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Qatari industry leader Khalifa Al-Sowidi joins Texas A&M at Qatar faculty

Published Sep 06, 2020

Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Al-Sowidi has joined the chemical engineering faculty at Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, bringing his more than 30 years of industry experience to the classroom to benefit engineering students at the university.

Al-Sowidi has been appointed a Professor of Practice, who at Texas A&M are professional engineers and industry leaders whose years of real-world experience add tremendous value to the education of Texas A&M’s engineering students, said Dr. César Octavio Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar.

“Mr. Al-Sowidi is a true engineering leader in Qatar,” Malavé said, “and we are honored that he is joining our faculty. One thing that is hard to convey to students through classroom learning is real-world industry experience and what engineering is like outside the university. Having a leader of Mr. Al-Sowidi’s caliber as a faculty member will enhance the already outstanding engineering education students receive here at Texas A&M at Qatar to make our graduates even more sought after and effective when they join the workplace.”

Professors of Practice bridge the gap between industry and academia and bring the industry perspective to the classroom directly to students. At Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station, Texas (USA), professors of practice teach undergraduate and graduate courses, and help develop new curriculum that reflects cutting-edge industry technology and practices. Professors of practice participate in research as advisors and principal investigators for research grants, and act as industry liaisons to identify research topics and research support. They also serve as student mentors, curriculum advisors and faculty advisors to student professional organizations.

Al-Sowidi joins the Chemical Engineering Program as Professor of the Practice effective 1 Sept. He will support the teaching of courses in the Chemical Engineering Program, conduct research and participate in R&D projects with industry involvement. He earned a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering in 1984 from Arizona State University (USA) and by 1997 he was the Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Fertilizer Company (QAFCO), a position he held until 2015. In his role as CEO, he managed the construction and commissioning of large-scale ammonia and urea plants with a combined project value of more than $3 billion.

He was a member of the Board of Qatar Petroleum, Industry of Qatar and Qatar Manufacturing Company. He also served as the head of the Technical Committee of International Fertilizer Association and was Chairman of GPCA Fertilizer for 12 years, in addition to many other international associations and boards.