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Three Outreach Initiatives Offer A Taste of Masdar Institute’s Academic and Research Offerings

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 18 May, 2014 – Three outreach initiatives are offering  aspiring scientists in the UAE a taste of the learning process that university students and young professionals can expect from the research and academic offerings of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

The three programs – Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL), Summer Research Internships, and ‘Ektashif’ – aim to reinforce students’ knowledge, interest and academic skills in science, engineering and technology as they relate to the graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral research projects being conducted at the Masdar Institute. These programs are part of Masdar Institute’s contribution to knowledge and human capital development in the UAE, as well as regionally and globally.

The YFEL program is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. One of the more popular offerings, YFEL provides young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad with an opportunity to become more engaged in finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges – achieving energy efficiency and tackling climate change. The YFEL 2014 program, sponsored consecutively for four years by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), has over 100 members. Now in its fourth year, the YFEL continues to interact with leaders in sustainability fields across the world.

In January 2014 the YFEL 2013 members completed their year-long courses and received their certificates of completion after a year of actively spearheading individual projects and taking concepts of sustainability to far-flung regions. 

The YFEL program is open to UAE national and international graduate students and young professionals, while the Summer Research Internship and the Ektashif programs are offered to UAE national undergraduates.

Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director, Public Affairs, Masdar Institute said: ““The support and vision of the UAE Leadership has been instrumental in highlighting the importance of renewable energy sources, sustainability and the need to find solutions to these global issues. As such, the Outreach initiatives offer students and young professionals an opportunity to obtain in-depth knowledge on sustainability, renewable energy and climate change and work towards finding these solutions. Due to the multiple options these initiatives offer for development in these fields, the 3 programs have become increasingly popular among a growing number of students.”

Yamrot Amha, YFEL member and student of Water and Environmental Engineering, said: “Through my training with YFEL I have become a more confident leader, who is ready to make an impact using the knowledge I have gained. Furthermore, I was given a chance to attend the 22nd World Energy Forum in South Korea and interact and engage with the leading global energy professionals because of the YFEL program.”

In addition, Masdar Institute’s Summer Research Internship program for UAE national undergraduate students aims to nurture qualified university students with a penchant for research and innovation and inspire them to gain additional knowledge. In 2013, the program offered a total of nine research projects for the interns to learn from, focusing on water, solar energy and fuel cells – areas that are identified as strategically important to the UAE.

Through the program, six interns receive an opportunity to gain new insights into applying their knowledge in technical and laboratory skills. This year, intern Hend Al Zeyoudi, who worked during the summer under the guidance of Dr. Tariq Shamim, Head of Mechanical Engineering, co-authored a scientific research paper that won international acclaim at the 17th Asia Pacific Automotive Engineering Conference held in Bangkok. It was titled ‘Effect of Ambient Conditions on the Performance of an Open-Cathode PEM Fuel Cell Stack: Case Study United Arab Emirates’. Many of the projects to be offered under Summer Research Internship this year will focus on solar cell and biomass research. There is also a training program for students on how to operate electron microscopes and work in a ‘Clean Room’ to fabricate advanced materials and devices on the micron and sub-micron scale. (For inquiries, please contact: internships@masdar.ac.ae)

Another Masdar Institute outreach initiative is the two-week ‘Ektashif’ residential program, which brings together talented UAE undergraduate engineering and science students to learn about renewable energy, sustainability and the environment. In the summer of 2013, a total of 22 UAE national undergraduates concluded their experience with a variety of hands-on laboratory workshops. The program this summer will run in August, with nominations now being accepted. Students wishing to participate in Ektashif this summer need to have nominating letters sent by their Department Head or Dean to the Masdar Institute Outreach program. (For inquiries, please contact: outreach@masdar.ac.ae)

Maryam Rashed AlMazrouei, Chemical Engineering student at UAEU and Ektashif participant, said, “I always wondered what was happening up there in Masdar Institute and I really wanted to discover it. The Ektashif program gave me that chance, and it was one of the best experiences I ever had. I learnt new things about lasers, electronics, biofuel and other technologies.”

These outreach initiatives not only give potential students an indication of what to expect at Masdar Institute but also inspire them towards taking up subjects in sustainability for Master’s studies.

 

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