Masdar Institute’s Academic Experience Highly Enriching, Say International Students

September 21, 2018

Instills Confidence, Builds Expertise and Remains A Source of Inspiration, Say Students Waiting for Graduation in June 2013

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 03 June, 2013 – A Chinese graduation application forum on the web, a global news television channel based in the West and volunteer teaching in an African country – these are some of the assorted sources from where international students came to know about Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

But for Enas Alkawasmi, Computing and Information Systems student, who resides in the UAE, it happened to be a local newspaper report on Masdar Institute’s ‘Open Day’. 

As Fazil Abdul Rahiman, Wen Shen, Kyle Weber, Ayoola Brimmo, Khalid Rashid and Enas Alkawasmi are looking forward to receiving their Master’s degrees on 12 June, it was time for them to go down memory lane.

Alkawasami’s says: “The time I spent at Masdar Institute was a seven-year dream that eventually materialized. This is special from all perspectives – academic, personal and professional.”

Alkawasami’s research focuses on using smart metering techniques to get the carbon emissions reduction and make them available for trading via a distributed and private trading platform that supports user anonymity. She adds: “User privacy protection will ensure more personal engagement in reducing carbon emissions globally. The platform model, if implemented locally here in the Middle East, will increase this region’s contribution to such efforts.”

Fazil Abdul Rahiman, an Electrical Power Engineering student, is also a UAE resident. His thesis illustrates the potential problems while utilizing Demand Response (DR) in distributing grid operations and thereby the grid’s impact in reducing the effectiveness of the DR implementation. The research also seeks to mitigate these identified problems during large scale DR integration with the grid.

As the President of Student Government Association and guided by the spirit of sustainability Rahiman has organized and become part of campaigns such as ‘Clean the Desert’, and ‘Clean the Beach’. He has also participated in several competitions.

Rahiman says: “My advisors and the faculty members have been instrumental in molding a student like me to become suitable for research-oriented course at Masdar Institute. To be with a group of fellow mates from around 52 countries of the world, be like a family and then working together for a single cause – have given me a special feeling at Masdar Institute.”

Wen Shen is a Computing and Information System student, trying to regulate self-adaptive multi-agent systems such as transportation systems, building management systems, water distribution systems, and smart girds by using real-time interventions.

Wen thanks the Masdar Institute community and says: “The experience of receiving education and undertaking research at Masdar Institute has become an exciting and precious part of my lifelong pursuit for personal fulfillment.”

Kyle Weber, an Engineering Systems & Management student, was volunteer teaching in Somaliland and was in charge of erecting a wind turbine at the school to power the off-grid system with his wife. His research turned up the name of Dr. Scott Kennedy, Dean of Research, Masdar Institute, who helped him with the project. And the result – the two became students with Dr. Kennedy as the advisor.

Weber says: “Everything I do in my personal life has to meet a certain sustainability requirement I have set for myself, due to Masdar Institute. In my academic life, the ideals of sustainability have influenced my research that focuses on evaluating case-finding approaches in a tuberculosis control program in Bihar, India. The target is to make healthcare more sustainable.”

He fondly remembers his first year when their son was born during finals week in the first semester. He adds: “The entire community which has helped us raise him and nurture him and this support has really changed the experience from just another highly ranked advanced degree to a thoroughly vital part of my life.”

Ayoola Brimmo, a Mechanical Engineering student is also the inaugural Masdar Institute-Toyota Scholar. Toyota established the scholarship for Masdar Institute students as a generous response to winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2010. The scholarship provides a special two-week “Japan Experience” arranged by the Toyota Motor Corporation to work on projects in technologies for sustainable development. Brimmo’s research in Japan focused on conversion of biomass products into hydrogen through the gasification reaction as a replacement for hydrocarbon-based fuels. 

In fact, Ayoola also joined two faculty members for The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) 2013 Annual Meeting & Exhibition conference in San Antonio, Texas. He presented a paper titled, ‘Effect of Watering and Non-Watering Cooling Rates on the Mechanical Properties of an Aluminum Smelter’s Potshell’. And he acknowledges the ‘effective’ nature of his academic advisor and other faculty members.

Khalid Rashid, student in Chemical Engineering, chose Masdar Institute because it is ranked among the top universities in renewable energy and sustainability. His research focuses on ‘biofuels from microalgae’. Khalid says: “As fossil fuel is fast depleting, the need for research on green and biofuels has increased. Many countries including the UAE and my home country Bangladesh are looking at sustainable, green and renewable fuels such as biofuels from microalgae.”

Grateful to his faculty for the guidance, Khalid believes Masdar Institute is a venue of promising people. He says: “I am very lucky to have such a motivating environment. It is the people who have made Masdar Institute so special.”

Such remarkable experience these graduates will taking with them after graduation.

Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Masdar’s core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges such as climate change.

Established as an on-going 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.