Munib Mesinovic from New York University Abu Dhabi selected as 2020 UAE Rhodes Scholar!


Mr. Mesinovic becomes the first Bosnian to be awarded this prestigious scholarship in its 116-year old history and will continue his studies at the University of Oxford.

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYU Abu Dhabi) senior Munib Mesinovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina has been selected as a 2020 UAE Rhodes Scholar. He is the latest recipient of this prestigious international award, which enables exceptional students to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford in England.

Munib Mesinovic is majoring in Electrical Engineering. He has spent much of his time at NYU Abu Dhabi focused on determining how innovative technologies can be applied, ethically and responsibly, to helping people with disabilities and those struggling with significant health challenges. His Senior Year Capstone project is focused on developing a multi-sensor armband that is able to predict risk scores of heart attacks and provide personalized prognoses.

Mesinovic was a team member of the award-winning NYU Abu Dhabi 2018 iGEM team, developing a handheld device with biochips to measure food and water safety – in under 20 minutes – during the competition based in Boston, Massachusetts. The team achieved a gold medal and a special nomination for best diagnostic project globally, a record-breaking feat for a team from the Middle East. He believes that to successfully combat healthcare challenges, education is crucial. To that end, he advised Palmwood, an organization created by the UAE government and IDEO, the global design firm, on creating a biotechnology curriculum for high school students. He has also been a mentor within the College Admissions Mentorship Network for African Students (CAMA).

Mesinovic has been deeply involved in advocacy and other work involving people with disabilities – or people of determination — while at NYU Abu Dhabi. He led a project to teach children with disabilities 3D geometry utilizing VR headsets, and has also facilitated computer workshops for people of determination in New York City. He has led dozens of volunteers at the MENA Special Olympics at NYU Abu Dhabi and has been a regular volunteer at the Future Rehabilitation Center in Abu Dhabi working with children of determination.

The ethical dilemmas associated with Artificial Intelligence have been a subject of interest for Mesinovic, a topic he has explored as an NYU Social Impact Fellow, in opinion pieces for The Gazelle, and as one of the leaders of Cyber#, the cybersecurity student group.

“We can transcend the social model of disabilities by using technology, but those technologies need to be developed considering disabilities,” says Mesinovic. “Artificial Intelligence could not just be revolutionary in disability studies, but also in healthcare. Our body creates tremendous amounts of data every second that mostly go to waste, and employing that resource for our own benefit is at the core of my career ambitions.”

At Oxford, he plans to explore new ways that Artificial Intelligence can be applied to challenges affecting humanity, including and especially healthcare. Ultimately, he hopes to focus on developing transformative assistive and healthcare technology for the consumer market, collaborating with public and governmental agencies to realize and regulate innovation in this field.

Established in 1902 by the will of the late British businessman Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s oldest and most recognizable award for international fellowship and academic study. It funds exceptional students for up to 4 years of postgraduate study at the leading university in the world, Oxford University.


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