A total of 10 UAE national undergraduate engineering and science students completed their course as the first-ever Ektashif program concluded successfully recently. The 12-day residential program offered students a perfect platform to understand and operate within the cutting-edge laboratory environment at Masdar Institute.
Participants included four from the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), and two from the University of Sharjah. In addition to one student each from HCT Abu Dhabi Men’s College and the American University of Sharjah in the UAE, students also came from international institutions including Ohio State University and Texas A&M.
The ambit of the lessons during the Ektashif program covered presentations on laser technologies, biomass, and clean energy such as solar. Some of the advanced areas the students familiarized themselves with include data mining, sustainable energy policy, environmental bioprocess modelling (EnvBioProM) laboratory, algae, the phenomenon of super-plasticity, digital electronics, optical and electron microscopy, power electronics, and waste energy. In addition to a visit to the 10MW PV farm within the campus, they toured other industrial sites including smelter complex at Emirates Aluminum Company (EMAL), Al Taweelah Power & Desalination Complex and Emirates Hydroponics Farms.
Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, commended the students for their dedication in further enriching themselves academically through the program during the concluding ceremony. Hamza Kazim, Vice-President, Operations and Finance, Dr Kenneth Volk, Head of Outreach, the entire Outreach team, and other officials, as well as faculty, post-docs, and Masdar Institute students who helped the program attended the event. Certificates were later presented to the participants by Dr. Moavenzadeh.
Dr. Moavenzadeh said: “Through such programs, Masdar Institute provides additional opportunities for the UAE national youth to explore, experience, and get educated in clean energy and advanced technologies, in line with the UAE leadership’s vision. The Ektashif program, which means ‘explore’, is a simple and comprehensive introduction to the Master’s programs that Masdar Institute offers, and we hope the Ektashif program adequately stirred the interests of the participants in our research and academic offerings. We foresee some of the students choosing Masdar Institute for higher studies in future.”
The Ektashif itinerary included organized tours to industrial facilities, lectures, engineering design challenges, informational sessions about Masdar Institute programs, as well as team-building and recreational activities.
Dr. Ken Volk said: “A key success factor for this program is Masdar Institute’s faculty and students, who dedicated their time and effort to present valuable knowledge on engineering and science to participating students. The first-ever Ektashif program turned out to be a success, bearing testimony to Masdar Institute’s commitment to offer a window of opportunity to students aspiring to join the research-based institution. We are confident the program has increased awareness among the students on the cutting-edge facilities at Masdar Institute.”
Participants affirmed the 12-day program helped them learn additional skills and gain exposure to the high-tech labs at Masdar Institute. They feel encouraged to explore the options for joining the research-based institution.
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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