Complex Made Simple

Qatari students take top prize in Summer Engineering Academy

Texas A&M at Qatar and Maersk Oil partner to develop Qatar’s top talent

A team of National Vision Scholars who investigated the application of robotics technology in the energy industry won the prize for best research project in the inaugural Summer Engineering Academy at Texas A&M University at Qatar.

During the two-week academic enrichment program, the five Qatari high school students studied how robots could be used to ensure pipeline integrity or fight fires, and they developed prototypes for those applications.

A panel of judges selected the robotics team from among five projects related to Qatar’s grand research challenges in energy, environment and cybersecurity, said Dr. Hamid Parsaei, professor of mechanical engineering and director of academic outreach at Texas A&M at Qatar.

“Our National Vision Scholars developed five fantastic research projects that reflect the students’ exceptional academic credentials and readiness for university studies in engineering,” Parsaei said. “We hope to see each of these young Qataris apply for admission to Texas A&M at Qatar this fall,” Parsaei added.

The winning team comprised Salem Al-Marri, Ebrahim Al-Muhannadi, Ali Al-Sayed, Ahmed Al-Sumaiti and Ghanem Al-Yafei.

Al-Yafei said: “The program stimulated his thinking. We were fortunate to apply whatever we have learned from the talented faculty and lab coordinators and to have the opportunity to work closely with them on these projects.”

Dana Alali, a National Vision Scholar whose team researched renewable energy, won the prize for best presenter during the teams’ demonstrations of their research findings. “I was excited to come and learn new things every day,” she said. “This experience made me excited to pursue engineering as my future career and to excel in it,” she said.

Such inspiration was the goal of the Summer Engineering Academy, which was designed to identify exceptional Qatari students as National Vision Scholars and to motivate them to choose educational pathways in science and engineering.

Maersk Oil Qatar is the exclusive sponsor and industry partner for the Summer Engineering Academy and the parallel Future Engineers Program. Jassim Al-Khori, Technical Manager of the Maersk Oil Research and Technology Centre, congratulated the students on completing such distinguished courses and noted the importance of developing Qatari talent for tomorrow’s workforce.

“At Maersk Oil Qatar we are committed to fulfilling the potential of the country’s young people – the very people who will help shape Qatar’s future. We believe that building the next generation of highly skilled graduates is of the upmost importance and are proud to support their development by sponsoring the Summer Academy and the Future Engineers Program. Together with leading local institutions such as Texas A&M University Qatar we are helping realise the impact that these bright young minds can have on Qatar’s progress,” he said.

As the largest private sector supporter of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills in Qatar, Maersk Oil Qatar has played a vital role in driving the development of a number of successful educational programs and initiatives in the past few years. It has worked closely with leading partners such as Texas A&M Qatar, the College of North Atlantic Qatar and Qatar University to achieve these aims.

Maersk Oil Qatar has shaped the focus of each of these programs around delivering against three key objectives. The first is to increase engagement and support the progress and development of students in STEM subjects from primary to high school, putting them on an early pathway to success and encouraging them to pursue university studies and later careers in these fields. The second is to build the capacity and capability of teachers and educators through enhancing and accelerating their professional development as well as providing access to leading teaching practices and tools. Thirdly, to build a strong STEM education research base accessible to high quality graduates and promoting the application of technology to transform the learning environment.

In the Future Engineers Program, a team comprising Mariam Abuhaliqa, Maryam Abuhelaiqa, Al-Reem Al-Housani and Sara Baadar took top honors for their work in 3D design and printing.

Mona Al-Ansari said, “She was proud to see her daughter participate in a prestigious program like Future Engineers.”

“It was great to have her share with me all what she has learned and be eager to learn more on the next day,” she added. “I would really love to see more of such programs targeting nationals, and I would really encourage my daughter to join them in the future. This will help her decide on her future career as an engineer,” she concluded.