Logo: University of Southern California

Masdar Institute Meets USC Viterbi

Masdar Institute Students Learn about Innovation, Advances in Sustainability at USC Viterbi Summer Program
Stephanie Shimada
July 03, 2013 —

Masdar Institute Visits USC from USC Viterbi on Vimeo.


Current USC students met with the Masdar Institute students to discuss their respective programs


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Mariam Al Mazmi, a graduate student at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), dreams of working in the clean technology sector. She enjoys research and learning, and believes that renewable energy is the future. When given the opportunity to participate in a continuing education program at USC this summer that focused on sustainable energy, Al Mazmi embraced the opportunity.

The program provided Al Mazmi with in-depth technical knowledge about renewable energy and sustainability and introduced her to new ideas in innovation and entrepreneurship.

“USC encourages startups, which is something I would like to see in Abu Dhabi,” Al Mazmi said. “In Abu Dhabi, we are just starting to pick up things. Masdar is also just starting to pick up things and learning from its peers. I am interested in giving knowledge back [to the UAE].”

Al Mazmi is one of 17 students who came last month to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering for a two-week continuing education program from the Masdar Institute.

During the USC Viterbi program, which ran June 17 to June 28, students attended lectures and discussions given by USC energy and innovation experts. Participants also went on site visits, gaining insight into California’s renewable energy sources and learning about startups that are pioneering innovative ideas and practices.

“We hope the students benefited from our faculty experts, field trips to technology startups and other facilities that incorporate technologies,” USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos said.

The students will use the knowledge gained from the program to help build Masdar City, which aims to be a model for sustainable urban development.

“I would like to see the implementation of a green society where the entire community is sustainable and environmentally friendly,” Nada Al Awadhi, a graduate student studying engineering and systems management at the Masdar Institute, said.

The Masdar Institute students visited the Groundwater Replenishment System (CWRS) in Orange County, where they learned about large-scale wastewater treatment and management. They also visited the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, USC Innovation Center, and Viterbi Startup Garage in Marina Del Ray, where they shadowed budding entrepreneurs.

Ammar Al Raisi, a graduate student studying engineering and systems management, learned how to tackle daily, real world issues at the Viterbi Startup Garage.

“It was interesting to see the students, and to see the teams of students, and how they worked together to pursue their dreams and brought their ideas into real life,” Al Raisi said. “To see them face these problems in daily life and find out how they solved them was really interesting. It will help me to go back to the UAE and come up with solutions.”

The Masdar Institute is an independent, research-driven, graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies. Created in cooperation with MIT, the Masdar Institute is the world’s first graduate-level university dedicated to providing real-world solutions to issues of sustainability.