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Stay Connected inspire



From the President

As 2010 comes to a close, it is a good time to reflect on the UOWD achievements over the past year. 2010 saw the start of the Stay Connected magazine of the Alumni Network O congratulations on your first birthday! Our UOWD alumni are our ambassadors, our supporters, our network into commerce and industry, and they can be significant contributors to our on-going success.


Volume 1 / Issue 4 / December 2010

This Issue:

We passed 5,000 graduates at the October ceremony this year. A very significant achievement for UOWD is that nearly 25% of these graduates are UAE Nationals. 2010 also saw the accreditation and launch of our new Doctoral degrees O the DBA PDoctor of Business AdministrationQ and the PhD in Business. We have enrolled 32 Doctoral students into these programs and they started the coursework component of their studies late in 2010. We at UOWD are proud to be the first private University in the UAE to offer nationally accredited DBA and PhD degrees. Professor Brian Lehaney has been appointed as the Director of Postgraduate Research, to oversee the first stages of these new degrees.

One important part of the development of our doctoral degree proposal was the input of our alumni O at a LMeet the PresidentM function early in 2010. We look forward to seeking and receiving alumni input into other new degree programs. The next ones in the list are a Masters degree in the Communications area O including journalism, professional writing, PR and media studies O and a Masters in International Studies. These degrees represent the first steps in the development of a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.Another milestone for UOWD this past year is the full accreditation of our Master of International Business degree. This has been one of our most popular Masters degrees over the years. The full accreditation has led to significant new initiatives in the program and we are now working to make this degree a truly international experience. Students will be able to study some of this program overseas. Our MBA degree has also been reviewed for full accreditation, and I am delighted that the Commission for Academic Accreditation is very supportive of the program. A number of our alumni were interviewed by the CommissionMs External Review Team. Our final responses to the CommissionMs report have been submitted and I expect full accreditation to be finalised in January 2011.

An important message for our undergraduate alumni, even if you already have a Masters degree, is that we have a set of excellent postgraduate degree programs, to help prepare you for the next stage in your career. And, you may qualify for a Lloyalty benefitM by way of a fee reduction!

Let me highlight the importance of Lstaying connectedM. I recently gave two speeches at the launch of a new Australian business initiative. At the Abu Dhabi event, launched by HE Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak al Nahayan, I was approached by an Australian working in Dubai O Nicholas Thornton O who introduced himself as a UOW graduate. From the other direction I was approached simultaneously by Mohamed Rashed al Hameli, the Director General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who introduced himself as a UOWD graduate from the MIB degree. I was able to introduce them to each other! At the Dubai event, in front of a distinguished group including HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid al Qasimi, the UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, who should I see in my first scan of the audience but Dr Maher Musallam O another graduate from our MIB degree program! These two anecdotes indicate that our graduates move in influential circles but, more importantly, that UOWD is the point of connection that can provide us all with an effective network. So, to Stay Connected I say... JThanks and keep up the good work!K


Professor Rob Whelan

We bring you a quick round-up of the latest events taking place for the Alumni and Students on campus with a bit of news updates on what’s been happening lately.


In our Faculty Corner, find out how Professor, Dr. Melodena Balakrishnan has worked to bring recognition to UOWD and the Region, as the Chair and Founder of the firstever AIB-MENA Conference.


Shaher Adnan is a common face on campus these days. By day he is an employee at UOWD and by night he becomes a student shuffling between classes and hanging out with friends. Check out his work and world.


Peter Gahbauer features as the High Achiever this time. He has to his credit multiple degrees and immense experience in the field of education. Take a look at what he’s been doing recently


Suresh Ghuge is making his way up the corporate ladder by taking things in his stride and aiming higher each year. He talks to us from Australia, where he lives with his family and two children.


Professor Kathy Shen gives us an insight into Research and its benefits, along with some of the on-going research projects at UOWD.


President, UOWD

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

From the


THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTOR: (MBA 2005) As Business Development Manager of Color Channel, Austin always has tons on his hands to juggle, and yet finds time to help out in some way or the other. Very much an ad-mad man to his core, hes an individual who passionately lives for the brand, the voice and the signature O making sure that everything he does resonates with quality. As we come to the end of 2010, weMre looking forward to the New Year 2011 filled As part of his career he has worked on brands such as BMW, Mini, Rolls Royce, with new changes. At the same time weMre also celebrating a full year for Stay ConSuzuki, British American Tobacco and Virgin Megastore to name a few, and nected, given that we started out with our first issue in January 2010. events including the likes of the BMW 7-Series Middle East launch, the Suzuki During the course of these 12 months, we at SC have certainly made many new Swift and Grand Vitara launches and introduction of Suzukis revamped new friends and enjoyed ourselves whilst working on this newsletter, which we look across the UAE. Currently he works at Colour Channel, a comstill hope to improve, as a means to keep us all connected and in conpany that specializes in branding solutions and corporate clothu do stant contact. As part of the ANEC PAlumni Network Executive ing. Looking back over the last decade, he says, JBeing a Whatever yo , don’t CommitteeQ, weMre working on a couple of new things that will resident of Dubai since the late 70s, the last 10 years have in the NY2011 nnual WD A make socializing and interacting with each of you far more recurbeen phenomenal to say the least, for both the country and miss the UO ke which will ta rent, and in that way, we hope to enrich the network by bringing myself too. Ive watched the citys skyline grow at an unparGala Dinner n o xt year. Log you and your achievements to the forefront. alleled pace, have had the place early ne de te for more privilege to work with to the websi ere to catch In this issue, we have a section called LAlumni ActivityM in which some of the best brands in tails and be th ur d yo up with us an weMve highlighted a benchmarking visit to Singapore organized by felthe world, discovered the s! nd ie fr ld o low alum, Arwa El Baitam. This will take place in March 2011 and all best person in the least expected alumni and students can avail a special discount if you enroll to be part of this of cities to call a wife, and ended up learning trip. Should any of you have something similar to share with the UOWD with a gorgeous clone of a daughter! Alumni, do send us your ideas and we can work out ways to reach out and give back Favorite Sport: Go-karting and auto tunto this extended family, which we are all part of. Furthermore, do bear in mind that ing for a true motor head. you can now advertise for your business in Stay Connected, and the rates and packBiggest Challenge: to migrate to Western ages are available on request. soil. Dubai is quite hard to leave behind! Philosophy in life: Whether you swim or Keeping in mind a few suggestions that we received, you will notice that this issue you drown, either way youve got to be doing is far smaller as compared to what we had earlier. That said, if you have any further something. The direction you take is simply suggestions Pon content, layout, new ideas, etc that youMd like to see us adoptQ, just mind over matter. remember that were only a click away.

Dear Friends,

As part of those new changes we mentioned earlier, weMd also like to welcome Melanie Oliver-August, who will now head up the Alumni Network. As the Graduation Coordinator, she is the strongest link between fresh new alumni members and older ones Plike usQ, thereby improving the coordination and collaboration and effectively bridging the gap for a more united front. Under these new changes, the Alumni will now be housed under the Student Services Department and all enquires and suggestions concerning Alumni activities can be directed to her on We at SC would like to wish you all a Happy New Year 2011 and until our next issue, we look forward to seeing you around soon.


Odelia Mathews Xavier

MIB (2005)

The Team:

EDITOR: Odelia Mathews-Xavier (MIB 2005)

DEPUTY / NEWS EDITOR: Bahjat Aly Khan (MEM 2009)


NEWS COORDINATOR: Rumana Rahim ( MITM 2009)

PROOF READER: Austin Olin Mathews (MBA 2005)

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 happenings at UOWD.


Cricket superstar Adam Gilchrist was at UOWD on 13th October on his maiden visit to the UAE. Students and staff at UOWD were absolutely thrilled to meet the superstar in person where they posed for photographs and got GilchristMs autograph. Professor Rob Whelan introduced Gilchrist as an Lextraordinary cricketer and a strong protagonist of quality educationM. JWe are delighted to have Adam visit us on his brief visit to the UAEK he added. GilchristMs visit was a part of a promotional tour

to the UAE, where he and senior UOW officers met business leaders here in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to encourage UAE business to consider investment opportunities in Wollongong, Australia. While at UOWD, Gilchrist joined Prof. Whelan in awarding the UOWD Scholarship for Sporting Excellence and then had an exclusive private session with the UOWD Cricket team where he shared some practical demonstrations of cricketing techniques with the team.


On 30th September, UOWD signed an MOU with Emirates Islamic Bank which covers cooperation and collaboration between the two, especially in the areas of Islamic Banking while also providing preferential educational opportunities at UOWD for EIB staff and their families. The MOU was signed by Professor Rob Whelan, President of UOWD, on behalf of UOWD and Mr. Omar Al Gaizi, Head of Human Resources, signed on behalf of EIB. The signing of this MOU couldnMt have been at a better time with UOWD introducing Certificates in Fundamentals in Islamic Banking and Islamic Commercial and Investment Banking in addition to the Professional Certificate in Banking Risk Management.



UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

UOWD creates many opportunities for UOWD graduatesK she added. She also reminded the students that LChangeM and LCompanionshipM were two key factors for success in their careers. Delivering the welcome address, Prof. Rob Whelan, President of UOWD recalled upon the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai who said, JAll people have an ocean of achievement inside themselves just waiting to escapeK. Prof Whelan also mentioned that the university has been providing high-quality Australian based education in the UAE since the past 17 years. JWe have already produced nearly 4500 graduates. With todayMs ceremony, this number nears 5000. This is a significant milestone for any universityK he added.

Text by Aly Khan

VIP guests at the Graduation Ceremony

A total of 386 Undergraduate and Postgraduate students were awarded degrees at the Autumn Graduation Ceremony held on 6th October, in the presence of HH Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General of the Dubai Department of Information. Also present at the ceremony were Ms. Jillian Broadbent AO, Chancellor of the University of Wollongong in Australia, His Excellency Kym Hewitt, Australian Consul General, members of the UOWD Board of Trustees and visitors from UOW Australia. While addressing the gathering, Ms. Broadbent expressed pride in UOWDMs role in enhancing DubaiMs international education. JUOW is currently ranked among the top 2% of universities worldwide. We are confident that the close association we have with


Events & Accomplishments

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing here’s what you should take pride in.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS The UOWD basketball team that did us proud!


The introduction of DBA & PhD programs at UOWD has attracted tremmendous attention as over a hundred potential candidates of potential candidates attended the Information sessions organized in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Professor Mohammed Khalifa, Vice-President PAcademicQ delivered a presentation at the session covering topics such as differences between a DBA and a PhD, Study plans, areas of research available and admission requirements, while Sandra Lee, Registrar and Manager of Admissions covered the application procedures. A rather lively Q&A session followed the presentation where Professor Rob Whelan, President of UOWD, personally answered questions related to international recognition, accreditation and transfer of degrees between UOWD and UOW Australia. Over 750 serious LExpressions of InterestM have been received over the limited number of places available in the first intake which shows that the DBA and PhD programs at UOWD are off to a huge start.



UOWD proudly hosted the 7th Annual Inter-University sports festival from 23rd-27th October at the Al Manara indoor sports hall in Jumeirah. The participating universities included the American University of Sharjah, Herriot Watt Dubai, University of Sharjah, Murdoch University Dubai, Skyline College, Mahe Manipal, Emirates Aviation College, BITS Pilani Dubai, Canadian University Dubai, Gulf Medical University Ajman and University of Wollongong in Dubai. The eleven universities battled it out over seven sports disciplines. The highlight of the event was the MenMs Basketball event and the WomenMs Throw ball event. In the MenMs Basketball match, AUS was leading for most of the first half with a 35-30 lead, but in the second half, UOWD ruled all the way scoring 67 points leaving AUS way behind with just 58 points. The UOWD team comprising of Kamel, Hadid, Allan, Leroy & Ali won the hearts of one and all by their spectacular performance. In the WomenMs Throw ball event, UOWD remained undefeated fourth year in a row. The first set was a easy victory for UOWD by 25-15 but the girls Devika, Fathima, Abigail, Aysha, Feride along with Captain Fiza had had a tough time in the second set and had to work really hard to win by 27-25.

Dr Jennifer Bibbings talks Business

In October, the UOWD Alumni Network Monthly seminar series featured Jennifer Bibbings, a partner in the law firm of Trowers & Hamlins LLP. Jennifer specializes in works such as mergers, acquisitions, distribution, franchising and many other aspects of UAE Corporate and Commercial work. Although sheMs based in the Dubai regional office, her work covers all other Gulf Countries as well as the wider region. Having represented several big corporations in the retail, fast food and hospitality industries, she is also an Honorary Legal Advisor to the British Consul General. Her presentation was specifically focused on setting up and running a business in the GCC countries and it also had highlights about the economic backdrop, the various options available and the possible barriers. Everyone present enjoyed the insightful exchanges and the number of guests and alumni in attendance was excellent.

Text by Aly Khan

The 5th Annual UOWD Multicultural Festival was organized at UOWD from 21st24th November celebrating the diversity of cultures at the University. Students from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, UAE, Palestine, GCC Countries, China, Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Iran and the Philippines made stalls representing their countries by displaying handicrafts, arts, dance, cuisines and their national music. Students enjoyed fun filled activities in each countryMs stall such as the LHenna on your handsM at the Henna corner of the stalls of India, Pakistan and UAE; Learning how to use Chopsticks at the China Stall, interactive drumming sessions, dance and music performances, drama skit and a Play Station 3 competition O all of which added to fun and frolic. The National Dress Competition was the highlight of the festival where students modeled their countryMs costumes. Different cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, Pakistani and Arabic were served each day. UOWD has students from over 100 countries keeping alive its Multicultural spirit and we take pride in the diversity it brings about.

UOWD Annual Sports Festival

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai





Dr. Melodena Balakrishnan (BSc Bombay, MBA Pune, PhD Bharati Vidyapeeth) is an Associate Professor and Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Business Management. She started her career with a stint at Citibank in India where she worked on home finance. From there she moved on to Consumer Durables and then to India’s largest direct sales company – Eureka Forbes Ltd. A few years down the line, she had set up a new division at the company which is still running strong, had worked on two joint-ventures, one of which was international and was at the hem of introducing innovative products into


the market, all of which are still doing well over the past two decades. To make sure she had her finger on the pulse of it all, she hired and trained her own sales team, worked on the product, research and development and went to the extent of creating her own advertising campaigns for them. Then, after six years of developing her own brand, she moved to Taiwan and then to Dubai, where she finally got into Academics and is still continuing to create new chapters. Here we get her to give us the low down on her latest brainchild, the AIB MENA Conference which is underway this month.

When did you join UOWD and what subjects do you specialize in? Tell us about your research. I love marketing but am no stranger to strategy and management. My favorite subject to teach is Marketing Strategy among others. Furthermore, I have also done some research in Branding, Destination Marketing, Loyalty Studies and crisis management. A paper of mine, JDubai O A Star in the EastK was recognized by Emerald Publishing Group for being the most downloaded paper in 2008-09 Papproximately 11,000 downloadsQ in the publishing journal. For another paper of mine on managing brands in crisis, l won a Best Paper award at the recent Reputation Institute Conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 2010. I believe research and industry need to interact and in class we have worked on several live cases. Last year was KFC Krushers, IKEA, Ajmal Perfumes and this year, it is Audi. As the Chair and Founder of the AIB MENA tell us about your involvement in the organization. When did it begin and what has the journey been like? The Academy of International Business PAIBQ is a high credibility organization with over 52 years of history. ItMs a USA-based non Profit organization and publishes the Journal of International Business-a top tier international business journal PJIBs - five-year Journal Impact Factor score is 5.727Q. AIB represents top 100 universities in the

world through membership of 3500 members in 80 countries: Jagdish Sheth, Julian Birkinshaw, Yves Doz, Geert Hofstede, Late Sir John Dunning, and Late CK Prahalad. AIB-MENA is the 16th chapter formed after 1.5 years of lobbying with a focus on the MENA region. I noticed that every time researchers spoke about emerging markets, they only spoke about India and China, and somehow this region was overlooked in terms of business potential, despite it having one of the fastest growth rates in industries like Travel and Tourism. AIB was very supportive of opening a MENA chapter and we are slowly establishing ourselves by creating an identity and looking at new projects. Our objectives for this region are threefold: 1. To help bridge the gap between practical application and knowledge development. The MENA region faces a set of unique challenges. Although oil resources represent a significant part of GDP in a number of MENA countries, significant efforts are being made to diversify oil dependent economies. On the other hand, other countries within MENA may have more human capital but lower GDP. In the MENA, human capital consists largely of expatriates. MENA as a region spends 5% of GDP on education and is currently investing in developing human capital according to World Bank figures of 2009.

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

2. To bridge the gap between research and industry requirement. According to Robertson et al., P2001Q, less than 1% of the 236 articles published between 1990 to 1999 in a prestigious journal, focus on an Arab country in the Middle East. With regards to marketing, issues like Islamic marketing, Islamic banking and even concepts like LHalalM are just being understood in the West. AIB-MENA is positioned uniquely to foster research and help in networking using its huge member base. Most marketing campaigns created here spans various countries, and with the potential of a unified GCC currency looming in the near future and huge infrastructure developments, it will make this region a prospective logistics hub. Cultural diversity and the importance of luxury branding will also make this field of international research interesting. 3. To act as facilitators and find industry, government, business and academic patrons who will contribute to the internationalization objectives of the AIB. We have branded ourselves O the picture we used on our webpage is something most of us can relate to O a dawn of a new chapter Psee next pageQ. Additionally, we have a core committee of 5 people who volunteer their time, effort and other resources towards putting MENA on the map and the UAE.



Personally Speaking‌..

The branding of AIB which reflects th dawn of a new chapter.

This is the first time that the AIB MENA 2010 Conference is coming to the UAE, tell us about its importance and significance? This is a collaborative effort of several universities who are helping organize the event either officially or unofficially: UOWD, Zayed University, HCT, and AUS are among Universities participating in the organization of the conference. Government organizations and private sector establishments have also been involved, like the Business Village, Mohammed Rashid Establishment for SME which is hosting the conference, JAFZA and UAE Exchange, and Emerald Group Publishing. Since most of our committee members are based here in

the UAE, we decided to hold our first conference in Dubai, labeling it JManaraK, which means Lthe lighthouseM in Arabic, as we were shedding light on this region. Our logo reflects the evolution of Dubai and is symbolic again by the rays of light. Pas seen in the picture above.Q What does this mean to Alumni, active researchers and the industry? UOWD is always in the forefront of innovative ideas and this is one of those things. This is an opportunity to collaborate and work on mentoring and encouraging research. Research is very lonely and very often tends to be more theoretical than practical. We want to create research that is meaningful for this region and helps solve the problems that this region faces. Any alumni who wants to get involved can do so by supporting us as we are a non-profit organization, encouraging research, allowing student research projects or even helping us organize this event and the ones in the future.


This conference is significant as P1Q most of our potential delegates are from outside UAE and this helps encourage interaction with researchers based in the UAE and those that are based in countries where more research grants are available. P2Q We are organizing some important panels where key speakers from the government and industry are talking on hot topics relevant for this regionO this allows us as researchers to look at emerging research areas and also helps us get access to decision makers in the industries P3Q it contributes to knowledge development O we have put together a conference which is a learning experience and weMve done it on a shoestring budget. We have organized three workshops O two are for academics and one is for students. Finally, we are also marketing UAE at the grassroots level. AIB-MENA has worked with the UOWD Business Case study centre to bring out our first book on Business Cases from the UAE. Besides, we are in touch with the 4000 strong AIB International community, and we have tied up with Emerald Group Publishing who are also sponsoring the best paper prizes and have a database that exceeds 40,000 readers worldwide AIB-MENA together with the UOWD Business Case study centre has published its first book: Business Cases from the UAE We hear there are some awards to be given for the Best Paper and Best Case Study. Please elaborate? All papers are double-blind reviewed which means that the papers are reviewed by two researchers in the field and they P1Q do not know who wrote the paper and P2Q do not know what the other reviewer has written. The shortlisted papers will go before a panel who will select the best papers. We also have a best student paper and a best reviewer paper as our purpose is to encourage research. How is the AIB MENA Conference important to those associated with International

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

I have two wonderful kids and as a family we have travelled around the world. As a working Mom, I have a great husband who is very supportive. We moved to the UAE more than 6 years ago. I am from India but have lived in USA, Taiwan, India and now here. I recently won the UOWD Excellence in Teaching Award P2009Q and have mentored the winning team of the Zayed University EBiz P2006Q challenge. This is in addition to the research paper awards. I am currently the Regional Editor of Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies. It has never been easy to juggle career and family, but life is about balance and making choices. I love writing and painting, but need some time to do the same. The best part about my profession is, when you have someone come back and say Lyou made a positive difference in my lifeM. That makes you feel like it was all worth it. I think life is happier when you dwell on positive things. Teaching requires a lot of commitment. At PG level, you try and get 4 hours of attention and hope your students walk away with some gems of ideas and thoughts. All this after a full day of work is tough.

Business and how do they benefit by attending it? With globalization, most management issues revolve around the international market and are not localized. This does create challenges and this conference not only looks at some issues but also presents findings that have implications to this area. You find very few cases from this region, or best practices, even though there are many successful companies and organizations. Delegates who attend get to hear views on challenges, solutions and opportunities, hear from industry experts from this region and hence may even get a few doubts clarified.


M. Shaher Adnan On

B.Com Finance (2009) Masters of Quality Management

Student Academic Support Services and Admin SSD

When we first heard about Shaher Adnan, we got nothing but praise for his dedication to work and his active role as a student on campus. Straight after his graduation, Shaher worked part-time at the University as an Admin Assistant for the Student Services Department. Never one to let work limit his fun time, he got busy with various sports teams within the campus and lived it up to every moment until he was eventually recommended by our former Student Service Manager, Bridget Clifford to join work on a full-time basis. From that moment onwards, Shaher put his very best into work, studies and sports and continues to fulfill his role to the best of his abilities. We caught up with him to know a little more about how he manages it all.

“As an undergraduate student for the past 4 years I am familiar with the environment and my experience in my role is from a student’s perspective. This really helps in delivering an efficient ser vice to others.” The best part about university is…. That there is no bridge between staff and students as the staff are dedicated to delivery and students enjoy the professional relationship bought to them

Shaher takes his work seriously when on the job. I started my Undergraduate studies in 2006…. And my employment commenced April 2010. As an undergraduate student the environment became a second home, professors and staff were greeted by their names and this made the large campus and daily routine feel like home turf. This relationship ignited the desire to be like them Rthe staffS and follow in their steps with the encouragement and knowledge that is shared with students. Therefore the opportunity to work as academic support came about and the perfect role to give students guidance in the right direction I am currently doing my PG… In Masters of Quality Management RMQMS and since UOWD offers staff the opportunity to learn and earn simultaneously, therefore the evening hours are a perfect balance for the working individual

My work and studies complement each other because… As an undergraduate student for the past 4 years I am familiar with the environment and my experience in my role is from a studentMs perspective. This really helps in delivering an efficient service to others. To me, family time is all about…. Loving, caring and respecting the ones who you are with. The trust and tranquillity you get when you are surrounded by your loved ones surpasses all other feelings of happiness. I live for …. my loved ones, for my dreams and aspirations and for the welfare of humanity. Myself in five words… Focused, Energetic, Compassionate, Multi-faceted, Love for life.

My hobbies include… Football, table tennis and tennis and I usually end my day with some table tennis. I enjoy socializing with friends and this involves mostly sports activities which keeps my mind focused and my energy levels soaring! My current goal is to complete my Maters degree and embark on a PhD program to reach out to others The best part about my job is engaging with students


Shaher brings pride to UOWD and enjoys sports passionately

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


High Achiever

The Love of Learning & Giving

Peter Gahbauer (MBA 1997) graduated from

UOWD and returned to Canada to pursue his career and

interests . W ith multiple degrees to his credit (BSc , BEd, MBA, MA, PhD) he continues to be inspired by knowledge and aims to give back at large what he gained. This

month, he makes it as the Higher Achiever in SC and here, he tells us what he’s doing and why he loves it!

For a selected few, the sky is never the limit. For them, it’s all about pushing the envelope, discovering new alternatives and seeking out the greater good in every aspect. Peter Gahbauer is just one such individual. As part of his PhD, he completed a dissertation titled “Dynamically annotated instructional designs: Effects on Underprepared Mathematics Learners” and this is what he has to say about his journey.

On Education The MBA opened up my mind to greater things. Subsequently, I completed an MA at Central Michigan University and my PhD dissertation has been approved by Capella University PMinneapolis, MNQ. My doctoral specialization is in instructional design for online learning.

On Work

After graduating and returning to Canada, I worked for a number of years in the IT industry, while teaching part-time at a number of Ontario community colleges. Since 2002, Ive been teaching full-time, mostly computer science, computer studies, computer engineering, mathematics and research skills

At Present I work for the Toronto District School Board; where I was head of computer science and later curriculum leader with school-wide responsibilities for information and communication technolo-


gies. I stepped down from these roles after five years to focus on doctoral studies. Now that these are done, my goal is to give something back

On Ambitions My goal now is to apply what I have learned; to help teachers to more effectively use information and communication technologies in the classroom. Im sure that there is a role for short P3-5 minuteQ video tutotials to help struggling learners in the so-called STEM subjects -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematice fields.

Peter’s personal tips on pursuing a PhD If you contemplate doctoral studies go for it. Be bold and look for the chief names in your field of study. Ask them if they are willing to be part of your dissertation committee -- I did and got a lot of value-added feedback from one of the worlds experts in my field of study. Above all, make it international - my members are from Canada, the US and the Netherlands.

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai



A BOON OR A BANE? iNDOOR POOLS:A Over the span of my career, I have worked on more than 50 completed swimming pools and have 60 more in hand that IMm currently working on. All these pool projects have been spread across the Middle East where I have been involved in the design and construction of more than 500 pools and water features O and during these 16 years IMve come to see that there is an enormous wastage of water in swimming pools. This, I believe, is a matter of grave concern, especially given that most of the portable water is desalinized. To give you a background into the issue, here are some facts. The UAE is one of the countries that have very little or no rains and the renewable and surface ground water supplies are extremely limited. Current research figures indicate a 0.2km3/yr Pestimates of 1997Q as stated in the World Water Data PWWDQ. Further facts from the WWD show that the total fresh water withdrawal is 2.3km3/yr Pestimates of 2000Q and per capita withdrawal is 511 m3/yr. According to Offshore Arabia, water consumption in the Arab region is the highest in the world at 100 gallons per person, per day. Adding to this scenario was the then growing real estate market, which gave rise to many property developments that had already started construction and one valid feature for alluring customers was - a swimming pool. This was present in every villa, community building or commercial property and in most cases, the construction of a pool in a building is just 1% or less of the cost of the building. Even though this is the case, most people do not realize that the running costs are high since the pool requires bi-weekly cleaning, chemicals and maintenance to ensure the water remains at a specific ph level of 7.2 to 7.8 as per local and international norms. Despite the many upkeep requirements that come with having the luxury of a pool, many do not realize the importance of maintenance and are often ignorant about water wastage and the volume of water and electricity consumed by the pool through the use of pumps, heaters, lights and other such related electrical equipment. Many a times, despite there being notice boards instructing pool users to shower before entering the pool, it often falls on deaf ears as people continue to abuse the luxury. When advised to go in for a Heat/Cool pump to keep the pool warm in the winter and cold in the summer with an economical price Pin terms of future running costsQ, it is almost


never considered, even though if you look at the technical side, a heater which would run all the time consuming 200% more electricity than a Heat/Cool pump, would cost them far more in the longer run in terms of electricity and maintenance. Looking at this from a broader perspective, UAE is required to conserve its natural resources which are depleting, especially oil and water. These resources are very scarce all around the world. Today, everyone all over the globe has started to take notice and voice their concern. These resources are being misunderstood and misused due to ignorance and a lack of awareness O especially in this region. Natural resources such as water are a lifeline of any thriving economy and could cause a debacle to the economy and environment if not tackled at the right time. In the case of pool water usage, a huge quantity is being utilized in every building or villa. As part of the upkeep and for the ph to be maintained, the pool is required to be cleaned and serviced at least twice a week. After vacuuming the pool, the dirt/dust is accumulated in the pool filter. Backwash operations of the filter would relieve the pressure from the filter as this operation takes about 30 to 60 seconds and must be done twice a week. During this process, the pool loses about 200 to 300 liters in each backwash operation and the pool is then refilled with fresh water. Another aspect is evaporation loss due to the regionMs weather and although this can be reduced to a great

extent by having pool covers, I have rarely ever seen a pool cover in use in the UAE. Throwing light on the situation, very recently DEWA released a campaign to create water awareness through print and electronic media. However, as per as my knowledge, there is no specific research carried out to ascertain the impact of water and electricity for usage and wastage for swimming pools in the UAE. If we must take an active part in preserving natural resources, I believe that it is imperative to act wisely and hence it is more important now than ever before, to find the reasons behind such an enormous wastage. We need to find solutions that can help in educating the masses of how much damage the wastage of water can cause to the economy and the environment, especially when most of the water produced in the UAE is from desalination which requires burning another natural resource - oil. To leave you with some food for thought, you can best start by asking yourself the following questions: If you have a pool and use it, do you know how much is your water/electricity bill for the month? Are you aware if your pool is losing water? Is your pool working to optimum capacity in terms of water and electricity? Does your maintenance company top off your pool regularly? How can you help in stopping wastage of water? How can we make people aware of this?

Thomas Rodrigues (MBA 2008) is the Operations Manager of GIT LLC with 24 years of experience as a Civil Engineer. He is also a member of the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers +UK,. All views expressed in this article are his own. You can write to him with your thoughts or comments on

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai




Ibrahim Saeedi BBA 2010


“I love all my teachers. They were all helpful to me and I have learned some special skills and knowledge from individual lecturers and tutors” universities. Some of his best memories at UOWD were the group presentations in class, the multicultural celebrations at the university, the sport festivals; group studies in the library and of course, all the new friends he made. His proudest moment was when he graduated in October 2010. JI love all my teachers. They were all helpful to me and IMve learned some special skills and knowledge from individual lecturers and tutors. I especially admire Dr. Prakash as he was very helpful to me in developing my marketing skills. I would like to thank all my teachers, they are all great and I will always remember themK he adds. Currently Ibrahim works as a Sales Representative in Fermacell PManufacturing German Gypsum FiberboardsQ. From all the UOWD Alumni members and the Stay Connected team, we wish Ibrahim best of luck for his future endeavors.

“There came time when I didn’t think about the size of the university, nor about its buildings, but just about the degree itself ” Hobbies: Studying Architecture and designs, playing pool, and keeping up with the news. Dream Career: To have a private business. Most Memorable Moment: At the Graduation Ceremony in October 2010

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

Text by Aly Khan

When Ibrahim arrived in the UAE back in 2004 with an aim to pursue further education, little did he know that he would be stuck with the dilemma of choosing the right University for himself. He did an intensive research to find out about the back ground of all universities, and after much work, he narrowed down his options to three: UOWD, AUS & AUD. After speaking to many students from all three universities, he came to a conclusion that UOWD best suited his needs. JMany had said that AUS is the best and the biggest. However, there came a time when I didnMt think about the size of the university, nor its buildings, but just about the degree itself K he says. The most attractive feature of UOWD to Ibrahim was the choice between an Australian degree and a UAE degree. Without wasting any more time and after having a rather tough moment with the TOEFL exam, he finally joined UOWD in 2005. Like most of us, Ibrahim had some of the best moments of his life at UOWD. JI have met huge challenges in terms of both practical and academic tasks. Our subjects were sometimes tough but interesting. Most teachers were like close friends for us and very helpful tooK he says. The things he misses most about his student life is meeting friends every day, walking with them to 24/7 the supermarket, listening to lectures by John Gladwin, Dr. Khalili and Dr. Prakash, and on the way back home, stopping by the Mall of Emirates to spend time there with friends. Although he only spent his first year in the student dorms Pback then in the Jebel Ali GardensQ, he says he has many interesting memories to share. JI remember many times we would stay awake all night long and then in the mornings, we used to walk to the gas station with the guys, joking and making fun of each otherK he recollects. His favorite hangout was the Jebel Ali Club which has an amazing environment to chill out and play pool, and the Ibn Batuta Mall. JI still remember the taste of the Noon-o-kebab Iranian restaurantK he adds. IbrahimMs favorite game is pool which he claims to be very good at, although he regrets not taking part in any university tournaments. He was always there to support the UOWD team when they played against other


Life Abroad

CLIMBING THE CORPORATE LADDER Suresh Ghuge graduated from UOWD with an MBA in 2008 and worked his way up the corporate ladder, slow and steady. Now settled in Australia, he tells us about his life, work, career and family.

I come from very simple family My mother didnMt have an opportunity to gain an education and my father only got through the primary level. Hence education was an aspiration since early childhood. After I completed my Diploma in Electrical Engineering, I joined the workforce in Mumbai, India and while I worked there, I completed a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering PBEQ from Mumbai University, followed by a Diploma in Marketing Management PDMMQ from the same university. While studying, I was working with Otis Elevator Company PIndiaQ Ltd and hence gained a considerable amount of experience on the job. My work experience has varied I started out as a Diploma Engineering Trainee to Customer Service Executives in Otis, India. Then in 1996 I moved to Dubai and joined Otis LLC as a Project Engineer. As part of my work a few of the projects I handled included installation and management of Elevators in the National Bank of Dubai HQ, Sharjah Etisalat, Sharjah University etc. Soon I moved on to the position of a Field Operations Manager PAbu Dhabi-Al AinQ, and then a Project Manager PMall of the Emirates liftsQ and finally a Construction Manager for the Burj Dubai Tower lifts. New Beginnings While pursuing my MBA from UOWD, I was working with Otis LLC UAE. Then in July 2008 I moved to Brisbane-Australia and joined Otis as Project Manager. Since taking on the role, IMve completed projects such as 42 Albert St, 53 Albert St, 400 George St, 123 Albert St etc. I didnMt get a promotion straight after the MBA but recently I got promoted to the post of a Construction and Modernization Manager for the Northern Region of Australia, and I believe MBA was an important factor. This year I received an Award for JSafety LeadershipK at my work place. Studying at UOWD was excellent As earning an MBA was my aspiration, I had an immense interest in business dealings, principles and business psychology and always wanted to delve further into the subject. The experience was very rewarding and I got to know a great deal about businesses and the business world. In retrospect, the whole journey was great memory, and I made many friends and certainly learned a lot. A few of the professors who greatly influenced me were; Dr Prakash Vel, Dr. Julia Connell, Dr. Cedwyn Fernandes & Dr. Okan Geray


“I didn’t get a promotion straight after the MBA but recently I got promoted to the post of a Construction and Modernization Manager for the Northern Region of Australia, and I believe MBA was important factor. “ My family and interests My family includes my wife Archana and sons Ojas P8.5 yrQ & Ayush P3.5 yrQ. I like to keep active and enjoy a few sports such as Lawn tennis and table tennis. At the moment I am secretary of Brisbane Maharastra Mandal Inc PBRIMMQ which is non-profit community organization, as well as secretary of the Upper Mount Gravatt Toastmasters Club - a club that provides a platform for development of leadership and communication skills. In the distant future, I aim to be a Regional General Manager and I look forward to the journey. If you want to contact Suresh, email:

Ojas and Ayush

Suresh with his wife Archana and two sons

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


Who, When, Where

Master of Applied Finance and Banking, 2010

“The best advice I would give to those who are physically challenged is to believe in themselves because believing is seeing and not the opposite� Mehmet Kemal graduated this year with great pride. Being a physically challenged student, he fulfilled his dream and did exactly what he set his mind on O that is, to graduate with Distinction. Initially, he had decided to study in Australia, but because of his physical limitations, was unable to do so. But then, fate had better things in store for him, when he was compelled to join UOW in Dubai based on the positive word-of-mouth he received from friends and family in the UAE. Coming from a family of four who have been based in Dubai for the last 30 years, Mehmet brought his family glad tidings on, not one, but two occasions - the first by achieving his BachelorMs in E-Commerce Finance in 2003 and then in 2010 when he graduated with Distinction for his MasterMs Degree O both from UOWD. Armed with a dream to work as a financial analyst in one of the leading companies, Mehmet let nothing stop him or stand in his way O not his physical disability and not even the global financial recession which made employment hard. He says, JI managed to get my first job in HSBC as a customer service representative as I wanted to start my career in a bank. Then I joined another department and worked as a corporate representative where I handled reputable corporate accounts. My second job which I took during my MasterMs Degree, was as an intern with Hawkamah, a corporate governance institute within DIFC. My designation was a Corporate Governance Analyst and I was involved in a project with Standard and PoorMs, where I was responsible for rating companiesM social, environmental, and governance issues according to a specific criterion. It was here that we established the first ever index, known as the ESG Index which includes the top corporations in the Middle East that are transparent when it comes to disclosing their environmental, social as well as their governance issuesK Part of his best memory on the job was being a member of the organizing committee for the 4th Annual Hawkamah Conference held in Dubai, where as a result of dedicated effort, he and the entire team received a letter of appreciation and an Award from the CEO. The best part of university life, he says, was submitting assignments on time even though they were tough and required tremendous effort, not to mention the work pressures. But he adds, J The University of Wollongong in Dubai is culturally diverse, so the best part was actually meeting people from different backgrounds, cultures, and religions. This culture diversity is taken advantage of by tutors as well as lecturers through the formation of groups that work collectively to assemble a project made up of different thoughts and different ideas from different types of peopleK. Currently Mehmet is


Mehmet with his friends on his graduation day working on plans to pursue his PhD at UOWD, but is waiting for a wider range of PhDMs that are consistent with his field of study and in the meantime, he got his sights set on the CFA Certificate. Recalling his university years, he says he particularly remembers Prof. Nabil Baydoun and Prof. Naeem Mohammed. In the distant future, Mehmet would like to be a professor himself, and that too O at the UOWD. JI Mehmet and his family always wanted to work at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, lecturing and interacting with students from different cultures. And I will work hard to accomplish thatK he says. At the time of this interview, Mehmet is looking for work and is enthusiastic about any opportunities that come his way. You can contact him on

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


Who, When, Where

Master of applied Finance and Banking, 2010 Dubai Multi Commodities Centre

Hessa Ibrahim works at the DMCC within the finance section where her work is mostly related to treasure and financial reporting. As a go-getter who refused to take things as it came her way, she actually requested her company to transfer her from the Accounts Department to the Finance Section, only so she could put what she learnt to practice in real-time. After gaining her BachelorMs Degree from the esteemed Zayed University in January 2008, Hessa joined the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre as Assistant Financial Accountant. A year later she received the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation PMBRFQ scholarship to complete her postgraduate studies at UOWD and joined the university in 2009 to pursue a Degree in Applied Finance and Banking. Talking about those good old university days she says, Jthe toughest part was when I had to attend training in Abu Dhabi Psponsored by Securities and Commodities Authority, SCAQ and then come back to Dubai for the classes. Moreover, the training was also inclusive of lecture and examsK Although this is one common sentiment we all share, Hessa confirms that the best part was being able with a variety of people of different ages and from different backgrounds, cultures and religions.

“I feel proud about winning the award, it is a great honor to have my name linked to my country. My country has given me so much and it would only be right to give my best”

When asked about her achievements, Hessa comes up with a list that she is proud to reveal O and by the looks of it - itMs evident that she was a wonder student right from her undergrad days when she was very prominently on the DeanMs list. In 2008, she co-authored a paper titled JAn assessment of herd behavior in UAE equity marketsK which won her the Department of Economic Development Award. Soon after, she was nominated to participate in the Share Program, sponsored by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority where she got to attend lectures and field visits to different financial institutions, inside and outside the country. Topping her PG experience at UOWD, she won dual honors, one as the Top Graduating Student in the Program PMAFBQ and second, as the Top Emirati Graduate Award, proving that her hard work and dedication eventually did pay off. JI feel proud about winning the awardK she says with a patriotic spirit. JIt is a great honor to have my name linked to my country. My country has given me so much and it would only be right to give my bestK. Being the first in her family to complete her Post Graduate Degree, she says that her family is extremely proud of her achievements and encourages her to further her studies. On that note she saysK As of yet, I am still deciding my next step, but if I plan to study further it would be in the finance field. My personal goal would be to get a chance to utilize my knowledge and education, to get a good exposure in my field and to be able to growK


MBA 2006 Honeywell International Middle East Ltd. Raji Koshy works at Honeywell International Middle East Ltd, which deals with four businesses; Aerospace, Automation and Control Solutions, Specialty Materials and Transportation Systems. Her family settled in the UAE some 40 years ago and she comes from a unit of five siblings. Although she very recently married a businessman who has made a name for himself in the capital marketing and commodities trading business, she continues to strive in her own field, reaching for new horizons each year.

“Be an achiever and keep challenging yourself. Exit from whatever you do if you are not the No 1”

Straight after her graduation in 2006, she was given a promotion from a Working Capital Leader to a Regional Working Capital Leader where she now handles around 8 countries and a back-office team in India, and is the only female to be part of the Middle East Leadership team. With more than 14 years experience in the same company, Raji has taken on more responsibilities at work and seems to be enjoying every moment of it. She says, JAlthough I did not have a detailed coverage on working capital during the finance course, studying at UOWD has helped me view issues from a broader perspective and take decisions in a challenging business environmentK As part of her job profile, Raji manages the EMEAI Regional Customer Specialist Lead Team, works closely with the Regional Finance Leader and Regional General Manager with a daily routine that touches on improving Net AR results, invoice negotiation, and an active participation in Accounts Payables and Inventory Analysis to help drive results. Talking about her days at UOWD she says that the most challenging part was achieving a balance between work, family and studies but that it only taught her how to organize herself more efficiently, work under pressure and manage a team effectively, for which she gives credit to the group assignments at university. JItMs a great honor to graduate from UOWD. I have graduated from one of the best university in Australia which is also widely recognized across the globe. The course materials and faculty coaching will definitely help you with a successful career and are an added value to your resumeK she adds. In the near future Raji plans to further her career by moving up the corporate ladder and assuming a senior global role within the company at the EMEAI PEurope, Middle East and IndiaQ level. As far as further studies are concerned, she hasnMt given it a thought but is certainly positive about the idea. If youMd like to reach her, you can at

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


Who, When, Where MBA 2008 Self-Employed

“I feel so satisfied from the quality of education I gained at UOWD that I’ve already recommended it to many friends, two of whom have already joined the programs. Right from the professor for each subject to the assistance and advice they give, coupled with the quality of information and resources available through the library and electronic library – everything is excellent.” Mohamed Ibrahim began his journey at UOWD in the year 2006 while he was employed as a Senior Control Engineer in Tabreed, a local company based in the UAE that provides year-round climate control to communities across the Middle East. However, a year into his studies, he felt confident enough to embark on a new beginning, and formed his own electro mechanical consultancy firm LDC Pro EngineeringM along with three of his close friends. From then on he had the opportunity to apply everything he learned in class directly into the work he was doing. JThe MBA paved the way for me to strategize and start my businessK he says, Jand today, it is one of the pioneer consultants in green building and district cooling. It also helped me a lot in managing our company through the credit crisis, where we reduced expenses to the minimum and diversified into the GCC market, instead of depending on a single market. All of this happened due to the a few subjects that taught us to build corporate strategies.K Apart from his current role of an Industrial Control Manager in his company, Mohamed has to his credit, 14 years of experience in the Control & Automation field, dealing with water and waste water, cement, paper plant, as well as the food and beverage industries. The father of little Taied who is just 8 months old, Mohamed married during his last semester at university, but charted his progress rather well over the recent few years. He joined his company, Tabreed in 1999 where he worked until December 2004 when he transferred to Ian Banham District Energy Division Pa subsidiary of TabreedQ where he stayed until 2006 gathering hands-on experience as a Designer and System Analyst in the HVAC & District Cooling process. Further experience gained him the title of Chairman for District Cooling Communities in the UAE Chapter of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers PASHRAEQ and he is also a Member of the ISA PInternational Society of AutomationQ and the UAE Society of Engineers. Topping of his list of achievements is an LAutomation ExplorerM Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Advancement of Automation Technology which he received from GE in the year 2008. Not failing to give credit to his education from UOWD, he says JI feel so satisfied from the quality of education I gained at UOWD that IMve already recommended it to many friends, two of whom


have already joined the programs. Right from the professor for each subject to the assistance and advice they give, coupled with the quality of information and resources available through the library and electronic library O everything is excellent. Even my wife is planning to join the university next yearK Talking about his most significant memory he says, JI distinctly remember the Financial Strategy subject taught by Professor Nabil Baydoun. During that time we had an assignment on the Stock Market Bubble where we learnt to determine the price to earning ration and the dividend yield. By the end of the course, we had figured out that investing in the stock market was not a wise decision, given that a few friends of mine and I had invested all our savings in it. It so happened that we collectively withdrew our investments and fair enough, five months later the stock market did crash!K Mohammad has plans to pursue his PhD at UOWD in the distant future, but in the meantime he looks forward to connecting with the university, professors and fellow alumni. If youMd like to contact him, you can reach him on

Mohamed at the District cooling plant

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

Mo’s baby Taieb



Are you interested in achieving organizational excellence for your company, or would you like to experience what it takes to be the best in the field? If you answered "yes" to either of the two questions, take a look at what fellow alumnus, Arwa El Baitam, has planned through her company - Aurora Management Consultancy.

Achieving organizational excellence is a goal for most organizations. Crucial to long-term survival, organizations need to strive for nothing less than world-class standards of business excellence and that means, being visiondriven, strategic, value-focused, responsive, adaptable, efficient and customer-centered. Taking the lead in the direction of excellence, Aurora Management Consultancy is organizing a 4 day-Benchmarking Visit in liaison with the Civil Service College of Singapore in March 2011. Arwa El Baitam, fellow alumnus and the Managing Director of Aurora has the trip planned down to a tee, ensuring that participants get the best out of it in every sense. JThis program, she says, Jis designed to share Singapores experience in driving private and public sector organizations to achieve organizational excellence. Participants will gain an understanding and insights into the best practices in delivering organizational excellence in Singapores public and private sector organizations. The knowledge gained will enable participants to develop comparative yardsticks in their own organizationsK. What’s in it for you? Using the best mix of learning methodologies, this program adopts an interactive mode of learning by exposing participants to lectures, discussions and dialogues with key stakeholders for a deeper understanding of the excellence journey. As a participant you will be led through a learning journey where you can find out the practices of award-winning public and private sector organizations. Through active dialogue you can expect an exchange of insights in management experience where youMll get to learn about winning companies, their fail-proof strategies, success stories and challenges - all in the name of attaining organization excellence.

The Objectives of the Trip: 1. Gain an overview of the Business Excellence Framework 2. Understand how the Business Excellence Framework helps to improve and develop business quality and excellence for many organizations - from multinationals to home-grown small businesses and Government Agencies in Singapore 3. Identify the practical benefits and challenges of embarking on the business excellence journey 4. Gain knowledge of the criteria, eligibility guidelines and assessment process of the excellence awards 5. Learn the best practices gleaned from the World-Class organizations of excellence If you or your company would like to be part of the experience, please contact Aurora Management Consultancy on for more details and registration. Participants will handle their visas, tickets, bookings, boarding and lodging. However, Aurora recommends that participants book at Grand Hyatt Singapore and fly via Singapore Airlines.

QUICK FACTS - Visit takes place on 14 O 17 March 2011 - Investment per person is AED 20,000 - Investment covers: Training program materials, transportation to and from the college and the award winning organizations, tea breaks and lunch on training days Special Discounts Available if a company nominates: 3 participants P5% discountQ; 5 participants P10% discountQ. UOWD PMQMQ graduates/students P10% discountQ.

Why it seems worthwhile? Aurora Management Consultancy prides itself with diversified experience obtained through its highly qualified and multi-talented team. Together, they bring to the table experiences obtained from working with the government, semi-government and the private sector, and hence have ensured that this program has an essential mix, beneficial to Executive Directors, Managers, Section Heads and Employees involved in Organizational Excellence. The outline of the program focuses on aQ Understanding Singapores Foundational Philosophy for Excellence bQ The Role of the Civil Service College PCentre for Organizational DevelopmentQ cQ The Singapore Business Excellence Framework dQ Milestones of Achievements for Organizations in the Journey of Excellence eQ Learning Journeys to Award-Winning Organizations in the Public and Private Sectors


UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai



Top Graduates at the October 2010 Graduation ceremony

Moh'd Eid Hashem Takrori Tamimi

Master of Engineering Management

ti Foroogh BarakaScie nce

Bachelor of Computer


Faeze Nejabat

Bachelor of Internet Science and Technology

Lekshmy Vijayakumar

Master of Information Technology Management

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai


Abdulla Mohammad Ahmed ri Bna i Haj ent Bachelor of Commerce: Managem

deen Jawahitha Sarab an Resource

Master of Strategic Hum Management

Moh'd Eid Hashem Takrori Tamimi

Master of Engineering Management

m Salem Suleiman Ibrahi Ayasrah Master of Quality Management

Abdulla Hessa Mohd Hassan Ibrahim

Master of Applied Finance and Banking



Rinki Singhvi

Bachelor of Commerce: Accounting

hammad Fawad Syed Mu(Log istics) Master of Science

ber Karam Ahmed Mustafa Sa ional Business Master of Internat

UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

The Last Word


Everything you need to know about it in a nutshell Why do research?

Research doesnMt only belong to scientists or professors. Research is simply an activity to help you pursue the truth, to practice the thinking skills, to explore the unknown, or to clarify the murky reality. To some extent, research is involved in most jobs. For instance, marketing people need to find out how consumers react to the new product design; IT people need to understand how to make the interface friendlier for end-users; HR people need to know how to design a better incentive scheme. In other words, research is a necessity to perform certain tasks. However, not all research activities would guarantee valid results. Most time, we may be influenced or biased by irrelevant information, popular perception, and/or personal experiences. Sometimes, we even donMt know what information is needed to draw a valid conclusion. Therefore, only those following proper methodology will produce results that are valid and closer to the truth. This is why a professional training is necessary for professionals to learn research methodology and to produce valid research output. Refined research skills and knowledge will not only help professional to better perform their current jobs, but also enable them to become a knowledge producer, which in turn opens the door to a wide range of career possibilities. What is it like to do research?

Doing research is like to walk through a long tunnel full of twists and turns. The entrance is intriguing but the process is full of ups and downs. Sometime you are frustrated with a dead end; the next moment, you may be thrilled with some new ideas. Of course, nothing can beat the pleasure when you see the end of the tunnel. And to savor the pleasure in research may be one of reasons that many people become professional researchers. As a researcher, you enter a free world where you can try out all your imagination like a child, develop the logical loop like a detective, report the reality with integrity and objectivity like a journalist, and bring the new insight and perspectives like an artist. Research brings many intellectual people to your world, to debate, to share, to inspire and to motivate. Once you start the journey, you are embraced by the research community where you will find a lot of people who share the same passion and interest. How can you help?

I hope that research activities will be another bridge to connect with our alumni. On the one hand, we hope to get your input to produce more relevant research output; on the other hand, we also cordially expect your active participation which will greatly increase the validity and contribution of research. Your participation can take many forms. You can participate as a researcher working with the other professional researchers or initiating your own research team; or an individual/organizational participant. Either way, you can learn the research process, to make contribution and to share the research results. Here are three on-going research projects that are funded by Emirates Foundation and UOWD Grants.

fected by using SNS, remains murky. This research aims at making important theoretical and practical contributions. Existing theories for explaining IT adoption and usage will be extended further to explain the pattern of usage of SNS and its consequences. The theoretical development and empirical validation will be adapted to the particularities of the UAE environment.

2) Assimilation of Information Systems (PI; Funded by the UOWD Grant: 2010-2011)

The adoption of information systems alone is not sufficient for achieving their anticipated benefits. It is rather the assimilation of these systems that is likely to realize their potential. Technology assimilation is defined as the extent to which the use of the technology diffuses across business processes and becomes routinized in the business activities. In this project, we aim to follow a multi-level approach in explaining assimilation of information systems. Companies which have deployed information systems are welcome to participate in this project by contacting me on the email below and in return, we will share the research results and the company report. 3) Application of Semantic Networks to Computer-mediated discussions for the enhancement of Group processes and Performance (Funded by the Emirates Foundation 2010-2012; Co-PI with Prof. Mohamed Khalifa).

The proliferation of computer-mediated discussions, i.e., knowledge communities, has motivated a large body of research on the design and effectiveness of these tools. One of the main anticipated effects of computer-mediated discussions is the enhancement of the performance of distributed groups. However, most existing collaborative tools employ linear representations that offer little support for the visualization, conceptualization and contextualization of the discussion and therefore limit the collaboration. To address these drawbacks, we propose to apply semantic networks to the representation of computer-mediated discussions and to illustrate their ability to enhance the visualization, conceptualization and the contextualization of the discussion. We also propose to empirically demonstrate the superiority of the semantic network representation of discussions over threaded discussions in terms of effects on group processes and outcomes. Every semester, the promising studentsM projects are also identified and developed further. Hopefully in the future, we will have a stronger connection with the alumni through joint research projects.

1) Social networking site usage (PI; Funded by the Emirates Foundation: 2010-2012)

Since their introduction, social networking sites PSNSQ, e.g., Facebook, have been rapidly expanding and profoundly affecting our society. They have become an inescapable part of our lives, which is more evident among young people. While most people take such technologies for granted, our understanding about what drive people to SNS, what they use them for, and how they are af-


UOWD Alumni Newsletter  University of Wollongong in Dubai

Dr. Kathy Ning Shen is an Assistant Professor in Information Systems, Faculty of Business and Management at UOWD. She can be reached on

Stay Connected - Volume 1 Issue 4 - December 2010  

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