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USC Viterbi Offers Summer Program to Masdar Institute’s Emirati Students

Lectures and Field-trips to Focus on Renewable Energy, Sustainable Infrastructure Systems, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 23 June, 2013 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced 18 UAE national students will be participating in a two-week summer continuing education program at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering in the US.

The program that started from 17 June introduces Masdar Institute’s Emirati students to experiential engineering in renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure systems, and innovation and entrepreneurship. The curriculum is based on the Master’s degree programs and unique centers specializing in these areas. The group of students left for the US on 16 June.

The continuing education program will include lectures and field-trips to gain exposure to large-scale water and waste management facilities in Southern California, supervised laboratory sessions for learning to use systems dynamics tools to model the carbon footprint of a city such as Abu Dhabi and the region, and a set of lectures and discussion sessions on sustainable infrastructure development and relevant societal considerations.

Exposure to on-going energy and water-related research at USC, workshops on innovation development and small-business opportunities in green technologies, lectures on innovation and entrepreneurship, and shadowing start-ups at the Viterbi Startup Garage in Marina Del Rey, California, are some of the other features of the program.

Yannis C. Yortsos, Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, said: “As one of the world’s leading private research universities, USC Viterbi is delighted to collaborate with Masdar Institute, another research-oriented graduate-level university. The summer continuing education program will offer participants sufficient information on green technologies, innovation and entrepreneurship-building. We hope the students will benefit from our faculty experts, fields trips to technology start-ups and other facilities that incorporate renewable energy technologies.”

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Dean of Students, Masdar Institute, said: “The collaboration with University of Southern California for the continuing education program reflects another aspect of our commitment to offer diversified training opportunities to our UAE national students. This initiative also bears testimony to the UAE leadership’s keenness to build knowledge capital and expand the entrepreneurial talent base to tackle clean energy challenges. We hope these Emirati students will gain fresh expertise and utilize the newly acquired skills in entrepreneurship and research, and contribute to the community.”

Under experiential training, students will spend a full day shadowing 20 entrepreneurs and their start-ups through the Viterbi Startup Garage, an early-stage technology accelerator. Located in Marina Del Rey in California and part of what is known as the ‘Silicon Beach’, the students will experience first-hand the challenges and opportunities faced by engineering entrepreneurs.

Prior to the departure, selected students attended orientation sessions that offered an overview of the academic program as well as additional information on various features.

Following completion of the program at USC Viterbi, the UAE student group will travel to Golden Colorado to visit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 177 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 60 endowed chairs and professorships.

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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