Masdar Institute Team among Shortlisted Finalists for Intersolar Middle East’s Young Leaders’ Innovation Challenge 2016

September 21, 2018

A novel sustainable project proposed by a four-member Masdar Institute student team, supported by two faculty members, has been shortlisted as one of the five finalists for the Young Leaders’ Innovation Challenge 2016 competition, which is being organized as part of the Intersolar Middle East’s Exhibition and Conference 2016.

The team is made up of MSc in Microsystems Engineering student Hiba Riaz, MSc in Engineering Systems and Management student Juan David Barbosa, MSc in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Luís Guilherme Santos, and MSc in Mechanical Engineering student Mohammed Hussain. Their project will be on display at the Intersolar Middle East 2016, which is to be held on 19-21 September 2016 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center. Dr. Elie Azar, Assistant Professor, Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Program, Department of Engineering Systems and Management (ESM), and Dr. Afshin Afshari, Professor of Practice, Engineering Systems and Management, advised the students in their project submission.

The Young Leaders’ Innovation Challenge 2016 involved choosing a building to assess for  retrofitting with solar energy and energy efficiency technologies to reduce overall energy consumption while increasing clean energy consumption. A total of 14 university teams participated in the challenge, out of which five were shortlisted. The winners will be honored at Intersolar, which is organized in conjunction with GulfSol, a key event in the Middle East dedicated to the solar industry.

The Masdar Institute student project selected a building in Masdar City with the challenging target of reducing energy consumption in an already efficient building. The competition target was to reduce standard energy consumption by a minimum of 25%, which is exceeded in the Masdar Institute proposed project. The team’s proposed project is modeled to achieve up to 44% reduction in energy consumption from the power grid when solar energy technologies are included.

Dr. Afshari explained: “The project is an example of the intense involvement of our students in their research work in sustainability. We hope the team will win, as they have put in a collective effort in recommending energy-conservation techniques in an already energy-efficient building. I wish them luck in the finals.”

Fellow faculty advisor Dr Azar said: “The students showed enthusiasm and commitment in finding innovative solutions to improve the energy performance of the building. I wish them luck and I believe their work will highly benefit the design of future clean and low-energy buildings.”

The Masdar Institute team has submitted a report, a video and a PowerPoint presentation for the competition, in addition to developing a prototype.

Sustainable Critical Infrastructure student Santos explained: “In our work, we mentioned some of the efficient aspects of the building – shading, thermal mass and Insulation, fritted glass and cross ventilation. To reduce energy consumption, we did a feasibility study that included more efficient artificial light (LED instead of CFL) with occupancy sensors, PV panels, green roof and consumption control (change in human behavior).

Regarding the team’s chances for winning, he added: “It is hard to say what our prospects are, as we have not seen other people’s works. But we did get many bonus points with our prototype – a video, PowerPoint presentation and we did good work overall.”

One the most important platforms for the global solar industry, the Intersolar exhibition and conference focuses on the areas of photovoltaics (PV), production technologies in PV, energy storage systems and solar thermal technologies.

Clarence Michael
News Writer 
20 September 2016