Emirati Students Join World’s Best Scientific Researchers


ENEC scholarship students selected to study at CERN this summer

Two Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) scholarship students have been selected as part of an elite group of individuals to study at a world-leading centre for scientific research. Emirati students Abdulla Abdulaziz Alhajri and Ali Ibrahim Al Nuaimi will undertake internships this summer at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland.

The CERN Summer Student Program offers undergraduate students of physics, computing and engineering such as Abdulla and Ali a unique opportunity to join in the day-to-day work of leading research teams participating in experiments at CERN. It is the first time students from ENEC’s ‘Energy Pioneers’ scholarship program have been selected to study at the prestigious CERN research center, which is among the largest and most respected in the world.

The students, who are Majoring in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at two of the highest rated universities in the United States, will be among some of the most talented industry professionals from Europe, the US, China and emerging markets such as South America.

“I feel very honoured and proud to be chosen for this CERN internship and am looking forward to the opportunities it will bring not only professionally, but also on a personal level,” said Ali, 21, who is studying at Penn State University. “I’ve grown to be very passionate about nuclear engineering and this will be a chance to broaden my knowledge and gain exposure to world-class research. I’ve heard a lot about CERN through my professors so I’m expecting this to provide an incredible life-long learning experience that will help to serve me greatly in my career as a nuclear engineer.”

The students, who were chosen based on their academic achievements, will work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment, one which offers first-class scientific value and an enriching personal experience over eight weeks during summer. It’s also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make valuable and long lasting contacts with other students and scientists from all over Europe.

“It will be a privilege to be there,” said Abdulla, 20, who is studying at the University of Wisconsin and is considering doing a PhD. “It’s going to be a great opportunity to meet and learn from people who come from all walks of life. There will be over 120 people on this internship and I hope to make friendships that will last forever.”

In addition to the work in the experimental teams Abdulla and Ali will conduct, Summer Students attend a series of lectures specially prepared for them. Several scientists from around the world will share their knowledge about a wide range of topics in the fields of theoretical and experimental particle physics and computing. Visits to the accelerators and experimental areas are also part of the program, as well as discussion sessions, workshops and a poster session. Students are also required to prepare a short report on their work at CERN which they will submit at the end of their stay.

“It is a particular pleasure for me to welcome for the first time students from ENEC to the CERN Summer Student programme”, said Professor Felicitas Pauss, Head of CERN’s International Relations and Professor for Particle Physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich). “About 180 Students from 70 countries worldwide will participate in this year’s programme.”

“CERN is a Laboratory devoted to Fundamental Research, pushing forward the frontiers of human knowledge. Basic science has been a primary driver of innovation throughout CERN’s history. However, research in Fundamental Physics is just one of the Organization’s four key missions, the others being Training, Advancing Technology and International Collaboration. The Summer Student Programme is one of the special training programmes offered by CERN for young Physics and Engineering students,” added Professor Pauss.

“Founded in 1954 by 12 Member States, CERN has become a prime example of international collaboration with currently 20 Member States and several States in the pre-stage to Membership. Today, more than 11,000 scientists from 68 countries worldwide are using CERN’s large infrastructures, in particular the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the World.”

ENEC recently announced the opening of the 2012 intake for its UAE Nuclear Energy Scholarship Program. The scholarships are part of ENEC’s Energy Pioneers program which aims to attract and train the country’s most talented science students and experienced professionals, whilst providing them with an opportunity to become pioneers of the emerging nuclear energy sector.

Azzah Al Sharhan, Director of Human Resources at ENEC says the CERN summer internship will provide the two students with additional global experience and knowledge, further enhancing the specialist training they are already undertaking through the energy pioneers scholarship program.

“This continues ENEC’s commitment to attract and train the highest caliber of science and engineering students and professionals,” said Ms Al Sharhan. “We are very proud to see that two of our scholarship students will be studying and learning from the world’s top scientists and engineers. It’s going to be an incredible experience for them, not only professionally but also personally as they learn and grow from this unique opportunity.”

ENEC’s scholarships offer a range of degrees including Bachelors, Masters and Diplomas through world-class institutions locally and internationally. Whether a fresh graduate or an experienced professional, there are a range of job and scholarship opportunities available at ENEC that will open the door to the country’s new energy sector.

The company expects to require more than 2,000 employees by 2020, with a target of 60 per cent Emiratization.