KU Affairs

Khalifa University Honors 26 Graduates of 2021 YFEL Program and Kicks off 2022 YFEL with 55 New Future Energy Leaders

January 18, 2022

In Its 12 Years of Existence, YFEL Outreach Program Has Created an Alumni Body Exceeding 500 Young Future Leaders in Energy and Sustainability  


Khalifa University of Science and Technology today announced 26 graduates of the 2021 Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) outreach program received their certificates of completion during a ceremony for successfully concluding their year-long schedule of commitments. The YFEL program enters its 12th year of existence this year. 


The certificates of completion were presented to the 2021 YFEL members – nine UAE Nationals, five locally-based leaders, as well as 12 international leaders from Saudi Arabia, China, the US, Mexico, and Colombia. 


The ceremony also marked the start of the 2022 YFEL program. This year’s cohort has 55 new leaders, for whom the evening’s proceedings served as an ‘orientation’ ceremony. They include 31 UAE nationals, and 24 international students. 


Launched at the World Future Energy Summit 2010 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the YFEL program offers members exceptional and unmatched access to top global leaders, senior business executives and academics engaged in alternative energy and sustainability. So far, in its more than a decade-long existence, the YFEL program has created an alumni body exceeding 500 students and young career professionals.


Dr. Ahmed Al Shoaibi, Senior Vice-President, Academic and Student Services, said: “This graduation ceremony marks the culmination of the 2021 YFEL members’ hard work to become future leaders, fully equipped to take on the ambitious clean energy and sustainability agenda that the UAE has strongly advocated for in the international community, through its various initiatives including the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the World Future Energy Summit.”


During the virtual graduation ceremony, a video presentation highlighted the achievements of the 2021 YFEL members that included their completion of educational courses in technology, policy and leadership. In all, the 2021 YFEL members attended 15 workshops with Khalifa University faculty experts and YFEL partners on topics such as leadership, sustainability, robotics, climate change, AI, and personal development.


Most of the YFEL members also attended the YFEL German-Emirati Sustainability Days organized by Germany’s AHK group to honor the UAE’s 50th anniversary that focused on a sustainable journey and to broaden the UAE-German energy partnership, through academic collaboration.


Ten YFEL winners of the case study competition on ‘AI for Sustainable Farming’, conducted by the Emirates ICT Innovation Center (EBTIC) were honored at the ‘CliftonStrengths’ reward workshop, organized by the YFEL partner BASF. The winners were assessed by the judges for novelty, strength and robustness of the design, feasibility of the implementation plan and the analysis-backed efficiencies delivered to the farming industry.


Two projects created by the 2021 YFEL members – ‘Wastewater to Hydrogen: The fuel of the future’, and ‘Sustainability Bridge’ – generated substantial interest among sustainability leaders.


International YFEL member Azza AlAjlan from Saudi Arabia worked on the Sustainability Bridge project, a website that digitally gathers all resources related to sustainability topics and allows interested people to connect and find sustainability-related projects and activities to participate in. Her team included members from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Mexico.


AlAjlan said: “Through the YFEL program I gained and improved on a lot of skills, including communications, conflict management, leadership, public relations, critical thinking, graphic design, and video editing. After graduating, I am planning to continue working on the project with my team to attract more people, and add information, as well as more sections to the website.”


Sharing her perspectives, Noora Al Mubarak, 2021 YFEL member and Khalifa University Civil Engineering graduate, said: “Because of the YFEL program, I was able to gain many skills and got an opportunity to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds, which helped me to improve my communication skills. The program also improved my research, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Now, I am planning to join more international programs in the leadership and sustainability fields.”


Al Mubarak contributed to the green hydrogen project, which looked at the entire supply chain, from production and recycled wastewater, to its storage and transportation, and finally, its implementation as a fuel to power vehicles.


Over the years, the YFEL program has received support from community leaders and UAE-based corporate sponsors. Notable among them were Emirati philanthropists His Excellency Mohammed bin Kardous Al Ameri, and His Excellency Sultan bin Rashed Al Dhaheri. In addition, German companies BASF and Siemens have also sponsored YFEL programs.


Clarence Michael
English Editor Specialist
18 January 2022