UAE National Students Gain Valuable Research Experience from Six-Week Summer Internship Program
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 16 August, 2012 – Student participants in the recently concluded summer internship program have commended the approachable faculty, high-technology laboratory facilities and the right ambience at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology for encouraging research outcomes in clean energy and advanced sustainable technologies.
A total of 16 UAE national interns spent six weeks conducting research in projects relevant to the region including desalination, recycled water and power grid systems. At a much deeper level, they also covered advanced technology topics including carbon capture and solvents for post-combustion.
Dr Ken Volk, Head of Outreach, Masdar Institute said: “Masdar Institute’s summer internship program provided students with a preview of the post-graduate programs that are currently offered. The internship also provided a unique opportunity for students interested in learning and conducting research in clean and advanced energy, sustainable technologies and environment-related areas. The program was also ideal for UAE national students to understand the significance of this emerging renewable and sustainable energy industry that the UAE is seeking to develop with the support of the country’s leadership.”
During the internship, Mooza Saeed Abdulla Bin Yeem worked on implementation strategies for renewable energy, learnt new practical skills, such as conducting data analysis and preparing materials for project.
She was impressed with the welcoming atmosphere of the Institute. She said: “My professor has supported me and treated me like a Masdar institute member. He used to ask me to join some presentations, where I can learn more about the renewable energy projects. The marvelous labs that are characterized with clinical-precision and organization encouraged me to work in the perfect environment. Most importantly, I learnt about the renewable energy policies in the UAE and the contribution of our leadership in building this industry in the UAE.”
In addition to the laboratory facilities, highly focused program streams were equally appealing to the interns.
Mariam Mohamed Al Kaabi, worked on a research project titled ‘Phylogenetic for Mixed Microbial Cultures’. She gained new techniques on how to work in a research lab. She believes that this summer internship has helped clear the confusion about her future plan – which was combining work and study at the same time. And she found this at Masdar Institute.
Al Kaabi said: “This summer internship was an interesting experience, where I worked and interacted with highly experienced and qualified professors in fully equipped and advanced labs. Living in this fascinating sustainable design of the Masdar Institute campus and dorms are themselves a source of inspiration for students. This internship has inspired me to pursue my graduate studies at Masdar Institute. I would seriously consider joining the Water and Environmental Engineering program that will help me utilize my knowledge in biotechnology and seek solutions for the environmental challenges in the UAE.”
Zayed Al Mansouri, who worked on the desalination and renewable energy project, believes that the internship exposed him to the research world and invaluable hands-on experience. He said: “My experience at Masdar Institute was incredible. The institute is defined with its very friendly and helpful environment, which qualifies the learning atmosphere for students.” Al Mansouri is keen to join the Mechanical Engineering program.
Reflecting its inherent strength in developing new skills, the summer internship program additionally guided some students to be creative in obtaining new solutions.
Alaa Noman Hail Saif worked on the optical filters for beam splitting system, in which he would like to pursue his graduate studies. During the six-week program, Alaa understood solar cell structure and its operation mechanism, the optical filter types and structure, and designed a whole program in MATLAB for simulation optical filters. He said, “This internship was very generous in providing us with all the knowledge, equipment, activities, and data that we need to work on our projects.”
Among the internship programs, ‘MATLAB Simulation Development for Power Grid Systems Development’ project led by Dr Amro Farid, Assistant Professor – Engineering Systems and Management program, and the ‘Detection and Quantification of Emerging Contaminants in Abu Dhabi Recycled Water Using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)’ project led by Dr Farrukh Ahmad, Associate Professor – Water and Environmental Engineering program, have attracted a sizeable number of students.
Part of Masdar Institute’s outreach initiative, the summer internship program aims to instill a keen sense of awareness among Emirati university students on the environmental, energy and sustainability issues that impact their everyday lives, in addition to focusing on critical research areas of relevance. Undergraduate students, however, need to possess the right academic skills, talents and dispositions necessary to obtain graduate education and eventual employment in these challenging areas.
Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.