Collaborative ResearchCollaborative Research

Active One-to-One Research Projects

Engineering Systems and Management

The Economic Impact of Advanced Technology and Automation on Oil and Gas Sector

Professor Alex Pentland
Professor Erik Brynjolfsson

Professor Iyad Rahwan
Professor Mohammed A. Omar
PI at Masdar Institute


The specific goal of the research is two-fold: (1) re-examining the job market dynamics in general and more specifically in Abu-Dhabi, for the coming decade, as jobs and tasks become more automated. This can be analyzed within different industrial sectors including strategic industries (such as oil and gas), knowledge-intensive industries (e.g., aerospace), labor-intensive industries such as construction and civil infrastructure; governmental sector; or the renewable energy sector. Additionally, the research will involve (2) quantifying the economic gains and the accompanying socioeconomic effects, under differently designed scenarios.

The ultimate goal of this research is to consolidate the study findings into a balanced roadmap to manage the newly established job-market dynamics as applicable to Abu Dhabi and other nations. The research will be multifaceted and will explore legislation, technical solutions, and business models to encourage economic growth, job creation and technological advancement, in addition to attracting and incubating entrepreneurial ideas. 



This research contributes directly to achieving the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. The vision emphasizes the role of ICT and advanced technology. These efforts will provide the tools and the roadmap to attain the following:

  1. Building a knowledge-based economy

  2. Enhancing competitiveness and improving productivity

  3. Equipping the national workforce with advanced skillsets needed to perform complex tasks in an automated fashion

  4. Attracting a highly skilled foreign labor force to Abu Dhabi

  5. Attracting both local and foreign investments

  6. Fostering an entrepreneurial culture and momentum

  7. Creating a sustainable society while maintaining Abu Dhabi’s values and core culture through less dependence on low-skilled, low-educated workforce

  8. Positively impacting the educational system, from basic education through advanced degrees

  9. Optimizing the Emirate’s resources utilization

  10. Integrating Abu Dhabi into the global economy and allowing Abu Dhabi to take its place among the most successful economies in 2030

  11. Marketing and positioning Abu Dhabi as a global hub of automation

This research fits very well with existing MI thematic research areas, especially those that support Integrated Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Production Systems and  Innovation Systems for Sustainable Development.