The Board of Trustees of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology held its second annual meeting today to review the achievements of the last year, and to consider the Institute’s strategic and academic plan for 2010.
General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Masdar Institute. The patron of Masdar Institute is HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. The Board of Trustees includes HH Sheikh Diab Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority; HH Sheikh Abdallah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; HE Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research; HE Mohammed Ahmed Al Bawardi, Secretary General, Abu Dhabi Executive Council; HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Executive Affairs Authority and CEO, Mubadala Development Company; HE Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman, Masdar; HE Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi, Deputy CEO, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company; HE Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO, Masdar; HE Dr. Adnan Badran, President, Petra University; Dr Rafael Reif, Provost, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, Director of the Technology Development Program, MIT.
Masdar Institute was established with the cooperation of (MIT), and is the world’s first graduate-level university with a focus on alternative energy and sustainable technologies.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustee of Masdar Institute, said:
“Masdar Institute has made encouraging progress towards Abu Dhabi’s goals of cultivating the necessary human capital required to build a knowledge-led and technology exporting economy. The Institute will ensure that Abu Dhabi retains its global leadership position in the energy sector by diversifying into alternative energy and sustainable technologies. It will also contribute to global policy-making via a collaborative platform with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), whose headquarters will be located at Masdar City.”
Dr John Perkins, Provost of Masdar Institute, reported to the Board of Trustees that the milestones achieved since the first board meeting a year ago included recruiting an outstanding first intake of students and an excellent team of faculty members, and commencing with the inaugural academic year on 6 September 2009.
Some of the world’s most active academics in alternative energy and sustainable technologies have joined Masdar Institute, after spending up to one year at MIT working with its professors on collaborative research and developing course work for Masdar Institute.
The 22 faculty from ten countries have initiated groundbreaking research into many alternative energy and sustainability-related projects, some of which are being tested with Abu Dhabi Government organizations and at Masdar City – the world’s first sustainable city and technology cluster that will be powered entirely by renewable energy.
Joining faculty are 99 highly qualified graduate students and Masdar Institute Fellows from 22 countries around the world. In total, the 22 UAE students and Fellows comprise the single largest national group.
The academic programs at Masdar Institute are based on the US graduate education model, and integrated with multidisciplinary research in three strategic areas; technology, policy and systems. This approach allows the Institute to address renewable energy and sustainability in a comprehensive manner. In addition, the academic programs provide students with fundamental knowledge and skills in core disciplines that will equip them to take advantage of the many employment opportunities expected to be created by the Government of Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030.
Current students are enrolled in five Master of Science programs. They include:
• MSc in Engineering and Systems Management
• MSc in Information Technology
• MSc in Materials Science and Engineering
• MSc in Mechanical Engineering
• MSc in Water and Environmental Engineering
In 2010, Masdar Institute will offer two additional MSc programs in Electrical Power and in Microsystems. The Institute is planning to start a PhD program in 2010.
In an effort to accelerate the development of Emirati faculty and researchers at Masdar Institute and Masdar, a number of competitive fellowships have been awarded to qualified UAE students to pursue their PhD studies at top universities in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. The Fellows, who are mentored by Masdar Institute faculty, represent some of the UAE’s future leaders in science and engineering disciplines related to alternative energy and sustainability.
Elements of Masdar Institute’s strategic and academic plan include collaborative research projects, partnerships with other academic organizations, linkages with industry and Government agencies, and a strategic contribution to IRENA’s global policy development.
Dr Perkins said the achievements of the past year were an encouraging sign for a university that has set itself ambitious targets:
“Masdar Institute is fulfilling its important mandate by focusing on attracting the highest caliber faculty and students that will drive the future of alternative energy and sustainable technologies in the region and beyond.”
The Board reviewed and approved the strategic and academic plan for 2010.