentary OOur Right to RideP screened during Washington Independent Film Festival in March 2010 * Invited to the Sundance Film Festival in January 2010, Park City, Utah 2009 * Received the Emirates Competition Special Award for OOur Right to RideP * Entrepreneurship Award from Dubai Womens College for being an entrepreneur from 2006 to 2009. * Arabyana Feature Documentary Primer Screening OOur Right to RideP won a special prize at the Middle East Film Festival of 20,000 AED.

Hanan with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan ers T something probably unheard of in this region a decade ago. Producing her first feature film documentary titled QOur Right to RideR she caught the attention of Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum T Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai T who lent her support to the documentary that was screened on April 13th 2009 at The Atlantis, Palm Island. Hanan explains, OMy feature documentary is called, Our Right to Ride and it tells the story of six female UAE riders who fought for their right to ride horses. Producing this documentary showed me that there are lots of conflicts and misconceptions in allowing a female to ride horses in the UAE. Therefore, I tackled my documentary from three perspectives; one is the religious point of view, the second is from medical point of view, and the third is from a cultural point of viewP. Putting in so much effort certainly paid off, in

that the documentary was also sponsored by Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, the Ambassador of Goodwill in the United Nations, Hydra and the Roots Social Support Group, Corporate Wellness, and IIMSAM Organization - the permanent observer of the United Nations economic and social council. Another documentary which Hanan produced was titled OThe Golden JubileeP which she did for the Dubai Police in 2007. This documentary covered the progress of Dubai Police since its very beginning to what it has now, which includes the many services offered to the community of Dubai. Setting an example for the younger generation, Hanan is indeed a befitting role model as she was the youngest Arab female film producer and director from the UAE, invited to attend the Sundance Film Festival, this year in January. Speaking about the ex-

Hanan during the Ladies Endurance Race while meeting H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

2008 * Won the Tamaiaz Award organized by Maward Company. * Nominated for the Sheikh Majed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Award in journalism for writing about the 1st female horse riding team Arabyana. * Knowledge Management Model in Dubai Police presented in Australia 2006 to date * Founder and President of Arabyana - the 1st Horse Riding Team * Achieved a Certificate from IbadaRa Emarati Net Uwww.emarati.netV for creating an online photographic gallery and a graphics gallery * Won a Prize for a Students Documentary Film called QAdolescent ColorsR at the Emirates Film Competition 2005 * PHYSICAL FITNESS CERTIFICATE Certificate from Dubai Police General Head Quarters for completing the requirements of HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Sport and Fitness Programme * First Prize of AED 20,000 in National Day Endurance Photography Competition UAmateur CategoryV

2003-2004 * Communication Technology Award for Outstanding Student * Certificate of Appreciation from Dubai WomenRs Association for event organization * NIVEA Soft University Competition & 1st Prize Winner



High Achievers

perience she says, OI was really glad that I got selected among very good directors from the United Arab Emirates. Sundance Festival is a big opportunity for filmmakers to meet and exchange knowledge and maybe get together in future projects. As for me, I met very interesting people who work within the film industryP. An observant quick-learner, this young lady did well for herself picking out just what she needed to know OBeing in Sundance really was really very good for me because it connected me with people from within the film industry. Not only that, but it also allowed me to watch so many films and documentaries, directed by independent film makers, giving me a chance to learn from their experiences and avoid their mistakesP. Seldom do people get a chance to dream and achieve what they dream, but Hanan is a lady who has luck on her side. Impressed by her achievements, she was invited on board the Dubai Police General Headquarters by General Commander Dhai Khalfan, where she is currently working. Speaking about it she says, ODubai Police is my dream. It is where I want to grow, where I fulfill my personal goals of enhancing and serving the community, where I feel a sense of belonging to the United Arab Emirates. Currently I work in the Knowledge Management Department which comes under the General Department of Administrative Affairs. I am heading a division of archiving the knowledge of its two types which are the implicit and the explicit. I have been working on some creative projects and interesting research papers within Dubai Police. One paper that I presented in Australia is the Knowledge Management Model that is applied in Dubai Police General Head Quarters. Another one is OEquestrian and its role in Eliminating crimes which was


presented during the second international conference of Sports vs. Crime that was held at Dubai Police Officers ClubP. OI am looking forward to continue my PhD at Wollongong University in Dubai in a business field since I am planning to open my own business very soon,P says Hanan. Even though she has come a long way and done so much, she still holds a few T simple yet aspiring T dreams that reveal her proactive approach in life. OI want to become a good horse rider Hanan with her British trainer Ms. and enter more competitions; I want to obtain a Diane Crabtree PhD degree; I want to work harder in Dubai Police and accomplish more positive projects that can help the community; I want to produce more filmsP. One could argue that she is a perfectionist, but then again T isnRt that something not many can boast about? Humble and confident, a dreamer and an achiever T Hanan Al Muhairi is grounded in every sense; sometimes unaware of the extent she has gone. It is only when someone points it out to her that she smiles with a smugness of a 5-year old child just out of a candy shop. OEarlier, I didnRt realize that I was actually making history,P she says, until she came across a very supportive old lady named Ms. Marion Alteri from the USA. OI consider her like a mother and when she said OYou are making history HananP, then Hanan with Aliya Al Marzooqi I started to realize it!P the youngest UAE female trainer

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai



Sustainability: The Road Ahead As we surge forward to the next decade, the need for sustainable development has assumed a very vital position across the globe. Depleting natural resources and water reserves, high dependency on fossil fuels, climate change and a plaguing problem of waste and pollution are posing a serious challenge to the world. The advent of modern construction and transportation technology - more significantly over the past 3 decades had started impacting our environment and ecosystems heavily. In todayRs world, buildings and automobiles take up a large chunk of non-renewable energy and are huge sources of carbon emissions. Globally, buildings are responsible for over 21% of CO2 emissions and slowly governments are facing up to a new epidemic laid ground by emissions and accumulating waste. Various programs are available across the globe to encourage, as well as regulate, green building and sustainable development. The most prominent of these include the OLEEDP by US Green Building Council and BREEAM UUKV. These programs pursue developments that are sustainable in Site, Resources, Energy, Water and Air quality T with an aim to deliver healthy living conditions for the occupants and to be a lesser stress on the sensitive environment Green building certification per LEED ULeadership in Energy and Environmental DesignV is a holistic rating system based on key criteria such as Sustainable sites, Water efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environment quality and Innovation in design. Based on points attained, the buildings are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum certifications. Developments in this field have seen the emergence of Carbon Net Buildings/ Living building challenge, etc. The USGBCRs LEED rating system is the most popular one followed worldwide, with some countries such as India modifying and adapting the system to local conditions and circumstances. The key elements of sustainable development involve water, energy and environment quality. Water conservation: features like rain water harvesting, waste water recycling, high efficiency plumbing, low flow fixtures, etc., will assist heavily in conserving water and constricting water use. In a country like the UAE where fresh water resources are scarce, conservation measures and recycling are very essential. Energy savings: High performance or energy efficient buildings typically can save between 20 T 40 % of energy as compared to conventional buildings. In the US, new technology has seen this figure move even from 75 to 90 %. With energy sources and cost of energy remaining a key concern, using low power units such as CFL lamps, LED, energy star rated A/Cs, pumps or fridges are turning from an option to a necessity. More sophisticated OgreenP devices such as lighting power savers or

A/C heat pipes can take a significant load off the power consumption, multiply this for a community and the savings are huge. Buildings can resort to maximum use of daylight if planned during construction as well as with use of light pipes. Renewable energy sources such as Solar and Geothermal and Wind energy are the emerging stars of the OgreenP movement. Solar energy can be used for lighting Ueven peripheral or emergency, garden lighting, street lighting, water heating, etc.V. Combined with micro wind turbines, costs can be significantly lowered. Quality of Environment: A significant aspect of green buildings is the indoor air quality T with a quantum leap of 40 % improvement, occupants of green buildings, as proved by surveys and studies around the globe lead a healthier life and tend to perform much better compared to conventional buildings. The air quality as opposed to other factors has a direct impact on our lives and living in a fresh environment boosts our lives T domestic and professional to a large extent. It goes without saying that green communities, with high air quality, healthier materials with low or no emissions can offer mankind a quality of life typified by high air quality and thermal comfort as well as lower chances for common ailments such as flu, cold, fevers or allergies. Apart from the social responsibility factor and major strides taken towards protecting the environment and ecosystem, sustainability and OgreenP building developments are also opening up a lot of business and employment opportunities and augmenting a new breed of Ogreen collar jobsP. As nations worldwide react to climate change and carbon emissions by engaging in promoting green buildings, renewable energy and recycling, new entrepreneurs are on the rise and sustainability / green businesses are currently at the forefront of economies emerging out of recession. The leading players in the industry are renewable energy involving wind

and solar power, green building certification consultancy and building materials, recycling and waste management, water treatment, energy audits, energy efficient fixtures, low flow water fixtures, low emission interior finishes, high efficiency HVAC systems, building insulation products, etc. At the same time, products made of recycled material ranging from apparels, footwear, bags, papers, books and such are finding their way into the largest of supermarkets giving rise to a new business face across the geographies. Sustainability has also been adapted across layers of the hospitality industry with eco tourism, eco resorts and sustainable tourism practices. Sustainable development can be successful only when brought about in a larger scale with participation from the society as a whole rather than individuals or organizations and this calls for awareness programs at a mass level. Carbon emissions are not just a simple global political bone of contention, rather it has a direct impact on each of us T The road ahead for sustainable development is quite challenging. But realizing that the responsibility is upon us to preserve this gift of nature as a sustainable asset for future generations to live, enjoy and sustain and implementing energy and environment saving measures starting right at home can go a long way in paving the way ground up to make the world a greener and healthier place to live in.

Sunil Ramakrishnan is the Director of ECOSYSTEM LLC, a company that specializes in sustainable solutions in the Middle East and India with a broad spectrum of services spread across renewable energy, green buildings, energy conservation and building supplies.




Scholarship Suppor t

As the world takes time to recover from the bite of recession, aspiring students all over the globe are hoping to secure quality education. For parents who struggle to give their children the best foothold in the corporate world, the task of a world-class education can be the heaviest under the challenging economic climate, especially when the new breed of students graduating from universities are under more scrutiny than ever before from the Multinational Corporate Giants who hesitate to put their faith in over-promising, under-delivering talents.That said, scholarships play a vital role in bridging the gap between fresh talents seeking a bright future and the developing, recovering world. To that end, UOWD is playing an active part in supporting deser ving students and, over the years, has enabled them achieve quality education through affording scholarships. Here Thomas Rodrigues highlights a few things ever y Alumni should know about the UOWD scholarships


The University of Wollongong in Dubai UUOWDV was established by the University of Wollongong in Australia in 1993. It is one of the UAERs oldest and most prestigious universities which awarded scholarships to students in the past. Over the past 3 to 5 years, the financial aid given to students in the form of scholarships has shown a remarkable increase. For the 2009 Autumn semester, scholarships worth AED 3 million were awarded to worthy students. Today the university has approximately 3,500 students representing almost hundred nationalities that are currently enrolled at UOWD and are enjoying a quality academic experience.


Text by Thomas & Odelia

UOWD awards scholarships, which entitles the recipients to 20% to 100% off on their tuition fees, excluding living and other expenses. The scholarships and tuition grants are as follows: - Scholarships for New Enrolling Students - Scholarships for Currently Enrolled Students - Tuition Grants - Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Pioneers Scholarship Program for Arab students. Furthermore, children of Alumni are eligible to apply for a 100% scholarship and there are scholarships available for Alumnus who enroll in a subsequent degree. Family Discounts are awarded, when there is more than one family member concurrently enrolled. UOWD Alumni grant is awarded to students having completed their degree and apply for their post graduate degree program. Children of alumni can avail of tuition grants. Corporate employees can avail a grant from 5% to 10%. If you refer a friend, a currently enrolled student is eligible for a 10% tuition grant.

UOWD Offers Unlimited Support to Outstanding Students The University constantly reviews the scholarships and takes the initiative to introduce new offerings. For example the Outstanding Academic Excellence Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate applicants who have achieved the required academic high school results leading to the automatic awarding of a scholarship. The number of scholarships issued at this level is unlimited, therefore providing excellent opportunities for students to receive a scholarship in recognition of their hard work.


Since Autumn rship 2006 the schola value given by UOWD has increased by 47.5%.

Speaking with Redwan Hassan, Scholarship Recipient 2009 M. Redwan Hasan Bangladeshi 19 years, BSC, UOWD (2nd Semester) When did you arrive in Dubai? I arrived with my family in 2009 on a Student Visa. I was here before between 1997-2003 and during that stay, I studied at the Abu Dhabi Indian School UADISV till grade 5. Later, I completed my GCE O-Levels & A-Levels from Maple Leaf International School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We are back in Dubai as my dad has been posted here for work from the Government of Bangladesh. It feels good to be back to the old place and where I spent a major time of my young days. My dad is currently the Manager of Janata Bank Ltd, Abu Dhabi branch, and my mom is a housewife. I am their only child. How did you win the scholarship? How has it helped you realize your dream? I won the scholarship based on my 3 As in A-Levels supported by the 8 As in my O-level. Winning this scholarship in a reputed university like UOWD has been a real confidence-booster. This scholarship will reinforce my capabilities and will encourage me to do even better, in realizing my dream. Moreover, it came a financial blessing and will help reduce the financial strain on my dad who has been paying a huge amount of money for my education. Once you complete your UG degree, what would you do further? Once I finish my UG degree, I may work and complete my PG. I would like to join Microsoft or IBM.

“UOWD's reputation as one of the best universities in the UAE initially attracted me towards it. UOWD has also made it ver y feasible to obtain a widely-recognized Australian degree without having to move to Australia. On the other hand, the UAE has a ver y rich heritage and histor y and is ver y welcoming. Dubai is the business hub of the world and the oppor tunities here are ver y rewarding. Lots of international students, like me, study here and it is a great chance to meet people from different backgrounds which I believe would make the overall experience in UOWD ver y memorable�

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


Life Abroad

JOSLYN WALTER (MIB 2006) writes to us from Canada, where she is now settled and wor ks as a Demand Planning Analyst at LG Electronics. Here she talks to us about her journey and career. I was born and raised in Mumbai, India where I completed my early education. I lived in Dubai for 6 years during which I worked as an Assistant Planning Manager at Al Yusuf Electronics. Here I had the opportunity to experience cross-cultural exposure during my interactions with manufacturers from Europe and Asia and soon realized the need to learn more about globalization to enable in-depth knowledge and enhance my performance in global trade. I moved to Canada with my husband in September 2007. Now I work at LG Electronics, in their Supply Chain Management USCMV division. Being directly employed at a growing brands manufacturer company, I feel proud of being able to plan demand for the whole of Canada. I was initially hired as a forecasting analyst because of my past experience in forecasting whilst in Dubai and because of my MIB degree. In SCM, issues are like every morningRs brewed coffee; fresh and hot waiting to be tackled. My career spans a field which is still new to me and the curiosity to learn it all keeps me going. I took up my Demand Planning role in October 2007. I took on my current role at a crucial time where in Demand Planning is of prime importance due to upcoming Boxing Day event. One of my key performance indicators is to increase Sales Forecast Accuracy USFAV, and here I was responsible to ensure enough supply across Canada to meet massive demand with unsteady economy. The end result was highly successful sales in comparison to previous boxing promotions UI achieved 15% improvement in SFAV. I can confidently say that my degree in International Business, especially the right electives selected, laid a strong foundation to help me with my current job responsibilities. I was fortunate enough to learn Cross-Cultural Management from faculty Dr. Michael Willemyns and Supply Chain Management from faculty Dr. Cedwyn Fernandes. Advertising and Marketing in Global Economy was another exciting course by Dr. Doug Young. These professors have left very positive imprints on my mind. I still implement their teachings at work. The broader

understanding of cross-culture, global supply chain concept and international marketing were the tools that helped me adapt easily to the Canadian Electronics Industry. The relocation to Canada was challenging in terms of weather, people and work. I did a lot of research in terms of work environment & opportunities while in Dubai and it paid off well as I got a job within the first month of moving. Besides, the work environment here is very professional without racism based on nationality or gender. Most important, unlike many expats in Dubai, employees here do not carry fear of loosing job; thus, loosing PR status. Getting used to paying tax on our earnings is one major adjustment that we are learning as a couple. I love reading. Humor is my first option, then fiction, philosophy and memoirs. In addition, I like traveling and exploring. My husband & I have already explored four provinces in Canada and visited eight states in the USA. The best thing about North America is that we can set out on long drives exploring lakes, mountains and the land. In a five-year time, I see myself working on my own as a skilled, independent Consultant in SCM. Personally, my immediate dream, along with my husband, is to plan on starting our family. Professionally, IRm planning to become a consultant for which I will study further. My plan is to achieve a certification in SAP. You can contact Josyln at

All smiles- Joslyn with ther husband



Cupid’s Corner

Love can find you in surprising ways and it’s always a bit more special when it happens while at university. In this new section of our newsletter, we bring a few love stories that were ignited on campus.

Love At First Sight: Rosh & Santripti

Both MIB 2005 graduates, Rosh & Santripti met while studying at UOWD.They have been together for 8 years now and first met in April 2002 at the CAE Spring Fiesta.They tied the knot two years back, packed their bags and boarded an aircraft to NY, where they turned a new leaf with each other. Here they share their story, work challenges, and a few ever-green memories.

Sahara One T USA Business Development Manager

S: I had choreographed the fashion show for UOWD students as my sister was an under-graduate student at the time. He was there as a spectator and we were introduced through common friends. It began with a smile! R: We both were mutually drawn to each other T I guess that is what one calls Olove at first sightP!

S: The first thing that I believe actually made me fall in love with him was his smile while he was still seated in his parked car; before we were even formally introduced. R: Her eyes T I felt they were talking to me even though we were standing at a distance from each other. And the way she laughed made me fall in love with her.

S: We took all our MIB courses together. Favorite professor T Ashraf Mahate - although the subject UFinanceV was definitely not my favorite one. Both Roshmon and I were Uand still areV very fond of him.

CSS T USA Route Development Manager

S: Initially when I came to the USA, I was a very bored house-wife who accompanied her husband at work. Having personally worked ever since I can remember, it was a huge challenge to be house-bound and I couldnt wait to enter the American workforce. Unfortunately, at the time I had entered the country, the whole economy collapsed so options were limited. But over a period of a year I finally found a job in an industry I love T media. Getting used to the country was new as well. Initially I was not thrilled to be in the USA T I couldnt see what the big deal was about NYC but now I love it! And I love watching the change of all 4 seasons T spring, summer, autum and winter...truly beautiful. R: I was transferred to the USA from Dubai so there was no question of Ofinding workP. However, getting adjusted to a new place took some time especially the cold weather in NY.

S: I work for an Indian television channel as their Business Development Manager for the USA & Canada markets. My work involves aspects of marketing, sales & advertising which aim at increasing the viewership percentage, creating awareness about the channel, and boosting revenue. R: I work in the area of business development wherein my responsibilities involve managing trade route development between the USA & the Middle East in the field of freight-forwarding.

S: Well it just really depends on the people involved I guess T we knew people who were university romances and did not make it to the altar. I do believe that their love was either not strong enough to sustain parental, communal or social pressure OR it just was not that important to them. If people want their relationships to work and if its worthy of that effort then irrespective of where and how they meet; they will find a way. R: Ours didnt begin in the university but it was a huge part of our courting days. I dont think it has anything to do with where you meet the love of your life as long as you can make it work T love has no location!

Love is …. fearless & faithful. Life together is all about …. sharing the most insane things together - right from fake wrestling matches to bickering over which restaurant to go to! Being University Sweethearts was….interesting because we had a lot to share together. The best thing about romance on campus was …having a common goal to work on together T we had each other for motivation. If I could fall in love again, I would....never want to change a thing! The recipe for lasting love is…being able to laugh together.

Love is …a collection of beautiful experiences which can only be shared with that special someone. Life together is all about …. waiting to reach home just to be with her! Being Uni Sweethearts was/is/feels like…. being inseparable. The best thing about romance on campus was …attending class together, working on assignments together, going for breaks together, studying together. If I could fall in love again, I all the same memories again. The recipe for lasting love is…keeping things fresh & spicy!




UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


Who, When, Where Freelance Consultant & Trainer Self-employed She describes herself as an OOptimistic, fun-loving, hard worker, and a firm believer that there is no OImpossibleP in life and Owhere there is a will, there is always a wayP, and with an outlook such as that, our friend Arwa takes life head-on in whatever she does. Presently working on a freelance basis for almost two years now, she previously worked in fields of human resources, quality management, and business development. When conducting training sessions, her whole day revolves around sharing knowledge and experience with trainees, but on the other hand she tells us, Oif I am involved in a consultancy project, a typical day usually witnesses meetings and working on achieving resultsP. If busy could be her middle name, then Arwa is one lady who, not only loves her job, but also Qadores all aspectsR of it because she enjoys what she does. OMy job as a Consultant and Trainer entails that I understand the clientRs needs in order to come up with solutions that help them. In light of this, I either design training materials and deliver sessions or fulfill consultancy project requirements,P she says.

“During my years at UOWD I remember three Professors: Stephanie Jones, Edward Kilgour, and Michael Willemyns. Stephanie was a multitalented professor who made me enjoy ever y minute during her lectures; the second, was a mentor and coach whose views and guidance I appreciated; the third, a facilitator with a sense of humour from whom I learnt many skills”

A Postgraduate from UOWD in 2005, Arwa recalls her most tiring times while studying but, that too with an optimistic air to it. OThe most challenging aspect while studying at university,P she says, Owas heading from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in the afternoon and coming back late, only to be at office by 7:00 a.m. the next day. However, I got used to it and enjoyed it!P. Speaking of how a postgraduate degree changed her life and outlook to the work world, she says, OMy education at UOWD added value to my career development and opened doors for several job opportunities. It was priceless not only because of books to read or projects to accomplish, but also because one listens to the experiences of other students and gets to know the practices at their organizationsP. Much like a typical Sagittarian, Arwa has her bow set to hit her target in the coming few years. She says OI intend to enroll in a PhD program at UOWD as soon as it is available and five years from now, I see myself an owner of a consultancy and training firm and an author of a management-related bookP. Probably the last person to sit on her laurels and wait for dreams to come true, she tells us that she has recently become a certified EFQM 2010 assessor and is pursuing a CIPD certification in training. When not busying herself with training sessions and consultancy projects or volunteering her time proof-reading for us on Stay Connected, Arwa takes out time to volunteer with organizations such as the Red Cresent, Takatuf and Dubai Cares. OIt is always nice to give back to the society that helped you to be the person you are,P she says. Quoting Mahatma Ghandi, OAn eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blindP, Arwa says, if she could change one thing in the world she would Ostop wars so that we all see the beauty of brotherhood and appreciate forgivenessP. Clearly, an individual who is full of gratitude, Arwa makes time to cherish those who have been a strong support to her. She says, OApart from work and career, I enjoy spending quality time with my parents who give me the energy to unleash my potential!P If you2d like to get in touch with Arwa for help on any of your company projects, feel free to email her on

Asst. PMO Director ( Project Management Office) Ajman University of Science & Technology Of Syrian origin, Tarek Al Hraki was born in Abu Dhabi. He graduated from Ajman University from the faculty of engineering and then stated his career with them in the Communication and Marketing Department. In 2005 he began his MIB at UOWD and graduated in December 2007. Speaking of his current job he says, OI love work, it is my first priority and includes planning plus following up the implementation of projectsP. Prior to joining the Ajman University, he was working with a British Marketing & Communication Com-

“Dr. Jayshree made a deep impact on my understanding for the Human Recourse Management in general and the models of Change Management in particular, she was a ver y experienced & knowledgeable professor and I wish her all the best” pany while studying. In fact back in 2005,O I was working in an investment company supervising 2 real estate projects and completing my Masters Degree at the same time, so I was actually working for 18 hours a dayP he says. Currently preparing for a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute in the USA, Tarek aims to open his own business in the near future within the field of Investment and Real Estate. OMy long term dream is to own a holding company in investment,P he says. When asked what heRd change if given the chance to change one thing in the world, he is rather candid in his answer. OWell I hate the restrictions on freedom especially in the Arab world. I learnt during my work with the British company that Oeveryone is free within the frame of his religion and law, otherwise you are free. Unfortunately in our Arab world this is not implemented in our daily life and I hope that could be changedP. Armed with a serious intention to complete his PhD in Business from UOWD, Tarek is a man who enjoys reading, playing table tennis and travelling. You can contact him at



Who, When, Where

Business Development –Strategy Sabah Radiator Industries Sharjah- UAE

moving over to pursue a Masters in International Business & Business Administration UUOWD, MIB 2003, MBA 2005V this was no mean feat, but it certainly did pay off well. Recalling the years of studies at UOWD he says, OI believe, education is what remains even after what is learnt is forgotten. And surely the courses done in UOWD have given me an entry in several fields which has definitely helped me in my work. For example, in my initial career days, I was a more technical person who didnRt have a big interest in operations or finance for that matter. But now, having a foundation, it gave me a sound insight to how a company works in a larger scale. I am able to tune these insights into making strategies which are both long term as well as short termP. Although work keeps him busy and parenting presents its own set of challenges, Jo still finds time to keep the ball rolling. He is currently pursuing a CMA program

Joe with his son Joshua A fitness first addict, an avid cricket player, a fishing enthusiast, a budding photographer, a father of two and a double MasterRs holder T Joseph Biney is not quite the average guy youRd come across. A UAE resident for almost all his life, he is very much an Indian at heart who certainly has his priorities in place. OI was born in India, but have been living in the UAE since then. So I have my parents and most of my relatives out here as well. Having two young kids U2-year old Joshua and 4month old RachelV, I find myself very attached to them and I miss them terribly when I am travelling. But my biggest consolation is that my wife, Remi, is an amazing mom and manages the house pretty wellP. With the home base functioning smoothly, Joe T as he is affectionately known amongst friends T works as a Strategist in Business Development for Sabah Radiator Industries, which is part of the Sabah group in Sharjah. He says, OI have been working with the group for the past 5 years within their various divisions. The Group has several commercial activities such as; automobile radiator manufacturing, heavy equipment spare parts distribution, automobile battery distribution, steel fabrication and construction, building materials trading and distribution, electronics and home appliances trading and distribution, etc.P. While one could wonder if spending 5 years in the same company is a positive or negative sign, Jo has some pretty good reasons to keep him proud. He says, OOne of my initial projects when I joined this group was to revive the automobile battery division which was not doing so well. I knew this division had a lot of potential, but was not getting its strategy right. I focused on forming a team first, gathering inputs from them, putting strategies and ideas into place. We tried out various combinations and added in more products, increased branding and service networks. Within eight months, we succeeded in not only turning the division around, but also increased the sales three times what is was before. It was a good learning experience for me. As a result of this turnaround, we were even able to approach and now supply the UAE armed forcesP. Presently heading the business development strategies for the automotive sector of the group, Joseph is involved in marketing strategies, development of new models, costing and analysis and in sourcing new suppliers. For a person who completed his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering UAUSV,


“All the Professors at UOWD were different but had one similaritythey made the courses memorable and worthwhile. Having said that, Prof Doug Young, Prof Ashraf Mahate, Prof William, Ms Tasneem, Prof Raed Awaemlaeh all hold a special degree of respect from me. Even today I sometimes refer to their books. So I think of them more often than not� and has his sights set on climbing the corporate ladder. O5 years from now IRd either like to be managing an entire division as a whole, or setting up bases in other countries for the group. I am confident I can achieve it, but in the long run I wish to work as a consultant in the line of automobiles especially spare parts, helping companies set up bases here in the Middle east, linking suppliers and customers from other countries, etc.P While the team at SC is extremely enthusiastic of those who can succeed at managing Qall that and moreR, weRd like to wish Joe the very best. UAnd for any of you out there whoRd like to get in touch with him, you can do so at josephbiney@gmail.comV

Joe with his adorable angel Rachel

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


Who, When, Where General Superintendent Area Maintenance, DUBAL MEM 2009 Dubai, UAE

“In fact there is more than one professor who really made a big impact on my career. They are Dr. Kamal Ja’afar & Dr. Sumit Mitra. They taught me the right approach to follow while planning and executing any improvement activities, and to make the correct decision while selecting the appropriate strategies for the department which are in line with the company’s objectives”. He thrives on an adrenaline rush from modified 4x4 vehicles and motorbikes, desert bashing, off-road drives and jet skiing, but on the professional front Mohammed works at DUBAL where he supervises maintenance strategies and monitors and controls the maintenance process. OThe most interesting and challenging part of my job is when progressing & executing projects such as development plans, root cause failure analysis, monthly brake down work orders, cost analysis, etc.,P he says, adding that a major part of his work also involves preparing equipment specifications and replacement programs of the equipment. For a fresh graduate from the Higher Colleges of Technology, MohammedRs first job landed him at DUBAL in October 2004 and he seems content in building his career with the group until now. Speaking about his education and career merged paths, he says, OAfter I finished my high school, I joined the Higher Colleges of Technology and studied Aviation OAirframe & EnginesP. Then soon after graduation in 2004 I joined DUBAL and at the same time enrolled in a Bachelor of Engineering Management program at the same college in 2005. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I joined UOWD to complete my Masters in Engineering Management in 2009P. At just 27 years of age, Muhammed has not wasted any time in getting a strong foothold in the corporate world and did so by taking the essence of his education and transforming it into the present success he enjoys. He tells us, OMy education at UOWD helped me a lot in enhancing my career growth and it offered lots of opportunities for me. An example of that are the improvement plans which are now implemented in my section at work, and have resulted in major achievements that have shown great results. The Postgraduate Degree from UOWD boosted my career growth further to the extent that I got a promotion soon after finishing my studies,P and giving due credit to the hands that shaped his future, he adds, OIn fact there is more than one professor who really made a big impact on my career. They are Dr. Kamal JaRafar & Dr. Sumit Mittra. They taught me the right approach to follow while planning and executing any improvement activities, and to make the correct decision while selecting the appropriate strategies for the department which are in line with the companyRs objectivesP. With plans to study further, this is one guy who believes in making the most of each opportunity that comes his way, never letting anything pass him by. He says OBy the way things are currently progressing for me at work; I can see a bright path ahead as IRve been given new responsibilities and critical tasks to handleP. If youRd like to get in touch with Muhammed you can email him on

Mohammed at a local race in Hatta Desert

Mohammed with his Favorite horse Jazzaam




Top Graduates at the April 2010 Graduation Ceremony

i Sharnali Sunder Jan keting

Bachelor of Commerce Mar (Faculty of Business & Management)

ar Thawbtih Ruba Yahya Asmce and Technology

Bachelor of Internet Scien


ha-Wala Diana Temti Bod merce Finance Bachelor of Com (Faculty of Accounting & Finance)

ad Manal Adnan Aw and Banking

Master of Applied Finance

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

mad Yakoob Bushra Muhampute r Science Bachelor of Com

Mohammad Hueisssein Ahmad Ow

Master of Engineering Management


Chetan Govind Bhatia

Master of Information Technology Management

Mohamed Marwan AbdelHakim Master of Science Logistics

sara Yashvi Jayant Kan l Business

Master of Internationa

re Sonia Harish Gaanrwa Resource

Master of Strategic Hum Management


des Joyce Mona Fernan agement

Master of Quality Man

Janoo Haresh Chugani

Master of Strategic Marketing

No Photo Available

Arpana Sharmaration

Master of Business Administ

in Nasser Amna Mohd Hussa Bin Lootah Top UAE National

Ume Abeeha Zahra Taqvi

Bachelor of Business Administration




Talking the Talk lk a T e h t g in lk a &W

Text by Desma & Odelia

Maham Uzair, President of the Public Speaking Club at UOWD has the innate ability to hold an audience captive with her words, voice, conviction and passion. With the motivation and encouragement of UOWD faculty, she has now taken on a new role, encouraging other students to explore and exercise their public speaking abilities. Read on to know how you can help this Club and incite others to walk the talk.

OEver since school, IRve found standing in front of an audience and talking to them a very exhilarating experience. ItRs not that IRm not scared, but I just think that itRs an exciting kind of fearP says Maham Uzair, President of the Public Speaking Club at UOWD and our feature current student of this newsletter issue. About the Club Maham says that on average there are 20 new people who sign up every semester but after sifting through the applications, there is only 40 QactiveR members estimated. As part of her profile, Maham has also represented UOWD at the Sunguard Regional User Conference where she delivered the opening address which was followed by a video presentation with extensive collaborative input from UOWD students. Another major accomplishment was the Wollongong Cup Public Speaking Competition hosted by the UOWD Public Speaking Club in February 2010, where 12 universities from the UAE participated. Maham says, Ohas become one of the most prestigious competitions in the region and the only competition in the Middle East


with categories like Radio News Reading and Story telling.P Today, the competition has evolved into an event for students organized by students with support from various UOWD departments. Maham developed a strong passion for Public Speaking after Dr. Swapna Koshy UFaculty Advisor for the UOWD Public Speaking ClubV encouraged her to participate in the 3rd Annual Wollongong Cup where she stood in pole position in the impromptu category. She fondly remembers a comment that a judge made to her, which was that the judge was only at the competition to fulfill a professional obligation even though her father passed away recently. However, MahamRs speech brought much more than just a smile to her face. It was perhaps that one comment which stirred this young lady in an unexpected direction that today has turned out to be an exceptional choice taking her many a place. She has since moved on to competing in several other competitions such as the Skyline Crossfire and the AUS Debate Competition. However, in her new role as President, she has taken a step back in order to allow other students to compete. Maham confesses that she was unaware of the demands that accompany the role of a president of a club and considers this an Oeye-openingP experience. As the saying goes, QWith great power comes great responsibilityR it is no mean feat

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


STAY OR…. TUNED F etiersity comp


iv An Intra-Un in” ialogue to W “D d tion calle f two comprising o am te a re e ver wh ected to deli p x e is ts an particip e to long dialogu a 5-8 minute . This is tenta the audience led for next tively schedu semester.

Volunteers, Participants, Organizers and Sora at the 4th Annual Wollongong Cup 2009

“Anyone can be an excellent speaker, if they just persevere, practice and don’t let their nerves get the better of them”

Personal Profile:

Dr. Swapna Koshy

Ali Asghar, Milan Sindhav and Maham Uzair at AUS Debate Championship 2009

organizing and coaching students to give their best in every competition. Yet Maham seems to have fulfilled her role remarkably well and gives immense credit to the team of dedicated students, staff and alumni. With everyoneRs effort, Maham has organized 2 Inter-University Public Speaking Competitions which saw participants from up to 12 universities vying for the coveted trophy and to everyoneRs utter surprise, UOWD stood within the top 3 positions for majority of the categories. Speaking about the experience she says, OIts obviously an honor to be representing the university. But its also a lot of responsibility because most people have a preconceived notion that if were from UOWD, we must be good at what we do and we obviously dont want to disillude them!P Despite the fact that UOWD does not have formal public speaking or linguistic training like other educational institutes in the UAE, Maham gives credit to the faculty whoRve put in their personal time to train and help the students. OI think the credit for this goes to the faculty like Dr. Swapna Koshy who has sacrificed a lot of her personal time for training. Also, IRm very grateful to the SSD especially Sora Tacio and Bridget Clifford who have supported the Public Speaking Department in many small and big ways,P she says. Other than her involvement with the club, Maham says that she is a voracious reader and goes through at least 4 T 5 books a week to quench her thirst for reading. She is

Nationality: Pakistani Age: Early 20s Zodiac: Cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn Degree: BCOM Finance Email: Hobbies: Reading, whipping up chocolate-based desserts and Public Speaking of course!

currently in her second last semester and plans to complete her ACCA or complete a few courses in Islamic Finance in addition to taking lessons in creative writing. As for her work at The Club, she recalls the Sungard Conference where the topic was OHigher Education in a Web 2.0 World: Convenience, Collaboration, ConvergenceP. She says, OMy speech was followed by a video presentation of extensive collaborative input from UOWD students. Speaking at the Sungard Conference was an extraordinarily special experience because I think it did not only generate a lot of publicity for UOWD but it also Win the words of Matthew Boice, General Manager at Sungard InternationalX Oset a catalyst and trend in motion T and our expectation next year is to strengthen and deepen student input around the conference. It would be a great pleasure to continue to find ways to collaborate with UOWD as we push forward in 2010.P

With a number of Alumni members showing their support towards the club, as judges during the 5th Annual Wollongong Cup, Maham is asking everyone from the community for further support. She says,“we would like to collaborate with the Alumni to provide 1-2 public speaking training sessions to the student body”. If anyone reading this has what it takes to actively support the Club, do e-mail Maham or Bridget Clifford at Student Services. As Alumni, we wish Maham the very best for her last semester and future to follow and are confident that she will continue to achieve greater feats in life.


The Last


Strategic Options for Dubai: The Days after Recession Dubai has long been known as the strategic business hub linking the far and near East Asia besides South Asia to the continents of Africa, Europe and the Americas. Having successfully established itself as a trading, logistics, tourism and real estate hub in the region, Dubai was poised to jump into the next phase of being established as a knowledge hub when economic recession struck the world. Having over 60% of its GDP coming from the non-oil sector, Dubai naturally focussed on becoming an important financial, IT and bio-sciences hub; not by any accident but as per its leadership vision which was mapped in a ten-year strategic plan. As recession descended, industries wavered but did the old brick and mortar industries like port and logistics and real estate react differently from new knowledge economies? If so, why? What do we have to learn? Since the coming of ICT, traditional brick and mortar industries like manufacturing, transport and real estate as also new knowledge industries like IT and finance urgently needed Qstrategic flexibilityR. This means no more dealing with the right choice of strategy but the choice of timing of strategic change when chances were that entry or mobility barrier were high at the same time that customer switching cost barrier was low. This meant developing capacity for quick and unique changes in the value chain relationship. In the traditional brick and mortar industries these value chains were long and had immovable assets like plant and machinery. With profit pools located in different parts of the value chain how easy was it to make the change? Well large vertically integrated companies like GM came to the verge of breakup. For Dubai the problem was different. In most manufactured items it did not have the entire value chain locally, only minor final assembly and then sales distribution and after sales. How much of profits lie in this part of the value chain and how much flexibility can a truncated value chain end up giving? What then is the way out? Let us now look at the new knowledge economy industries. Their assets are knowledge workers- engineers, scientists and others with advanced degrees. This highly flexible asset is no good if they walk out of companies. The real flexibility is in firms collaborating across their boundaries so that talent across firms can work together to innovate. The challenge here is therefore outsourcing vital activities of the value chain while still maintaining control of the project. This comes in the form of networks of binding and non-binding relationships across firms where every firm tries to control by placing itself in the centre of the value chain and speeding up delivery of value to end customers. For a knowledge industry aspiring economy like Dubai, the truncated value chain in the brick and mortar industry can usefully be extended through acquisition of more knowledge intensive parts of the value chain like research and design in case of automobile. Given that it can attract talent and also produce them from the local universities, provision of infrastructure and funds as also acquisition of promising firms worldwide can help control the part of the value chain that is knowledge intensive. But before that appropriate globalization of the downstream sales and distribution activities should give an intimate understanding of what customers want, not just in the Arab world but


worldwide. This approach will also give synergies with the existing knowledge industries. A geographical concentration of knowledge intensive part of the value chain in brick and mortar industry can then be successfully achieved. Value chain analysis and activity mapping tools can be most useful in building this strategic flexibility. Richard Branson described expanding and diversifying business during recession was Qopportunity in adversityR when cheaper raw material, skilled staff and less competition made things easier so DubaiRs strategic flexibility should be achieved now. As the newspapers said trade and logistics was to power DubaiRs economy out of recession with tourism and real estate as support sectors but feared transparency remained a major problem. As transparency tantamount to trust, any form of networking and leveraging for knowledge development and sharing will be difficult without transparency. But Dubai should be able to overcome this as it does not have political obstacles common in elected governments and instead have the nationals like an extended family under a benevolent leader preserving a common identity and goal while navigating the economic direction of the nation. Many expatriates exhibiting talent and skill have also been embraced into this system and rewarded. With capital and its global gamble the root cause of the recession, Dubai may well want to consolidate its economy on the brick and mortar industries as a Qdominant logicR for not only will it not have to bail out toxic assets without gaining in the process significant skill and knowledge assets in finances but be able to use its knowledge industry assets to control critical parts of the brick and mortar value chain. In a world where developed economies progressively forego such important parts of industry value chain as R&D and prototyping seem distressed to see them being increasingly controlled by emerging economies together with the downstream production value chain using their market and financial muscle. Dubai can well propose an alternative industry structure of locating these R&D and prototyping activities of the value chain in Dubai; thus, letting emerging economies control a lesser part of the value chain. This has to be a long term and sustained process of bargained for a critical part of the value chain besides the already existing downstream sales, distribution and after sales service. If we can have F1 racing tracks in the UAE then why not test tracks and engine prototype laboratories for automobiles as well?

Dr. Sumit Mitra is an Assitant Professor at UOWD. He holds a BMechEng Degree and a PhD in Business Policy from the Indian Institute of Management. His International assignments include teaching at the Manchester Business School UMBSV and Hull University Business School UHUBSV both in UK. His Research and publication interests pertain to emerging global competitive structure in automobile, telecom and airlines industries particularly focussed on India, China and the GCC. He has also trained as a Mechanical Engineer and has worked in the industry for six years handling global tenders and corporate planning responsibilities. You can email him on

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

Stay Connected - Volume 1 Issue 2 - May 2010  
Stay Connected - Volume 1 Issue 2 - May 2010  

UOWD Alumni: Remain in touch with your alma mater and your university friends with the UOWD Stay Connected newsletter