Texas A&M University at Qatar hosted its first annual Research-Industry Partnership Showcase, titled “Research and Industry: Fostering Synergy,” on 21 May at Qatar National Convention Centre. The event promoted dialogue between University researchers and industry representatives on collaboration potentials, mutual interests and shared opportunities for advancing the State of Qatar’s national vision and strategic development goals through research. Over 100 industry and government representatives attended the daylong event.
The showcase included an industry keynote address, presentations of successful collaboration examples, breakout meetings, a poster session and a roundtable brainstorming and recommendation discussion.
Dr. Mohamed Aggour, professor of petroleum engineering and chair of the event’s organizing committee, opened the showcase with comments on the importance of research collaboration and its mutual benefits to academia and industry.
“This research showcase will provide the platform for local industry and commercial organizations to become better informed of the research and technical capabilities of Texas A&M at Qatar and the opportunities available for increasing the levels of collaboration and partnership between the two,” Aggour said. “It will also provide a venue for industry to discuss pressing issues and problems requiring research and development work while creating awareness within Texas A&M at Qatar’s researchers and scientists on these needs. We hope this will lead to establishing multidisciplinary research activities that serve the local industry at large.”
Dr. Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M at Qatar, welcomed the guests, saying, “Texas A&M at Qatar is keen to demonstrate its commitment to this community through the creation of new knowledge that serves the needs of the State of Qatar and the region. We offer our expertise and natural curiosity as a resource, and we are eager to learn of new ideas and challenges from our research partners. The University endeavors to leverage its intellectual capacity and service-minded spirit in support of Qatar’s National Vision 2030. Today is an opportunity for conversations about how we can better do that.”
Technical sessions at the event took place within four topical tracks titled Energy, Water and Environment; Petroleum Technologies; Materials: Processes and Applications; and Information and Communication Technology.
Mr. Dave Frye, subsurface group manager at RasGas Company Limited (RasGas), offered the industry keynote address at the event. In his presentation, titled “The Benefits of Partnership,” Frye expounded on the significance of cooperation between companies such as RasGas and educational institutions to produce value-added, fit-for-purpose research products as well as to prepare petroleum engineering students with a sound foundation to support them throughout their professional careers.
“The longstanding and strong relationship between RasGas and Texas A&M at Qatar resulted in several benefits – from recruiting talented Qataris who graduated from Texas A&M at Qatar to exploring potential ground breaking technological solutions relating to our operations,” Frye said. “The industry’s initiatives to share technological and scientific knowledge provide students with opportunities to pursue higher education and enhance their business knowledge and skills. This significantly contributes to the creation of a wider range of qualified Qatari students who are eager to join the industry.”
Dr. Eyad Masad, assistant dean for research and graduate studies, added that the showcase aimed to celebrate research success at the University while simultaneously creating new opportunities for collaboration.
“Our research activities have contributed to solving operational problems and developing technologies to optimize operations and maximize efficiency in several industries,” Masad explained. “The results of our research contributions are reflected in achievements such as publishing 150 refereed journal papers annually, offering 200 technical conference presentations each year, involving 118 undergraduate students in research in 2011 and Texas A&M at Qatar inventors’ participation in 12 IP disclosures.”
Texas A&M at Qatar faculty members also showcased their research through presentations and a poster session. Following the technical presentations, the event concluded with a luncheon honoring attendees.