Posted on October 19, 2019

The Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently hosted the second in a series of Science Majlis, to promote greater awareness about relevant science and technology topics affecting the world today, and to showcase its research projects to the wider community.

The Science Majlis, which included the attendance of professionals, families and students, featured a talk by Dr. Veronica Bermudez, senior research director at QEERI’s Energy Center, who discussed the possibility of renewable energy replacing the oil and gas industry, and the current paradigm shift in the energy market. The event provides a platform for experts from QEERI and members of the community in Qatar to engage in informal discussions on energy, water and environment topics relevant to the country. The Science Majlis is designed to actively engage attendees of all ages, by offering them an insight into the research carried out at QEERI, making it more accessible and better understood.

Dr. Marc Vermeersch, executive director at QEERI, said: “The Paris Agreement sent out a clear and urgent message: climate change is a serious threat to the environment and one that needs urgent attention. We can only hope to contribute to impactful action by engaging all players across science, technology, development, government, and, most importantly, the wider community. It’s imperative that the younger population have a keen awareness and understanding of the pressing environmental challenges facing the world today, so they are able to assume an active role in safeguarding their  future.”

“At QEERI, we truly believe in the mutually beneficial process of a two-way dialogue with the community. Not only does it provide a greater understanding of the work that we are doing, but these events also help raise awareness about the energy, water and environment challenges in Qatar, and across the world. And in turn, we are able to gain perspective on how the community perceives the impact of research in the country, which can further help us contribute to building and nurturing a research culture in Qatar.”

Science Majlis at HBKU’s QEERI 2 [].jpg

Commenting on her presentation at the event, Dr Bermudez, said: “It is always exciting to discuss how the energy sector across the world is constantly evolving, and how we in Qatar are tackling these challenges. Creating awareness and education on individual impact and responsibilities and sharing scientific facts with the community - especially the youth – will contribute to building a better informed population, who will take this paradigm shift forward in a positive manner. “Having young community members take part, and being able to answer their questions makes this Science Majlis a valuable activity,” she added. “Educating the youth about their role in conserving energy and promoting sustainability are crucial in building a more conscious, and greener future.”

Aileen Haleem, one of the students who attended the event, said that she was delighted to see how much everyone cared about building a sustainable future. She said: “The one aspect that I really appreciated was the mix of people here – there were people of all ages, and backgrounds; there were students, researchers, engineers, architects and even people from the oil and gas industry. All are genuinely concerned and willing to bring about change; they are keen on making the world a better place for us, and that gives me a lot of hope for the future.”

QEERI is home to various centers and programs, tackling the areas of water, energy, environment, sustainability, and corrosion. Since its establishment, QEERI has played an instrumental role in supporting Qatar’s policymaking efforts, and conducting groundbreaking research that benefits society and the region.

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