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UAE students embark on Nasa internships

Dubai, June 2, 2010

Three UAE students will depart to the United States to begin their internships with the renowned space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa).

This marks the first time Nasa’s training program (in the range of two to ten months) has been offered to non-US citizens.

The students - Shamma Al Qassim (19), Hazza Bani Malek (20) and Hamad Rajab (21) - are the first of 12 UAE students taking part in the program this year.

Their participation has been made possible under Nasa's agreement with Arab Youth Venture Foundation (AYVF), a UAE-based non-profit organisation that aims to inspire Arab youth to engage with science and technology, and Mubadala Development Company, who will be sponsoring the students.

Dr Pete Worden, head of Nasa Ames Research Center said "space exploration offers the perfect venue to create an alliance of great nations and to bind us together in the pursuit of common dreams."

"Under this program, the goodwill generated by students working side by side [with Nasa scientists and researchers] will serve as a bridge between the US and UAE, opening the doors for future collaboration in scientific research. I can only imagine what discoveries might be achieved through such cooperation," he added.

Lisa LaBonte, CEO of AYVF said, “R&D that has gone into ’Space exploration’ at Nasa has resulted in the commercialization of  intellectual property (spinoffs) bringing consumers of the world innovations such as laser technology, business jets, environmental monitoring systems, robots for aircraft maintenance, virtual reality, home insulation, night vision cameras and thousands of other popular products and applications.

Nasa internships have much broader implications than ‘space’ itself,” she noted.

During their training at Nasa’s facilities in the US, the UAE students will work alongside top Nasa scientists on various missions including the space shuttle and international space station, deep space missions, exploring the solar system and aircraft research.

They will be joined by students from leading American Universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and Berkley, she added.

Homaid Al Shemmari, executive director of Mubadala Aerospace, said: "As part of our drive to diversify Abu Dhabi’s economy and establish the capital as the region’s aerospace hub, we need to ensure that we develop our national talent."

"Our long-term sustainability is strongly linked to our ability to create a work force capable of becoming world leaders in the aerospace industry. This is a truly inspiring opportunity for these young students," he noted.

Jassem Al Zaabi, executive director of Mubadala Information & Communications Technology, said, “The skills, drive and ambition that these young individuals have demonstrated is exactly what we need in order to realise the opportunities available to us in the information and communications  technology sector."

"As Yahsat is about to launch the UAE’s first satellite, the skills these students will acquire during their training will be of definitive value to the nation," Al Zaabi added.

The students have been selected based on criteria that included academic qualifications, research interests, career goals, interviews with Nasa as well as their passion for the aerospace industry.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Students | nasa | Internship |

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