Posted on October 10, 2017

Six graduate students from Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Science and Engineering (CSE) received awards from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), as a part of the Graduate Student Research Award program. With the funding, the master’s and doctoral students will undertake projects in sustainable energy and environment, data science, the biomedical sciences and computer science.

The Graduate Student Research Award is presented under QNRF’s Qatar Research Leadership Program, which supports outstanding graduate students with scholarships. The awards will add to HBKU’s growing research portfolio, under which 80 different research projects are currently being pursued.

Dr. Mounir Hamdi, the dean of the College of Science and Engineering, commented on the students’ awards by saying: “I congratulate the awardees and wish the students all the best in their studies. As a research intensive university, we are consistently and diligently committed to creating a rigorous academic culture. Our researchers are constantly working on breakthrough discoveries and innovations, and I’m proud to be a part of this community of scholars and scientists.” “Together with my colleagues across HBKU, I feel inspired to remain steadfast in our mission to contribute towards Qatar’s knowledge-based economy, and these achievements make it all possible,” Dr. Hamdi added.

The awardees comprised of four PhD and two master’s students, from the College of Science and Engineering at HBKU. One of the winners of the QNRF grants is a doctoral candidate in computer science and engineering. Aboubakr Aqle has been awarded for his work on data-driven text summarization technologies. Aqle’s research focuses on analyzing large amounts of data, to draw patterns for text summarization, touching on key computer science fields like web accessibility, UI/UX design, information and knowledge engineering, meta-search engine development, natural language processing and sentiment analysis. His work, supported by the grant, seeks to make significant impact on how users consume text online, and optimize summarization in text consumption, especially for content consumers who are visually impaired.

Working closely with HBKU’s Dr. Dena Al-Thani, a leading Qatari computer scientist in the field of technology accessibility, as well as other researchers across Qatar, Aqle says: “HBKU suits my research interests because of its advanced academic study-plan and excellent research groups that are available at Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI). I consider HBKU to be my best option, serving as an ideal environment in pursuing my goals, while, at the same time, maintaining the ability to gain different experiences in the education field, as well as the industrial field.”

All of HBKU’s programs focus on research, and the University’s three research institutes(Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI)) each work within a unique field to carry out groundbreaking research that can benefit society. Through research recognitions and grant opportunities, locally and globally, HBKU’s colleges and research institutes directly help address the “grand challenges” that are outlined in the Qatar National Research Strategy. 

To learn more about research at HBKU, and the University’s colleges and institutes, visit