Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


This week, we hosted top leaders in education at the QS MAPLE Conference and Exhibition which was inaugurated by Prime Minister of the State of Qatar His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani,and which drew the presence and participation of Minister of Education H.E. Dr Mohammed Abdul Ali Al-Hammadi and Minister of Development Planning and Statistics H.E. Dr Saleh bin Mohammed Mohammed Al-Nabit.

Themed “International Innovation and Co-operation in Higher Education”, the event aimed to help build world-class universities for MENA and Asian communities through global partnerships and collaborations, and to support the processes of institutional evaluation and upgrading that will lead to greater worldwide recognition of universities in these regions.

HE Dr Al-Hammadi was also a distinguished keynote speaker along with SEC Education Institute Director Mrs Fawzia Al-Khater at the recent 2-day CED/SEC joint conference “Partners in Excellence”. We are pleased to have partnered with the SEC on this important forum. Our long history of working with the education community has always been based on close partnership and continuous dialogue as the key strategies to achieving a successful and sustainable impact. This spirit of true partnership is needed now more than ever — stakeholders need to work together in real partnership, leveraging each other’s strengths and working to create the next generation of education leaders. QU takes its commitment to the national education scene seriously, both as a source of qualified graduates in various fields of importance to social and economic development, and as a partner in educating, training, promoting, and advocating for the educators.

Last week also witnessed the inauguration of the Research Complex by Qatar’s Minister of Environment H.E. Ahmed Bin Amir Al-Humaidi. This was a very proud moment for QU that underlines the direction of our research and our growing position as an academic institution of research quality and excellence.

We are focusing efforts on developing infrastructure as well as increasing the number of graduate programs to achieve our strategic goals and contribute to realizing the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030. The Research Complex is one of those efforts.

The state-of-the-art facility houses the Biomedical Research Center (BRC), Center for Advanced Materials (CAM), Environmental Studies Center (ESC), Gas Processing Center (GPC) and Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC) — five of QU’s 14 research centers of excellence.

The event was part of the annual QU Research Forum which brought together a host of experts to discuss topics on the priority areas covering QU research. It was also an opportunity to recognize our students, faculty and researchers who excelled in their research efforts.

Many congratulations to all the winners in the Best Poster category – names too numerous to mention — and to Dr Kaltham Al Ghanim for the Research Excellence Award in Social Science and Humanities, Dr Atif Iqbal for the Research Excellence Award in Sciences & Engineering, and recognition of Eng Waleed Shala and Eng Khalid Halabi for their contribution and efforts towards the planning and design of the Research Complex.

We also held the 3rd instalment of Engineering Week, one of the key outreach programs of the College of Engineering. The event is aimed at orienting high school and foundation students and members of the wider community on the importance of science and engineering in Qatar’s growth and development. It is also an opportunity for young students to connect with their peers to discuss ideas and innovations and with industry organizations for guidance from their experts. We continue to collaborate with industry on ways in which we can motivate and inspire young students to pursue studies in these fields and to continue to build on our legacy as the provider of the largest percentage of science and engineering graduates to the industrial sector.

The College of Engineering will benefit from an agreement between QU and Politecnico di Torino that builds on the one signed between both institutions in 2014 that aims to develop long-term academic and research collaborations to address global challenges. The agreement was part of last week’s Study Abroad Fair activities which also saw a collaboration agreement signed between Core Curriculum Program and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) which will serve to enhance the Program’s work and ensure that it is in line with the best international practices and current trends in the field.

The Fair was a tremendous success, with over 400 students visiting 30 booths fielding information from top universities and obtaining advice and guidance on the merits of studying abroad. It was also an important opportunity for faculty to discuss with their peers from international institutions the possibility of establishing research projects, and advance their academic careers and research objectives.

In closing, I extend congratulations to Team QU-Mechatronics comprising mechanical and electrical engineering students Mohammed Omar Khalifa, Ahmed Aqel, Yahya Alhomsi, and Sharief Saleh, supervised by Dr John-John Cabibihan, on recently winning the Qatar round of the Microsoft Cup 2015 in the Innovation category. The team will go on to represent Qatar in the Middle East round in Bahrain in June. We wish them the very best.