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Summer Engineering Academy electrical engineering group takes first prize

Published Jul 23, 2018

A team of high school students from Qatar designed and developed a digital road navigation system to win the award for Best Engineering Research Project at the fourth annual Summer Engineering Academy (SEA), organized by Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) and sponsored by Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Ltd. (Oxy Qatar).

SEA is a 10-day enrichment initiative that aims to encourage young high school students to choose educational pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  

More than 24 top grade-12 students (known as “Qatar National Vision Scholars”) worked with Texas A&M on real-life research projects, learning important problem-solving skills.

Yazan Saleh, a member of the winning electrical engineering group, said, “I feel really excited and happy for what we have achieved. The hard work and effort we have put in has helped us to realize our dreams and goals. This will be very helpful for our future and applying to university.”

Mariam Alkaabi, another member of the electrical engineering group, said, “The first part of the program was hard. There were codes and numbers that I didn’t understand at first but it was a really good challenging experience and I am so proud that we won.”

The winners of the Outstanding Technical Communication Award went to the petroleum engineering group and a team of students that examined improving fluid flow for enhanced oil recovery.

Dr. Nayef Alyafei, assistant professor in the petroleum engineering and instructor of the petroleum engineering team said, “This program is the perfect opportunity for the students to see engineering in action and it gives them a taste of how it feels to be an engineer.”  Alyafei said, “This year we took it to the max. I am sure that our students delivered because they simply enjoyed this experience, were always happy and were always spending extra time - which shows that they loved this program and really want to commit to engineering.”

The Future Engineers “High Flyers” program was also run simultaneously alongside SEA for 30 high school students in grades 9, 10, and 11 from Qatar. Students learned about aeronautical engineering, assembling their own radio-controlled aircraft through computer-aided design software and designing their own indoor gliders.

Mahmoud Esameldin Osman, who won the Outstanding Participation Award, said, “Participating in this program helped me to determine what I am really interested in.”

The awards were presented with the help of Oxy Qatar’s President and General Manager, Andrew H. Kershaw, who commented “Every one of the students in these programs has been so incredibly impressive and so knowledgeable and each of them is a winner. I’m sure that there are future engineering leaders amongst them today.”

Reem Sangoor, a parent of one of the participants, reflected on the program saying, “The program is really excellent. It does a great job of attracting future students to join Texas A&M and to change their perception about engineering.  My daughter chose to do petroleum engineering after last year’s summer program and will be joining Texas A&M University this fall.”