Zayed University students land 2nd-prize at leading international environment & sustainability competition

14 Jun 2022

A team of three students from Zayed University’s (ZU), College of Natural & Health Sciences (CNHS), have recently won the second place prize in the Smart Environment Category at the 2022 International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability (ISCES 2022), which was held  at Tongji University in China. 

Their project focused on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in agriculture, focussing on data collection using affordable smart technology and drones. 

Zayed University congratulated the three outstanding students, Shamma Al Ghafri, Shamma Mohammed and Dana Al Dhaen, members of the “Ghaf” project team. “Ghaf” is the Arabic name for Prosopis cineraria; which holds a significant cultural and historical presenece in the UAE. Their efforts and spirit of teamwork was were a stelar representation of the UAE is such a profound international arena. The ZU students project mirroes the nations forward thinking objectives and ambitions, as it pertains to climate change, working towards safeguarding a sustainable future for coming generations.

The AgriSensor Drone solution is a cost-effective technology that will help gather data about the plant's overall health and in turn be an active deterrent of  drought or disease. The technology adopts a special type of sensor that can gather reflectance information and project a digital image of the scene, plant vegetation stage, and leaf data. 

The sensor will be attached to agricultural drones which can spot drought using AI, whichh may also be used to spray the general vegitation. The sensor will gather the data on a mini-computer and relay it back to the operator. 

Senior Student, Shamma Al Ghafri, ‘Ghaf’ Team-member, said: “Based on our research, we found out that by 2025, scientists estimate that half of the world’s population will live in water scarcity regions. A major solution for this problem, is to use Artificial Intelligence in the irrigation of crops to determine the optimal amount of water for crop growth without excess water use or wastage.”

“I am very proud of my team, and I am confident, that with the support of our nation, we will be able to further develop this project beyond theoretical practices and into a larger-scale nationwide development,” she added.

The International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability (ISCES) has been successfully held for 10 years by the United Nations Environment Programme and Tongji University since 2011. It has attracted over 3,000 international students from more than 50 countries to gather at Tongji University  on  World  Environment Day. This annual flagship conference, aims at sharing young peoples’ ideas and practices on sustainable development, has become a global event for future leaders,  and  is considered to be one  of  the  most  influential  youth  gatherings on sustainable development world-wide.