Posted on April 25, 2017

Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Texas A&M University have signed an agreement to establish a dual Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Khaled B. Letaief, Hamad Bin Khalifa University provost, and Dr. Karan Watson, provost and executive vice president of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas (USA). The dual degree program will begin upon receipt of acceptance and agreement from The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and approval of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Graduates of the program will receive two Ph.D.s, one in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University and the other from HBKU in either Sustainable Energy or Sustainable Environment.

HBKU provost Dr. Khaled B. Letaief said, “The dual Ph.D. program between Texas A&M and HBKU provides unparalleled opportunities for our students to work with exceptional faculty to explore a truly multidisciplinary journey of research and scholarship in the fields of chemical engineering, sustainable energy and sustainable environment. Our partnership with Texas A&M will create synergies in the classroom and research labs, providing the capabilities to deliver the highest quality of doctoral education, paving the way for a transformed knowledge-based Qatari economy.”

Dr. Letaief added, “Special thanks should go to Dr. Mounir Hamdi, dean of the College of Science and Engineering at HBKU, as well as to the faculty of the college's Division of Sustainable Development for their hard work and help in bringing this initiative to fruition."

The new dual-Ph.D. program is an exciting opportunity that combines Texas A&M and its branch campus’ strengths in chemical engineering and adds a new dimension through the focus on sustainability offered by HBKU.

Watson said, “Texas A&M University is a world leader in engineering and engineering education;however, this new programon the Texas A&M at Qatar campus significantly strengthens our core commitment to create transformational and unique experiences so our students are the most sought after new engineering graduates. We are proud to partner with our friends at Hamad Bin Khalifa University on this new dual degree program that will provide a world of expanded opportunities for our students and our faculty. This initiative engages each of the four development pillars put forward in Qatar National Vision 2030 and is the next step in Texas A&M at Qatar's efforts to enrich Qatar's greatest natural resource — its people.”

The dual-Ph.D. program also opens the door for faculty at both institutions to have Ph.D. students conducting research, an essential component of any successful research program. Through this program, faculty members from both institutions will co-supervise students to work on research projects with high relevance and impact on the State of Qatar and internationally. This capacity building and creation of new knowledge that happens through research is key in Qatar’s quest to become a knowledge-based economy.

The goal is for the new program to become a model for expanding Ph.D. studies to different areas and to provide opportunities to collaborate and combine expertise from both universities here in Qatar.