PREPARING ENGINEERING STUDENTS FOR DUBAI 


Six students from L.C. Smith College of Engineering will head to Dubai to take part in the James A. Mandel and Samuel P. Clemence DCC-SU Internship Program. They will spend five weeks in Dubai, gaining exposure to the latest construction techniques and methodologies. With the tall- est tower in the world, Burj Khalifa, standing proudly in Dubai and several construction companies aiming to build special, certified green projects, the emirate offers superb opportunities to learn the latest processes and methodologies in the industry. Sustainability, green technologies, and eco-awareness are the new buzz words in the construction industry of the region, with the United Arab Emirates having one of the highest carbon-footprints in the world.

“This five-week program is designed to expose students to the operations and physical realities of one of the leading construction firms in the United Arab Emirates. Students selected for this program will also have the opportunity to learn about business practices, the history and the culture of the Middle East, creating an environment for professional and personal development,” said Prof. Samuel Clemence, Meredith Professor at the L.C. Smith College of Engineering. “Through a combination of learning and discussion sessions at corporate headquarters and on actual project sites, students will learn the detailed inner workings of the contracting and construction industry. This is a priceless opportunity to experience engineering practiced on a global scale,” he added.

MESP organized several sessions for the young scholars, all budding civil engineers, to groom them for the internships. Prof. Robert A. Rubinstein (Anthropology) initiated the students into the field of the cultural anthropology of the Middle East by covering such topics as the variet- ies of environments in the region, linguistic conventions, the importance of family and personal ties, and hospitality and norms of business interaction. Prof. Mehrzad Boroujerdi (Political Science) spoke about the political significance of the Middle East, its process of nation-state formation, and some analytical pitfalls that one should avoid when thinking about the region.

Sarah Marusek (Social Science Doctoral Candidate) provided a perspective on the lan- guages and dialects of the region and a quick overview of the relevant issues in the political dis- course of the region, along with presenting an exhaustive reading list. Finally, Sabith Khan (MPA student and a former resident of Dubai) spoke about the customs, manners and gender relations in the UAE. He spoke about the growing role of women in the corporate world, the changing gender dynamics, the openness of the Emirate to people from all over the world, and the role of religion in everyday life.