Texas A&M University at Qatar (Tamuq) hosted 24 high school students from around Qatar for a three-week STEM programme encouraging them to engineer solutions to the country’s grand challenges.
The Summer Engineering Academy (SEA) introduces rising seniors — referred to as National Vision Scholars — to advanced topics in engineering and science while teaching important problem-solving skills.
Students worked with faculty mentors and STEM experts Benjamin Cieslinski, Dr Mohamed Gharib and Tala Katbeh to develop research projects and communicate their results through a presentation in front of judges, including research posters and a video.
Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Ltd (Oxy Qatar) sponsored  SEA and  teamed up with Tamuq to support Qatar’s efforts to attract young Qataris into STEM education and careers.
“Occidental is aligned to the Qatar National Vision 2030 by supporting the next generations with education in STEM as well as innovation. Texas A&M is developing bright and ambitious students that can transform the future,” said Andrew H Kershaw, president and general manager of Oxy Qatar.
“It is almost limitless what these students can achieve and with a solid STEM foundation they are the future leaders of our industries. We strive to be the partner of choice wherever we operate and we are incredibly excited to be the sponsor of this programme.”
This year’s academy led students through a focused engineering project in one of Texas A&M at Qatar’s four engineering disciplines. Participants worked with Tamuq faculty and staff members on real-life, relevant, hands-on research projects related to Qatar’s grand research challenges.
This year’s projects focused on investigating the value-efficiency of alternative fuel sources; testing a new design for robust, secure cloud storage; experimenting with building durable, robust furniture out of recycled water bottles; and studying ways to maximise fuel recovery in complex reservoirs.
The petroleum engineering team of Abdulaziz Alderham, Dhruv Anand, Ghalya al-Emadi, Haya AlNaimi, Noor al-Banna and Ruba Yousif won the overall competition for their project. The team was mentored by Dr Nayef Alyafei and Dr Thomas Seers, as well as current Tamuq  petroleum engineering sophomore Sara Albanna.
“Each of these exceptional National Vision Scholars has the potential to be a future engineering leader in Qatar. Qatar needs scientists and engineers to continue the tremendous momentum it has built over the past few years and drive this country toward meeting the goals of its National Vision 2030. I hope these students choose to continue to expand their knowledge in their chosen engineering fields and I hope to see them enrolled at Texas A&M at Qatar in Fall 2020,” added Dr Cesar Octavio Malave, dean Tamuq.