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Masdar Institute to Showcase Academic and Research Offerings to Students in Spain

Event on 20 February in Barcelona to Highlight Advantages of Pursuing Graduate Studies in Abu Dhabi’s Research-Based Institution

Barcelona-Spain/Abu Dhabi-UAE: 18 February, 2013 – A team of faculty and students from Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, will be participating in the Spring 2013 QS World Grad School Tour Fair & Seminars on 20 February in Barcelona to highlight the advantages of pursuing graduate studies at the Abu Dhabi-based institution.

A large number of students from across universities in Spain are expected to gather for the event from 5.00pm-8.00pm at Melia Barcelona, Avinguda de Sarrià, Barcelona. Pre-fair presentations and panels are scheduled from 4.00pm-5.00pm. Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, Professor, Water and Environmental Engineering / Chemical Engineering, with student Alberto Gómez and other Masdar Institute representatives will showcase research projects on integrated sea water agriculture systems and engineering a new ecosystem for the production of valuable chemicals/biofuels from organic residues.

Developed in cooperation with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute’s graduate programs integrate education, research and scholarly activities. With admission criteria similar to MIT, Masdar Institute helps students to become innovators, creative scientists, researchers and critical thinkers in technology development, systems integration and policy.

Masdar Institute is part of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Initiative that aims to diversify the economy and extend its leadership in the energy sector. Already a familiar brand in Spain, Masdar last year commissioned the 19.9MW Gemasolar concentrated solar power (CSP) project in collaboration with Torresol Energy, a joint venture with SENER of Spain. The plant in Seville provides electricity 24-hours a day. Valle 1 & 2 of 50MW each, another project in Cadiz, is now fully operational.

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “Since inception, we have achieved breakthroughs in research and innovation, contributing to developing the region’s human capital and R&D infrastructure. Our patents, research accomplishments and academic success serve as an inspiration for graduate students seeking to enroll and acquire clean energy knowledge. This roadshow offers us an opportunity to interact with students across Europe and apprise them of the learning options at the sustainable campus. We welcome them to take advantage of our educational and research offerings.”

Dr. Jorge Rodriguez said that his team is working to develop model-based strategies to engineer open anaerobic fermentative microbial ecosystems that can be directed towards low cost production of valuable chemicals/biofuels such as acetate and hydrogen from organic residues. Anaerobic fermentation is 100% natural process and is carried out on micro-organisms. Dr Rodriguez is also working on a project that looks at a key technology for recovering nutrient and energy from integrated seawater agriculture systems (ISAS).

Masdar Institute provides such niche research options to participate in the creation of intellectual property rights and patents.

Masdar Institute has one patent already issued and 16 active patent applications pending at present. Other achievements include publication of papers in 311 peer-reviewed journals, 330 conference papers, two full books and 38 invention disclosures.

In addition to full scholarships to qualified applicants, Masdar Institute has collaboration agreements with several organizations including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for up to 20 scholarships and with Toyota Motor Corporation for one student every year to work in sustainable transportation.

For the September 2012 intake, the total number of enrolled students reached 336. The student body is expected to grow to 600-800 over the next few years. Two batches of Master’s students have already graduated from Masdar Institute.

Admissions for Fall 2013 are now open. Application forms can be downloaded from www.masdar.ac.ae/Admission.html. A minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 and a minimum GRE Quantitative scope of 700 (or 155 on the new scale) are mandatory for applicants. Talented applicants, who may not meet the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS requirements but are otherwise qualified to enroll, may be admitted. They will, however, be required to pass two placement exams or complete additional technical and math coursework.

Dr Jorge Rodriguez heads the Environmental Bioprocess Modelling (EnvBioProM) Laboratory at Masdar Institute including a team of half a dozen researchers and students. He is Associate Editor of the journal Water Science and Technology and Newsletter Editor for the IWA anaerobic digestion specialist group.

Holder of a PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Dr Jorge Rodriguez also has an MSc in Chemical Engineering and BEng Industrial Chemistry from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) in Spain. He is a Fellow of UK's Higher Education Academy holding a PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching (HE) by the University of Glamorgan (UK).

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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