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Masdar Institute Sets Up 13-Member External Advisory Board to Further Incentivize Growth

Panel Lauds Masdar Institute’s Overall Growth after Campus Tour and First-Ever Review

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 29 December, 2013 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced it has established a 13-member External Advisory Board to evaluate current performance and help chart future growth strategy.

The panel of independent experts is mandated to act as a sounding board on issues related to planning, development of research, new programs, evaluation of existing programs and other activities that will further facilitate Masdar Institute in achieving its objectives. It will offer advice and provide recommendations on a broad range of issues relevant to research activities, curriculum development, academic standards and faculty development.

Furthermore, the External Advisory Board will produce a report at the end of their annual meetings that will be considered by the Executive Council on the Board of Trustees to formulate action plans.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “Globally, external advisory boards help universities establish links with the industry and fine-tune their academic offerings by making them more responsive to market needs. With the support of the UAE’s leadership, Masdar Institute has consistently registered milestones and the setting up of the External Advisory Board will further incentivize our growth. We foresee a significantly more enhanced all-round performance in the coming years.”

The team of officials headed by Dr. Steve Kang, was recently welcomed at the campus by Dr. Moavenzadeh for a first such review and a campus tour. Following the visit, the 13-member group offered its recommendations while acknowledging Masdar Institute’s overall growth achieved since its inception.

Dr. Kang, President, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, and Chairman, External Advisory Board, said: “Within a short span of four years since it was established, Masdar Institute has made a substantial impact in the clean energy and advance technologies areas through research collaborations and academic advancements. Like every institution, tweaking strategies and planning effectively for the future will further ensure success. We have offered our recommendations and we hope to see Masdar Institute accomplish even more milestones in the coming years.”

The members of the External Advisory Board include Dr. Mohamed Yousif Baniyas, Vice-Chancellor, Emirates College for Advanced Education; Dr. Thomas J. Hochsettler; Acting Chancellor, American University of Sharjah; Dr. Sung-Mo “Steve” Kang, President, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology; Dr. Thomas Magnanti, President, Singapore University of Technology  and Design; Dr. Saif AI Sayari, Executive Officer and Head of Energy Solutions, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company  (TAQA Global); Mr. David Scott, Executive Director of Economic Affairs, Executive Affairs Authority (of Abu Dhabi); Dr. Faris AI Dhaheri, Director  of Business Support, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority; Mr. Saif AI Nasseri, Director  of Business Support, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company; Mr. Matar AI Romaithi, COO Industrial Development Unit, Tawazun; Dr. Nawal AI Hosany, Director of Sustainability, Masdar; Mi. John Sitler, Clean Tech Venture Capital, Masdar; Ms. llham Talab, Junior Project Officer, IRENA; and Ms. Hanan Shemaili, Senior Analyst, Mubadala Development Company.

Dr Youssef Shatilla, Dean of Academic Programs, Masdar Institute, said: “The visit by the External Advisory Board provided the faculty members an opportunity to present the progress achieved so far by various programs. We express our gratitude to the panel members and hope the coming years will witness performance that far outweighs the previous years.”

Advisory boards play an instrumental role in shaping the strategies of an academic institution, helping them to grow effectively. Such independent bodies also help foster links that promote research and development and facilitate scientific innovations.

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.

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