x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

The UAE's future starts here

Three Emirati students talk about their aspirations.

Hissa Ali Al Zaabi

Summer of Semiconductors and Tech Quest Alumni, Electrical Engineering student at the Petroleum Institute - 19

Unlike my friends, I've never really been interested in art. I've always known I'm a science girl. Growing up, I knew there were a lot of opportunities in science, but when you're young, it's hard to know exactly what those opportunities are. Summer of Semiconductors opened up a new world to me. They brought together important engineers from around the world who talked a lot about their own experiences; the electronic field was so new for me - I didn't know anything. My first hands-on experience with technology was building an FM radio from scratch. When I built it and it actually worked - even though I was not the only person in the class to build this - it made me feel like a genius. It was very empowering to feel I could create something able to interact with its environment and process information. Here in Abu Dhabi, we came up with a plan to apply iPads in schools so students have easier access to a larger range of educational materials. While our groups never implemented these plans, they both now exist - which really shows us our thinking was on the right track. Once a semiconductor fab opens in Abu Dhabi, I'll be at the front of the line to apply. If anyone asks me honestly what I want to be in 20 years, the answer is chief executive of GlobalFoundries.


Abdulrahman Al Marzooqi

High Tech U Alumni and Al Nokhba Scholarship Student in the United States - 19

When I was 16, Atic and Adec reached out to me with an opportunity to go to GlobalFoundries Singapore as part of the High Tech U programme. When they approached me, I already knew I wanted to be an engineer, which is why I was studying at the Institute of Applied Technology. Still, I wasn't sure exactly what field I wanted to go into. Back then, not a lot of people knew about Atic or even semiconductors, for that matter. To have an opportunity to suit up and step into the enormous and advanced factory actually producing semiconductors - this was life-changing for me. We also just had a lot of fun touring Singapore; I really liked the idea of working in an industry that enables me to gain experience abroad I can then put to work at home. After coming home, I knew what field I wanted to go into. I kept in touch with Atic and Adec, which spent four months helping me prepare for the Tofal English test and SATs. Under the Al Nokhba scholarship, I have now finished my first year studying chemical engineering in the US. I look forward to returning to GlobalFoundries as part of the Al Nokhba internship and, eventually, working to manufacture semiconductors myself once I graduate.


Abdullah Wasef Zoghbor

Tech Quest participant - 15

I've always had a huge passion for chemistry; I find the molecular processes involved absolutely fascinating. This is a field that has a significant impact across a lot of areas, from defence and law enforcement to medicine and technology. Last year, Atic came to my school to explain exactly what their company is all about and why I should join Tech Quest. The programme was very positive for me but, more than anything, it got me thinking in a way that's really helped me at school; let's say, out of the box. It's also got me motivated to sign up for a lot more after-school programmes. I still have my basketball, but have added on mechanics, chemistry, physics and computer science. I won't get home until 6pm, but there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. From an education perspective, I really want to go on to achieve a master's in the field of chemistry in the UK. My dream is to return to Abu Dhabi and work in the defence sector, potentially for Tawazun or one of its subsidiaries. More than anything, I really want to thank Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and finally the Atic team for creating these amazing opportunities.