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A team from KSU’s Innovation Center has qualified for Round Two in the second Airbus Fly Your Ideas Challenge, in which students worldwide have been asked to develop innovative ideas for a greener aviation industry.

The KSU team is supervised by Dr. Haikel Hichri, Innovation Center advisor and an assistant professor in the College of Computer and Information Sciences (CCIS). The members of the team are Omar Abou Niyan, Abdulrahman Al-Ajami, Fahad Al-Ajlan (BS engineering students), engineer Sultan Turkistani and engineer Sayed Ahmad (graduate students in computer engineering).

Round one, the Project Proposal phase, began in September of 2010 and included more than 2,600 student participants from 75 nations made up the 315 teams representing 287 universities. By December, 84 teams including the KSU participants, had been selected to advance to Round Two, the Project Submission phase, which ends on 15 April 2011.

Proposals advancing to Round Two were chosen based upon a set of stringent assessment guidelines, and will now be provided an "Airbus Mentor", who will help teams to develop and submit a 5,000 word document (in English) that explores the idea in greater detail, and includes any associated charts, diagrams and other relevant appendices.. Teams will also be asked to submit a short video presentation introducing their team and providing judges with a comprehensive overview of their proposal.

A distinguished environmental specialist, Emmanuel Boulet, has been assigned by Airbus as KSU’s "Airbus Mentor".

Dr. Naif Alajlan, Director of the KSU Innovation Center, spoke in glowing terms about his student’s success. He said this was just the first step on the way to winning the competition, God willing, noting that the team has already achieved the distinction of establishing KSU as a principal player in the technology arena, and he lauded the relentless efforts of KSU Rector Abdullah Al-Othman and Vice-Rector for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research Ali Al-Ghamdi who have ensured that KSU students are provided with the resources needed to shine in demanding international competitions.

Round three, the Project Presentation (development) phase, begins on 16 May 2011. The five most innovative and well-designed projects will be chosen during this phase and advance to the competition’s final round. On June 22 and 23, 2011, students will be required to give live project presentations during the International Paris Airshow at Le Bourget Airport. The final 5 teams will also benefit from an Airbus Mentor before presenting their projects.

The winning team, to be chosen by a high-profile panel of Airbus specialists and international aviation experts, will be announced at the Paris Airshow. The winning team will take home a €30,000 prize, while the runner-up will receive €15,000.

The winning team, to be chosen by a high-profile panel of Airbus specialists and international aviation experts, will be announced at the Paris Airshow. The winning team, will take home the €30,000 first prize, while the runner-up will receive €15,000.

The KSU Innovation Center, which was established in 2008, under the leadership of Rector Abdullah Al-Othman and the aegis of the University’s Vice Rectorship of Knowledge Exchange and Technology Transfer (KETT). Its mission is to encourage innovation that contributes to the service of society, transform innovative ideas and inventions into commercial products and to help raise KSU’s international status to the level of regionally and globally distinguished universities in the areas of scientific and economic innovation.