Sir Robert Swan Commends Masdar Institute Students for ‘Courage and Commitment’ during International Antarctic Expedition 2012

September 21, 2018

Acknowledges Masdar for Supporting Renewable Energy and Investing in Students’ Expedition to Antarctica

 Abu Dhabi-UAE: 21 March, 2012 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced polar explorer Sir Robert Swan commended the commitment and courage of the two students who were part of the International Antarctic Expedition (IAE) 2012.

During a video shoot on Day 9 of the expedition in the Antarctic, Sir Robert Swan also acknowledged Masdar for investing in Reem Al Junaibi and Maitha Al Kaabi, and sponsoring them on their expedition to the Antarctic continent as part of Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program, a Masdar Institute outreach initiative. The two students thanked the polar explorer for the wonderful experience in the Antarctic and Masdar Institute for selecting them to be part of the expedition team.

The two students returned to the UAE on 16 March after successfully completing the expedition. The International Antarctic Expedition (IAE) 2012 team began their voyage from Ushuaia in Argentina on 27 February and returned on 12 March after visiting several places including the ‘E-Base 2041’ that continues to stand as an example of sustainable living in the Antarctic.

The video clipping can be accessed at

Sir Robert Swan said: “I want to thank you all a lot for having the courage and the generosity in investing in these two (students) in coming here with me to the Antarctic, which is quite cold here today. But if we are not using more renewable clean technology in our real world, not only will we not preserve Antarctica but the human race will not survive on earth. So, we are here on a survival situation. Masdar is part of the survival situation.

“It has been great to have these two fabulous girls here on the International Antarctica Expedition (IAE) 2012 team. They have been real stars. You should be proud of these two. They are the best of the best.”

Reem Al Junaibi said: “I would like to thank you (Sir Swan) for such an amazing experience. We have definitely improved our leadership skills and we have added more skills while being here in the Antarctic. And we are ready to go back to Masdar and contribute to help preserve the Antarctic continent.”

Maitha Al Kaabi said: “It is a wonderful experience and I have loved every moment of it. Now I have great friends among the international community. We discuss interesting topics. We had a lovely day today learning about renewable energy, cleaning waste products and stuff like that. And now, we are ready to conduct our research projects in the UAE.”

Established as an ongoing 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.