Monday 14, December 2015

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and the world’s top ranked engineering university – Tsinghua University – today signed a collaboration agreement to embark on a faculty and student exchange program intended to support transformative sustainability research.

The agreement was signed in the presence of the leaders from both countries at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Professor Dr. Chen Xu, Chairperson of the University Council, signed the agreement on behalf of Tsinghua University, while His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Masdar Institute Board of Trustees, signed on behalf of Masdar Institute.

Tsinghua University was recently ranked by the US News and World Report as being the world’s top ranking engineering university, and is one of the nine members in the elite C9 League of universities in mainland China.

The two leading universities will embark on a faculty and student exchange program that includes research in the fields of renewable and clean energy.  Areas of renewable and clean energy exploration include solar energy, biofuel, carbon utilization and sequestration. Additional areas to be explored are membrane and thermal desalination, water treatment, satellite technology, deep space exploration, smart cities, intelligent transportation, micro-electromechanical system (MEMS), 3D chips, nano-technology, 3D printing, and management, as well as health and life sciences.

The Masdar Institute-Tsinghua University research teams will include students from both universities. Faculty will guide the teams in accordance with the visions of Masdar Institute and the UAE for the future of innovation, as well as those of the Chinese institution.

Other prominent Chinese and UAE government officials and representatives from both institutions including Dr. Yao Qiang, Dean, and YANG Bin, Vice President and Provost, Tsinghua University were present.

Dr. Chen Xu said, “Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is a new yet significant partner to Tsinghua University. The two institutions have established solid foundation for cooperation through faculty exchange and scholarly communication. We share a common goal of addressing the world’s most pressing challenges through innovation and education. Commercial development, urbanization, and a high standard of living have compounded to create problems that have not existed on this magnitude before. With the signing of this faculty and student exchange agreement, we look forward to working with Masdar Institute in a more intensive manner to resolve these ecological challenges that our world faces today.”

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute, said, “The exchange agreement with Tsinghua University further cements our status as a leading institution that seeks collaboration with other top-ranked universities in different parts of the world to support our PhD candidates. The renowned institution in Beijing has contributed significantly to the Chinese economy through knowledge and human capital development. We hope the exchange program will help us create the right talent to fuel the growing research needs of water, energy, microsystems and advanced materials in the UAE and the region.”

Through the agreement, faculty at both institutions will be eligible to participate in the Faculty Exchange Program and in the Student Exchange Program as co- supervisors. Only full-time doctoral students with good track record will be eligible for this program.

Co-developed and pre-approved research plans are expected to maximize the benefit for both institutions. Consequently, students from both universities, along with their own research advisors, will be performing cutting-edge research that could make an impact not only to both countries but recognized globally as being at the forefront in their receptive fields.

Dr. Youssef Shatilla, Dean of Academic Programs, Masdar Institute, said, “With this agreement we have secured a win-win situation where both partners involved in the collaboration will benefit by advancing their research agendas. Significant benefit will also be shared through the faculty exchange side of the agreement.”

At present, Masdar Institute has collaboration agreement with its founding partner the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Other international collaboration partners include Tokyo University in Japan, Technical University of Dresden in Germany, the Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI) and University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.