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Masdar Institute’s Water and Environment Engineering Program Contributes to Crucial Clean Energy Knowledge building

Faculty to Further Intensify Overall Offerings Following Productive Academic Year


Abu Dhabi-UAE: 31 July, 2012
– Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, has announced the Water and Environmental Engineering (WEN) Master’s program further amplified its contribution to clean energy knowledge building in the UAE and worldwide following the creation of the UAE Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment.

One of the most important recent contributions from the WEN program came through the Center, which was instrumental in developing and officially releasing the UAE Solar Atlas in June at the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil. The hourly/daily/yearly solar irradiance maps for the Solar Atlas that were produced by a robust satellite-based mapping tool developed and validated at the Centre, are expected to accurately assess and simulate the efficiency of available power generation technologies.

In addition, the funding of two flagship proposals that was approved by the Joint Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Masdar Institute Steering Committee, and the involvement in the organization of the first International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi will mark a successful year for the WEN program.

Dr. Marwan K. Khraisheh, Dean of Engineering at Masdar Institute, said: “We offer programs that underpin the philosophy of knowledge building that is relevant to the UAE and the region, in addition to developing international students. The Water and Environmental Engineering program creates more specific skills that guide the youth towards innovation in this key sector. The renowned faculty members further enrich the students’ academic and research experience at Masdar Institute and we hope to nurture students who will lead the energy industry of the future.”

The significance of the WEN program at Masdar Institute reflects the UAE leadership’s keenness to tackle future water supply challenges.

With four core course, ‘Chemicals in the Environment: Fate and Transport’, ‘Desalination’, ‘Industrial Ecology’, and ‘Wastewater Treatment Engineering’, the multi-disciplinary WEN program offers 12 courses as part of the curriculum. Among the class 2012 batch of 55 students, nine graduated from the WEN program and received their Master’s degrees in May 2012.

Dr. Taha B.M.J. Ouarda, Professor and Head, Water and Environmental Engineering program, Masdar Institute, is also the Deputy Director of the UAE Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment. Dr Hosni Ghedira, Associate Professor, is the Director of the Centre.

Dr. Ouarda said: “This academic year has remained productive with a number of key achievements. Several papers have been presented by the WEN faculty at key global platforms. We also add further value to the program through conducting a large number of research projects. These projects mainly focus on renewable energy, climate change analysis and adaptation, water treatment, desalination, water resources development and management, climate modeling, environmental monitoring, industrial ecology, biofuels, ecology, remote sensing, hydrology, and waste management.”

With the successful year behind, the WEN program aims to intensify its efforts further to expand its dynamic offerings for the coming year. These include better coverage of various fields in the ‘water and environment’ general sector, world class faculty, and closer integration. The program already incorporates features such as ‘Inclusion of dust and local climatic conditions in the modeling of renewable energy resources’ and ‘Focus on the arid climate constraints in water resources management’ that are not available elsewhere in the region.

Equipping its students with knowledge and skills of high relevance for sustainability-driven decision-makers and environmental managers, the WEN program aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the challenging compromise between sustainable development and access to clean water. In the UAE, water and energy supply are closely interlinked due to the predominance of desalination as the primary supply option.

The faculty, students and research staff also have the opportunity to lead research in advanced desalination technology, high-efficiency water distribution and use, as well as integrated water and energy policy.

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.
 

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