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Texas A&M University at Qatar host first undergraduate research retreat

Published Jul 17, 2023

Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, recently organized the first edition of the undergraduate research retreat. The event, which was organized by the division of arts and sciences (DAS) was open to all undergraduate students across Education City.

The one-day retreat provided the students an opportunity to showcase their work, exchange ideas, receive feedback, and interact with peers and mentors in a supportive and immersive environment enhancing their presentation, communication and negotiation skills. It also gave them an opportunity to get direct feedback on their work from technical experts, peers, faculty members and industry representatives including TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell Qatar and Ministry of Defense.

Sai Surag Lingampalli, an undergraduate engineering student from Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) found it to be an enriching experience. “The interactive poster session was the most beneficial part of the one-day retreat,” said Lingampalli. “I had the honor and privilege of representing HBKU and our state-of-the-art research institutes, which gave me an excellent opportunity to present our exceptional work to renowned industry leaders and faculty members, gaining their insightful feedback and invaluable guidance.”

Texas A&M at Qatar alumni, Dr. Sara Amad Al-Hail, who is currently with the Ministry of Defense was among the industry contributors at the event. She said, “It is always a pleasure to be part of activities organized by Texas A&M at Qatar, and I am truly impressed by the quality of the research projects that were showcased during the undergraduate research retreat. As a researcher, I am delighted at the interest exhibited by students from across Education City, in understanding how to conduct research and their capabilities of adhering to scientific methodology. I look forward to seeing these students create a positive impact for Qatar contributing to the state’s knowledge-based economy some day in the future.”

Dr. Bernard Lamel, director of the division of arts and sciences, said, “Through the undergraduate research retreat, we are empowering not just Aggies but also students across Education City, who get a showcase for their achievements and an opportunity to  share and communicate with other undergraduate researchers. We also believe that the event was an important  opportunity for building skills such as critical thinking, analytical skills, problem solving, and effective communication.” 

The DAS curriculum integration committee, which organized the event, included Dr. Mohammed Al-Hashimi, Dr. Naqaa Abbas, Dr. Ricardo Alonso, and Dr. Robert Carson.

“By exposing students to a diverse range of research topics and approaches, the retreat aim was to ignite curiosity and inspire students to continue their scholarly pursuits, inspiring future research,” said Dr. Al-Hashimi. “The one-day retreat included activities such as panel discussions, workshops, keynote speeches by accomplished researchers, and industry leaders, networking sessions, and a poster presentation competition.”