Mechanical and Electrical Engineering students from the HCT-Al Ain Men’s campus (AAM) visited Masdar City, where they witnessed real-world examples of practical solutions to sustainability challenges.
Upon arrival, the students and their mentor, Dr. Abdulwehab Ibrahim, were greeted and transported via Masdar City’s Personal Rapid Transit system (PRT). They were excited to see the driver-less pods shuttle passengers between the stations and actively engaged in identifying the technology behind the PRT’s vehicles.
The experience encouraged and stimulated the students’ learning by covering concepts, such as how the small-automated vehicles are unmanned; how they detect any obstacles on the path; and how they are powered. The staff explained that the vehicles are controlled by an advanced navigation system that use magnets embedded in the passageway to recognize their location, while vehicle sensors detect any obstacles in their path. The vehicles run on lithium-phosphate rechargeable batteries.
The students also saw a model of Masdar City’s ambitious master plan that encompasses green buildings, a 10MW solar photovoltaic plant, a solar beam- down tower pilot project, a district cooling system, and much more. The students were stunned when they came to know that the ideas behind Masdar projects are not only limited to Masdar City or the UAE – they are also actively providing renewable power projects around the world, such as the Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant in Mauritania.
In addition, students had access to see buildings that integrate ancient Arabic architecture with modern technologies. The students could feel the cool breeze in the surrounding area, which was created due to the design of the buildings that capture and circulate the winds to create a naturally air-conditioned environment.
In general, Masdar City demonstrated that practical solutions to sustainability aree possible and furthers the vision laid down by the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who advised that the nation should not rely on oil alone.
At the closing session, the students presented a token of appreciation on behalf of AAM Director, Dr. Yahya Al Ansaari, to Masdar City. A representative from Masdar City, Ms. Shaikha Al Hosani, Corporate Relations Officer, received the gift and thanked the students.
Dr.Yahya Al Ansaari said of the field trip: “Our students must be exposed to all project of clean energy, this is the future direction of the UAE.”