Theses and Reports


UAE REmap 2030

MI-IRENA-UAE MOFA (2015). Published report on the proposed 2030 Renewable Energy Roadmap for UAE. (PDF)

Evaluation of Electric Vehicle Adoption Potential in Abu Dhabi

Sgouridis, S. and M. A. Hadrhami (2013). Internal Report for a funded EV project supported by METI Japan and in collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation. (PDF)

Modal Primer on Greenhouse Gas and Energy Issues in Transportation

Brown, N. and S. Sgouridis (2010). Chapter 3: Aviation. Transportation Research Circular. E-C143. April. Transportation Research Board, Washington DC. (PDF)

Review of Alternatives for Freight Corridors

Sgouridis, S. (2003). US Department of Transport. Internal Report. (PDF)


Symbiotic strategies in enterprise ecology : modeling commercial aviation as an Enterprise of Enterprises

Sgouridis, S. (2007). PhD Thesis. Technology, Management and Policy. Engineering Systems Division. (PDF)

Integrating Regional Strategic Transportation Planning and Supply Chain Management: Along the Path to Sustainability

Sgouridis, S. (2005). MSc Thesis. Engineering Systems Division, MIT. (PDF)

Simulation Analysis of Inbound Container Terminal Operation of the Port of Thessaloniki

Sgouridis, S. (1999). Hons. (MSc equivalent) Thesis. Aristotle University, Greece (in Greek).

Supervised Theses (Main advisor / co-advisor)

Sustainability and Risk Assessment of Integrated Seawater Agriculture Systems for the Production of Biofuels

Warshay, S. (May 2011). MSc Thesis. Co-advisor: Dr. Kennedy. Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi. (PDF)


The aviation sector is and will continue to be dependent upon high energy density liquid fuels. These fuels are typically derived from fossil sources that emit previously sequestered carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when combusted, contributing to anthropogenic global warming. The depletion of easily accessible oil resources is leading to exploitation of higher lifecycle emission intensity fossil fuels like heavy oils and tar sands. As a result, the development of lower carbon intensity, more sustainable, liquid fuel alternatives for aviation is essential for maintaining the sector’s growth to meet global mobility needs without increasing its environmental impact. Fuels derived from numerous biomass feedstocks can provide drop-in liquid fuels that have the potential to be more sustainable alternatives to fossil derived sources. A life cycle assessment of a biofuel’s entire production system, from planting to combustion, to evaluate its life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, net energy balance, water consumption, resource use, and other environmental impacts is necessary to establish its true sustainability potential. An Integrated Seawater Agriculture System (ISAS) on desert land using primarily seawater for irrigation has the potential to produce more sustainable aviation biofuels when compared to fossil and other biofuel sources. Despite a wide range of uncertainty due to the untested nature of the ISAS operations in Abu Dhabi, the jet fuel produced from the ISAS emits only 5 to 45 percent of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions released from the production of conventional fossil Jet-A fuel, even without considering the long-term subsurface carbon sequestration potential from cultivating desert land.

This study presents a sustainability assessment that uses a novel life cycle tool to evaluate the production greenhouse gas emissions, net energy balance, and environmental risks of an ISAS for biofuel production in UAE conditions.

Carbon and Fuel Price Effects on Modal Choice within a Global Transportation Framework

Pan, Joseph (May 2011). MSc Thesis. Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi. (PDF)


We build a global passenger transportation model which maps the global transport streams with respect to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (fuel lifecycle and combustion only), passenger-kilometers traveled and monetary expenses. We include an elasticity-based mode choice mechanism that allows assessing the effect of economic, time and comfort related variables on mode choice and ultimately transport emissions. In two case studies we demonstrate the functioning of the model with and without mode choice. In Case Study I we examine the emissions savings potential from substitution of short-haul aviation through high-speed rail in the United States and globally. We find that the average travel speed of high speed trains plays a major role in determining the potential GHG emission savings and that the cumulative emission savings from substitution over 40 years are in the range of about 5 percent of the combined air and high-speed rail market emissions. In Case Study II we assess the effect of carbon and fuel price under different light-duty vehicle (LDV) technology adoption scenarios. We find that high fuel prices and carbon taxes can significantly reduce global transport GHG emissions and total passenger-kilometers traveled. Under aggressive LDV technology adaption scenarios the effect of fuel and carbon price on passenger-kilometers traveled and global transport GHG emissions decreases.

Demand, Prices and Subsidies for Energy: Managing Household Energy Consumption in the UAE

Zurita, Natalia (May 2014). MSc Thesis. Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi. (PDF)


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the largest energy consumers in the world in per capita terms and ranks third globally in terms of the ecological footprint per capita. Subsidized energy prices, common to the Middle East, are partly responsible for this ranking. However, while conventional economic theory suggests that the high level of energy consumption in the country would be solved if energy subsidies were removed, this solution lacks contextual components that are decisive in successful policy implementation. This thesis revisits the findings on household energy demand in academic literature, including the gasoline and electricity sectors, and the relationship with prices. A survey study of UAE residents’ household energy consumption preferences is used to support findings that conflict with the recommendation of complete subsidy elimination made by international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the International Energy Agency. By incorporating in the analysis components pertinent to the local context, including the particular role of the government and its objectives as well as end-user behavior, we find that energy subsidy elimination is not the most effective option for decreasing per capita household energy consumption in the UAE. Rather, framing policies targeting energy conservation in a customized way for each population group would increase the likelihood of success.