The first technology chamber has been launched by the University of Baghdad for supporting the research projects in the fields of telecommunications and information technology.
University president Alaa Abdul Hussein remarked, "Stemming from our urgent need for the presence of such training and research centers, particularly in the engineering fields, we opened (on September 3rd) the first technology chamber at our campus."
It has to be noted that technology chamber means the specialized scientific centers set up through partnerships and collaboration with international firms and institutions to conduct training and develop the skills and capacities of students, researchers, professors and various external agencies
The centre will hold intensive training courses, oversee scientific research projects and encourage the exchange of expertise in the field of telecommunications, he said. "The university intends to open another technology chamber, also at the College of Engineering, on dry construction technology," Abdul Hussein said.
Currently, the work is going on to complete the project and it has been anticipated that soon the constructional work will be concluded. The university "intends to set up additional chambers in various engineering and scientific areas with the aim of upgrading the level of higher education and boosting scientific research", Abdul Hussein said.
He stated, "These chambers also play a major role in reinforcing consultancy projects and applied research, and are used in serving the developmental sectors in a way that meets the requirements for the country's sustained development efforts, bolstering the capabilities of our academic personnel, and spurring the educational process to move forward."
The chambers are "part of an ambitious plan through which we hope to improve the skills of our students and our teaching and administrative staff in the various engineering specialties, and establish strong research and development partnerships," said College of Engineering dean Ahmed Abdul Saheb.
In one such partnership, a branch of the Iraq Energy Institute, an independent, non-profit institute based in London, opened at the college in October, Abdul Saheb told Mawtani.
The centre will provide training on the latest technologies, systems and advances in this field, he said, "which would help bolster our oil industry by providing highly trained human resources".
Future opportunities for the students
There is continuing collaboration between the college and the various international companies working to develop the national oil and energy sectors, Abdul Saheb said. These companies will recruit a lot of oi engineers in their technical team and thus, it is a great opportunity for the students to find a place in such companies, which offer lucrative career to the employees.
Additionally, Abdul Saheb said, top first year students in the fields of civil and chemical engineering are sent to finish their bachelor's degrees at foreign universities as part of the university's international exchange program.
He stated, "There also are continuous scholarships for the college's researchers and professors abroad, as well as courses held inside and outside Iraq for the employees working in the various engineering fields," and also added, "We hope, within the next few years, to increase the number of students enrolling in those fellowships, scholarships and training courses."
MP Riyadh al-Zaidi, who serves on the parliamentary committee on higher education, welcomed the university's decision to establish technology chambers. These types of specialized training facilities acquire "particular importance in providing our universities with the advanced technology experience to enable them to keep pace with the worldwide progress", he said.
This in turn helps Iraq meet the need that local businesses have for innovative scientifically-experienced manpower, al-Zaidi told Mawtani.