The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the Middle East’s first graduate research institution dedicated to alternative energy, environmental technologies and sustainability, and the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), today announced an Abu Dhabi-based, world class, research-centric Masters in Microsystems degree program that will begin in the fall 2010 school year. Developed in collaboration with the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the new program’s coursework and curriculum will also provide joint research opportunities for faculty. Through this partnership, ATIC will support the development of a semiconductor “clean room” and associated laboratories at Masdar Institute’s facility to be located in Masdar City, the world’s first sustainable city, fully powered by renewable energy.
“This program is an important milestone for both partners as it will contribute to building highly skilled human capital for Abu Dhabi which is making a significant investment in semiconductor manufacturing in an effort to create a knowledge-led economy, “ said Dr. John Perkins, Provost of Masdar Institute.
“The academic structure at Masdar Institute is dynamic in nature so that it can respond to Abu Dhabi’s need of transforming its economy from being a technology importer to a technology exporter. The world class infrastructure for research and teaching being established through this partnership at Masdar Institute will benefit Abu Dhabi and the renewable energy industry,” added Dr. Perkins.
“Energy is one of the most critical issues facing the world,” said Ibrahim Ajami, Chief Executive Officer of ATIC. “Semiconductors play a key role in all phases, from energy generation – especially renewable energy generation – to distribution and consumption. Advances in semiconductor research can significantly impact the globe’s energy footprint, an issue of critical importance that can help make Abu Dhabi a future hub of semiconductor innovation.”
The Microsystems MSc graduates of Masdar Institute will have globally-relevant skills. The coursework, developed in collaboration with MIT and with the support of ATIC, will include modules on nanoprocessing technology, digital systems laboratories, integrated microelectronic devices and the physics of micro-fabrication. As part of the program, the research being conducted in collaboration with the semiconductor industry will provide Masdar Institute faculty and students with the opportunity to develop, pilot and scale solutions applicable to solving the problems of energy supply, demand and climate change.
Set to commence in the 2010 academic year, the program in its first year will be open to 20 students, and will be taught by world class faculty covering a highly specialized technical curriculum. The infrastructure developed to deliver the curriculum is both international in both inspiration and application.