Japan’s focus on energy-efficient technologies, clean energy sources, sustainable public transportation systems, smart communities, and an advanced infrastructure that can withstand natural disasters had a strongly impact on the students from Masdar Institute of Science and Technology during its third annual summer internship in Japan.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) and organized by the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), the internship program that began on 18 May concluded on 7 July. The program offered the students exclusive professional experience, widening their knowledge horizon.
Engineering Systems and Management students Shamma Al Jaberi, Abeer Almaazmi, Majid Aljasmi, Bader Mohammad, Muna AlAteibi and Reem Ketait, Electrical Power Engineering students Nada Al Awadhi and Hajer Al Yammahi, and Chemical Engineering student Elham A. Abdulkarem, interned with five Japanese companies – JGC Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Chiyoda Corporation and Toshiba Corporation.
Dr. Behjat AlYousuf, Dean of Students, Masdar Institute, said: “Nine UAE nationals from Masdar Institute concluded the JICE internship program this year by an evaluation from the industries and Masdar Institute faculty who visited the student during their internship in Japan. The internship was a significant achievement for the two male and seven female students who spent six weeks of intensive training at Japanese industries and research and development labs. Students were introduced to research in areas such as ocean energy technology and evaluations of cloud computing infrastructure for the first time.
These learning opportunities provide our UAE national students with insight into scientific approaches to impressing environmental challenges in addition to exposure to social and work culture in Japan, one of the world’s most technologically innovative countries. With the support of the UAE leadership, we continue to offer internship opportunities with top-level Japanese global corporations and we hope the program benefited the participants.”
Muna AlAteibi who interned with Toshiba, said: “My internship work was closely related to my research interest in Masdar Institute. I got an opportunity to work with Toshiba’s Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security (IACS) group. Within the group, I was performing security vulnerability testing for control systems as well as analyzing the requirements of control systems security standards.”
AlAteibi’s research aims to enhance the security in smart power grids systems and make the future systems more sustainable. She believes Japan is ranked as the top Asian country in 2013 global sustainability index because of the government’s strong faith in sustainability.
She added: “In manufacturing, the focus is on energy-efficient technologies, as well as recycling with emphasis on ‘waste-to-energy’ and ‘waste-to-products’. Millions everyday rely on an efficient public transportation system that includes the bullet train, metros, subways, and busses. Japan has set its strategic vision to shift to renewable and clean energy sources as can be witnessed by the presence of mega photovoltaic solar fields. There is also a focus on developing a smart community. Learning about all these factors have given me a rich experience.”
Hajer Al Yammahi, who interned with Chiyoda Corporation, believes that through the experience she has learnt key factors that will help prove useful to her professional life. At Chiyoda, she focused mainly on renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power, visiting industrial plants and other sites.
Al Yammahi said: “The Japan internship experience has taught me a lot in terms of remaining independent for anything I need, being punctual, well organized, and more responsible. Moreover, I feel I am greatly influenced by the Japanese culture and the lifestyle there. This internship has successfully expanded my knowledge horizon in renewable energy, especially solar power. It was truly an amazing experience.”
For Nada Al Awadhi, the Japanese dedication to work, remaining highly focused despite long working hours and the team spirit between employees regardless of the positions were some of the things that impressed her most. She also feels that because the management deals individually with the staff, the work environment remains healthy and supportive.
Al Awadhi said: “Japan has managed to survive numerous disasters, including wars, earthquakes, and tsunamis to remain a leading economic powerhouse globally. The Japanese people thrive on equality, excellence, and dedication. Living in Japan for almost two months, I was able to sense all that through the way they live and the way they have developed their advanced infrastructure. The one thing that comes to my mind is the public transportation system, which is what I will miss the most about Japan.”
During the internship, Bader Mohammad who interned with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries focused his research on sustainable construction. Mohammad said he admired the Japanese self-motivation and dedication.
Mohammad added: “The idea of sustainability in terms of conserving energy, and recycling waste is understood by every person in Japan. All the companies we interned in had the policy of switching off the lights even during lunch time to save energy. Also, a plastic bottle of water has a different bin than for the lid, because they are recycled separately. Technologically, they are one of the pioneers in creating advanced technologies that contribute to cutting edge sustainability solutions.”
The annual JICE summer internship program in Japan for Masdar Institute students is intended to provide advance learning opportunities in the latest research and development in the field of clean technologies. Organized annually, the program also aims to offer the interns a closer understanding of the social and work culture in Japan, one of the world’s most technologically innovative countries.