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Mount Union Students Build Flood Detection System, Experience Culture During Impactful Trip to Abu Dhabi

April 17, 2023

MOHAMED BIN ZAYED CITY, ABU DHABI – A group of 24 engineering students from the University of Mount Union traveled to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, during spring break to work with students from Al Ain University to build and test a flood detection system.

As part of the Global Engineering course supervised by Dr. Loay Al-Zube, associate professor of engineering, and Dr. Hans Tritico, professor of engineering, Mount Union students from different disciplines worked on the design and development of the system since the beginning of the spring semester.

Prior to the trip, the students followed the engineering design process where they assessed the need, developed their mission statement, suggested multiple concepts, selected one concept and built a prototype before traveling to Abu Dhabi for testing. The system uses load sensors to detect water levels and send alerts to users wirelessly in the event of a flood.

In Abu Dhabi, the students worked with Al Ain students to build and test the system on a real-world scale. The system was then tested on the Al Ain campus. Students from both institutions hope the system they developed will help to detect flooding and mitigate its damaging effects in both countries.



Experiencing Business and Culture
Though doing important engineering work with their peers from Al Ain, the Mount Union students also had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural and professional sectors of Abu Dhabi.

The students visited several sites and experienced events that embodied the history of Abu Dhabi, including:

  • Sheikh Zayed Festival – A seasonal festival where visitors enjoy Emirati heritage and culture, as well as other festive events like laser shows and fireworks.
  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – The largest mosque in the country, covering an area of more than 30 acres, excluding exterior landscaping and vehicle parking.
  • Al Ain Oasis: The largest oasis in the country, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Al Ain Museum: A museum that tells the story of the city of Al Ain and the Emirati royal family.
  • Hili Archeological Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site that contains the ruins of several ancient settlements.
  • The Global Village: An annual cultural festival in Dubai, where visitors can experience the cultures of over 75 countries.

The Mount Union participants also attended a presentation from the president of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce where the chamber’s mission, vision and the services it provides to the private sector in Abu Dhabi were discussed. They also had the opportunity to learn from project engineers working on the construction site of Sheikh Zayed National Museum, as well as hearing two presentations from the SP Jain School of Global Management.

The students from Mount Union stated that the trip was incredible, and they were grateful to Mount Union and Al Ain for making the experience possible. They learned about different cultures, engineering practices and ways of thinking while also making new friends and connections in preparation for their future careers. They also discovered what it takes to work on a mega project managed and operated by a diverse body of engineers, workers and contractors.

“For my future career, the experience of working with students from other cultures was incredibly valuable,” said Elias Holm ’24. “It was a good experience to work and interact with someone who has a different cultural background than my own. It was also great to learn how to correspond and work with someone with a nine-hour time difference.”

Receiving a global educational experience is part of the Mount Union School of Engineering’s Four Pillars of Engineering Education. Learn more about the school and its four dynamic majors at