Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


08/04/2014

Research at QU is growing at a considerable rate and the level of excellence emanating from the research centers, and faculty and students’ projects is driving the university’s momentum as a key part of the research engine in Qatar.

With an ambitious roadmap in place, QU continues to advance its commitment to the objectives of the human development pillars of the National Vision, the National Development Strategy, National Research Strategy and National Health Strategy.

From population surveys to road safety, our research efforts are irrevocably linked to two very important considerations – finding solutions towards the betterment of the society, and building a knowledge-based economy.  With oil and gas as the country’s central economic base, QU is taking the lead on many fronts,  bringing to bear its academic and research expertise on various institutional and national projects, especially on energy security.

QU addresses three priority challenges within this theme — solar energy, energy storage and smart grid integration – and there are critical ongoing research activities by our researchers and experts on a wide range of projects such as biofuel from organic waste, solar energy to fuel, carbon dioxide sequestration, energy efficient systems and smart buildings, and Qatar solar map, to name a few.

Of considerable importance is making the shift from concept to execution which will bring into focus the work of Qatar scientists and the commitment of QU and like partners to help them to compete on the global stage.  It is clear that we need to address the entire research ecosystem holistically — not only the financial resources and scientific tools – aligning national priorities, institutional research culture, graduate research, and international collaborations.

Student success in research, apart from the individual honor, is a plus for the institution as a leader in research, and of considerable benefit to the society at large.  CAS health sciences student Zahra Al Abbas’ recent 2ndplace win in the UREP competition reinforces our efforts to ensure that the research culture at QU continues to advance and that students avail of all opportunities at QU and on the national, regional and international level to showcase their excellence.

Next week will see the first ever workshop in Qatar on animal research.  Organized by our Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC), biomedical experts, researchers and students  will come together to share knowledge,  procedures and requirements of conducting animal research.   This is a new area of research for Qatar and we are pleased to collaborate with experts from leading institutions in Qatar, Singapore and the US to build national human capacity in this field which is known to contribute in no small way to scientific understanding and medical research.

Specialized workshops such as this are the mainstay of our teaching and learning environment and part of our continuing education efforts, and professional development and training.  They benefit QU members as well as a wide range of participants from all sectors in Qatar and the region, and beyond.  For instance, last week, 80 trainees from Doha-based and regional organizations, from statistics and other fields, had the opportunity of training and guidance from researchers from SESRI and the University of Michigan Institute of Social Research (ISR) to build their capacity on survey research and design.

We also extend these opportunities to high school students to acquaint them with research and development activities at the institution and national level and engage them on their future role in the country’s progress.  Programs such as Al Bairaq and Life is Engineering, Gasna and the Computing Contest reflect our commitment in this regard. Al Bairaq recently completed its 7th cycle of its “I am a Researcher” program, and under LIEP, the College of Engineering arranged the visit of over 50 high schoolers taking part in the program to see science in action at ExxonMobil Research Qatar.

In these and other activities, we are proud to be a leading partner with organizations across Qatar to advance research and development in the country.