Students Seek Opportunities in Global Renewable Energy Industry that Witnessed Record 5% Investment Growth to US$260 billion in 2011
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 02 May, 2012 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announcedthe Career Service Office (CSO) organized a workshop for students in conjunction with Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA) at the campus.
ESIA members and high-level executives from six leading companies operating in the renewable energy sector offered an overview of their respective organizations, individual projects in the global, GCC and the UAE markets, track record in attracting emerging talent and the potential employment opportunities that may open up in the near future. The event was also an opportunity for Masdar Institute students to interact with company representatives on possible career opportunities.
More than 25 students attended the workshop to engage Vahid Fotuhi, President of ESIA, and Director for Middle East and North Africa, BP Solar; Adrian K. Wood, Marketing and Communications Director for ESIA, and Regional Director – Renewable Energy (Solar/Hydro)Middle East, Siemens; Sara Georges, Business Developer, Solar Energy, Hilti Construction; Imad Meselmani, Middle East Key Account Manager, Power One; and Karel de Winter, Division Manager of Alsa Solar, offered presentations about their respective companies, in addition to Hannes Reinisch, Senior Manager, Energy, Utilities and Mining and Adrian Hogg, Head of Talent Recruitment, from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Masdar Institute is also a member of ESIA and Dr. Steve Griffiths, Executive Director for Institute Initiatives, is a member of the Executive Committee of ESIA.
Dr Amy Wohlert, Executive Director for General Education and Student Affairs, Masdar Institute, said: “Part of our capacity building mandate is to offer appropriate guidance to students in choosing and establishing their professional careers in key industries. Our first batch of students now contributes to leading companies regionally and globally and we believe the current batch too will demonstrate their academic and individual leadership capabilities. We thank the country’s wise leadership for their support in providing the right channels for the career success of these talented young graduate students.”
Some of the areas the ESIA member companies were headhunting included research and development. However, the main interest from the industry covered various disciplines, such as Engineering, System Design, Supply Chain Management, Project Management as well as Finance and Legal relating to the renewable energy sector.
Vahid Fotuhi said: “Renewable energy is a new, exciting and rapidly expanding market. With the Middle East poised to seriously enter the solar market, we see good career prospects for post-graduates from Masdar Institute. Given the trends and market development in Europe, we expect the renewable energy market in this region to also rapidly develop in the coming years and offer sufficient prospects to retain talent in this region.”
Some ESIA members emphasized the fact that Masdar Institute graduates have something special to offer.
Adrian K. Wood said: “Due to the underlying concepts of Masdar Institute, the post-graduates coming from there have a strong grounding and a good understanding of alternative energy technology, the related markets and the inherent challenges. This understanding is important for the renewable energy industry and this is something special that the Masdar Institute students can offer.”
Several Masdar Institute students raised pertinent questions regarding the renewable energy industry, long-term growth prospects, and the regions that prioritize this fast-growing sector. Though the industry faced some challenges, spending bounced back in 2010 and expanded 31% to US$247 billion, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report earlier this year. The report also pointed out that renewable energy investment rose 5% to a record US$260 billion in 2011, driven by a surge in solar developments and increased spending in the US. The research report also specified that new spending on solar energy jumped 36% to US$136.6 billion in 2011.
Lakshmi Natarajan, Student of Engineering Systems and Management program and Research Assistant, said: “I feel that the UAE especially Abu Dhabi has immense potential for growth and hence I am extremely optimistic of future opportunities for graduates here. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are coming up to establish themselves as future knowledge centers and hence it is necessary for companies to encourage talent and provide avenues for training and development of graduates.”
The networking lunch was co-sponsored by ESIA.
The Masdar Institute Career Service Office facilitates Abu Dhabi and UAE-based employers to engage the students and enable them to contribute to the developing the country’s knowledge economy.
Established as an ongoing 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.