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QNRF announces winners of inaugural photography competition
David Edward Moore
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QNRF announces winners of inaugural photography competition

Researchers Encouraged To Show Artistic Side Of Their Scientific Discoveries

Launched in September 2015, the competition aims to encourage QNRF-awarded research teams to use artisitic images and visuals to showcase  the outcomes of their research  to a wider audience.  From a total of 50 submissions, ten  were shortlisted and three  outstanding  images  have been awarded.  Designed to showcase scientific discoveries, the award demonstrates QNRF’s dedication to building the nation’s innovation and technology capacity, positioning Qatar as a global research hub.

Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director, QNRF, commented, saying: “The artistic quality of  the images submitted has been quite astounding; they give  the public a unique  insight into the research as seen through the eyes of scientists. These are more than just pictures, they are the art of science.”

First prize was awarded to an image of a novel species of fungi discovered during the analysis of sediment collected from Salwa beach in  Qatar. Through their project ‘Mapping the Microbial Diversity in the Arabian Gulf Surrounding Qatar using Genomics, Metagenomics and Culturing Approaches’, Dr Rashmi Fotedar, a Lead Principal Investigator from the Ministry of Environment, and  her team demonstrated that Qatari marine sediments could harbour a variety of yet-to-be-discovered fungal species.  

Second prize went to an image taken using a high-speed camera operating at 20,000 frames per second, and was entitled ‘Converting Liquid Fuel into Small Droplets During Spray Process to Enhance Engine Performance’. The picture showed the relevance of predictive models  for fuel spray research  in  a real-life application, and was  captured by Dr Kannaiyan, an Principal Investigator in the project. The project, called an ‘In-depth Characterization of Spray and Combustion Performance of Alternative Jet Fuels at Gas Turbine Combustor Conditions’, is led by Dr Reza Sadr from Texas A&M University at Qatar.

An image entitled ‘Fat Stem Cells Full of Red Fat Droplets’ submitted by Dr  Mohamed Elrayess and his team from the Anti-Doping Lab Qatar, from their project entitled ‘The role of preadipocyte differentiation in site-specific adipocyte dysfunction and development of obesity-induced insulin resistance’, took third place. The research relates to fat deposition on the liver, kidney, and heart, and illustrates sensitivity to type-2 diabetes.

Commenting on the success of the first BRIO competition, Ms Noor AL-Merekhi, Director of Programs at QNRF, said: “It is very rewarding to receive images representing the research funded by QNRF, and we are very keen on encouraging researchers to share the outcomes of their work with the larger community.  Whilst the winning images stood out, all submissions received were significant and had artistic value in their respective areas, and I want to thank all those who took part.”

The shortlisted images will be displayed by QNRF during QF R&D’s Annual Research Conference (ARC'16), and the winners will be recognised during the award ceremony of ARC’16. Additionally, a number of the images will be featured on the QNRF website, in books, and online publications in order to encourage research teams to compete in future competitions.

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