Posted on May 08, 2016

Inventors from several of Qatar’s leading institutions showcased their creative applications of cutting-edge technology in the 3-D Challenge hosted by Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Two competitions make up the 3-D Challenge: the 3-D Printing Competition, which is in its fourth year, and Visualization Development Competition, now in its eighth year. Together, the contests are designed to promote innovation through advanced technology. The competitions are open to innovators from Education City and across Qatar, and enable users to develop and port their applications to visualization and 3-D printing systems. Projects are judged on several criteria, including creativity and innovation, functionality and usefulness, feasibility, and student involvement.

The 3-D printing industry is growing at a fierce rate and is changing the way people conduct their day-to-day lives. 3-D printing services are playing a key role in creating new business and new business opportunities. It was with this understanding that Texas A&M at Qatar established its unique 3-D printing facility — the first of its kind in Qatar — to allow students, designers, researchers and engineers to step beyond the virtual barriers and interact with real-world objects, and the 3-D Printing competition supports this goal.

This year’s winners of the 3-D Printing Competition were Albert Liberski from Sidra with the project, “Textile Heart Valve Prosthesis”; Sajith Chakithandy and Mohamed Zekri from Hamad Medical Corp. for the project, “Ventilation With a View Mask”; and John Seawright from Carnegie-Mellon University in Qatar with the project, “Hairdryer.”

This Visualization Development Competition invites researchers to submit proposals to develop research projects using Texas A&M at Qatar’s powerful 3-D Immersive Visualization Facility, which utilizes scientific visualization to create three-dimensional images and graphics that aid in analyzing complex numerical representation. This technology helps scientists see data sets in new ways so that they can find patterns or relationships and communicate their data to others. Viewers feel completely immersed in the experience, and all images are displayed in 3-D with the use of special goggles.

A team from Total Qatar — Oussama Gharbi, Priyank Maheshwari and Dominique Guerillot — won first place in the Visualization Development Competition for their project, “A Reactive Flow Trip from the Pore Scale to the Reservoir Scale.” Second place went to Dr. Aziz Rahman from Texas A&M at Qatar for his project, “Development of a 3-D Visualization Tool for Offshore Pipeline.” A Texas A&M at Qatar team of Ahmad Al-Kuwari, Ghada Al-Haroon and Ahmed Hussain won a special award for students for their project,“3-D Printing for Enhanced and Integrated Engineering Curriculum.”

Dr. Ann Kenimer, interim dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said, “The work demonstrated here today helps users grapple with very large, very complex data sets that are simply not digestible in two dimensions. This work is very exciting and has so many applications to the work we do here at Texas A&M University, and particularly at the Qatar campus. 3-D printing and visualization helps students understand complex problems, and helps designers and researchers understand the systems in which they are doing design or research. Thank you to all presenters for bringing your ideas to share with us today.”

Yasser Al-Hamidi, technical lab manager in the Mechanical Engineering Program, organized this year’s 3-D Printing Competition, while Dr. Othmane Bouhali, director of research computing, organized the Visualization Competition. Dr. Mike Bowman, chair of the Petroleum Engineering Program at Texas A&M at Qatar, gave the opening keynote address in which he discussed key advances in imaging, visualization and characterization. Mechanical engineering professor Dr. Hamid Parsaei and electrical and computer engineering professor Dr. Mohamed Abdallah served as judges.