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Masdar Institute Student Highlights UAE’s Role in Sustainability at Pittsburgh Leadership Summit and Helsinki Summer School

YFEL Member Mohamed Al Sharhan Gains Rich Insights on Global Leadership and Intelligent Transportation Systems

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 02 September, 2012 – With an estimated project value worth US$183 billion and one of the fastest growing rail markets in the world, the Middle East and North Africa region presents itself as the ideal ground for the talented youth to contribute towards creating sustainable and intelligent transportation systems.

It is no wonder then that students of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and members of its outreach program Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) are exploring different ways to effectively highlight the UAE’s leading role in sustainability.

At the same time, the UAE is an emerging market for railway systems, and Abu Dhabi’s long-term objective is to provide an effective, easy-to-use and popular alternative to the private car and to encourage the use of public mode of transportation.

That was the primary reason for Mohamed Al-Sharhan, a student of Engineering Systems and Management program and YFEL member, to participate in the Helsinki Summer School for Transportation 2012 at Aalto University in Finland. Part of the course was a visit to the Helsinki Metro construction site. Work is under way at present to extend the existing line into Espoo in the west, and Vantaa and Sipoo in the northeast.

Being the only student from the UAE to attend the course in Helsinki, Al Sharhan believes that his enrollment in this summer school has added considerable value to his research on ‘Public Transportation for Abu Dhabi: Potential for a Sustainable Public Transportation System’. He is mid-way through his research at Masdar Institute.

Al-Sharhan said: “The UAE is currently at the crucial transitional phase due to various developmental projects and more specifically in the area of transportation. Although the country has a well-developed public transport network, this comprises mainly public buses. The urban transport plan for the future shows that Abu Dhabi is in the process of building a sophisticated public transport system.

“The Helsinki course provided me with an opportunity to gain an in-depth insight in this field. I believe that attending this summer school widened my knowledge and experience while helping me in my research. Moreover, it offered me the possibility to interact and initiate ties with students and experts from top universities and institutions around the world and present Masdar Institute to the global community.”

And in order to make a meaningful contribution from a position of strength, Al-Sharhan also equipped himself through attending another course – fourth International Hesselbein Student Leadership Summit 2012 in Pittsburgh, US – during the summer. He joined 50 top student leaders from across the world and learnt how to be effective, ethical, and innovative leaders. Following his meetings with professionals and leaders from different cultures, countries, and backgrounds, he believes that cultural exchange is the best way to learn, besides the sciences.

Having completed his course on leadership as well, Al Sharhan is confident he can serve the UAE, and the global community through the sustainable lessons he learnt at the Pittsburgh summit and Aalto University.

Al Sharhan adds: “As YFEL member and a student of Masdar Institute, I consider myself an Ambassador. So, I gladly presented to the audience in Pittsburg and Helsinki the real image of the UAE and Abu Dhabi, which seeks to build Masdar City and highlight the need to adopt renewable energy and sustainable lifestyle. Everyone at the two events was impressed by the fact that a sustainable city continues to emerge from the middle of the Arabian desert.”

According to the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) Insight, the MENA region is home to one of the fastest growing rail markets in the world with an estimated project value of US$183 billion. The report adds that apart from the US$41-billion Doha Metro and Kuwait’s US$7-billion three-line metro network in the GCC region, Abu Dhabi is planning to have 700km of railways with investments totaling US$10.89 billion to transport mainly cargoes at a speed of 150-160kmph.

YFEL offers participants exceptional and unmatched access to top global leaders, senior business executives and academics engaged in alternative energy and sustainability through events such as World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi and other major events held globally. It is mandated to educate, inspire and empower students and young professionals to become future leaders capable of solving the world’s most pressing challenges in advanced energy and sustainability.
 

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