Masdar Institute’s Laboratory for Energy and Nano Sciences Offers Unique Scope for Research in Advanced Technologies

Masdar Institute’sTeam of Experts at LENS Facilitates Inclusion of Alumnus in Forbes 30 ‘Under 30’ Achievers List

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 15 January, 2012– Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced the faculty at its Laboratory for Energy and Nano Sciences (LENS)continues to remain at the forefront of innovation, offering students unique research opportunities in advanced technologies.

Founded by Dr. MatteoChiesa, LENS provides the hands-on experience, creative inspiration and rigorous academic training to graduate students and post-doctoral researchers that are essential for the successful development of science and technology in the fields of energy and nano sciences. The laboratory belongs jointly to the programs of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science at Masdar Institute.  Since its inception barely three years ago the LENS-men have already achieved several important milestones and recognitions.

Most recently, Steven Meyers, who was part of the LENS team under the guidance of Dr. Peter Armstrong, Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, has been selected in the esteemed Forbes 30 ‘Under 30’ achievers list in the ‘clean energy’ category. Meyers, an alumnus who graduated in June 2011, and Dr. Armstrong conducted research in thermal and optical modeling of the Beam Down Solar Thermal Plant at Masdar City.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, said: “The inclusion of one of our alumni in the highly acclaimed global list of Forbes 30 Under-30 achievers indicates the status of our high-caliber faculty and students and the extent of our research thrust in areas that are deemed advanced in science and technology. This international recognition once again validates the status of Masdar Institute, where pioneering scientific research is conducted at its various laboratories. We thank the UAE’s leaders for creating an academic infrastructure that enables capacity building and develops students who can lead innovation through knowledge.”

Dr. Armstrong specializes in advanced heat and mass transfer, heat pumps and engines, solar thermal analysis, and model predictive control of energy systems. Dr Armstrong who currently guides the research of several research engineers and other students at Masdar Institute, said: “The inclusion of Steven Meyers in the Forbes 30 ‘Under-30’ list reflects Steve’s persistence, teamwork and maturity as a research engineer. Forbes’ recognition also testifies to the contemporary relevance of scientific research originating from the LENS at Masdar Institute.”

Prior to joining Masdar Institute, Dr. Armstrong worked with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a Senior Research Engineer on miniature devices, such as a man-portable heat pump and a hypothermic im¬plant, efficiency retrofits for domestic and Russian buildings, alternative cooling, and other new end-use and combined heat and power technologies. Dr. Armstrong holds a PhD in Building Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University.  His current research and recent publications are divided between solar resource assessment and aerosol effects; low-cost solar desalination and dehumidification methods; and efficient, demand responsive cooling systems and controls.

Steven Meyers said: “I could not have achieved Forbes’ “30 Under 30” recognition without the guidance and support from my faculty advisors and fellow classmates within the LENS research group. This honor reflects Masdar Institute’s status as an academic research leader which offers continued and meaningful support to one-of-a-kind world class research facilities, most importantly the Beam Down Solar Thermal Concentrator.  Due to this fundamental support for the high-caliber faculty and the facilities, I am confident that the research experiences at Masdar will keep me and many of my classmates on the right track for even greater accomplishments in the future.”

The 27-year old Solar Engineer is currently working for Saudi Aramco. Meyers’ current responsibilities include feasibility studies into the deployment of concentrated solar power (CSP) and concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) systems within Saudi Arabia, along with solar resource assessment and site selection for solar thermal projects ranging from electricity generation and desalination to enhanced oil recovery and district cooling.

Forbes, the prestigious international publication, tracks down deserving young ‘over-achievers’ in 12 categories including technology, food and beverage, music, science, media, finance, as well as ‘social and mobile’.

Earlier, a fundamental study on nanoscale energy dissipation was chosen for its impact by the editorial board of the Nanotechnology journal to be part of a special edition that collects the highest relevant articles from 2011.The research group, led by Dr Matteo Chiesa, included Dr. Sergio Santos of LENS, the leading author of the manuscript, and a group of collaborators including Dr. Victor Barcons, Dr. Joseph Font, Dr. Albert Verdaguer and Dr. Neil H. Thomson from Spanish and British universities.

The UAE-based scientists at Masdar Institute have been prominently featured in industry and scientific publications respected worldwide and avidly read by scientists and researchers. Dr. Matteo Chiesa has already published his works in other scientific journals such as Nature Materials, Journal of Physics D and Solar Energy. Earlier, the prestigious ‘Science’ journal published for the first time a paper co-authored by a UAE-based scientist– Dr. Iyad Rahwan, Assistant Professor – Computing and Information Science, Masdar Institute.

The research activities at LENS focus on nanoscale energy transport, conversion, and storage, and on the application of nanotechnology towards the development of novel power generation devices and/or systems based on renewable energy sources. In this respect, LENS provides novel approach and expertise to improve power generation devices and systems used within Masdar City and of interest to the Masdar Initiative. LENS is part of Masdar Institute’s research agenda that is dedicated to promoting an R&D-based infrastructure.

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 and renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change.

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