Khalifa University of Science and Technology Students Learn from Japanese Desalination, Space Technologies and Waste Reduction Leaders
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 25 September, 2017: Eight UAE national graduate students from Masdar Institute, which is part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, have completed their internship program with innovative Japanese companies through a collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE).
A total of four Japanese companies -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric, IHI Corporation, and Tottori Resource Recycling -- provided internships to Master’s students based at the Masdar City campus of the Khalifa University of Science and Technology. The program began with a 10-day orientation on Japanese language and culture.
Organized in collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), the internships took place in various cities across Japan during the summer. The collaborative program aims to strengthen the knowledge and expertise of Masdar Institute students while giving them the opportunity to learn from Japan’s achievements in areas of technology and sustainability.
Chemical Engineering student Abdullah Al Hinai and Mechanical Engineering student Wael Alnahdi interned with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is a Japanese multinational engineering, electrical equipment, and electronics company. Material Sciences Engineering, student Muntaser Almansoori interned with Tottori Resource Recycling, which produces foam glass through a clean recycling process. Engineering Systems and Management’s Space Concentration student Ahmad Abdulkarim Murad Mohamad interned with Mitsubishi Electric, which is a multinational electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing company.
Microelectronic Engineering student Azza Al Bakr, Material Science Engineering student Fatima Mohamed Abdul Aziz Al Hameli, Material Science Engineering student Nujood Saeed Ali Mohammed AlShehhi, and Material Science Engineering student Zainab Almheiri all interned with IHI Corporation. IHI Corporation is a comprehensive heavy-industry manufacturer.
Toshio Namai, Project Manager, JICE said: “The eight students were highly acclaimed by their host companies because of their solid scientific foundation and well-produced outputs. I also would like to appreciate their motivation to learn by doing not only Japanese technologies but also Japanese culture, history, kaizen activities, way of living, etc. It's our hope that they will try to apply what they learnt in Japan to the UAE and become bridges with two countries in the future.”
Dr Ali Al Mansoori, Interim Executive Vice-President - Academic Affairs, Khalifa University, said: “The MI-JICE internship program advances the UAE leadership's vision of training the next generation of UAE nationals to promote the country’s transformation into a sustainable knowledge economy. We are confident the lessons on sustainability and work ethics learned in Japan by these promising Emirati students will shape and inform their academic and professional careers, increasing their ability to contribute to the country’s continuing prosperity.”
Al Hinai said during his internship with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries that he found the Japanese concept of kaizan to be relevant and useful. Kaizain is based on an idea of continual improvement, and eliminating sources of waste, such as wait times, transportation, processing, inventory, and defects.
He explained: “For me as a researcher, this philosophy is useful. I was not aware of all the sources of waste before, but now I believe I will be able to improve my performance in the lab because of my understanding of kaizain. During my internship, I had the opportunity to study different desalination technologies and how they could suit the environment to preserve natural resources in the UAE and the GCC region.”
Muntaser Almansoori said: “During my internship at Tottori Resource Recycling I learned a lot about Porous Alpha, a safe, simple and durable soil improvement agent that can increase soil water retention and was developed at Tottori Resource. I now strongly believe that we can utilize this material in the UAE to save water and be more sustainable. I am already communicating with concerned authorities in Abu Dhabi to introduce such a product to the UAE market.”
He said he was touched by the humble and down-to-earth gesture of Yoshiaki Takeuchi, President of Tottori Resource Recycling, who personally came to pick him up. Takeuchi even laid out the ‘uwabaki’ slippers for Al Mansoori to wear.
Almansoori said: “I learned that the Japanese people respect punctuality because it shows appreciation for other people’s time. Moreover, the team always operated together to accomplish their goals. And whenever they fell short, they would go back and look at what went wrong as a team, never blaming individuals. I learned a lot from Mr. Shigemoto Sato, my direct supervisor. He encouraged me to always work hard and challenge myself to tackle new problems; because challenges are the best way to recognize your skills.”
During AlShehhi’s internship with IHI Corporation she visited five different IHI Corporate locations. Her focus areas included work at the Corporate Research and Development Center, the nuclear power operation in Yokohama District, as well as developing advanced technologies in material sciences for space rocket and defense purposes.
AlShehhi said: “Through this internship program I was able to think of ideas that can be applied in the UAE in line with the country’s strategy for economic development. Japanese companies can contribute with their expertise in building bridges and tunnels, as well as manufacturing and maintenance of ships and aircraft engines.”
Earlier, as part of their orientation, the interns attended Japanese language classes and visited major cultural sites. They also visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome, which is dedicated to documenting the destruction of the city during World War II.