Masdar Institute of Science and Technology’s Water and Environmental Engineering (WEN) programme played a key role in the development of the UAE Solar Atlas through UAE Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment. The Atlas was officially released in June at the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil. In addition, the funding of two flagship proposals that was approved by the Joint Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Masdar Institute Steering Committee, and the involvement in the organisation of the first International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi will mark a successful year for the WEN programme.
Dr. Marwan K Khraisheh, Dean of Engineering at Masdar Institute, said: “We offer programmes that underpin the philosophy of knowledge building that is relevant to the UAE and the region, in addition to developing international students. The Water and Environmental Engineering programme creates more specific skills that guide the youth towards innovation in this key sector.”
With four core courses, ‘Chemicals in the Environment: Fate and Transport’, ‘Desalination’, ‘Industrial Ecology’, and ‘Wastewater Treatment Engineering’, the multi-disciplinary WEN programme offers 12 courses as part of the curriculum. Among the class 2012 batch of 55 students, nine graduated from the WEN programme and received their Master’s degrees in May 2012.
Dr Taha B.M.J. Ouarda, Professor and Head, Water and Environmental Engineering programme, Masdar Institute, is also the Deputy Director of the UAE Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment. Dr Hosni Ghedira, Associate Professor, is the Director of the Centre.
Dr Ouarda said: “This academic year has remained productive with a number of key achievements. Several papers have been presented by the WEN faculty at key global platforms. We also add further value to the programme through conducting a large number of research projects. These projects mainly focus on renewable energy, climate change analysis and adaptation, water treatment, desalination, water resources development and management, climate modeling, environmental monitoring, industrial ecology, biofuels, ecology, remote sensing, hydrology, and waste management.”
The WEN programme aims to intensify its efforts further to expand its dynamic offerings for the coming year. These include better coverage of various fields in the ‘water and environment’ general sector, world class faculty, and closer integration. The programme already incorporates features such as ‘Inclusion of dust and local climatic conditions in the modeling of renewable energy resources’ and ‘Focus on the arid climate constraints in water resources management’ that are not available elsewhere in the region.