American University of Sharjah.

Sharjah: In a strategic move to advance its engineering curriculum and expand its academic portfolio, the American University of Sharjah (AUS) College of Engineering (CEN) will launch a new Minor in Safety and Fire Protection Engineering in partnership with Sharjah Civil Defence Authority starting Fall 2024.

The minor will aim to equip students with a foundation in safety and fire protection, emphasising heightened safety measures in industrial facilities and buildings.

Recent insights from industrial advisory boards, students, alumni and Sharjah Civil Defence Authority have revealed a growing demand for experts in safety and fire engineering.

The new minor will be open to all undergraduate students from all disciplines at AUS and can be completed alongside a student’s major degree programme.

Enhanced safety, fire protection

Students who will choose the new minor will gain a deep understanding of fire protection principles, including fire behaviour, combustion mechanisms, heat transfer, and mastering modern tools and strategies for enhanced safety and fire protection.

Dr. Fadi Aloul, Dean of CEN at AUS, said: “We are launching this minor in response to the industry’s call, and specifically to one of our strategic partners Sharjah Civil Defence Authority. Safety and fire engineers hold pivotal roles across various sectors. With this initiative, we will not only align with industry requisites but also contribute to societal welfare and open new career paths for our students both within and beyond our borders.”

Specialised courses

Brigadier Sami Al Naqbi, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defence Authority Sharjah, said: “We commend the Emirate of Sharjah and AUS for pioneering the accreditation of the Minor in Safety and Fire Protection Engineering, marking a significant stride in academic excellence in the East, aligning with top-tier global universities.

“This programme, designed collaboratively by experts from AUS and Sharjah Civil Defence Authority, offers specialised courses in fire sciences, dynamics and behavior; firefighting equipment and chemicals. Primarily targeting the AUS College of Engineering’s students across all disciplines, we anticipate future expansions, including postgraduate opportunities," Brig. Al Naqbi added.

"This initiative is poised to elevate fire safety standards, leveraging both the theoretical and practical facets of the curriculum. Moreover, the educational prowess of AUS enriches the programme, making it a valuable asset for both public and private sectors.”

The impact of the minor programme will extend beyond academic enrichment. Graduates with this minor are expected to find placements across various sectors such as large industrial establishments, civil defense units, consulting agencies, fire equipment manufacturers, testing labs, the insurance sector, forensic departments and healthcare establishments.

Furthermore, this minor is projected to not only fulfill industry and societal requisites but also to considerably boost job prospects for students across the UAE, GCC and further fields.

“The domain of safety and fire protection engineering is expansive, encompassing the analysis, design and safeguarding of various infrastructure facets. There is an evident need for specialised expertise in the field and we are proud to launch this minor in response,” said Dr. Sameer Al-Asheh, Professor, Head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at AUS.

QS ranking

AUS is among the top 25 percent of universities in the world, according to QS World University Rankings (2024), and has ranked third in the UAE in the category of engineering and technology, according to QS World University Rankings by Broad Subjects (2023).

To learn more about the new Minor in Safety and Fire Protection Engineering (