Posted on May 05, 2015

Qatar Minister of Environment H.E. Ahmed Bin Amir Al-Humaidi yesterday performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate Qatar University’s (QU) Research Complex. 

The event which was part of the annual QU Research Forum, was attended by members of the university community, partners and researchers and included addresses by QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, QU VP for Research Dr Hassan Al-Derham, and guest speaker Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research Prof Stacey Sorensen of Lund University, Sweden. The state-of-the-art facility houses the Biomedical Research Center (BRC), Center for Advanced Materials (CAM), Environmental Studies Center (ESC), Gas Processing Center (GPC) and Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC) -- five of the university’s 14 research centers of excellence.

The development of the multi-million Research Complex is in line with QU’s growing stature as a leading institution of research quality and excellence and its commitment to the State of Qatar’s research priorities as evidenced by the university’s ambitious research roadmap fielding priority areas of Energy, Environment & Resource Sustainability; Social Change & Identity; Population, Health & Wellness; and Information, Communication & Technologies (ICT). The Research Forum, which featured several strategic topics on the priority areas covering QU research, was also an opportunity to recognize QU staff and students who excelled in their research efforts.

Center for Humanities and Social Sciences director Dr Kaltham Ali Al-Ghanim received the 2015 Research Excellence Award in Social Sciences & Humanities while associate professor of electrical engineering Dr Atif Iqbal won the Research Excellence Award in Sciences & Engineering. Dr Al-Ghanim described the Research Complex as a major step toward integrating the University into the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and investing in scientific research and human potential.

Qatar Minister of Environment 2 [].jpgStaff members Eng Waleed Shala and Eng Khalid Halabi were recognized for their contribution and efforts towards the planning and design of the Research Complex. Best Poster Awards were presented in Faculty, Post-doc & Graduate and Students categories in Biomedical & Health, Science & Engineering, and Social Sciences & Humanities. (List is attached below). In her remarks, Prof Al-Misnad said that the institution has been taking giant strides towards empowering its researchers and students to achieve optimal results, and continued to win the highest percentage of grants under the NPRP and UREP of Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). She further noted the award for Best Research Office from QNRF last year.

“We are focusing efforts on developing infrastructure as well as increasing the number of graduate programs to achieve our strategic goals and contribute to realizing the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030. The Research Complex is one of those efforts,” she added. Dr Hassan Al-Derham said: “At Qatar University, we are demonstrating our commitment to research which reflects a constant in our goals and objectives. The Research Complex underlines the direction of our research which is aligned with the positioning of research as a top priority in the country’s development strategies and its stated ambitions towards a knowledge-based economy.”

Prof Sorensen said that today’s global challenges in environment, climate and health require solutions that reach across boundaries. “The meeting of scientists with different mindsets and different approaches to a problem creates a sum of creativity, skills and applications that is greater than the parts. It is crucial for a large university to exploit its breadth by supporting interdisciplinary initiatives which often have the potential to develop into high-profile strong research environments,” she added.

Environmental Studies Center director Dr Jeffrey Obbard said that “the Research Complex represents a new chapter for the Center in its long tradition of conducting cutting-edge research in environmental science. It provides an enabling and supportive environment by which the Center can build on opportunities and resources for further scientific endeavour in the marine, atmospheric and terrestrial sciences.” For College of Business and Economics associate dean for research and graduate studies Prof Belaid Aouni, the Complex is a demonstration of QU’s strong support for multidisciplinary research in alignment with the Qatar National Research Strategy.