Masdar Institute’s Pioneering Research Projects Highlighted at Physics Colloquium in Sharjah

Dr. Marcus Dahlem Invites Physics Students and Faculty from UAE Universities to Visit Masdar Institute

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 14 March, 2012 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced it highlighted its current research projects in Applied Physics at a Physics colloquium in the UAE. The overall research themes and mission of the institute were also emphasized at the event.

Dr. Marcus Dahlem, Assistant Professor, Microsystems Engineering, Masdar Institute, presented details of the research projects at an event themed ‘Physics Education in the UAE’. It was organized by the American University of Sharjah’s Physics Department in collaboration with the University of Sharjah Physics Department. The event gathered Physics faculty from several UAE universities, in addition to undergraduate Physics students and some high-school teachers specialized in the subject. The main goal of the event was to bring together all Physics faculty from the UAE to discuss the state of the field, major challenges and ideas for improving the teaching of Physics in the UAE.

Dr. Joseph Cecchi, Masdar Institute’s Provost and a physicist himself, said: “Physics is one of the vital science streams that can engage the students and encourage them to ask the most important question ‘why’. This question is essential to guide the students towards the first fundamental step for innovation. Events such as the ‘Physics Education in the UAE’ are also necessary to nudge the students towards finding new ways on scientific advancements.

“Masdar Institute serves as an example for innovative research in Physics and sustainable clean technologies. We thank the UAE’s wise leadership for enabling Masdar Institute to implement highly selective research projects in advanced technology areas, especially in Applied Physics.”

Dr. Dahlem invited the faculty and teachers attending the colloquium to visit Masdar Institute together with their Physics students to gain further insight into the research activities in advanced energy and sustainable technologies that are being conducted at the Abu Dhabi institution. At the same time, Dr. Dahlem was also invited to participate in outreach activities at two local high-schools in Abu Dhabi.

Others from Masdar Institute who were present at the event included Dr. Adel Gougam, Assistant Professor, Material Science and Engineering (MSE), Dr. Hasan Nayfeh, Assistant Professor, Microsystems Engineering (MIC), and Hessa Al Shehhi, Students Enrollment Officer.

Dr. Dahlem shared his insights during the general discussion on how to attract more students into Physics, develop outreach activities for high-schools, and improve marketability of Physics as a one of the key science subjects.

Dr. Dahlem said: “It is extremely important to engage students at a young age, developing their passion for Physics while still in high-school. As a major player in promoting science and technology in the region, and being equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories, Masdar Institute is in a good position to help with such outreach activities.

“The event was a great opportunity to spread the word about the high-end world class research being developed at Masdar Institute, directly to the Physics faculty from the major universities in the UAE. This will hopefully attract top Emirati Physics students to our graduate programs. The participants, including students, were keen to learn more about the depth and scope of the ongoing research projects at Masdar Institute.”

At present, Masdar Institute is conducting research in Applied Physics in areas such as integrated photonics, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), novel materials for solar cells, and micro/nano fabrication.

Some of the current research focus areas of Dr. Dahlem include light management in solar cells, electronic-photonic integrated circuits, on-chip optical data interconnects, integrated photonic components (modulators, switches, resonators, delay lines, detectors), near-field optics and optical fiber sensors.

Holder of a Licenciatura degree (BS + Master) in Applied Physics from the University of Portoin Portugal, Dr. Dahlem earned his MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), working in the Optics and Quantum Electronics group at the Research Laboratory of Electronics. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Dahlem also spent some time working at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory.

Established as an ongoing 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.

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