The PI

The temporary campus for what is soon to be the world’s first sustainable city, built from the desert up, designed to minimize energy and water use, with zero net carbon emissions, using only renewable energy, is housed at the aptly named Petroleum Institute (PI).

Welcome to Masdar

Welcome to Masdar

We are housed in some retrofitted buildings with makeshift classrooms and labs still partially under construction. But it’s our home away from home, where the internet is fast (and censored), the air conditioning is cold (like winter), and the coffee flows freely from the canteen vending machines (or for only 2 dirhams, ~$0.55).

We also have access to the PI gym. It’s actually very nice, with squash courts, ping pong, billiards, foosball, basketball/indoor soccer courts, and a weight room. What’s different about it from most gyms in the US is that it has two identical sides, the right side for the men, the left for the women.  Needless to say, it leads to more efficient workouts and less awkward stares.

The PI Gym

The PI Gym

But it is only temporary. The rumors are that we will be moving into the real Masdar City, still under construction several kilometers north of here, very close to the Abu Dhabi Airport, either next semester or during the summer next year, a welcome change that everyone is looking forward to.

But, it’s something to work towards. It’s what we all came here for. It’s what the burgeoning renewable energy industry needs. So, for now, we do our research on renewable energy under the omnipotent shadow of the oil industry.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by mom on November 14, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Amazing to read and absorb, u’r of the right attitude and u’r developing ur passion which I’m sure will impact our so fragile world – proud of you!

    Reply

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