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21 IRENA Scholars at Masdar Institute to Graduate on 26 May

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 24 May, 2015 – The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) today jointly announced that the third group of 21 IRENA-Masdar Institute scholars will be graduating on 26 May.

The IRENA scholars will be receiving their degrees at the fifth Masdar Institute commencement ceremony.

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said, “We are proud of the 21 IRENA scholars who will be graduating with us at the fifth Masdar Institute commencement ceremony. We hope they take the education, research experience, and inspiration gained during their time at Masdar Institute out into the world to affect positive and sustainable change.”

Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, IRENA, said, “Year after year, the high calibre of the Masdar Institute students makes us honoured to be associated with the IRENA scholars program. We congratulate the third group of IRENA scholars and hope that this unique opportunity has prepared them for a bright future taking on tomorrow’s greatest energy challenges.”

The graduating scholars praised IRENA for organizing its series of lectures that proved to be informative and highly relevant knowledge-exchange sessions.

IRENA scholar Isaac Kofi Otchere, an Electrical Power Engineering student, hails from Ghana and believes his country currently needs sustainable and reliable energy in order to tackle power deficiency. Building on his in-depth knowledge and skills on a wide range global renewable energy concerns, he completed his voluntary service for the implementation of a micro grid wind turbine power project in Abaarso School of Science and Technology, Somaliland.

Otchere said, “I am really proud to be an IRENA scholar. The special lectures organized by IRENA added a new dimension to my renewable energy outlook analysis of global challenges and the prospects in building a clean energy corridor in Africa. I have acquired technical knowledge through networking with IRENA energy experts on the awareness of rethinking renewable energy integration towards the holistic planning and design of a future power grid.”

Mechanical Engineering student Shahid Rabbani, another IRENA scholar, designed a cost-effective reverse osmosis (RO) desalination unit integrated with solar photovoltaic (PV) with a team of researchers at Masdar Institute. The proposed system does not rely on expensive batteries or extra land and drastically reduces the cost of subsidized water production. Rabbani said participation in IRENA’s various knowledge-sharing events enriched his experience and understanding.

Rabbani said, “Being an IRENA scholar, I was fortunate enough to listen to some of the best scholars, researchers and clean energy ambassador through several interactive sessions. The role of IRENA in preparing the students for future challenges through the scholarship program has really been phenomenal.”

Another IRENA scholar Desmond Okwabi Ampofo, also from the Electrical Power Engineering program, is a member of the project team of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Ampofo explained that the specially-organized IRENA lectures helped him to realize that renewable energy is not only a source of clean energy, but can also provide a way of transforming communities on a sustainable path, especially in developing countries where access to energy is a challenging issue. Like Otchere, Desmond has also travelled to Somaliland with a team of students to install solar heater water pumps and LED lights in a school located at a remote area called Abaarso, which helped reduce energy consumption. He has also participated in the IRENA initiative ‘Rethinking Energy: Towards a new power system.’

Ampofo continued, “The special insights gained from the IRENA lectures has really changed my perception about renewable energy and boosted the confidence I have in my country, where renewable sources are abundant yet untapped. Renewables come with a lot of opportunities.”

Offered with the support of the UAE Government, the Masdar-Institute IRENA Scholarships provide enhanced opportunities to students in terms of research projects, external courses, internships, and shared use of research facilities. As part of the experience, select scholars attend exclusive high-level lecture programs aimed at presenting the latest developments in the field of renewable energies. The complimentary IRENA Lectures at Masdar Institute were designed to bring renowned academic professionals from prominent research institutions and laboratories to Masdar Institute and develop collaborative linkages.

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