Department of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering

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I welcome you to the web site of the Department of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering. The department prepares students both at undergraduate and graduate level through agricultural, environmental, soil and water and engineering related courses in the management of land and water resources to meet the needs of the Sultanate. The department’s faculty and staff are actively engaged in teaching, research and outreach activities trying to solve problems of soil, water and agricultural engineering related to the Sultanate, the region and beyond. Areas of current research and outreach activities include soil salinity, water and solute movement in the soil profile, management of wastewater disposal, disposal of production water in oil industry, grey-water reuse potential, agricultural impacts on groundwater quality, desalination plant brine characteristics, controlled area agriculture, machinery and equipment development with appropriate technology, computer vision technology applications for food industry etc.

 We have been very successful in attracting external and internal research funds and maintain excellent publication records and contributions to professional bodies. The department has highly trained technical staff operating its laboratories equipped with state of the art instruments for soil and water analyses, Remote Sensing and GIS analyses, instrumentation and data acquisition, machinery and equipment testing. The Agricultural Experimentation Station of SQU, which too possesses research fields, equipment and trained staff, is also utilized for our research. The department takes an active role in extension and community outreach making its expertise and laboratory facilities available to the community.

 In the recent past we have organized numerous seminars, workshops and an international conference. Our alumnae are contributing to the Sultanate in numerous ways at ministries, research stations, in public and private sectors and we are proud of them. The department will continue to strive for excellence in every aspect of its activities in the coming days. Once again welcome to our website and feel free to contact us anytime.

Dr. Hemanatha P.W. Jayasuriya

Associate Professor and Head

 

The Departmnt of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering prepares students for agricultural and environmental careers in the management of land and water resources. The Department offers three Bachelor of Science Degree programs in soil and water management, water technology and Agricultural Engineering.

 The Soil and Water Management program is designed to produce graduates knowledgeable in land use of arid environments. On the other hand, the Water Technology program is designed to produce graduates knowledgeable in the management of water resources associated with land use. The Agricultural Engineering program is intended to integrate the knowledge of engineering principles and understanding of the biological sciences as the framework for addressing complex problems in agriculture, food, natural resources and the environment.

 

 The department offers Seven programs as follow: 

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Agricultural Engineering 
  • (Joint Program between CAMS and CoE)
  • Bachelor of Science in Water Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Soil Sciences
  • Master of Science in Agricultural Engineering
  • Master of Science in Soil and Water Management
  • PhD in Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering

The Department of SWAE engages in research of multidisciplinary nature in the areas of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering which are being conducted based on national priorities. We have been engaged in research of different levels, strategic research with international or local collaborations, externally or internally funded and conducted by graduate students.

In Soil Science, mapping, monitoring and mitigation of land degradation, soil survey and classification and analyses for the million date palm project, combating soil salinity, best management of water resources - in terms of water use efficiency for agricultural productivity and landscaping, optimization of crop production under harsh soil conditions, urban soils their characteristics and sustainability, and soil evolution and contamination via anthropogenic activities are the current on-going projects.

Managed aquifer  recharge, analytical and numerical modeling of flow and contaminant transport in porous medium, Hydropedology, assessment of water quality (nitrate and pesticides in groundwater), wastewater disposal from desalination plants, use of oil-contaminated water for irrigation, grey-water and wastewater treatment, incorporation of water quality issues in integrated catchment management, soil salinity caused by the use of saline water and reclamation of saline soils and bio saline agriculture have been the focus areas in water technology field.

Application of near-real time monitoring systems for irrigated agriculture in Middle East and North Africa Network of Water Centers of Excellence (MENA NWC), soil compaction effect, Controlled Environment Agriculture, machinery design and development, and Post-harvest quality assessment using computer vision techniques are the focal areas in Agricultural Engineering. 

 

Research Reports 

The Department of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering is one of six departments within the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University. The SWAE three programs are intended to train students in environmental soil and water sciences, water resources and agricultural engineering. The programs are designed to produce graduates with practical and theoretical engineering expertise in the areas of irrigation and water resource, food processing, machinery. The graduates can understand the soil and water phenomena and manage these vital resources in a better way for more efficient agricultural production. Interpretation and evaluation of land-use alternatives and land management practices is another important skill developed in our programs. Our graduates will not only understand life and biological sciences but also possess advanced knowledge of biological, chemical and physical processes and constraints which limit agricultural production and diminish the quality of the natural environment. Consequently, they are well equipped to devise and apply appropriate solutions to problems faced in the agricultural and environmental sectors in Oman.  The Department has over the years sent students to PDO, drilling companies, large farms, food companies, desalination plants, consulting companies dealing with environmental problems in Sultanate, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), Muscat Municipality, Divan, Ministry of Regional Municipalities, Environment and Water Resources (MRME&WR) for internship.

 

Specific Internship Objectives:

  1. Become familiar with all the departments of the company.
  2. Follow and learn manufacturing steps of a given product.
  3. Learn about processing, packaging equipment and measuring.
  4. Learn what the processing conditions
  5. Familiarize with types of machinery.
  6. Understand the maintenance management.
  7. Gain practical experience in operating machinery.
  8. Learn about the selection of appropriate machinery.
  9. Obtain experience in environmental and hydrological monitoring, instrumentation and data analysis.
  10. Familiarize with water conservation measures and participate in the design of new water conservation structures.
  11. Processes in issuing licenses for groundwater well installation.
  12. Determine irrigation demand and designing pressurized irrigation systems.
  13. Perform chemical analysis of water samples.
  14. Perform farm water requirement calculations.
  15. Analyze pump test data for groundwater assessment.
  16. Learn about management of produced water in oil industry.
  17. Visit desalination plants and assess wastewater disposal methods.
  18. Learn about wastewater treatment facilities.
  19. Perform soil fertility studies.
  20. Any other activities the officials of the host organization think will be useful for the students in their future career.


 

 

The SWAE department engages the students   practices stemming from Inquiry Based Learning. The corresponding curricular and extracurricular activities have the following goals:

  • Equip students with scientific and engineering hands-on skills and soft skills to tackle the societal needs of Oman on issues relevant to agricultural production, soils and water quality, natural resource management, environmental remediation, among others.

 

  • Develop the abilities of the students to communicate effectively, contribute in community outreach activities, work in multidisciplinary teams and understand professional and ethical responsibilities.

 

SWAE Students are involved in a wide range of these activities, including research oriented undergraduate courses, internship, field trips, international celebration of Soil and Water day, Soil-Skills and Wet-Skills contests, etc.

Following are some examples of students inquiry based activities:

  • Internship Presentations
  • Soil Water Tour
  • Soil Skills Contest
  • Soil Day
  • Water Day
  • Undergraduate Students Projects

Head of the Department

Hemanatha Jayasuriya

 

Department of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering

College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences

Sultan Qaboos University

PO Box 34, Al-khod 123

Sultanate of Oman

Phone: (+ 968) 2414 1223

Fax: (+ 968) 2441 3418

Email: hemjay@squ.edu.om


Department Coordinator

Asila Al-Rashdi

 

Department of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering

College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences

Sultan Qaboos University

PO Box 34, Al-khod 123

Sultanate of Oman

Phone: (+ 968) 2414 1228

Fax: (+ 968) 2441 3418

Email: asilas@squ.edu.om

SWAE Faculties
  • Ahmed Khalfan Al-Mayahi
    Lecturer
  • Alaba Boluwade, PhD
    Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Abdulrahim M. Al-Ismaili
    Associate Professor
  • Dr. Ali K. S. AL-Maktoumi
    Associate Professor
  • Dr. Anvar Kacimov
    Professor
  • Dr. DANIEL BLACKBURN
    Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Hemanatha P. W. Jayasuriya
    Associate Professor
  • Dr. Pankaj B Pathare
    Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Said Salim Al-Ismaily
    Associate Professor
  • Dr. Talal Yasir Al-Shukaili
    Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Yaseen Ahmed Al-Mulla
    Associate Professor
  • Malik Al-Wardy, Ph.D
    Assistant Professor
  • Mushtaque Ahmed, Ph.D.
    Professor
  • Usama Ahmed Al-Dughaishi
    Lecturer
Agricultural Engineering Program


A Joint Program between two colleges which awards B.Eng. degree

 

  1. COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL AND MARINE SCIENCES(CAMS)
  2. COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING (CoE)

 Agricultural or Biosystems Engineering degree programs are established worldwide to train professionals in undergraduate and postgraduate education to apply engineering principles and to conduct research to produce solutions for the agro-food industry and soil/land and water (environmental) engineering problems. It concerns education and research in the engineering and physical sciences to understand, model, process or enhance biological systems for sustainable developments in agriculture, food, land use and the environment. The Agricultural or Biosystems Engineering programs focus on three key challenges currently faced by the humanity: to ensure an adequate and safe food supply for an expanding world population; to protect or remediate the world’s natural resources including water, soil, air and energy; and to develop engineering systems that monitor, replace, or intervene in the mechanisms of living organisms.

At present, the Agricultural Engineering program (B.Eng. Degree) is jointly offered by the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences and the College of Engineering, which means the degree will be awarded by both colleges. This multidisciplinary program is not only comparable to those offered in internationally reputed Universities, but also designed and benchmarked with  the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), USA. 

 

Currently the following three virtual soft streams are available for students to be a specialist while graduation:

  • Land and Water Engineering
  • Food and Process Engineering
  • Power and Machinery Engineering

 

The student can specialize in any of the soft stream by selecting appropriate electives and choosing internship training and projects relevant to them.

For further queries, please contact Dr. Yaseen Al-Mulla, Associate Professor and Coordinator at: yalmula@squ.edu.om