I’m back from my second trip to the United Arab Emirates in three months where I presented at a global project management conference and visited two UAE universities.
This hosted trip began at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) where I met with the ASCE Student Chapter members and guests for the ASCE Event Finale of the school year. I was welcomed by Majed Shoman, Student Chapter president, on my return visit to AUS. Majed, who is graduating this year, thanked all of the officers and members for their great work, handed out awards and introduced the new Student Chapter officers. Dr. Osman Akan, Civil Engineering Department head, and Dr. Sameh El-Sayeh, Student Chapter advisor, gave welcoming remarks. Also attending was Dr. Taha, AUS director of student development, who oversees all student organizations on campus. Lastly, we enjoyed a buffet dinner to celebrate the seniors who graduate this year.
Next, I spoke about “Keeping Megaprojects on Track” at the UAE Project Management Conference & Exhibition produced by the UAE Society of Engineers. This first-of-its-kind event hosted speakers from around the globe sharing their expertise and experiences on the latest in project management. At the conference’s last event, I participated on a panel about the challenges with megaprojects. The panel included Dr. Edgar Small, associate professor of engineering, American University in Dubai (AUD); Sameer Daoud, managing director, ARCADIS UAE; and Martin Darley, president, AACE International in Houston.
After the conference, I met with many of the AUD civil engineering faculty. University President Lance E de Masi and Dean of Engineering Alaa K Ashmawy both spoke highly of ASCE and how great it was to have an ASCE Student Chapter. Then I spoke with the students about ASCE’s past, present and our future plans and what they could do to succeed in their engineering careers.
Here’s an excerpt from an AUD news release about my presentation to the students.
“Dr. Robert Stevens urged the students to take part in volunteering roles in order to contribute to the advancement of civil engineering, the advancement of their communities and their own personal and career development. He recalled his own journey highlighting his education and career achievements. The talk served as a guide to the students to carve out their own career paths based on the advice of one of the most successful figures in their field. Dr. Stevens said: ‘If you want to succeed and by succeed I mean have a career that you enjoy, you need to work with other people. It comes from taking risks and trying, raise your hand and ask questions, get involved!’”