The new MSc program will function under the Department of Engineering Systems and Management (ESM). It aims to offer learning in integrated sustainable infrastructure planning and development, with initial focus on urban operations planning and transportation systems. The ‘Sustainable Critical Infrastructure’ program will be launched in Fall 2014.
The ‘Sustainable Critical Infrastructure’ program takes the total number of Master’s programs offered by Masdar Institute to nine. The ESM department currently has 17 faculty members and administers the MSc Engineering Systems and Management program.
The accreditation announcement was made during the Masdar Institute- Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2014 Symposium ‘Perspectives on Sustainable Critical Infrastructure’ that was held on 24 March at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The event was attended by a large number of high-ranking officials and professionals from government, academia and industry. The symposium included three sessions with short presentations from academia, government and industry, followed by moderated discussions on topics related to infrastructure development from a sustainability perspective.
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said:
Worldwide, governments battered by the financial crisis seek to prune allocations towards infrastructure despite the growing need for ongoing infrastructure developments. At this crucial juncture, the strain on financial and physical resources may be well-managed if the sustainability concept could be incorporated into the infrastructure ecosystem. With the support of the UAE’s leadership, we are launching the new program on ‘Sustainable Critical Infrastructure’ and we hope this will develop knowledge and skillsets urgently required for the future.
The launch of the program is apt at a time when Abu Dhabi has announced US$100 billion investment in various infrastructure projects over the next five years. Some of the investments will go into projects such as the Khalifa Port, Khalifa Industrial Zone-Abu Dhabi (Kizad), metro and light rail public transit, and Etihad Rail. Infrastructure projects like these will require qualified and trained professionals with the right expertise for their implementation, which the ‘Sustainable Critical Infrastructure’ program can provide.
Masdar Institute’s ‘Sustainable Critical Infrastructure’ program requires a total of 48 credits – 24 each from coursework and the Master’s thesis. It will be based on a basic theory of urban infrastructure systems and have two self-contained tracks – ‘Sustainable urban planning and design’ and ‘Transport planning and systems’. Additional tracks in ’Building Technologies’ will be developed in the future. The program consists of eight courses with one required university core course (UCC501), three infrastructure planning and engineering core courses (SCI501, SCI502, SCI503 and SCI504), and four electives from within the program’s two concentration areas.
The ‘Sustainable Critical Infrastructure’ program is expected to attract students with previous degrees in architecture, urban planning, building science, civil engineering and other engineering disciplines related to infrastructure systems.