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QF partner Texas A&M at Qatar launches Ph.D. Fellows Program to build research capacity in Qatar

Published Nov 10, 2021


A new program offered through Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, offers high-achieving, driven students a chance to earn a Ph.D. in engineering from a world-class university while focusing their research — and their careers — on areas of economic importance to the State of Qatar.

Through the Ph.D. Fellows Program, qualified students will earn a Ph.D. from Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station, Texas (USA). The students will be in residence in Texas while completing their coursework in a globally competitive environment, and then return to Doha to complete their doctoral research at the branch campus in Education City.

Dr. César Octavio Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said the program aligns with both Qatar’s National Vision 2030 and the Qatar National Research Strategy.

“This program is truly unique to Qatar,” Malavé said, “and will result in highly qualified Ph.D. graduates who will drive scientific innovation in — and have economic impact on — the State of Qatar. These graduates will eventually become engineering faculty who will mentor and educate future graduate students, join the highly educated workforce needed to lead national laboratories and initiatives, or launch new businesses that will transform industries.”

Thaer Syam, one of the inaugural class of Ph.D. Fellows currently studying mechanical engineering at the main campus, said that the program will expand collaboration in research/knowledge between the U.S. and Qatar, which will build human capacity in Qatar.

“Texas A&M University is one of the top-ranked universities in the world, especially in engineering,” Syam said. “Qatar is my second country, and I was raised there. Therefore, doing a Ph.D. in a world-class institution between USA and Qatar will give me the chance to work and produce in Qatar, which will be very beneficial to my career pathway. My long-term goal is to become a faculty member in an academic institution in Qatar, and I believe that this program will lead us to become leaders in our fields in both academia and industry.”

For Hadear Hassan, a Class of 2021 graduate of Texas A&M at Qatar, joining the Ph.D. Fellows Program felt like an easy decision.

“I have always known I wanted to pursue a doctoral degree, so when presented with this opportunity, it was an easy decision,” Hassan said. “It was an opportunity to work under some of the best professors, whom I have grown to trust and admire, a chance to experience two different and diverse university environments, the chance to graduate from a top-tier university and as a bonus a chance to be close to my family. I have been enjoying my time at Texas A&M — the class subject variety, the diverse graduate student body and the extra professional development programs have been great. I am also a teaching assistant for a class of around 80 students, which has been a great learning experience.”

Through its ambitious research program, Texas A&M at Qatar is creating cutting-edge solutions to real-world challenges with the power to revolutionize key industries, Malavé said. During the course of their studies, Ph.D. Fellows will engage with faculty and researchers to increase their practical experience and conduct research that may potentially impact Qatar’s knowledge economy.

The program is open to students interested in earning a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering. Funding covers expenses in both Doha and in College Station.

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