The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and Zayed University today announced the establishment of a partnership to advance education and research on the social, behavioural and economic issues surrounding renewable and sustainable energy.
The strategic alliance also provides a framework for two of Abu Dhabi’s leading institutions to advance the Emirate’s development as a knowledge-based economy using educational programs to enhance the activities of the participating organizations.
Dr. John Perkins, Provost of Masdar Institute, said:
“Zayed University is a leading university in Abu Dhabi. This partnership will allow us to work closely together to understand better the full scope of the Masdar initiative by employing research that examines advanced energy technology, and its policy and socio-economic implications.”
The agreement makes provisions for joint research programs that will examine the scientific and socio-economic implications of Masdar City, designed to be the world’s first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city completely powered by renewable energy.
In addition, the agreement outlines arrangements for Zayed University to support the Masdar Institute’s “pre-Master’s” program by offering preparatory coursework to help students meet the Institute’s rigorous graduate admissions requirements. The program intends to develop participating students in areas such as critical thinking, research, and communication as well as prepare them in the fundamentals of their chosen majors.
“We are excited to be working with Zayed University to encourage the most promising students to consider graduate studies in alternative energy and sustainability. This fast-growing field of study is increasingly relevant in the UAE and internationally,” added Dr. Perkins.
On behalf of Zayed University, Dr. Dan Johnson, Provost, said:
“The partnership between Masdar Institute and Zayed University will produce valuable outcomes that neither institution alone can produce. We are looking forward to a highly productive, long-term relationship.”
Beyond acting as a ‘portal’ for researchers, the mutually beneficial relationship will see Zayed University seek guidance from Masdar Institute on managing natural resources and energy across its own campuses. Further collaboration will include the joint development of teaching materials for the Ministry of Education to promote the wider goals and mission of Masdar.
The implementation of this agreement was initiated with the first meeting of the Joint Steering Committee that took place on 7th September 2009. The five-member Joint Steering Committee includes: Drs. Marwan Khraisheh, Dean of Engineering; Lamya Fawwaz, Assistant Provost for Regional Affairs (representing Masdar Institute of Science and Technology); Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Director of Sustainability from the Property Development Unit of Masdar; Dr Rex Taylor, Associate Provost for Program Development, Zayed University and Dr. Chet Jablonski, Dean of Graduate Studies, Zayed University.
Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Assistant Provost for Regional Affairs, Masdar Institute, said:
“In addition to supporting product development and services that arise from the research at Masdar and Zayed University, the steering committee will play a vital role in bringing to life the partnership so that students are inspired to broaden their knowledge of environmental and energy-related issues. Specific projects, competitions, research, internships and service learning are amongst the activities to be introduced by a number of working groups.”
Other joint initiatives include honorary professorships for Masdar executives to lecture students at Zayed University, and entrepreneurial and incubator support for research and projects that emanate from joint Zayed University/Masdar Institute programs.