x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Masdar Institute in US student recruitment drive

Abu Dhabi-based green technology centre launches student recruitment drive in US as 50 students, mostly Emiratis, are given presentations about research degrees, career prospects and student life at institute.

WASHINGTON // The Abu Dhabi-based Masdar Institute has launched a student recruitment drive in the United States at the UAE Embassy in Washington.

About 50 US-based students, mostly Emiratis, were given presentations about research degrees, career prospects and student life at the institute, which focuses on sustainable energy and green technologies.

"You are our future," Lamya Fawwaz, Masdar's executive director of public affairs, told them on Saturday. "And Masdar Institute provides UAE national students with the opportunity to create a better future for Abu Dhabi and the UAE, by making it more sustainable and more energy efficient."

While Ms Fawwaz said Emirati students would always be a priority for Masdar, the recruitment drive is also an attempt to attract talent from some of the best universities in the US.

Similar presentations will take place over the next week at seven US universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with which Masdar has a collaborative relationship; Princeton; and Yale. The recruitment drive is partly an attempt to capitalise on what representatives said was Masdar's burgeoning reputation in the field.

Steve Griffiths, director of institute initiatives at Masdar, said enrolment was growing: "It's getting easier' Word is getting out [about Masdar]."

All students accepted to the programme are offered full scholarships, with housing, travel expenses and a living allowance provided. The students not only have the opportunity study sustainability but also live in a sustainable environment.

Yousef al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the US, in a statement that was read by Bader bin Saeed, the head of the media section at the embassy, said: "In a short time, the Masdar Institute has established itself as one of the world's leading research-driven universities for advanced energy and sustainable technologies.

"UAE nationals and other students who attend the Masdar Institute will be working to help address one of the toughest challenges facing society today - ensuring a future, sustainable clean energy supply for the UAE and the rest of the world."

That mission was welcomed by Ahmed al Faresi, 30, one of the Emirati students at Saturday's presentation.

Mr Faresi, who is finishing a doctorate in information technology at George Mason University in Virginia, said: "It is important to get ahead of the curve in the green energy field and become a market leader."

Mr Faresi, while applauding Masdar's efforts to encourage young talent in the field, was also realistic about the task. "The UAE has long relied on fossil fuel. This is just the beginning of a very long process," he said.

okarmi@thenational.ae