American University of Sharjah (AUS) graduate Ali Mokhtar is helping Emaar Properties build Dubai’s first 3D-printed house. The house, which will be located in Arabian Ranches III, will serve as a model home for investors.
Before he graduated from AUS in Spring 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Mokhtar worked on a 3D printing construction project at AUS as part of his senior design project. An international collaboration with a university in Finland helped provide a solution to a problem faced in the construction. Speaking about the project, Mokhtar said:
“As a first step, we studied the market to determine the leaders in 3D printing technology and the work they have done so far. Based on this, we were able to understand that there was a problem printing in Dubai because of the high temperature and humidity. For our project, we partnered with the University of Oulu in Finland to help us tackle this problem, as that university is known for its association with 3D printing experts. We ended up creating a 3D printing concrete mix that works in higher temperature and humidity.”
Mohktar said 3D printing is slated to have a significant impact on the future of construction:
“Though 3D printing has a long way to go, creating these fully functional houses will eventually be cheaper than traditional methods of construction and will be almost 90 percent faster.”
Mokhtar joined Emaar in November 2018 as a project engineer and is now involved in 3D printing projects, overseeing the design and execution, ensuring the structural stability of the construction, and working to solve potential problems before they occur on site.
He credits his position at Emaar to his time at AUS:
“With AUS being a top university in the region, its reputation was the first key factor that helped me become a top candidate for my job What really helped me stand out among the top candidates was the training and preparation I got from the Career Services office at AUS.”