Event Part of ‘Masdar Institute – Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative Distinguished Lecture Series’.

The opportunities and challengesof using concentrated solar power (CSP) as a reliable and attractive option to harvest our most abundant primary energy source, solar energy, were highlighted by Professor Robert C. Armstrong, Chevron Professor and former Department Head of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), at a public lecture in Abu Dhabi.

Professor Armstrong gave his lecture on ‘The Future Of Concentrated Solar Power’ on 22 May at YasRotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The event drew academia, corporate leaders, industry experts, researchers and professionals from across the renewable energy spectrum.

The lecture was given as part of the ‘Masdar Institute – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Initiative – Distinguished Lecture Series’. Thelecture seriesis part of Masdar Institute’scontinuous endeavourtobring experts from MIT and other renowned institutions to the regionand strengthen cooperation, whileenabling sharing of information and experience.

Prior to the presentation, Professor Armstrong held discussions with Masdar Institute’s senior management team and faculty, as well as the Institute’s strategic partners and stakeholders. A renowned researcher, Professor Armstrong has published more than 120 papers and books and given over 330 presentations in energy, polymer fluid mechanics, and the rheology of complex materials.

Prof Armstrong served earlier as Co-Chair of MIT’s Energy Research Council and is currently the Deputy Director of the MIT Energy Initiative.

Professor Armstrong said: "Because of the use of a standard turbine for producing electricity, CSP lends itself to large, utility-scale production of power. CSP is renowned for its simplicity, ability to implement very efficient thermal storage in a straightforward manner, its dispatchability, and its use of proven and reliable technology."Concentrated solar power, also called solar thermal, transfers energy from sunlight to a heat transfer medium to generate steam for production of electric power.

"I am grateful to Masdar Institute for the opportunity to highlight the role of CSP in clean energy. MIT looks forward to continually expandingthe cooperation with Masdar Institute in the future," he added.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: "The cooperation between Masdar Institute and MIT demonstrates the longstanding relationship between the two academic institutions focused on world-class research and development. Renewable energy has made significant strides in the past several years and we are delighted to host Prof Armstrong, a highly accomplished scholar from MIT, who has illustrated the potentialrole of solar energy to the Abu Dhabi audience. Masdar Institute will continue to organise events that will prominently highlight the benefits of clean energy sources."

Dr Steve Griffiths, Executive Director of Initiatives at Masdar Institute, welcomed Prof Armstrong and introduced him to the audience. Dr Griffiths said: "The event strongly underscores the commitment of both partner institutions to supporting development of the next generation of renewable industry leaders. The insightful and engaging presentation will encourage students to pursue energy studies and research that will advance the current state-of-the-art in energy technologies and policies.

"The ‘Masdar Institute- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Initiative – Distinguished Lecture Series’ will continue to bring world-classexperts for the benefit of the community in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The presentations provide a foundation for development ofadvanced energy human capacity and technological development in Abu Dhabi," he added.

Professor Armstrong has received a number of awards, including the AIChE Warren K. Lewis Award, AIChE Professional Progress Award, the Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Distinguished Service Citation, and election to the Georgia Tech Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni. His two-volume book, ‘Dynamics of Polymer Liquids’ has been named a Citation Classic. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Prof Armstrong completed his undergraduate studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology with the highest honours in 1970, with the Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering in 1973 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Masdar Institute) was established by the government of Abu Dhabi as a not-for-profit, private graduate university to develop indigenous R&D capacity in Abu Dhabi addressing issues of importance to the region.
In collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute has developed an academic and research platform that articulates its mission and vision according to critical energy and sustainability challenges.

An important characteristic of Masdar Institute is its focus on complex real-world problems that require a multidisciplinary approach for the development of solutions from an integrated technology, systems and policy perspective. This multi-interdisciplinary and integrated approach is supported by the structure of its academic programs and by the emphasis placed on engaging external partners from industry, government, and other academic institutions in collaborative activities.

Masdar Institute offers degrees in:
•          MSc Engineering Systems and Management
•          MSc Computing and Information Science
•          MSc Materials Science and Engineering
•          MSc Mechanical Engineering
•          MSc Water and Environmental Engineering
•          MSc Microsystems Engineering
•          MSc Electrical Power Engineering
•          MSc Chemical Engineering
•          Interdisciplinary Doctoral Degree PhD program