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Texas A&M scholars embark on cross-campus collaboration for summer research excellence

Published Aug 27, 2023

Twenty students from Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, and nine students from Texas A&M’s flagship campus in College Station, Texas (USA) enhanced their engineering and technology skills during the Texas Summer Research Experience program.

In this collaborative program, students from the Doha campus were paired with research teams from the College Station campus to collaborate on projects alongside fellow undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty members from Texas A&M. Concurrently, College Station students were connected with research initiatives taking place during the summer in Qatar. The College Station students engaged in hands-on lab work at the Texas A&M at Qatar Engineering Building located in Education City.

Dr. Ryan McLawhon ’03, assistant dean for academic services and student affairs at Texas A&M at Qatar, said, “The Texas Summer Research Experience offers students a distinctive chance to blend their undergraduate research with a global perspective. These opportunities allow students to acquire practical skills in problem-solving, research, and inquiry, all while being fully engaged in a different cultural context. These are precisely the sorts of experiences that hold great value for both advanced academic pursuits and prospective employers seeking well-rounded engineering graduates in the contemporary landscape.”

Racha Qaddura, a chemical engineering junior at Texas A&M at Qatar, worked on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy during her time in College Station. Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) is a technique that provides information about molecular vibrations in a sample by measuring the interaction between light and the sample's molecular bonds, particularly when the sample is placed on or near metal surface.

 “It was an amazing experience to be mentored by Dr. Hung-Jen Wu whose expertise and encouragement were instrumental in the success of this project,” Qaddura said. “This research journey not only enhanced my technical acumen, but also honed my presentation, problem-solving and communication abilities. I am excited to witness the potential impact of our research in the field of chemical engineering and beyond.”

For Joshua Silva, mechanical engineering junior at Texas A&M at Qatar, it was a proud moment when the shape memory alloys research he worked on with aerospace engineering faculty was presented to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

He said, “Working closely with the exceptional faculty in the aerospace engineering team in the state-of-the-art facilities at Texas A&M University was an immense learning curve for me. Apart from that, the experiences we had: travelling around College Station, being on the flagship campus and seeing Aggie practices in person is an experience I’ll cherish all my life.”