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Masdar Institute’s Young Future Energy Leaders Program Members Showcase Innovative Project Concepts at WFES 2012

 Abu Dhabi-UAE: 26  January, 2012 – Masdar Institute of Science of Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced members of its outreach initiative the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program successfully marked their participation at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2012, showcasing six innovative project concepts.

A key element of WFES, the YFEL program that aims to develop tomorrow’s leaders in the fields of advanced energy and sustainability, also provided opportunities for members to share their insights with their peers as well as industry, government and academic leaders.

Over 150 YFEL members, representing students from UAE universities, international universities, as well as young professionals from local companies attended specialized forums, seminars, debates and panels at WFES 2012. They also discussed potential projects that can be implemented during the year.

Tasked with visiting various company stalls, YFEL members explored the Project Village at WFES 2012 to understand the concept behind the new products and identify innovative technologies. The Project Village hosted select projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency from the Middle East, India and Africa, as well as other markets. The  Innovate@WFES zone, an original incubator concept dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses working across the future energy value chain, offered an opportunity for the YFEL members to interact with different exhibitors in renewable energy and emerging technologies.

Some of the projects displayed at the YFEL stand during WFES 2012 included ‘Prediction of global solar radiation in Abu Dhabi city’ by Maitha Al Shamsi, ‘Enzymatic production of biodiesel from fats extracted from lamb meat using supercritical Co2’ by Hanifa Easa  Ebrahim M. Taher, ‘Study and optimize the drag impact on moving vehicles’ by a group including Talal Ahmed Balalaa, Esmaeel Saif, Mahmoud Niaz, and Abdullah Al Bastaki; ‘Production of biodiesel from microalgae’ jointly by Khadeeja Mohammed Al-Hosani, Sheikha Abdullah Al-Hanaei, Sheikha Ali Al-Hamed and Qatralnada Yusuf Mohammed; ‘Solar-powered wheel chair’ by Mohammed Abdulwahab; as well as ‘Photovoltaic Traffic Light System’  jointly by Khalil Abdul Hamid Alhosani, Ahmed Sadiq Abdulwahed, Mohamed Jasim Al Ali and Humaid Saeed Al Harthi.

Polar explorer Sir Robert Swan offered a presentation on his earlier visits to Antarctica, motivating the younger generation to remain committed to preserving the environment. He also introduced Reem Al Junaibi and Maitha Al Kaabi, the two Masdar Institute students who will be part of the International Antarctica Expedition (IAE) 2012 team that is scheduled to begin the voyage on 27 February from Argentina’s Ushuaia city.

Members also participated in the Zayed Future Energy Prize Award Ceremony and Gala Dinner at the Emirates Palace Hotel and attended the YFEL graduation ceremony that was held at the Masdar Institute campus. A total of 40 members received their certificates from Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Masdar Institute, and Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute.

Some of the events at the YFEL stand included a presentation by Mohamed El-Ashry, Chairman, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN 21), and Senior Fellow, UN Foundation; and a debate on ‘Should countries implement actions that address population issues impacting world-wide sustainability?’ moderated by Dr. Kenneth Volk, Head of Outreach Program, Masdar Institute.

A panel discussion on ‘Women leading the way in clean energy and climate change’, organized by the Directorate of Energy and Climate (DECC) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), in collaboration with Women Enriching Business (WEB) and YFEL, was also attended by several YFEL members. In addition, Morten Albaek, Senior Vice-President, Group Marketing and Customer Insight, from the Danish wind energy firm Vestas, elaborated on future energy visionaries and innovations.

His Excellency Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, and His Excellency Sultan bin Rashed Al Dhaheri, Member of the UAE Federal National Council, who earlier contributed one million US dollars to the Masdar Institute outreach program, visited the YFEL stand. They were received by Masdar Institute and YFEL officials, including Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, Dr Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director of Public Affairs, and Zainab Al Ali, Senior Outreach Officer and YFEL Program Coordinator.

Some of the presentations at the YFEL stand included ‘How to launch a disruptive start-up in the energy sector’ by YFEL 2011 members Haljmar Nilsonne and Rasmus Davidson; ‘Direct production of hydrogen in sulfur recovery process of sour gases’ by Iman Ustadi; and ‘The role of organic photovoltaics for a sustainable future’ by Michael Hartel.

Maitha Al Shamsi focused her presentation on ‘Prediction of global solar radiation in UAE using artificial neural networks’, while Asad H. Sahir’s offered ‘A brief overview of the research activities by the Chemical Looping Combustion Group at the University of Utah’.

‘CanSat Competition’ was the title of a presentation given by Sarah Saeed Bawazir, while the presentation on ‘A wireless sensor network-based heliostat system using real-time image processing techniques’ was jointly conducted by Hessa Al-Shehhi, Maha Younis, Mahmoud Meribout, and Nada Al-Hamar.

Dr. Steve Griffiths, Executive Director of Institute Initiatives, moderated a session titled ‘Should tariffs be imposed on solar panels imported to the US from China?’, while Aiden Dwyer, Young Naturalist Award Winner – Museum of Natural History, New York, spoke on ‘The Fibonacci Sequence in Trees’.

Panel discussions at the YFEL stand focused on ‘Technology leaders in Future Energy- insights form innovators’, ‘Energy Storage – Technical challenges: Market opportunities’, and ‘Finance Leaders in Future Energy – Insights from the Financiers’.

For the YFEL members, the participation in WFES 2012 proved productive as they could engage with global leaders in the renewable energy industry, government and the non-government organizations.

Part of the Masdar Institute’s Outreach program, YFEL offers young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad an opportunity to become more engaged in finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges – achieving energy efficiency and tackling climate change. It also aims to bring young professionals closer to government representatives, business leaders and other organizations active in the area of alternative energy and sustainability.
 

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