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Sustainable Energy Management for the Future Share Share

EPFL Middle East Master’s students present their projects half way into their second semester.


"We are all here because we know that we have to change the world we live in, and that we have to work hard to do it.” Uzair Chaudhary, from Pakistan, was the first of twenty students to speak at the mid-term presentation by the first class of the new EPFL Middle East Master’s program on Sustainable Energy Management. His words perfectly captured the passion and enthusiasm shared by the members of the class, who, in under a year, have successfully forged a collective identity, and have evolved into a team with a shared vision and common goals. 


Part of this success can be attributed to the project-oriented teaching approach adopted at EPFL Middle East. Rather than having each student work on his own project in isolation from his peers, students work on individual projects designed to collectively address the key issue of sustainable energy management for the future. Like nodes in a network, the projects are highly interconnected, spanning three central themes: renewable wind energy, sustainable urban and architectural design, and urban energy management using a smart grid.


In a well choreographed presentation, the students took turns presenting their individual projects, weaving them together into a coherent narrative. Take, as an example, renewable wind energy. While one student presented his research studying atmospheric flow over complex terrain using computer simulations, other students presented quantitative tools they were developing to optimize the distribution of wind turbines in a wind farm, or experimental approaches to study the turbulence behind a real wind turbine.


The meeting came just weeks before the students’ deadline to apply for their industry internships that are a prerequisite for them to continue on to their Master’s projects. Thanks to growing ties between EPFL Middle East and the industry in the United Arab Emirates, students will be able to choose to pursue their industry internships in the Ras Al Khaimah and the neighboring Emirates. Internship positions have been secured in several international companies present in the region, as well  as in a research center for electronics and microtechnology.