Sorbonne Abu Dhabi Students Learn About Aerospace Industry at Strata
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Visitors Discover UAE Economic Diversity, Magnitude of Investment, and Future Growth Potential

Aerospace-Industry1Abu Dhabi, 17 November 2013 – A delegation of 70 students from Paris – Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PSUAD) visited, yesterday, the Strata composite aero-structure manufacturing facilities based in Al Ain. The visit was organized as part of the extracurricular activities that PSUAD prizes as a tool for connecting theory to practice and introducing students to the economic diversity of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
During their visit, students discovered the Strata production lines and observed the manufacturing of Airbus A330/340 flap track fairings, aileron panels and assembled ailerons, A380 flap track fairings, and ATR airliner vertical fins, in addition to the spoilers manufacturing and assembly line, one of the most cutting-edge production lines at Strata.
Strata engineers delivered an extensive presentation before students, explaining the critical part played by assembled ailerons. Ailerons are key components, used to control the aircraft in roll and adjust its course. Each Strata shipment includes 4 assembled ailerons. Two ailerons are fitted – one inboard and one outboard – on each wing. Each 85-kilogram aileron is 5 meters in length and is made up of more than 400 parts.
Prof. Dr. Eric Fouache, PSUAD Vice-Chancellor, said that the purpose of the visit was to provide students with a wide range of opportunities for academic development, professional training, and personal growth, where students are tested on their academic skills and performance during such activities. Fouache noted PSUAD’s continued efforts to meet its prime objective in taking education to the next level by offering students a distinguished education that nurtures their potentials and capabilities, PSUAD’s aim being to achieve world-class educational outputs in keeping with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 for comprehensive social and economic development.
“We are determined to provide students with diverse opportunities for academic development, professional training, and personal growth, and to expand their horizons through praxis that enables them to acquire new knowledge and accumulate experiences in a broad spectrum of areas. Rather than limiting their education to pure theory, we encourage hands-on learning. Students also engage with specialized professionals from different cultural backgrounds, a practice that boosts their self-confidence and reinforces their sense of responsibility,” said Fouache.
Mr. Badr Al-Olamaa, STARTA Executive Director said, “PSUAD is a globally-renowned and distinguished academic institution. We were thrilled to host our PSUAD visitors at the Strata facilities. It was a pleasure to meet the students and we greatly admired the level of maturity and intellectual acuity demonstrated by the questions and points they raised during the discussions. I believe we were able to offer them a deeper understanding of the importance of well-rounded academic and practical training in producing innovative products.
“This visit is part of the activities that we, at Strata, are keen to organize in order to build students’ creative and innovative capacities and introduce them to the aerospace industry – one of the leading industries driving economic growth in the UAE. Students thus learn about the sectors that serve our aspirations for economic diversification away from oil and gas and for building a sustainable, knowledge-based economy.”
Valérie Laux-Le Guyon, professor of Physics at PSUAD, remarked that the student visit to Strata aims to introduce them to the great strides achieved at the composite aero-structure manufacturing plant, and offer them a detailed view of the company’s future plans and strategies, as well as its growth outlook. Students also participated in a number of important discussions on business development while touring the facilities.
“The aerospace sector is a global industry par excellence. Its advancement reflects a country’s progress in terms of development. The visit was a perfect opportunity for students to directly engage with professionals and learn about economic diversity in the UAE. We always look forward to collaborating with experienced and capable partners, such as Strata, who can offer PSUAD students a world-class training and experience, as we strive to groom a new generation of talented and competent graduates to drive the diverse Emirati economy,” he said.
Visiting students remarked that the field trip to Strata was a chance to learn about the manufacturing process, discover each stage of aero-structure production, observe activities at the workshops and research labs, understand how theoretical research is transformed into concrete reality, and explore prospective careers and future needs in the UAE.
The students observed that the visit covered many objectives, namely: to discover the aerospace industry, its challenges and opportunities; understand the extent of economic diversity in the UAE and Abu Dhabi; and learn about Strata’s strategic goals, completion timeframes, Emiratization, and the products it delivers to global clients.
PSUAD student, Raiyan Seede, said that visiting Strata and observing the operation of one of the key actors in the aerospace industry is a valuable addition to what he and fellow participating students had learned over the course of their studies at PSUAD. He noted that they learned about the history of the aerospace industry, its beginnings and evolution, in addition to the magnitude of investment in this sector, its future growth potential, and the significant part it plays in diversifying the UAE economy.
“We engaged in scientific and economic discussions with Strata professionals which strengthened our self-confidence and capacity to analyze the realities of the job market and its growth potential. The simple fact of visiting and training at the Strata plant is a unique and extremely valuable experience,” he said.
Another PSUAD student, Mariam El-Yahyaei, applauded this practical experience as “an excellent opportunity to learn about the aero-structure manufacturing industry and how ailerons and spoilers are made and assembled. The visit featured scientific, economic, and management lectures during which we discovered manufacturing materials, how aircraft components are installed and fitted, as well as current and prospective labor market needs, and how to manage and develop mega-industries.”
She underlined that her scientific knowledge and learning skills were reinforced and that the visit helped advance her self-confidence and instill a range of values in her spirit, especially that of self-reliance. She affirmed that visiting the Strata plant was a wonderful opportunity to connect classroom study and the real-life business environment, and to understand the nature of the work at such a cutting-edge industrial site.
She also remarked that the field visits and training programs offered by PSUAD to students represent a fundamental turning point for high achievers to acquire learning and practical experience in key sectors of the Abu Dhabi economy, as well as a driving force towards a knowledge-based economy.
It is worth mentioning that Strata is wholly-owned by Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, and is part of the Mubadala aerospace manufacturing unit, committed to promoting Abu Dhabi’s standing as a global integrated hub for the aerospace industry.