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Texas A&M Engineering Building Education City PO Box 23874, Doha, Qatar tel. +974.4423.0010 fax +974.4423.0011

Contents 04

Dean’s Message


Historic Timeline


10 Year Celebration


10 Years of Progress through Teaching Excellence


Contributing to Qatar’s Growth through Innovative Thinking and Research


10 Year Trophy Design


Fullfilling Qatar’s National Vision


Engineering Leaders Inspire the Next Generation


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

Dean’s Messa�e Over the past decade, Texas A&M University at Qatar has made Qatar’s goals its own and has worked to become a premier provider of engineering education, a leading contributor to knowledge globally and a valued resource to the State of Qatar. The University’s accomplishments during the past 10 years have been extraordinary. A sincere thank you, of course, to Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser for putting her trust in Texas A&M University to be a strategic partner for Qatar’s pursuit of its development goals and the National Vision 2030. The University would like to thank Qatar Foundation, Hamad bin Khalifa University and Texas A&M University and their leaders for the support that has made the last 10 years possible. Qatar and Texas A&M at Qatar share a common belief that through education, anything is possible and the University is committed to that idea for the next decade. Through this shared understanding, we can build bridges over which culture, kinship and knowledge are shared. Dr. Mark Weichold Dean and CEO July 2013




Texas A&M at Qatar celebrates a decade of engineering a world of difference


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

Marking a decade of innovative research, academic excellence and world-class engineering programs, Texas A&M University at Qatar celebrated its 10-year anniversary of engineering a world of difference at a gala event on 6 January 2013 at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). The event honored Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), QF and Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) VIPs and executive staff from Texas A&M University’s main campus in College Station. In its first 10 years, the University witnessed significant developments such as the student body grew from 27 students in the inaugural class to over 500 currently enrolled students, from seven faculty members to more than 100, and from five staff members to more than 350. Since its beginnings in 2003, more than 400 Aggie engineers have graduated from Texas A&M University at Qatar as of May 2013. This includes the first two graduating classes from the master’s program in chemical engineering. Texas A&M at Qatar has evolved from a fledgling research program to a dynamic program of more than $159 million in research funding, from developed program undergraduate institution offering to masters degrees in chemical engineering. The gala not only served to mark a milestone decade in Qatar, the celebration provided the University with an opportunity to continue to promote its mission of developing leaders of character who are dedicated to serving the greater good by presenting a resolution to Her Highness that supports her newly launched Educate a Child initiative. The resolution outlined Texas A&M at Qatar’s dedication to partner with Educate a Child to engage Aggie engineering students in developing solutions for practical problems that hinder access to education through engineering design projects. The initiative seeks to deliver quality primary education to millions of children across the world and address challenges that keep 61 million children out of school because of extreme poverty, conflict, natural disaster, prejudice or any factor that can make them hard to reach by conventional means. The University is the first to offer public support for the year-old initiative.

“This resolution sums up the essence of all that education City is about- equipping our young people with the skills and the knowledge to be global citizens and enabling them to make the world a better place.” — HH SHEIKHA MOZA BINT NASSER 12


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

SIGNING CEREMONY BETWEEN QATAR FOUNDATION AND TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY Texas A&M at Qatar is educating engineers who are contributing to Qatar’s development and will lead the next generation of discovery in Qatar’s knowledge-based economy. “In all that it does, Texas A&M at Qatar embraces and works to support the Qatar National Vision 2030, which is Qatar’s roadmap to sustained prosperity,” said His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Saleh Al-Sada, minister of Energy and Industry for the State of Qatar and Texas A&M at Qatar Joint Advisory Board chairman. “The University is a strategic educational partner for Qatar, and its contributions are significant and far-reaching. Texas A&M at Qatar should be proud of its many accomplishments in its first 10 years, and our partnership in the decade to come surely will bring greater opportunities to strengthen our collaborations, our exchange of knowledge and our mutual pursuit for a greater good.”

HBKU President and QF Vice President for Education, His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani agreed, noting the University has been a generous collaborator with external organizations through its research and outreach projects and is helping build our new economy. At the gala, he noted, “I think we all have reason to look back with satisfaction on the first decade of partnership between Texas A&M University and Qatar Foundation. The facts speak for themselves: five commencement ceremonies so far and graduating more than 300 engineers, almost half of them Qatari. Already we are seeing the results of the first master’s program, launched less than two years ago. “In the coming years, more and more of our graduates will work in, and lead our knowledge-based industries. This strong tradition of scholarship, which is put to the service of the community also makes Texas A&M an ideal partner for the next phase of higher education in Qatar.”

“It is evident that Texas A&M University at Qatar has been very successful in building Qatar’s human capacity and graduating top-notch engineers. But equally important and successful is their research focus on Qatar’s needs and their effective outreach and communication strategy for relevant stakeholders and the community at large. Texas A&M at Qatar, for sure, is one of Qatar Foundation Education City’s main pillars.” — DR. NABEEL AL-SALEM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OFFICE OF OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT QATAR FOUNDATION 15

10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

“Texas A&M has been honored to build a world-class engineering program at Education City over the past decade,” said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. “We are proud to have worked side by side with our distinguished partners to develop academic, research and outreach programs that benefit Qatar and the entire Middle East, and we look forward to many more decades of mutually beneficial collaboration.” — DR. R. BOWEN LOFTIN TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT

HE DR. MOHAMMED SALEH AL-SADA (LEFT) AND HE SHEIKH DR. ABDULLA BIN ALI AL-THANI (RIGHT) SPEAKING DURING THE 10 YEAR GALA. HE Al-Thani commended the University for its efforts and said he looks forward to continued collaboration with Texas A&M at Qatar as the country moves toward achieving its goal of becoming a knowledge-based society.

“The University’s decennial celebration was a great opportunity to give thanks to our valued partners, supporters and stakeholders who motivate and inspire us. Thank you to Qatar Foundation and Hamad bin Khalifa University and their leaders for the support that has made the past 10 years possible. Thank “Hamad bin Khalifa University will grow into a center of excellence that you, also, to His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and Her drives forward our country’s society and economy, and contributes to the Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, for Qatar’s trust in Texas A&M University development of the region. It will achieve this through outstanding programs to be a strategic partner for Qatar’s pursuit of its development goals and the that equip graduates to succeed at all levels, and through globally recognized Qatar National Vision 2030,” said Dr. Mark H. Weichold, Texas A&M at research that extends the boundaries of knowledge, and enhances quality Qatar dean and CEO at the gala’s welcome. “The University has made this of life, collaboration will remain at the heart of our development, and at this nation’s goals our own as we strive to be a premier provider of engineering stage of our evolution, we are inviting new forms of collaboration that can education, a leading contributor to knowledge globally and a valued resource help us achieve our goals. I know Texas A&M shares these goals and I thank to the State of Qatar. We share a common belief that through education, the University for its important contribution to the State of Qatar during anything is possible, and that through shared understanding we can build the past 10 years, and I look forward to travelling with you on the next stage bridges over which culture, kinship and knowledge are exchanged.” of our journey.” The University continues to create new knowledge through research that is helping Qatar meet the goals of its National Vision by further enhancing its mission to include encouraging school children to study math and science through STEM education programs, as well as educating a cadre of engineers that will build Qatar and its industries and its communities.


10 Years of Progress through Teaching Excellence Texas A&M at Qatar attracts the best and brightest faculty who represent the highest standards in teaching, research and scholarship. Their reputation for a commitment to excellence has helped raise enrollment and retention, and their drive to collaborate with industry partners has provided invaluable, numerous and diverse opportunities for student enrichment and avenues for research which create new solutions to industry challenges. Their dedication is building capacity for Qatar and the region.


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

Sharing knowledge to create well-rounded leaders of tomorrow One of the first faculty hired in 2003, Mr. Curtis Farmer is a lecturer in Liberal Arts. He tests and places new students and administers the English Foundation Program which ensures that non-native English speakers have the skills they need to succeed at the University. He has taught more than 360 students over ten years in almost 50 sections.


"Since my arrival at the University in 2004, my experience with Texas A&M at Qatar has been nothing less than amazing. I am honored to have been a part of this endeavor since the campus’ early days when all of the 25 faculty and staff could meet in one room, and to have helped build the University’s teaching and research labs and witnessed Texas A&M at Qatar’s growth into the amazing place it is now. Then, and now, faculty and staff feel like one family working together. The feeling I have when I think of Texas A&M at Qatar is a sense of ownership, as I consider this place as my second home." — DR. HASSAN S. BAZZI Dr. Hassan S. Bazzi, associate professor of chemistry and chair of the Science Program, joined the faculty in 2004, and is a leader in cutting-edge polymer research. He is leading or has participated in 14 projects worth $9.8 million over the past six years. DR. HASSAN S. BAZZI


From seven faculty members at the University’s opening in 2003, to now more than 100, Texas A&M at Qatar faculty have become known for leading innovative, high-quality academic programs, basic and applied research and responsive community outreach activities. These faculty provide Aggie students with skills and experiences to succeed in a competitive and rapidly evolving work environment. The University’s unique low student-to-faculty ratio maximizes faculty interactions with students and supports more effective teaching of complex subjects such as physics, mathematics and chemistry, and provides lasting academic benefits. Faculty are recognized for teaching and academic achievement, intellectual rigor, vigorous publication and active conference participation, all which work to share knowledge locally, regionally and globally. Their breadth of knowledge is diverse and attracts opportunities for discourse and critical thinking.

"Texas A&M University at Qatar provides an ideal environment for teaching excellence. The state-of-theart technological resources and the small class sizes allow effective interactions between faculty and students inside and outside of the classroom. Achieving teaching excellence is one of the priorities at Texas A&M at Qatar, and it has always been one of mine. The recognition I have received in teaching at the university was because of the support of the chemical engineering faculty and students alike." — DR. MOHAMED NOUNOU Texas A&M at Qatar faculty include professionals recognized by the academic community as experts in their fields including Nobel laureate in Chemistry, Dr. Robert H. Grubbs, adjunct faculty, and Dr. Paul T. Anastas, internationally regarded as the Father of Green Chemistry. These faculty demonstrate the University’s dedication to share knowledge internationally by bringing the best and brightest minds to enrich Qatar’s industrial and economic growth. The knowledge shared by such minds helps to create well-rounded leaders of tomorrow and advances the University’s vision and mission to be the premier provider of engineering education in the region.


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference


Contributing to Qatar’s Growth through Innovative Thinking and Research Texas A&M University at Qatar launched its first masters program on 25 January 2011. The program is the first of its kind in Qatar that offers two graduate degrees in chemical engineering, a Master of Science (M.S.) and a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.). "The goal of Qatar Foundation is to place knowledge at the center of our society and our economy," said His Excellency Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, vice president of Education, Qatar Foundation and president of Hamad bin Khalifa University. "The introduction of the master's program at Texas A&M at Qatar takes us forward in this mission, and helps make Qatar a hub of learning, a global research center and will strengthen our national economy. I believe this program appeals to our own Education City graduates and to top graduates of other universities in the region and globally. It is certainly appealing for some who may have already started their career. There is no doubt that this Graduate Studies program will enrich Education City enormously and focus on issues that are of real importance to our country."


As Qatar forges its path towards becoming a knowledge-based economy, Texas A&M at Qatar’s graduate program continues to contribute to Qatar’s industrial and economic growth by training the next generation of engineers. As the nation moves toward 2030 and beyond, graduates of the program will seek to find solutions through research, innovation and development.

As the Texas A&M at Qatar master’s program in chemical engineering moves into its third year, it reinforces the University’s mission of building a culture of knowledge by supporting academic excellence and providing students with unique, hands-on learning and research opportunities which yield solutions that make a difference to industry and the community.

"Since 2007, Texas A&M at Qatar has graduated more than 415 engineers who now work throughout Qatar's dynamic industry," said Dr. Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO. "These Aggie engineering graduates have built upon Texas A&M's outstanding reputation as a leader in engineering education in Qatar and the Gulf. We welcome our former students, as well as their industry peers, into this program to bring their practical knowledge to recent graduates. This program is a culmination of years of preparation and the University continues to thank Qatar Foundation for its commitment to Texas A&M and our industry partners for their continual support of the University's education mission and community development efforts."

Based on the efforts of its exemplary faculty, the University’s research program currently operates over 138 projects of local, regional and international scope. It also substantially contributes to the excellence of the University’s diverse undergraduate program that represents more than 523 students. The program allows the University’s graduates to continue their education experience within the Texas A&M at Qatar system, as well as allow previous graduates working in the engineering industry an opportunity to pursue an advanced degree. “At the heart of Texas A&M at Qatar’s successful partnerships and recent successes in research is a set of core values that it has long held as an originating member of the Texas A&M University System,” says Dr. Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO. “The translation of those values into a unique-to-Qatar vision and mission has been gaining recognition for Texas A&M at Qatar, not only in Qatar and the region but also worldwide, as a leading destination of choice for engineering, education and research.”

The Graduate Studies program is an example of Texas A&M at Qatar’s commitment to address the needs of the State of Qatar in partnership with Qatar Foundation and industry, and is critical to the success of Texas A&M at Qatar’s ambitious research program. Its inception represented the start of a new era for Texas A&M, Qatar Foundation and the State of Qatar’s thriving industrial and commercial sectors, as the University seeks to further build the nation’s technical and scientific capacity through its talented human capital. Research is a fundamental element of this capacity building and this program enhances the University’s dynamic research initiatives and takes advanced knowledge into industry, the field and the energy sector.

Looking toward the next 10 years, research conducted at Texas A&M at Qatar will continue to address the current needs of Qatar with an eye to providing solutions to the country’s most pressing challenges, especially in the fields of energy and green alternatives, food safety and advances in computing, moving Qatar toward its goal of becoming a hub of new knowledge and a center for knowledge globally.


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

$1 24 ,20 4,7 83

$7 0,4 30 ,74 3

$4 8,1 42 ,33 5

$7 0,2 90 ,19 9

A decade of research growth








$3 8,7 58 ,23 2


$2 7,4 95 ,60 8


$1 8,0 24 ,87 6


$2 6,8 72 ,57 6


$1 1,4 98 ,15 3

$1 8,8 22 ,47 0

154 113 121 83 64

number of funded research projects

number of NPRP projects

awarded amount

10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference


Student Design Represents 10 Years of Innovation in Qatar To commemorate Texas A&M at Qatar’s decade of engineering a world of difference, the University challenged the student body to create a unique object to celebrate 10 years of excellence in engineering education. Shameel Abdullah ‘11 saw his trophy’s design brought to life to commemorate the University’s milestone decade in Qatar. He created the representation of an Arabic lamp as an embodiment of the light of knowledge, and its design elements demonstrate an elegant balance of Qatar tradition and Texas culture. Although the lamp is an Arabic design, the stars etched into it represent Texas and allow the light of knowledge to shine upon all who see it. The University’s core values: excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service surrounded the base of the lamp as a foundation upon which Texas A&M at Qatar strives to engineer a world of difference. “Since being introduced to SolidWorks in ENGR111, I was fascinated by CAD software and the power it provides to create and render anything I could imagine, “Abdullah said. “I spent a fair amount of time experimenting with the software that Texas A&M at Qatar has made accessible to its students. When the Dean announced the competition for ‘The thing,’ as it was called before a winning design was chosen, I was excited to finally get a platform where I could showcase what I have learned, Abdullah said. “I focused on developing a lantern design to emphasize the similarity of how light empowers one to see in the dark, and how education empowers one to face real world challenges. The pattern used on the lantern is the same as the one found throughout the Texas A&M at Qatar Engineering Building. I created a six-sided lantern to highlight the six Aggie core values. I am very proud and honored to have been able to contribute to the 10th anniversary celebration.” Abdullah is currently working as a technical laboratory coordinator in the Mechanical Engineering Program (MEEN) of Texas A&M University at Qatar. He joined the MEEN program in December 2012 and is responsible for coordinating experiments in the controls and measurements labs.


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

Texas A&M University at Qatar Graduates Fulfilling Qatar’s National Vision Ten years is not very long in the life of a university, especially one as old and storied as Texas A&M. When the 137-year old Texas institution first opened an engineering campus in Doha’s Education City in 2003, it was a bold experiment for both College Station and Qatar.


This partnership between Texas A&M University and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development has yielded real and tangible results for Qatar. Texas A&M’s worldclass engineering programs have helped solidify Doha as the Middle East’s academic and research hub. Even more importantly, however, Texas A&M at Qatar graduates are already making a difference as part of a rising generation that will complete the country’s transformation into a modern, knowledgebased society. The University does more than educate engineers – it molds men and women of character who will be leaders in their professional fields and in their communities. Texas A&M at Qatar believes in producing well-rounded graduates who will be responsible, compassionate citizens, as well as brilliant engineers. That is why University graduates are uniquely positioned to help achieve the goals set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and in a country where modernity, tradition, sustainability and prosperity thrive in harmony. Some of Texas A&M at Qatar’s brightest engineers are living and working in Qatar. These young men and women are starting businesses, breaking down gender barriers, developing the green technologies of the future, devoting themselves to community service and much more. Texas A&M at Qatar’s graduates are still young and yet – through excellence in their respective careers and endeavors – they are collectively advancing the economic, human , social and environmental development of the Qatar National Vision 2030. These Aggies will be Qatar’s leaders and innovators of tomorrow and here are just a few for their stories.


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Jaber Henzab ’12 is innovating education through entrepreneurship Qataris are not content to be passive beneficiaries of their natural resource wealth. To build a diversified, knowledge-based economy requires a business environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, two traits that have always characterized Texas A&M at Qatar graduates.

“Innovation is definitely making a comeback. We have the best education and world-class universities here and we’re ready to apply everything we’ve learned,” Henzab said. Moreover, Henzab was not content to tinker with existing systems and has always dreamed of designing new and better gadgets.

Instead of going to work for large multinational corporations, former students like Jaber Henzab are taking a risk and starting their own small businesses that may one day become the large corporations of tomorrow. A 2012 mechanical engineering graduate, Henzab has already made a splash on one of the Arab world’s hit TV shows with his engineering prowess.

“As a small business owner you have the freedom to do what you think is right. If you see an opportunity you can go for it because you’re your own boss,” he said. He credits the University with instilling in him the confidence to start his own business. Aggie engineers are well trained to approach any problem with analytical thought process, no matter how daunting, and solve it.

As a contestant on the Stars of Science TV show Henzab entered a new invention of his own design, competing against some of the region’s brightest young inventors. Finalists had to design a concept from scratch, build a prototype and then effectively market it. Henzab finished fourth with his automatic drug-dispensing device.

“We may not have the answer in the beginning, but we know how to look for the solution,” he said.

The idea started from relatives discussing how difficult it is for elderly patients to keep up with multiple daily medications, and Henzab decided he would try to automate the process. The user-friendly device he built can be easily loaded and programmed by a caregiver to dispense the right pill at the right time.

His ultimate dream is to one day design cars. As a boy Henzab loved sketching new car design concepts and while at Texas A&M at Qatar he interned with Porsche’s research and development unit in Germany. He also interned with the Al-Anabi auto racing team to gain practical experience in motorsports engineering.

The Stars of Science experience not only gave him valuable exposure, it also required him to think not just as an engineer, but as a designer and a businessman and to understand how people interact with the device.

Auto engineering is especially exciting and challenging because it requires the best in technology together with beautiful design and aesthetics, Henzab said. If he gets the chance, Henzab would like to correct what he sees as a glaring oversight in modern car design, the lack of Arab aesthetic influence. Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art underscores the region’s rich artistic history and highlights the potential for car designs inspired by Arab culture and art, he said.

Now, he and another Aggie engineer, Hamad Albadr, have started their own business, Teraz Product Design, to bring the device to market and develop other new concepts. It was a risky move and initially his family and friends were skeptical. They could not understand why an engineer would forgo safe employment in Qatar’s oil and gas industry for an uncertain business venture. However, Henzab believes there is an opening in Qatar for a new product research and development firm. At first glance, that entrepreneurial spirit may seem out of place in Arab culture, but in fact Arabs were once the world’s leading inventors and innovators, he added.


“We may not have the answer in the beginning, but we know how to look for the solution.” — Jaber Henzab ’12


“Texas A&M at Qatar was bringing a worldclass engineering program to my country, so why travel abroad and leave family and friends behind?” — Lulwa Al Maslamani ’08


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Lulwa Al Maslamani ’08 is breaking boundries by challenging social norms Qatar’s people are its most valuable asset and that is why Texas A&M at Qatar is committed to developing local talent and helping the nation’s best and brightest young people achieve their full potential as leaders and innovators.

Initially, there was some resistance from family and colleagues about a Qatari woman working in a field still dominated by men and expatriates. Some even wondered how she could wear her traditional veil when she has to visit industrial sites, Maslamani said. In fact, the safety helmet, coverall and boots fit comfortably over her hijab.

Graduates like Lulwa Al Maslamani underscore how young, ambitious Qataris are embracing the future while preserving the best of Qatar’s values and heritage. Maslamani may not look like a gender pioneer in her traditional dress, but like any modern woman she balances her duties as a wife and mother with a demanding career as a petrophysicist at Qatar Shell Service Company.

“At first some were a little surprised to see a woman in engineering, but things are starting to change and more women are entering the field,” she said. “People are realizing that female engineers have the same training and are just as qualified as male engineers.”

It is not common for Qatari women to enter such technical fields, so Maslamani is something of a trailblazer, but she is also following a family tradition – both her father and older brother are engineers in the oil and gas business. In high school she excelled in math and science, so a degree in engineering was a natural choice, Maslamani said.

When it comes to breaking glass ceilings, Maslamani is not done yet. Not content to be just an engineer, this young wife and mother with a one-year-old daughter plans to climb to the top of the corporate ladder. A Shell performance evaluation has already earmarked her senior management material and she hopes one day to become the company’s vice president for gas development.

Upon completing high school in 2003, it seemed like she might have to leave home for a distant country to receive the best engineering education. However, that year Texas A&M University opened in Qatar’s Education City and Maslamani was among the 20 students who made up the University’s very first class.

The corporate management of the oil and gas sector is still dominated by expatriates who serve a term and then take their experience and knowledge elsewhere. That is why it is important that Qataris gradually assume more leadership positions within industry that remains the bedrock of their prosperity, Maslamani said.

“Texas A&M at Qatar was bringing a world-class engineering program to my country, so why travel abroad and leave family and friends behind?” she said. “I was able to continue living at home, so coming here made a lot of sense.”

The sky is the limit for young Qataris, she added. With excellent educational institutions and exciting career opportunities all in their backyard, this generation is poised to take charge of their nation’s destiny.

She graduated in 2008 and joined Shell’s downstream operations. Although she originally studied electrical engineering she eventually specialized in petrophysics, a special niche within petroleum engineering that evaluates the physical and chemical properties of rock reservoirs and determines whether there is hydrocarbon accumulation. The additional training in petrophysics opened up more career opportunities in Shell’s upstream operations, Maslamani said. By interpreting data collected by instruments 10,000 feet below the ground, she can help assess the size and character of any oil and gas deposits and whether further exploration is warranted.

“Qatari talent is still young and it takes time to mature, but eventually we’ll be the ones leading the country’s development,” she said.


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Ahmed Almansoor ’10 is protecting Qatar's natural resources and beauty Qatar’s effort to ensure long-term prosperity is matched by its commitment to strengthen the bonds of community. A strong society requires a vibrant civic culture of volunteers, organizations, active citizens, good neighbors and communities where people look out for each other. These are also the qualities that Texas A&M at Qatar values and nurtures in its students.

Now a mechanical maintenance engineer at Qatar Petroleum, Almansoor is still animated by the public spiritedness cultivated at A&M. During the day he works to utilize Qatar’s fossil fuel resources, but in his spare time he enjoys the country’s natural beauty. He took up sailing, completing a training course at Doha’s Regatta Academy and embarking on a 48-hour trip to Dubai. He also learned kitesurfing during a trip to Thailand and has been pursuing his hobby on Qatar’s beaches ever since. Almansoor even started a side business giving kitesurfing lessons on the weekends.

Like Qatar, the University has carved out a unique identity that combines academic rigor with a strong sense of history and tradition. Aggies embrace cutting-edge science and technology while also practicing old-fashioned virtues like honesty, community and service to others.

The beach is not only a popular kitesurfing sport, but is also a hatching site for turtles. As a regular beachgoer, Almansoor decided to organize a beach cleanup. With sponsorship help from Vodafone he led about 100 volunteers on a weekend to clear the beach of trash and litter.

Former Students like Ahmad Almansoor exemplify the kind of responsible citizens the University cultivates. The Qatari national and 2010 mechanical engineering graduate was initially attracted to the University because of its strong reputation in engineering, but the Qatar campus experience proved to be much more than classes and labs.

“People are becoming more aware of the need to preserve our natural heritage,” he said. “And this particular beach is popular with kitesurfers, so we took responsibility to take care of the place where we surf.”

“I knew I was going to be a good student at school and would receive a great education, but I didn’t expect to become part of a family, which is Recently Almansoor also participated in a 10k run to benefit a local school. what happened,” Almansoor said. “You’re part of the Aggie family and that’s Although not an experienced runner he thought it would be a good challenge something you take pride in.” and was proud that he finished the race in 55 minutes; not a bad time for a new runner. Some of the traditions took some getting used to - doing the Aggie yells was a bit awkward at first, but like the other students, he soon fell in love with the At work, Almansoor hopes to eventually rise to project management. Texas Aggie culture and sense of camaraderie. He even watched American football A&M at Qatar, he added, are proving their worth in the workplace and beyond. for the first time as the main campus team’s games in Texas were streamed “An Aggie engineer is different. It’s a way of thinking and approaching problems to the Doha campus. As a sophomore, Almansoor served as a new student that sets us apart from other engineers,” he said. orientation leader to help convey the Aggie spirit to the next class.


“People are becoming more aware of the need to preserve our natural heritage.” — Ahmad Almansoor ’10


Working on this “You have to be here on the ground to truly understand what works best in the regional environment.” — Dani Wannous ’10


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

ENVIRONMENTAL DEVELOPMENT Dani Wannous ’10 is advancing knowledge through green technology It was the abundant natural gas below the earth that launched Qatar’s economic transformation, but Qatar’s even more plentiful sunlight could help launch a new era of sustainability. Thanks to work of engineers like Dani Wannous – a 2010 Texas A&M at Qatar graduate – Qatar’s small, but growing renewable energy sector is promising to be one the region’s green technology pioneers.

The solar testing undertaken at QSTP has become a model for the region, Wannous added, and now Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are building similar solar testing facilities. GreenGulf partners with major international companies and now Wannous is taking on weightier responsibilities as a project manager. The company is on the verge of significant breakthroughs and could help bolster the nation’s young renewable energy sector.

Wannous, a Syrian raised in Lebanon, illustrates not only how Texas A&M at Qatar attracts the Middle East’s best talent to Qatar, but also equips them to stay, work and flourish in the nation’s dynamic economy.

The transition away from finite fossil fuels is a long-term project, but the success of pioneering companies like GreenGulf demonstrate Qatar’s investment in green technology is starting to yield results.

During school Wannous interned at oil and gas companies and figured he would end up in the petrochemical industry like many mechanical engineering “A vision can’t be achieved without some early success stories that show majors. However, his first job offer after graduation came from a Qatari what is possible and encourage the country to stay committed to this start-up called GreenGulf, Inc, a business focused on developing renewable project,” Wannous said. energy technology. If making a green revolution happen requires patience, initiative and hard After two years as a senior associate at GreenGulf, where he has taken on work, Wannous got plenty of experience as a student at Texas A&M at responsibility for increasingly ambitious projects, Wannous is glad he took Qatar. A typical school day for him began at 8 a.m. and lasted until midnight, the avant-garde career choice. His work initially centered on the solar testing juggling classes, studying, a part-time job and playing on the University’s facility at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), where the company basketball team. was testing photovoltaic and solar thermal technology. To balance the time spend with the grueling engineering curriculum, Wannous Qatar’s climate poses special challenges to the use of solar energy, Wannous said the basketball court became his refuge from the stresses of schoolwork. said, and requires local expertise to make solar technology function effectively Growing up in Beirut he had developed a passion for the sport, but when he in such hot, dry weather. Solar panels require lots of sunlight, but inexplicably, came to Texas A&M at Qatar there was no organized basketball team yet. do not perform well in extreme heat. So he and a few other students who enjoyed basketball began an informal Solar technology is typically designed to operate best in maximum club. They found a coach, got tailored jerseys and competed against squads temperatures of 25 C degrees and will malfunction in Doha’s blistering from other Education City universities. The following year basketball was 50 C degree summer days, he said. The heavy dust and sand in the air also formally organized as a University sport and the group became one of Texas interferes with solar panel operations by distorting the path of sun rays which A&M at Qatar’s competitive athletic teams with Wannous serving as captain. must hit the panels at a perpendicular angle. And since it hardly ever rains After graduating, he stayed involved as the team’s assistant coach. in Qatar, engineers cannot count on nature to periodically clean the dust accumulation on the panels. “I’m the kind of guy that gets worried and stressed out, but playing basketball was my refuge as my mind shuts out everything else and I just focus on the “You have to be here on the ground to truly understand what works best in game,” Wannous said. the regional environment,” he said.


Engineering Leaders Inspire the Next Generation Texas A&M at Qatar and Maersk Oil partner to encourage development of young engineering leaders and future engineers by hosting experts at the first World Conference on Engineering Education.

10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference


10 Years of Engineering a World of Difference

The University’s 10-year anniversary celebrations provided a time to give back to the community, Qatar and the engineering industry. As part of this effort to enrich these communities, Texas A&M at Qatar hosted the inaugural World Conference on Engineering Education (WCEE 2013) in January of 2013. In collaboration with Maersk Oil Qatar, the University invited the world’s best engineering minds to contribute to the continued advancement of the engineering industry in Qatar and create new opportunities for future engineers.

Attracting engineering leaders from around the world, WCEE 2013 was the first congress of its kind in Qatar and is set to become the premiere event and gathering for engineering professionals, educators and innovators from top engineering institutions. The three-day event acted as a catalyst to foster engineering education and engineering technology by providing a forum within the region and beyond for researchers, engineers and academics to present and disseminate their research results and development activities concerning modern engineering education.

Dedicated to its mission to develop exemplary engineers and leaders through internationally respected programs, the University strives to be a strategic partner to Qatar’s industries, as well as the Qatar National Vision 2030 development goals, and endeavors to be a premier provider of engineering education and a leading contributor to knowledge globally.

“Maersk Oil Qatar recognizes the importance of nurturing and developing local talent and were pleased to work with Texas A&M University at Qatar on WCEE 2013,” said Mr. Lewis Affleck, managing director of Maersk Oil Qatar. “Events such as this will help to share good-practices in engineering education, and therefore benefit educational institutions and future engineering students here in Qatar.”

“Texas A&M at Qatar also works to build engineers of character who serve the greater good and address grand challenges. Discussions such as those at WCEE 2013 do just that and set forward solutions that address the needs of engineers and engineering educators in Qatar and beyond,” said Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO, Texas A&M at Qatar. “The University is grateful for the generous support of our dedicated industry collaborator, Maersk Oil Qatar. It would have been impossible to host this influential event without their steadfast partnership and collaboration and without the passion and expertise of the congress delegates and distinguished speakers.”

Supporting Qatar’s goal of becoming a knowledge-based society, ,conferences such as this provide world-class academic institutions with a platform to exchange ideas about effective techniques to better prepare future generations of engineers to become well-rounded and global leaders of academia and industry.


STUDENTS DISPLAYING RESEARCH DURING WCEE POSTER PRESENTATION. “The world is in need of more and better engineers,” said Dr. Karan Watson, president of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University. “As we think about the engineers we educate and prepare for the challenges they are facing and will face, we cannot stand by our old routines if they are uninspiring and do not nurture the new generation. We must close the gap between the old and new generations.” WCEE 2013 was no ordinary gathering of scholars, but a vibrant and dynamic mix of professionals whose daily work influences the current and next generations of engineers. The theories, research and technologies discussed have a very real bearing on how engineering education will evolve and develop in the near future. Through collaborations and initiatives such as WCEE2013, Texas A&M at Qatar further emerges as a hub for exchanging knowledge internationally, strengthening the global academics ties for both the University and Qatar.



Texas A&M Engineering Building, Education City PO Box 23874, Doha, Qatar tel. +974.4423.0010  fax +974.4423.0011


Tenth Anniversary Publication 2013  
Tenth Anniversary Publication 2013  

Tenth Anniversary Publication 2013