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Texas A&M at Qatar awarded 11 grants by QNRF that address Qatar’s needs
Wael Khedr
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Texas A&M at Qatar awarded 11 grants by QNRF that address Qatar’s needs

Texas A&M University at Qatar was awarded 11 projects from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) in Cycle 11 of the National Priorities Research Program, and its research office was named the Best Research Office of the Year.

This is the for the fourth year in a row the research office has been recognized by QNRF and the sixth time in the past seven years. The research office is responsible for vetting research proposals that are submitted to QNRF for funding and managing the awarded research projects.

Dr. Hassan S. Bazzi, associate dean for research and chemistry professor said, “Texas A&M at Qatar is proud to be a partner in Qatar's development through research that has a true impact. Research is at the core of our mission. Our faculty and Principal Investigators work to create research activities that address QNRF's strategic pillars and drive progress in Qatar and the region. To be recognized for this hard work is very satisfying. It illustrates a dedication on behalf of our faculty and research initiatives to align with the priorities of the State of Qatar and provide long-term solutions to a rapidly diversifying economy.”

“The Office of Research at Texas A&M at Qatar is accurate and effective in vetting proposals, meeting deadlines and compliance criteria,” said Cynthia Richmond, associate director of the Office of Research. “The award is definitely because of our team’s outstanding efforts and communication skills.”

The National Priorities Research Program is the main funding program of QNRF and the primary means by which QNRF seeks to support research that addresses Qatar’s needs. QNRF selected 77 of the 284 proposals submitted for funding. Texas A&M at Qatar submitted 40 proposals for a 28 percent success rate.

Texas A&M at Qatar’s Mechanical Engineering Program and the Science Program were awarded four proposals each and the Petroleum Engineering Program was awarded three. The research projects address real-world challenges directly applicable to the State of Qatar. Some of the awarded projects led by the principal investigators include:

Dr. Bilal Mansoor, associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Program, received an award for implementing advanced testing methods of oxygen-enriched atmospheres like the one at the Air Separation Unit (ASU) at Pearl GTL, the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plant. Safe and hazard-free operation of the ASU is of strategic importance to the State of Qatar.

Dr. Albertus Retnanto, professor of the practice in the Petroleum Engineering Program, is collaborating with Occidental Petroleum of Qatar to model seismic stimulation of reservoirs as an enhanced oil recovery method so applied technologies in the field can be improved.

Assistant research scientist Dr. Ilaria Menapace is designing locally produced and recycled polymers as asphalt binders for use on Qatar’s roads. The advantages include saving money, reducing emissions, reducing waste and environmental contamination, promoting the local economy and reducing port congestion.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Hashimi, research associate professor in the Science Program, is developing retrofitting window films for buildings that adjust with the outside temperature to modulate transmitted light and heat. The outcome is a downturn in the massive energy consumption of buildings in Qatar due to heating, cooling and lighting costs, as well as increasing the comfort of building occupants.

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