Posted on April 05, 2018

Texas A&M University at Qatar hosted its seventh annual Research-Industry Partnership Showcase, “Making an Impact,” in the Texas A&M Engineering Building in Education City.

The annual event highlights the work performed by Texas A&M at Qatar faculty, staff and student researchers that is having real-world impact in Qatar and contribute to Qatar’s goal of being a knowledge-based economy. The showcase also aims to strengthen partnerships with local industry to maximize shared opportunities and pursuits of mutual interest. Texas A&M at Qatar’s research is valued at more than $248.2 million and addresses issues important to the State of Qatar.

This year’s showcase featured student presentations, lab tours, and workshops on enhanced oil recovery, cyber security and solar energy. In a poster session, students and researchers from Texas A&M at Qatar displayed research findings and outcomes of their recent projects, emphasizing their impact to local and international scientific and technical communities. Several research centers also were represented, including the Gas and Fuels Research Center, the Advanced Scientific Computing Center, the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center and the Smart Grid.

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“Research creates new knowledge and drives innovation,” said Dr. César Octavio Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar. By focusing on research in line with Qatar’s National Research Strategy and addressing Qatar’s Grand engineering challenges, Texas A&M University at Qatar directly contributes to Qatar’s goal of becoming a knowledge-based society as outlined in Qatar National Vision 2030. We are proud of the partnerships we have established with our industry collaborators to help realize sustainable solutions to real-world issues in Qatar, and we will continue to look for ways to explore, encourage, enrich and expand these collaborations for the benefit of the State of Qatar and its people.”

Mariam A. Al-Maadeed, vice president for research and graduate studies at Qatar University, gave the keynote talk, and said, “This is a very important event that can promote dialogue between universities and industry. Universities are the sources of innovation that power industry.” She also spoke about how academic research enhances competitiveness within industries and spurs commercialization and development of innovative products.

She also discussed the fourth revolution (the first being the industrial revolution) — which combines technologies between physical, digital and biological sectors — and how it will change the way we live and work. She said there’s a need for investing in expanding the research infrastructure and human capacity in the “field of the fourth revolution,” and that the solution is collaboration across universities and industry: Establish interdisciplinary research platforms aligned with identified research priorities and based on existing research assets and competencies; and develop a joint framework for interdisciplinary research in alignment with national research priorities and the Qatar National Research Strategy.

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To that end Al-Maadeed announced a QU co-funding program and emphasized the need for joint graduate programs/graduate student supervision. She also said that universities are not just research institutions but are rather in the business of building human capacity.

Dr. Konstantinos Kakosimos, assistant professor in the Chemical Engineering Program at Texas A&M at Qatar, co-chaired this year’s event, and said, “For Texas A&M at Qatar, making an impact transcends all our activities. This year’s showcase presented the contributions of our students, researchers and faculty, and how their tangible research outcomes do make an impact in Qatar. Participants from industry and local society actively engaged in fruitful discussions and appraised Texas A&M, but they also formed a clear message: The contribution and impact of research to the local society is obvious but we need an ecosystem and a framework, flexible and stable, to transform the research outcomes to development and technology.”