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Inclusive and Interdisciplinary – Urban Development Program at Campus El Gouna

Mohamed A. Hilal
Mohamed A. Hilal, one of our first graduates

TU Berlin Campus El Gouna recently bid farewell to the first graduates of its three Master's programs and is proud to present a closer look into the work and educational experiences as well as the career prospects of Mohamed Ashraf Hilal, one of the first alumni of the M.Sc. Urban Development. Hilal, an architect from Cairo, graduated in Urban Development at TUB Campus El Gouna in 2014. Next to his Master's studies, he gathered additional professional know-how by participating in a UN Conference in Cairo, doing an internship in Berlin and winning a competition organized by the German company Siemens.

How did the Master's program at TUB Campus El Gouna improve your professional skills and career prospects?

Hilal: “It was a very inclusive approach at Campus El Gouna. Many different subjects regarding urban development were part of the Master's program and the interdisciplinary nature of the three departments at the Campus broadened my understanding regarding everything related to cities. The opportunity to study in Berlin, beside the fact that we were engaged with other seminars and workshops, was also very important for our education and experience. My career prospects will be much more sophisticated after receiving a Master's degree from TU Berlin, than only having a degree in architecture. Now, as an urban practitioner, I am aware of many more aspects regarding city development, urban economies, resource management, sustainable infrastructure and urban sociology.“

You won a competition organized by the German company Siemens in 2014 about energy and sustainable mobility in integrated neighborhoods. What was your presentation about?

Hilal: “My idea is called “Charge on the STOP! Inductive Charging Traffic Zones”. Iif a municipality wants to encourage people to shift to electric cars, you have to provide the infrastructure for such innovation. Energy supplies for the cars must be easily accessible and available, and it would be very difficult to stop or park somewhere to charge the car while driving around the city. So, since drivers already spend many minutes stopping in traffic, why not charge their cars while standing with the Inductive Charge Technology, a concept also known as wireless charging. My idea is to charge on the stop and provide the charging places in the public space. The idea is to install inductive charging fields within the waiting area in front of traffic lights, where cars are charged wirelessly while waiting for the green light.”

Part of your Master's program at TU Berlin Campus El Gouna was an internship. Where did you do it?

Hilal: “I did my internship at Berlin's Senate in Department of Urban Development and Environment. It was a very inclusive and intensive internship and I had the opportunity to be engaged in multiple development projects all around Berlin and was able to provide innovative suggestions for them. It felt great to be informed later that my ideas are considered for realization. The internship opened my mind for how we should approach development in cities and how we can follow up and complete the quality we are trying to achieve.”

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