The Business Year

Dr. Ismail A. Tag

Acting President and Provost, The Petroleum Institute

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh

President, Masdar Institute of Science & Technology

How does your institute work with local and international companies? ISMAIL A. TAG We have several partnerships with both overseas and local universities. For the overseas universities, we have many […]

How does your institute work with local and international companies?

ISMAIL A. TAG We have several partnerships with both overseas and local universities. For the overseas universities, we have many partnerships with US, UK, EU, and also Asian universities, such as the University of Tokyo. We also have excellent relations with the University of Petroleum in Beijing, China and with Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in Malaysia. In the US, we enjoy partnerships with the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Maryland, the University of Minnesota, Rice University, and Stanford University, among others. Aside from faculty exchanges, these universities also offer student exchanges and joint research projects.

FRED MOAVENZADEH We are currently working with major organizations here, and Mubadala is our number one collaborator. Specifically, we are working with its Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), Aerospace, EMAL, and Tabreed. We have a major contract with Siemens in the area of smart grids and smart buildings. Additionally, we have signed major contracts with Lockheed Martin. We are pursuing a major Bio Energy program, which is sponsored by Boeing, Etihad, and Honeywell. Other companies, like Toyota and Total, grant us student scholarships. We also execute smaller projects with companies such as Mitsubishi.

Could you describe the Petroleum Institute Research Center (PIRC)?

IAT It is largely focused on research, especially regarding enhanced oil recovery, geophysics, geophysical engineering, and unconventional methods. The challenges facing Abu Dhabi’s oil fields of maturing and becoming depleted, coupled with the goal of expanding production capacity, gives The Petroleum Institute (PI) the opportunity to become a key player in R&D in meeting the goal of increased production. The new PIRC is being constructed on PI’s campus next to the TAKREER Refining and Petrochemical Research Center and in the vicinity of the Borouge Innovation Centre, located close to the Glenelg School. High-quality R&D projects will be conducted to provide efficient, environmentally acceptable, and cost-effective solutions for ADNOC and its group of companies upstream and downstream, Abu Dhabi’s R&D growth needs, and to develop a recognized and admired R&D culture to attract and train top R&D talent in the UAE and the region.

How can the education system assist in giving the economy an edge in the modern, global environment?

FM The UAE government has targeted 7% of energy by the year 2020 being sustainable, thereby creating huge demand for alternative sources. Masdar Institute’s intellectual platform emphasizes three areas: technology, systems, and policies. To that end, both faculty and students are interested in developing new technologies; some are more interested in the value chain and the systems aspect of the technology, while others are interested in working in the area of policy regulation and pricing, which drives these technologies and systems. Our research projects tend to focus on health, the environment, and water. With regards to health, we do not necessarily focus on treating the sick, but rather gear ourselves toward preventative measures. In terms of the environment in broad terms, we are particularly concerned with global warming and environmental protection. With water, we are specifically concerned with its production, distribution, storage, and conservation, as well as treatment and recycling.

IAT Education is a never-ending process; people obtain Bachelor’s degrees, and while employed have to come back for professional development courses, Master’s degrees, and PhDs. The easy oil is gone, and now it is a very high-tech industry; therefore, you need to train people beyond the Bachelor’s degree level. This is now a particularly advanced industry. With the government wishing to see the creation of higher-value employment opportunities, especially for nationals, and the increased participation of women in the workforce, the PI plays a major role in the future development of the UAE. We have the highest number of national faculty members compared to any other institution in the UAE.

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