Khalifa University of Science and Technology has announced the 13th cohort of the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) outreach programme received certificates of completion during a gala ceremony for successfully concluding their year-long schedule of commitments, becoming fully equipped in finding sustainable clean energy solutions and tackling climate change.

Launched in 2010 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the YFEL programme offers members access to global leaders, senior business executives and academics engaged in alternative energy and sustainability. The YFEL programme enters its 14th year of existence in 2024. Members of the Khalifa University Board of Trustees, and sponsors of the 2023 YFEL programme, as well as dignitaries, and guests were present at the ceremony.

The certificates of completion were presented to the 2023 YFEL members which includes UAE Nationals, locally-based students and professionals, as well as international young professionals from 11 countries. Also present were the 2024 YFEL members, for whom the occasion served as an orientation ceremony. They include UAE Nationals among whom were young professionals, and international and locally-based students. The YFEL programme has created an alumni body of nearly 600 students and young career professionals.

Dr. Yousof Al Hammadi, Senior Vice-President, Academic and Student Services, Khalifa University, said: "Khalifa University's YFEL programme qualifies, enables and trains young professionals to address core issues in clean energy and sustainability. The graduation of the 13th YFEL cohort serves as a crucial stepping stone, fostering a sense of community and setting the tone for rewarding experiences that lie ahead for these students and young professionals. Khalifa University is proud to support these talented individuals in their journey towards becoming future leaders in the field of advanced energy and sustainability, in the region and across the globe. Congratulations to the 2023 YFEL members, as we warmly welcome the 2024 YFEL members who will definitely emulate their predecessors and innovate even more sustainable concepts.”

Throughout the year, the 2023 YFEL members undertook projects aligned with their annual commitments, focusing on critical areas such as green hydrogen production, bio-waste-to-fuel solutions for transportation in rural communities, 2D materials for hydrogen storage, real-time non-destructive early assessment of date fruit, improving photovoltaic (PV) panels performance, swappable battery system for sustainability, combined heat and power systems for hydrogen production, and many more.

In addition to their projects, the 2023 YFEL members had the opportunity to enhance their skills through a series of workshops and lectures on Leadership, Battery Tech, Sustainable Catalysis, Space Mining, Waste Energy, Robotics and Energy Harvesting.

Gianluca Di Bella, a 2023 YFEL graduate from Italy, said: “The YFEL programme gave me the privilege to work with colleagues from across the world on the Swappable Battery System project. The YFEL technical sessions, projects and conferences have widened my horizon and network in the energy sector, essential for us and the future of our planet.”

Abdulrahman Rashid Albuflaseh, Emirati Engineer and 2023 YFEL graduate, said: “As a YFEL member, I had the privilege to work on two significant projects and going forward, I plan to leverage the knowledge and experience I have gained through the YFEL program to pursue a career in sustainable urban planning, and advocate for more inclusive, and eco-friendly policies.”

Over the years, the YFEL programme has received support from community leaders and UAE-based corporate sponsors. Notable among them were Emirati philanthropists His Excellency Mohammed bin Kardous Al Ameri, and His Excellency Sultan bin Rashed Al Dhaheri. In addition, the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry and Commerce - AHK, along with industry leaders BASF, Siemens, and Wintershall Dea continue to support the programme.