Masdar Institute Space Concentration Receives Accreditation

27.08.2015 UAE
Masdar Institute Space Concentration Receives Accreditation

Masdar Institute Space Concentration Receives Accreditation

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The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, together with Yahsat, the UAE satellite operator,  announced that approval has been received  from the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to incorporate a Space Systems and Technology concentration into seven of its Master of Science degree programs.

The approval enables Masdar Institute to welcome its first group of students this September, considerably ahead of the initially scheduled January 2016 timeline. The seven Masdar Institute academic programs that will now include the space concentration option are: MSc in Mechanical Engineering; MSc in Materials Science and Engineering; MSc in Computing and Information Sciences; MSc in Electrical Engineering; MSc in Engineering Systems and Management; MSc in Microsystems Engineering; and MSc in Water and Environmental Engineering.

Masdar Institute’s Space Systems and Technology concentration is part of a collaboration with satellite industry leaders Yahsat and Orbital ATK, who are currently building Yahsat’s third satellite Al Yah 3. The Master’s concentration includes student-led design, integration, construction, testing and operation of a CubeSat that will be subsequently launched and monitored via a ground station.

The first class of over 15 students will be welcomed this September at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, following an induction program at Yahsat’s Headquarters. The course will provide a rigorous academic grounding in a multitude of space-related scientific and engineering disciplines. Subject matter experts from Orbital ATK will also help refine and structure the curriculum in order to provide students with an industry-centered educational experience and training.

Orbital ATK’s Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, Antonio Elias, said “Orbital ATK is pleased that Masdar Institute has achieved this first important milestone in the establishment of the new Space Systems and Technology Concentration. We look forward to welcoming the first cohort of students this September, as they represent the next generation of Emiratis contributing to the country's goals of establishing a vibrant space program.”

The CAA approval will not only enable the launch of Masdar Institute’s academic program on Space Systems and Technology, but it will also ensure that the research-based institution plays a leading role in producing trained manpower that will contribute to the UAE’s growing space sector and missions.

The space concentration is part of Masdar Institute’s growing engagement in space and satellite-related research and technology. It has been developing increasing expertise in high resolution imagery of the surface using remote sensing with visible and thermal portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, which allows identification of minerals at/near the surfaces of the planets. The Institute is also collaborating with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in a joint four-year pilot study to understand how the level of soil moisture affects dust in desert and dry environments.

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