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Texas A&M at Qatar and CMU-Q coaching teams in international competition to solve real-world challenges

Published Dec 09, 2020

STEM experts from Texas A&M University at Qatar and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar are coaching two teams of students from schools around Qatar who are working together to create innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to health-related real-world problems in the international Conrad Challenge 2020/2021.

The annual competition aims to encourage students to use their imagination and entrepreneurship to address the sustainability challenges that our world faces. Participants in the innovative competition select a local or global issue and then work to create and design an imaginative original invention to solve the challenge.

Qatar students participating in this year’s Conrad Challenge are Ahmed Ali, Al Khor International School; Abdullah Al-Janahi, Qatar Science and Technology Secondary School; Almayasa Al-Obaidli and Mohamad El Ghali, The International School of Choueifat; Arham Khalid, DPS Modern Indian School; Hala Almughanni, Al-Arqam Academy; Mohamed Saad, Park House English School; and Wisam Gadam, Al Bayan Secondary School. 

The first team’s project involves an innovative product named Muscle View. Muscle View monitors athletes’ electrolytes levels and predicts injuries before they happen to help prevent them. The second project is a mobile app named Health.doc that provides an accessible health information database to enable patients to keep track of their information and receive input from health professionals.

Both teams have succeeded in their investor pitches, the first round of the competition, and are moving on to the next round to continue with their business plans.

Hala Almughanni, one of the team members, said “The first round of the Conrad Challenge has been a great refreshment from my usual routine. It got the wheels in my head turning towards firsthand global problems that need to be solved by us. It is my first time participating in an entrepreneurial competition and I cannot wait for our coming steps as Team Qatar!”

The teams are mentored by STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experts, Dr. Mohamed Gharib and Tala Katbeh from Texas A&M at Qatar and Nour Tabet from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.

Dr. César Octavio Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said that he hopes this this new collaboration will help inspire even more students in Qatar to choose careers in STEM.

“As engineering educators, we know the role engineers play in helping solve the world’s biggest challenges,” Malavé said. “We also know how essential it is to be able to attract young minds to career paths in STEM from an early age, and we are grateful to our partners at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar for joining us in our efforts to create the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators in Qatar.”

Michael Trick, dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, said, “Our collaboration with Texas A&M at Qatar demonstrates how institutes of higher education can have a profound impact on the career paths of the next generation. In particular, I hope the interdisciplinary nature of the competition inspires students to look beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to solve complex challenges.” 

For more information about the Conrad Challenge, visit