The Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL), an initiative led by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, held a highly successful program during the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), in Abu Dhabi. This year, nearly 100 YFEL nominees took part in the four day program, from January 17-20, which was established to engage with, mentor and champion future leaders in the alternative energy sector. YFEL is a key element of WFES, the world’s foremost annual meeting for the renewable energy and environment industry.
The YFEL initiative nurtures the brightest young talent in the UAE and beyond. During this year’s program at WFES, participants attended from Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Sweden, USA and across the Middle East. The participants are also made up of a mixture of students from international universities and UAE universities including Masdar Institute as well as young professionals from local and international companies.,. Companies represented in the YFEL program at WFES 2011 included Mubadala, Al Dar Properties, ADCO, Dolphin Energy, ENOC, ADIA, NDC and Fist Gulf Bank.
An important part of the YFEL initiative is to ensure that participants have the opportunity to meet and engage with the leaders of today. During WFES 2011, VIPs that visited the YFEL stand and met with participants included Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary-General; Dr Susan Hockfield, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; HRH Princess Victoria of Sweden and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
During WFES, YFEL participants were given the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in renewable energy by participating in debates at the YFEL stand. Debated topics including : Enforcing Recycling on a Global Scale and The Challenges that USA Faces in Reducing their Carbon Footprint. YFEL participants also displayed some of their own research projects, including one on offshore renewable energy and biofuels. With approximately 26,000 attendees at WFES 2011, the YFEL initiative provides an important platform for its participants to showcase their intellectual capital.
Mohammed Salem Bin Kardous Al-Ameri, an Emirati philanthropist and recent donor to YFEL, had this to say about the initiative: “Making an investment in initiatives such as YFEL is extremely important, particularly here in the UAE, where we are seeking to develop and nurture the future leaders in the renewable energy and sustainability sectors. This year’s program at WFES was highly successful, gaining recognition from many highly respected, international figures. I hope that YFEL can build on this success and continue to develop the leaders of tomorrow.”
Noura Al Dhaheri, a PhD student at Masdar Institute and YFEL participant, who displayed her research titled A Mathematical Programming Approach to Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Petroleum Refineries, said: “YFEL is a highlight of WFES for both participants and delegates. It is an opportunity for YFEL to showcase their intellectual capital on a local and an international platform, as well as meeting with some of the current leaders that are an inspiration to us all.”
Further support for YFEL has come from recent sponsors of the initiative. Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), said: “We are pleased to be supporting this important program. Developing the next generation of engineers is a major priority for the UAE’s nuclear energy industry, and many other high-technology industries across the nation. By encouraging the development of young and emerging talent in the energy sector, we will ensure a strong pool of Emirati leaders to deliver the safe, clean and reliable electricity needed to support the nation’s growth.”
Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, CEO, Dolphin Energy said: “The Young Future Energy Leaders Program will develop talented individuals into tomorrow’s business leaders and government representatives and provide them with the tools required to develop solutions that address challenges associated with clean energy and climate change. Our sponsorship endorses this effort and the plan to nurture students and young professionals today so that Abu Dhabi maintains a leading position in the area of future energy in the long term.”