Entaliq to Space
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) is providing essential support to the best young Emirati engineering students through its Entaliq Scholarship Program. The scholarship provides financial support for students in higher education, while at the same time securing training and a job at MBRSC for the most outstanding fresh graduates.
The space center has, for the entirety of its 10 years, always sought to maintain close ties with the UAE’s educational institutions, and one of the leading universities with which it maintains a strong relationship is the American University of Sharjah (AUS).
The Nayif-1 project, in which selected students from AUS worked alongside Emirati engineers at MBRSC to design, develop and manufacture the UAE’s first ever NanoSatellite, is a good example of the work the two institutions do together.
Collaboration for the future
In April 2016, the two signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to continue developing Emirati talent qualified to join the space sector. The agreement stipulates that the university will coordinate with MBRSC in implementing academic activities complementary to work at the centre, while for MBRSC, a huge part of the agreement relates to the Entaliq Scholarship Program.
Through the program, work opportunities will be made readily available in the scientific, technological and space projects within which the centre participates - for young graduate students and those who have shown great promise within scientific disciplines.
Additionally, MBRSC will offer scholarship grants to the best performers from the university in the fields of engineering and technology.
The program was established in 2013, and has since attracted many young Emirati achievers with a desire to make a difference and give back to their community and their country.
One of the success stories from the Entaliq Scholarship comes in the shape of a bright young engineer who is looking to become a part of the MBRSC team and establish a strong presence for himself in global science.
Marwan Al Sharid, a mechanical engineering student currently involved in the scholarship said: “I applied during the career fair held at Dubai Men’s college, and I contacted MBRSC after that to know if I was accepted and luckily was shortlisted for an interview.”
Learning the Basics
Al Sharid was fortunate enough to be able to work and contribute to the KhalifaSat project during his scholarship, learning the process of assembly as he helped build the structural model of the satellite. He also gained experience in designing satellites using specific software.
He continues:“I learnt a lot of new things during my internship. I had no real idea about the space industry and how they worked at the space center.
But I learnt the basics quite quickly as everyone supported me and provided me with the information I needed, which made me more attached to MBRSC. I made a lot of friends in the mechanical engineering department who will surely support me when I join.”
Al Sharid is just one example of the number of successes that have come from the initiative. The scholarship is attracting a great deal of interest among students in the UAE hoping to become involved in one of the most exciting sectors in the country.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre is set to embark upon more complex and demanding missions that will require more skilled engineers to join the teams, particularly as the profile of the center continues to grow rapidly and more expectations are placed upon it by the very ambitious government.
It is not only for a career in space that the center is able to prepare talent. While the space sector is undoubtedly one of the priorities for the UAE’s government, and certainly one of the most exciting sectors to work within, engineering and scientific disciplines are core to the future of the country’s nationals, and as such a scholarship earned through the MBRSC Entaliq Scholarship Program is likely to be an invaluable addition to anyone’s CV.
As the UAE Space Agency’s Director General, Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, recently stated, the space sector may not necessarily be the chosen route for everyone, and that’s not a problem, because by inspiring and encouraging the most promising young students to pursue a career or education within science, technology, engineering or mathematics, part of the role of MBRSC and the UAE’s space program is fulfilled.
The other half relates to successfully completing advanced missions, which is where the need to keep on recruiting talent comes into play. The scholarship is one of a number of initiatives targeted at providing the necessary access to Emiratis capable of driving the space sector in the UAE for the forthcoming decades.
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