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Texas A&M researchers net 32 percent of research funds

Published May 24, 2009

Researchers get $27.5 million for projects in engineering and natural, social and medical sciences.

Researchers from Texas A&M University at Qatar and the University’s main campus on Sunday were named recipients of more than $27 million in funding for 28 new research projects in the second cycle of Qatar National Research Fund’s National Priorities Research Program.

The new research grants span a range of disciplines: 19 were awarded for projects in engineering, seven in natural sciences, one in medical sciences and one in social sciences.

Texas A&M at Qatar Dean and CEO Dr. Mark H. Weichold said outcomes of these projects will result in better roads, more efficient fuel technology, more effective wireless communications hardware and more sophisticated technology for extracting hydrocarbons, among other advances.

“These projects represent the cutting edge of scholarly research that yields solutions to practical problems,” Weichold said.

Among the 28 winning grants, faculty from Texas A&M are the lead investigators on 17 projects and co-investigators on 11 projects. The University had 30 percent of the winning projects and received 32 percent of total funds awarded in the NPRP grant cycle, said Dr. Jim Holste, associate dean for research and graduate studies at Texas A&M at Qatar.

“We are quite proud of the success of our faculty, and we are honored by this endorsement of the important work being done by Texas A&M at Qatar,” Holste said.

Today’s announcement builds on the University’s success in the first cycle of NPRP in which researchers from Texas A&M at Qatar and the University’s main campus in College Station, Texas, earned more than $12 million for 20 research projects, announced in late 2007.

Weichold noted that the University’s success in the first two cycles of the National Priorities Research Program is a product of both the academic prowess of the University and its deep-rooted commitment to research as a resource for Qatar and the region.

“Texas A&M at Qatar is conducting research that matters to Qatar and the region,” Weichold said. “Qatar Foundation and the Qatar National Research Fund have an exceptional vision for addressing
tomorrow’s challenges today, and Texas A&M at Qatar has the tools and expertise to be a part finding solutions to those challenges.”

Upon formal inauguration of the 28 new NPRP research grants, total research funding at Texas A&M at Qatar will exceed $45 million.