Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), concluded its successful involvement at QF’s Annual Research Forum (ARC ’16) by being awarded a total of 15 research grants by Qatar National Research Fund’s National Priorities Research Program, including three grants to the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), one to Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), and eleven to Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI). Researchers from QEERI and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) also won awards for the best poster presentations.
Following the conclusion of the event, which saw the three research institutes come together under auspices of HBKU for the first time, attendees of ARC ’16 were invited to join HBKU students, faculty and researchers, as well as members of the public, at a special community discussion to coincide with United Nations World Water Day.
At ARC ’16, HBKU’s three national research institutes, QBRI, QCRI, and QEERI, as well as HBKU’s CSE, Law School, and its publishing house, HBKU Press, played an active role in the conference.
Dr. Khaled B. Letaief, Provost of HBKU, who spoke about 5G mobile and wireless networks on a panel that focused on cutting-edge computational research at the event, noted: "At HBKU, we are committed to building Qatar's national research capabilities and propelling Qatar’s knowledge-based economy." "ARC provides an excellent platform for researchers to come together to exchange ideas and discuss how to best tackle challenges faced by Qatar, the region, and the wider world. I’m pleased to have so many of my colleagues from the university and its research institutes at the conference, but am even more proud to see that they are not only sharing insights from their own work, but also taking a leadership role in guiding these larger, crucial conversations." Three of the five parallel sessions of the conference were moderated by officials from the university. Dr. Said Ahzi from QEERI chaired the session on "Materials for Solar Energy Harvesting and Photovoltaic (PV) Technologies", while Dr. Mounir Hamdi, Dean of HBKU’s CSE, led the discussion on "Big Data for Sustainable Development" and Dr. Hilal Lashuel from QBRI guided a conversation on "Biomedical and Health Research in Qatar: Transforming Challenges into Competitive Advantages and Economic Opportunities." Dr. Khalid Al-Subai, Acting Executive Director of QEERI, was featured on the Energy and Environment panel, and, and Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive Director of QCRI, spoke on the panel on Computing and Information Technology.
A number of HBKU faculty members and scientists also presented their work during the oral presentations on day one of the conference, including Dr. Jorge Quiane from QCRI on "A System for Big Data Analytics Over Diverse Data Processing Platforms" and Dr. Clinton Francis, Dean of HBKU’s Law School, on "Crowd Inventing: An Innovation about Innovation". Dr. Omar El-Agnaf, Acting Executive Director of QBRI, also spoke about his work on Parkinson’s disease and disorders.
In addition to participating widely in the research conference, the university also organized a special event in Education City on the occasion of UN World Water Day in continued effort to connect with the local community and demonstrate the ways in which research discoveries can be utilized in efforts to better the world. Organized by QEERI, the event highlighted the work of Dr. Saad Jasim, Principal Investigator in Environmental and Chemical Science at the institute, who spoke about this year’s World Water Day theme: water and jobs.
Dr. Jasim commented: "The United Nations designated March 22nd as World Water Day in 1993. In Qatar, we face a shortage of sources of water. The university is doing a number of water quality studies and conducting research on water reuse for irrigation and for industrial work, in order to reduce the demand on the original sources.
"As much of our research at QEERI has an end-goal of bettering the world we live in and contributing to achieving social sustainability, the involvement and engagement of the community is of great importance to the institution and helps bridge the gap between the scientific community and the public", Dr. Jasim said.
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