Posted on June 28, 2015

Qatar University (QU) and Qatar Shell held a congratulatory ceremony last Thursday to recognize the efforts of universities and student teams from Qatar who participated in the recent Shell Ideas360 global competition which ended with the naming of winners at the finale held on May 22 in The Netherlands.

The event was to celebrate the talent and creativity of the participating teams and launch preparations for Season 3 of the competition that calls on young people to submit innovative solutions and game-changing ideas for tackling energy, water and food challenges. It is a journey of learning and discovery in which they collaborate with innovators from different parts of the world, including working with Shell experts and mentors to expand their creativity.

It was attended by QU President Dr Hassan Al-Derham, Qatar Shell General Manager Corporate Affairs and Deputy Country Chairman Mr Rob Sherwin,  QU VP and Chief Academic Officer Dr Mazen Hasna, QU College of Engineering (CENG) dean Dr Rashid Al Ammari, Texas A&M in Qatar (TAMUQ) dean and CEO Dr Mark Weichold, Carnegie Mellon University Qatar (CMUQ) Qatar Information Systems Program director and faculty head Dr  Selma Limam Mansar,  UNESCO Doha Office education program specialist Dr Feryal Khan, invited quests, faculty and students from the participating teams.    

This included QU’s ‘Passive House’ team comprising Fatma Fakhroo, Sara Tariq Abdurahman and Hadeel Tariq Salaheldi whose design was selected in the  top 5 finalists in the competition among 1000 ideas from around the world. Dr Al Derham congratulated the student teams for giving of their best and demonstrating considerable creativity and innovation and an indomitable spirit of leadership and scholarship. He also noted the level of QU participation which fielded the majority of designs among the 51 ideas submitted from Qatar.   “This is a proud moment for us”, he said.

Dr Al-Derham also applauded Passive House team saying, “This is a stunning achievement for you, not only representing Qatar University and the College of Engineering but also as representatives of Qatar and the Middle East. You should be immensely proud of yourselves in your role as ambassadors, and for your innovative design and overall achievement in this competition”. He thanked Qatar Shell for providing the students with the invaluable opportunity to participate in the competition. “From this Game Changer program emerged the undeniable recognition that our students can compete among the best in the world and get to the very top”, he said. 

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Commended the guidance and support of faculty members to the students, Dr Al-Derham said, “We are fortunate in our respective universities to have the caliber of faculty who are themselves committed to contributing to producing distinguished and talented graduates who will go on to becoming the next leaders at home, regionally and internationally”.

Mr Sherwin said, “We were absolutely delighted by the way that so many local universities embraced the competition in its first year in Qatar. In total, more than 51 ideas were submitted from Qatar, the vast majority from Qatar University alone; this is a true testament to the ambitions of Qatar University’s students and the level of support that they receive from their faculty. For a team from Qatar to reach the global finals was a source of pride for all of us at Qatar Shell.  In alignment with the Qatar National Vision 2030, Shell aims to nurture local talent and help prepare young people in Qatar to realize fulfilling professional careers and to take on leadership positions.”

Team Passive House supervisor Dr Djamel Ouahrani said:  “Our students participated at the highest level of their abilities and we are exceedingly proud of them.  I look forward to our participation in the next season where we hope to take the top prize”. CENG electrical engineering student Tasneem Hussain who participated in the competition, said: “What I have learned from the competition is to never stop developing and changing which will always lead you to excel and succeed. Winning was one of my goals but not the most important one, as the journey and experience are priceless. Therefore, I am very excited to participate again in the competition for the upcoming season”.