Masdar Institute’s Second Annual Summer Internship Program Concludes

A special ceremony on the occasion was attended by Dr Ken Volk, Head of Outreach, faculty members and officials of Masdar Institute.

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced it marked the successful conclusion of the second annual research-based summer internship program, displaying the research outcome of most of the projects undertaken by the interns.

A total of 16 UAE national university seniors and/or those graduating this year with science, engineering or computer science as major subjects participated in the six-week internship program that commenced in July. The programs focused on advanced technology and sustainability, covering areas such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), water recycling, solar energy, applications for healthcare data and power grid systems simulations.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “The second summer internship program has provided the right platform for the participating students to get themselves acquainted with the research offerings at Masdar Institute. As directed by the country’s leadership, we aim to generate interest among university graduates in sustainable fields and offer them hands-on laboratory training. With the completion of the six-week internship, we believe the participants have been adequately prepared for taking up higher studies in renewable energy and sustainable technologies.”

Research outcomes of projects including Testing and assessment of Dye-sensitized solar cells under the real outdoor conditions of Abu Dhabi and Carbon Capture and Storage in Abu Dhabi: An Economic Analysis on the Optimal Regulatory Scope of CO2 Capture were on display at the campus. Prior to the closing ceremony, students presented the highlights of their summer research projects to fellow interns, professors and guests. They also answered questions about their projects and had the opportunity to reflect on their accomplishments.

Dr Kenneth Volk said: “The research-based internship program at Masdar Institute aims to effectively contribute to the overall human capital development efforts of Abu Dhabi. From the knowledge and insight provided by the faculty, the program participants have strongly demonstrated their innovation potential in diverse clean energy research areas this year. Our programs will continue to focus on fostering students in research and development, while raising awareness on the need to be proactive in renewable energy.”

Dr. Mahieddine Emziane, Associate Professor, Solar Energy Materials & Devices Laboratory, had two interns working on areas related to the use of solar energy.

Dr. Emziane said: “Both interns were passionate about what their research and worked hard. As I told them from day one, they were here to learn not only technical aspects but also a set of transferable skills. For their level, the quality of their work was improving every day and they could see that. It was therefore encouraging and inspiring for them. Now, they are aware of our learning and research environment at Masdar Institute and are keen to join once they graduate.”

Interns with Dr Hassan Fath, Professor, Water and Environmental Engineering, were doing research in ‘Testing a novel desalination process using Nano Particles’ and ‘Development of Agriculture Green House Self Sufficient of Energy & Irrigating Water’. Dr Fath pointed out that the summer internship program proved to be a useful training for the interns who became familiar with the R&D work at Masdar Institute.

Mooza Saeed Al Ali, an intern, worked with Alam Hossain Mondal, Post-Doctoral Researcher, under the guidance of Dr Toufic Mezher, on ‘Long-term policy planning towards sustainable energy system development: UAE case’. The project aimed to develop a reference energy system for UAE to analyze the policy implications for deployment of renewable energy technologies.

Alam Hossain Mondal said: “Mooza Saeed Al Ali has shown an incredible dedication to her assigned responsibilities during her internship. In particular, she has identified key input parameters (historical and forecast) for the optimization of renewable energy technologies for the UAE, reiterating the commitment of the future energy leaders to steer the country towards clean energy adoption and implementation.”

Dr Toufic Mezher said: “In general, internship initiatives provide a platform for prospective students to engage on short or mini-projects, while working alongside more experienced colleagues and researchers. I strongly believe that this summer internship program has created significant motivations for the interns to consider a higher degree in a reputable institution like Masdar Institute.”

A sizeable number of students chose the project titled ‘MATLAB Simulation Development for Power Grid Systems Development’ led by Dr Amro M. Farid, Assistant Professor – Engineering Systems and Management program.

Dr Amro M. Farid said: “During the internship, Muna Abdulla, Samah Al Akberi, and Abdulla Al Bloushi worked as a team to develop MATLAB simulations that demonstrate the response of the Smart Grid under fluctuating and perturbed conditions. In so doing, they gained valuable insights into power flow and transient stability analysis; and two foundational studies central to the design of the next generation power grid. Beyond power engineering, the experience they gained in MATLAB simulation helped them to develop their own code, retrofit it to existing work and most importantly do so in a team development environment. These interdisciplinary skills of engineering systems, power engineering, and team work exemplify the post-graduate research and education that occurs at Masdar Institute every day.”

Dr. Inas Khayal, Assistant Professor, Engineering Systems and Management, said: “Hazza Ali Bani Malek spent his six-week internship designing and developing a MATLAB Graphical User Interface to visualize ‘Sleep Data’. He collaborated closely with graduate students from the Sustainable Health Lab to understand the structure and variability of the data coming from the, currently in progress, ‘Sleep and Ramadan Study’. Hazza’s experience at Masdar Institute allowed him to learn a new programming language, gain certification in human subjects, research ethics, understand the particulars of running a research study, work in an interdisciplinary environment and take the time to ponder the role of academia in his career.”

The other project that attracted larger group of students was ‘Detection and Quantification of Emerging Contaminants in Abu Dhabi Recycled Water Using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)’ that was led by Dr Farrukh Ahmad, Associate Professor – Water and Environmental Engineering program.

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.