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Texas A&M at Qatar celebrates 10 years of excellence

Published Jan 06, 2013

Texas A&M University at Qatar celebrated its 10-year anniversary of engineering a world of difference at a gala event Sunday night at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). The event honored Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), QF and Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) VIPs and executive staff from Texas A&M University’s main campus in Texas, US. The University has been offering engineering degree programs in Qatar since 2003.

The event served to mark a milestone decade in Qatar and an opportunity promote its mission of developing leaders of character who are dedicated to serving the greater good by presenting a resolution to Her Highness that supports her newly launched Educate a Child initiative. The resolution outlined Texas A&M at Qatar’s dedication to partner with Educate a Child to engage Aggie engineering students in developing solutions for practical problems that hinder access to education through engineering design projects. The Educate a Child initiative seeks to deliver quality primary education to millions of children across the world and address challenges that keep 61 million children out of school because of extreme poverty, conflict, natural disaster, prejudice or any factor that can make them hard to reach by conventional means. The University is the first to offer public support for the newly launched initiative.

In reply to the presentation of the resolution, Her Highness said, “This resolution… sums up the essence of all that education City is about- equipping our young people with the skills and the knowledge to be global citizens and enabling them to make the world a better place”

She continued, ‘… Through education, anything is possible. I look to Aggie students of today and tomorrow to rise to the challenge enshrined in this resolution’.

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry for the State of Qatar and Texas A&M at Qatar Joint Advisory Board Chairman, spoke at the gala event and noted the University’s successes over the past ten years, saying, “Since 2007, more than 300 Aggie engineers have graduated from   Texas A&M University at Qatar. This includes the first graduates from the master’s program in chemical engineering. Texas A&M at Qatar is educating engineers who are contributing to Qatar’s development and will lead the next generation of discovery in Qatar’s knowledge-based economy. In all that it does, Texas A&M at Qatar embraces and works to support the Qatar National Vision 2030, which is Qatar’s roadmap to sustained prosperity. The University is a strategic educational partner for Qatar, and its contributions are significant and far-reaching. Texas A&M at Qatar should be proud of its many accomplishments in its first 10 years, and our partnership in the decade to come surely will bring greater opportunities to strengthen our collaborations, our exchange of knowledge and our mutual pursuit for a greater good.”

HBKU President and QF Vice President for Education, His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, delivered remarks noting the partnership between the University and QF and HBKU, saying, “I think we all have reason to look back with satisfaction on the first decade of partnership between Texas A&M University and Qatar Foundation. The facts speak for themselves: five commencement ceremonies so far and graduating more than 300 engineers, almost half of them Qatari. Already we are seeing the results of the first Masters program, launched less than two years ago. Texas A&M has been a generous collaborator with external organizations through its research and outreach projects and it is helping build our new economy. In the coming years, more and more of our graduates will work in, and lead, our knowledge-based industries. This strong tradition of scholarship, which is put to the service of the community also makes Texas A&M an ideal partner for the next phase of higher education in Qatar. Hamad bin Khalifa University will grow into a center of excellence that drives forward our country’s society and economy, and contributes to the development of the region. It will achieve this through outstanding programs that equip graduates to succeed at all levels, and through globally recognized research that extends the boundaries of knowledge, and enhances quality of life. Collaboration will remain at the heart of our development, and at this stage of our evolution, we are inviting new forms of collaboration that can help us achieve our goals. I know Texas A&M shares these goals. I thank Texas A&M University for its important contribution to the State of Qatar during the past 10 years, and I look forward to travelling with you on the next stage of our journey.”

Dr. Mark H. Weichold, Texas A&M at Qatar dean and CEO, thanked those who have helped make the past decade so successful, saying, “This celebration is an opportunity to give thanks to our valued partners, supporters and stakeholders who motivate and inspire us. Thank you to Qatar Foundation and Hamad bin Khalifa University and their leaders for the support that has made tonight and the past 10 years possible. Thank you, also, to His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, for Qatar’s trust in Texas A&M University to be a strategic partner for Qatar’s pursuit of its development goals and the Qatar National Vision 2030. The University has made this nation’s goals our own, as we strive to be a premier provider of engineering education, a leading contributor to knowledge globally and a valued resource to the State of Qatar. We share a common belief that through education, anything is possible, and that through shared understanding we can build bridges over which culture, kinship and knowledge are exchanged.”

“Texas A&M has been honored to build a world-class engineering program at Education City over the past decade," said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. "We are proud to have worked side by side with our distinguished partners to develop academic, research and outreach programs that benefit Qatar and the entire Middle East, and we look forward to many more decades of mutually beneficial collaboration."

The anniversary event marked the launch of a year of celebration for the University. The upcoming World Congress on Engineering Education (WCEE 2013), hosted in collaboration with Maersk Oil Qatar, will be the University’s birthday gift to Qatar. Slated for 7-9 January at QNCC, the Congress will attract engineering leaders, educators and innovators from top engineering institutions around the world and is set to become the preeminent gathering for engineering professionals and academics.