Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies. The academic institution that represents innovation 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.
In its drive to nurture innovation that has eventually led to several patent filings, Masdar Institute continues its focus on some of the key areas in sustainability and future energy. Covering sectors such as health care, wind and solar energies, smart grid smart building (SGSB), telecommunications and microsystems, the research-based institution already has one issued patent with 15 pending at various stages with the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO). According to the latest statistics available, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) currently has 61 patent filings, out of which five are form Masdar Institute.
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, president, Masdar Institute, said, “For an institution that was established only in 2007, the number of patent filings has so far remained remarkable. The number is also a strong indication of the extent of research that is currently being undertaken at Masdar Institute, independently and in collaboration with other major energy leaders and academic institutions. Such innovations were possible only because of the support of the UAE’s leaders, who firmly believe that sustainable development alone will ensure the right path for the global community’s future.”
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Masdar Institute was established as an ongoing collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. In fact, one of the key factors that has placed Masdar Institute as a pioneer in innovation is its partnerships with global pioneers and renowned institutions. Such collaborations continue to facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange of expertise.
The most recent collaboration was the arrangement with GlobalFoundries—the world’s first full-service semiconductor foundry with a global footprint. The company recently granted a number of Masdar Institute students and professors privileged access to its process design kits (PDKs) for advanced semiconductor technology nodes, including the latest and revolutionary HKMG 28nm channel transistor technology. Masdar Institute is also among the first academic institutions worldwide to gain access to 65 nanometer technology. In addition, graduate students preparing for their research project are also given the opportunity to apply for a three- to six-month internship at one of GlobalFoundries sites worldwide.
Moreover, an agreement between the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi and the state of Saxony, Germany, ensured the establishment of “Twin Labs”—at Masdar Institute and Technische Universität Dresden. The two research labs focus on three-dimensional chip stacking—a potentially faster and more energy efficient semiconductor technology. This collaboration is expected to contribute to the education of highly skilled scientists and engineers to participate in Abu Dhabi’s growing science, technology and innovation (STI) workforce.
There are other collaborations as well. An agreement with Siemens covers solar energy technology research and development to enhance the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels in the Middle East, as well as joint testing and research activities focusing on solar panel coatings. Siemens and Masdar Institute are focusing on developing coatings and soiling models for these modules that require less water for cleaning than current high-performance modules.
A similar arrangement with Masdar PV GmbH, a leading Germany-based manufacturer of photovoltaic films, aims at joint research related to silicon thin film photovoltaic technologies. The collaboration is initiated with three individual research projects—transparent conductive oxide (TCO) glass layer optimization, photovoltaic device simulation and light management optimization.
Such industry/academic collaboration in high-technology areas aims to provide the necessary support to Abu Dhabi for achieving the objectives laid out in its Vision 2030 economic plan.
Probably the most compelling collaboration was with MIT, the founding partner. This collaboration paved the way for Masdar Institute to begin its research work in clean energy and sustainable technologies. The continuing collaboration is multifaceted. Right from the development of academic programs and curriculum planning, to recruitment and research collaboration, the close cooperation between the two institutions has benefited Abu Dhabi, the region and the global community.
The MIT support continues to help produce clean energy professionals, who have also won global recognition for their alma mater. In June 2011, the first class of scientists and engineers, comprising 72 graduates in five master’s programs, received their degrees. The second batch of 55 graduates in seven master’s programs received their degrees in May 2012, establishing Masdar Institute as a leader among those institutions that prepare youth as future energy leaders.
The alumni have done Masdar Institute proud. Rana Qudaih won the 2011 Borealis Student Innovation Award for her thesis on polyolefins (plastics), while Steven Meyers was named in the Forbes “30 Under 30” achievers list in the “clean energy” category for his research in thermal and optical modeling of the Beam Down Solar Thermal Plant in Masdar City.
Masdar Institute has continued to climb to greater heights throughout 2012. A paper by Mustafa Amir Faisal, a computing and information science student, titled "Securing Advanced Metering Infrastructure Using Intrusion Detection System with Data Stream Mining" won the Best Paper Award for its research innovation, potential significance, rigorousness of research methods, clear presentation, and relevance at the Pacific Asia Workshop on Intelligence and Security Informatics (PAISI 2012) in Kuala Lumpur.
Global acclaim also came Masdar Institute’s way when Team Crowdscanner, a team of crowd-sourcing experts led by Dr. Iyad Rahwan, associate professor of Computing and Information Science, Masdar Institute, in collaboration with Dr. Manuel Cebrian, Research Scientist at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), won the international Tag Challenge competition. The feat redefined the limits of technology-mediated social mobilization and rapid information gathering.
Regionally, the selection of Masdar Institute as the lead research institution to represent the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network justifies its status as an academic pioneer. The network has been set up to develop strategic cooperation in clean energy among various players in the European Union and the GCC region.
A world-class faculty and high-caliber students, a one-of-a-kind research environment, and high-technology equipment that further drives innovation keep Masdar Institute in the forefront among the globally prestigious institutions. Such accomplishments also help Masdar Institute contribute to Abu Dhabi’s commitment to tackling the impact of climate change. More importantly, the research-based institution has steadily strengthened its role in human capital development, helping Abu Dhabi move faster toward a knowledge-based economy.
About Masdar Institute
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Masdar Institute) was established by the government of Abu Dhabi as a not-for-profit, private graduate university to develop indigenous R&D capacity addressing issues of importance to the region. In collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute has developed an academic and research platform that articulates its mission and vision according to critical energy and sustainability challenges.
An important characteristic of Masdar Institute is its focus on complex real-world problems that require a multidisciplinary approach for the development of solutions from an integrated technology, systems and policy perspective. This multi-interdisciplinary and integrated approach is supported by the structure of its academic programs and by the emphasis placed on engaging external partners from industry, government and other academic institutions in collaborative activities. To learn more, visit http://www.masdar.ac.ae, or contact Bader Al Zarei at firstname.lastname@example.org +971 02 8109372.
Masdar Institute offers the following degree programs:
- MSc Engineering Systems and Management
- MSc Computing and Information Science
- MSc Materials Science and Engineering
- MSc Mechanical Engineering
- MSc Water and Environmental Engineering
- MSc Microsystems Engineering
- MSc Electrical Power Engineering
- MSc Chemical Engineering