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Texas A&M at Qatar empowers female engineers

Published Jun 23, 2023

As we commemorate International Women in Engineering Day, it is important to reflect on our journey thus far, celebrate our achievements, and gear up to address the challenges that lie ahead. Over the past few decades, significant progress has been made, and we now witness an increased presence of female role models in leadership positions within the engineering industry, both globally and in Qatar.

During the period when Qatar's oil and gas industry was booming, I was exploring opportunities to pursue a degree. Witnessing the growth of Ras Laffan Industrial City, I felt a strong desire to become part of that historical development. With a passion for mathematics, physics, and chemistry, I knew that engineering was the right path for me.

Fortunately, the answer was right here in Qatar: pursuing a chemical engineering degree from Texas A&M University at Qatar. This renowned institution provided an exceptional engineering education, comparable to the best in the world, while offering unique and enriching experiences right in my own backyard.

The availability of such prestigious educational opportunities within Qatar demonstrates the country's commitment to fostering engineering excellence and nurturing the talents of aspiring engineers. By providing access to world-class education and empowering individuals to pursue their engineering dreams, Qatar is contributing to the growth and advancement of the engineering field. Particularly for young women in this country, Education City affords opportunities to pursue world class education, that they may not otherwise have,

After completing my bachelor's and master's degrees in Qatar, followed by a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University's main campus in College Station, USA, I felt a strong desire to give back to the community in Qatar. Throughout my educational journey, I had the privilege of being guided by exceptional mentors. However, I couldn't help but notice the lack of women faculty members, particularly Arab women faculty, in the field. It was at this moment that I discovered my true calling.

Since 2018, I have been serving as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University at Qatar. This role allows me to contribute to the academic community in Qatar and inspire future generations of engineers.

One of the most inspiring aspects of my experience here is the significant number of female students in our institution. Every academic year, as well as in our STEM and engineering outreach programs, we consistently observe a higher percentage of female students, especially among Qatari students. In fact, in our most recent graduating class, the Class of 2023, 57% of the graduates were female, and among the Qatari cohort, more than 75% were female.

Inspiration for these students is readily available within Qatar itself. Prominent female leaders such as Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, and Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad serve as powerful role models who inspire generations of women. In the field of engineering, female alumni of Texas A&M at Qatar have assumed key leadership roles in various industries, including oil and gas, construction, and utilities.

Recognizing the value of a diverse workforce, companies are actively working towards inclusivity and empowering women to excel in their workplaces. This involves developing inclusive policies and practices, addressing biases and stereotypes, and advocating for greater representation. However, there is still progress to be made. Many on-site engineering facilities are not designed to accommodate women, highlighting the need for improved infrastructure and workplace accommodations.

Continuing professional development beyond obtaining degrees is another important area of focus. It is crucial to support engineers in staying updated with the latest innovations, research, and developments in their fields. This ensures that they remain competitive and equipped with the necessary skills throughout their careers.

Inspiring young women to enter the field of engineering is a priority. Texas A&M at Qatar organizes round table discussions, panels, and information sessions that highlight the options available to young female engineers, whether they choose to enter the workforce or pursue graduate studies. The university also provides a Women's Mentorship Program, matching female freshmen with female upperclassmen to offer guidance and support during the transition to university life. The Women's Faculty Forum advocates for the needs of female faculty, raising awareness of gender equality issues within the university.

The university's commitment to promoting diversity extends beyond Qatar's borders. Initiatives like the US-Pakistan Women's Council Future of Women in Energy Scholars program welcome cohorts of Pakistani female students, fostering international collaboration and empowerment.

Texas A&M at Qatar equips its students, including women, not only with technical expertise but also with essential professional skills such as communication, critical thinking, negotiation, and presentation. By nurturing well-rounded engineering leaders, the university contributes to the growth and innovation of Qatar. And there are plenty of opportunities to learn, develop and grow across Education City.

Qatar Foundation is a central part of the Qatar’s knowledge ecosystem, with a steadfast commitment to empowering women in various areas. Within its universities and centers, women hold influential leadership positions and actively contribute to education, cultural development, and research, creating positive and meaningful impacts.

International Women in Engineering Day, celebrated on June 23 each year, provides a global platform to honor women in the engineering field. The day focuses on raising awareness and recognizing the contributions of women who are driving change in engineering.

As a proud Aggie faculty member and a part of Qatar Foundation, I am dedicated to educating the engineering leaders of the future and inspiring more women to pursue their passions in engineering, ultimately contributing to Qatar's progress and innovation.


Dr. Dhabia Al Mohannadi is a research assistant professor at Texas A&M University at Qatar. She completed her bachelors and masters in chemical engineering at Texas A&M at Qatar, followed by obtaining her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University at College Station, USA. Her work focuses on the systematic design of sustainable industrial parks under carbon dioxide limits, resource management, and climate policies evaluation.