Texas A&M-Qatar: Shaping future engineers

 11 Feb 2016 - 13:13

Texas A&M-Qatar: Shaping future engineers

By Fazeena Saleem 

Aggie engineers in Qatar and around the world are starting businesses, breaking down gender barriers, developing the green technologies of the future, devoting themselves to community service and so much more, according to Dr Eyad Masad, Vice-Dean and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University at Qatar.

“We are proud of what our students have achieved so far and what they are going to achieve throughout their careers,” he told Doha Today. 

Students at Texas A&M at Qatar receive the same top-tier training as students enrolled at the main campus, so each of the engineering programs offered by Texas A&M at Qatar — chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering — ranks among the top American universities for education and research. 

Students learn from some of the world’s most acclaimed scholars and researchers in a coeducational setting. Texas A&M at Qatar dedicates tremendous resources to advanced research, and students work closely with faculty and graduate students throughout their undergraduate career.

“Courses are balanced between technical courses on the subject matter so students have technical depth, but we also emphasise breadth through courses in communication, liberal arts, management and more. Our graduates are well-rounded engineers who have the technical depth and the breadth to help them succeed and lead in the workforce,” said Dr Masad. 

Speaking about the demand among students for academic programs at Texas A&M University at Qatar he said, “We see fluctuations depending on market demand, but Qataris tend to be evenly distributed among the four degree programs in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering. These fluctuations are driven not only by Qatari factors but also by international technological and economic trends.” 

In terms of the fee structure, fees in Qatar are the same as those in the main campus. However,  majority of   students are sponsored by the industry, according to Dr Masad. 

In 13 years, Texas A&M at Qatar has experienced significant developments. The student body has grown from 29 students in the inaugural class to more than 550 currently enrolled students. In fall 2015, 54 percent of our students were Qatari and 41 percent were female — which is more than twice the US national average of female engineering students. Since 2007, Texas A&M at Qatar has awarded more than 635 degrees, the majority of which have been awarded Qatari nationals.

One of Texas A&M at Qatar’s  most recent success stories is Dr  Nayef Alyafei, class of 2009. He earned his PhD from Imperial College London and has returned to Texas A&M at Qatar as a faculty member in petroleum engineering. He is the first Texas A&M at Qatar graduate to earn a PhD and join the faculty here. As a professor, he is going to inspire students to set high expectations for themselves as he has done for himself. He wants his students to pursue post-graduate studies, which are essential for the future success of Qatar. 

“As a faculty member, Dr  Nayef is not only contributing to Texas A&M at Qatar’s mission of producing the next generation of engineering leaders in Qatar, and its vision of being a valuable contributor to knowledge internationally and a valued resource to the State of Qatar. He also is contributing to Qatar’s growth and National Vision by teaching and by serving as a role model and example of success to his students,” said Dr Masad.

In a decade, Texas A&M at Qatar’s research program has grown to a cumulative funding level of $160m for 190 projects that cover basic and applied research to solve critical problems. This research has yielded extraordinary productivity in terms of refereed papers, conference proceedings and patent applications.

Exploring energy-consuming, energy-producing systems and GTL technology, Wireless technologies for better communications, Smarter use of renewable energy, Studying air quality and energy and Sustainable advances in road infrastructure are few  of the remarkable research  work done by Texas A&M in Qatar.

Aggie engineers are responsible, compassionate citizens — and brilliant engineers — uniquely positioned to help Qatar achieve the goals set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030. Texas A&M-Qatar graduates are already making a difference as part of a rising generation that will complete Qatar’s transformation into a modern, knowledge-based society.

“The biggest achievement of Texas A&M at Qatar remains the quality of students we graduate. We are enriching Qatar’s greatest natural resource, it’s people. We are true to that. Our graduates are already making a difference as part of a rising generation that will complete Qatar’s transformation into a modern, knowledge-based society” Said Dr Masad.  

In 2015, Texas A&M-Qatar’s  STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs touched the lives of 530 Qatari students and their teachers at 70 schools through more than 8,600 hours of innovative experience-based learning. During the same time period, the  continuing education program courses benefited more than 200 working professionals in Qatar — and their companies.

“We see ourselves as part of the community and contributing to its success, not only in educating future engineers but also through our outreach programs and continuing education,” said Dr Masad. 

“And we are proud that research is having impact, both societal and economic. Our research has matured enough that we are starting to see focus on innovation that directly relevant, real-world addresses challenges being faced here in Qatar and in the region — particularly in areas of water, desalination and energy,” he added. 

In 2016, Texas A&M-Qatar are aiming for further growth in community engagement activities, whether that’s with local schools or at the professional level. The campus is  especially looking  forward to welcoming even more students — called National Vision Scholars —  participating in the Summer Engineering Academy, which brings high-achieving Qatar high school students into university labs to participate in hands-on research of relevance and significance to Qatar. It also  look forward providing the same excellence in teaching, research and outreach as we have since we began in Qatar in 2003.

Fee Structure:

Tuition rates for admitted undergraduate students are guaranteed for four years from their first semester of study. Students who take longer than four years to earn their baccalaureate degree will be charged according to the fees in place for the semesters in which they enroll until graduation.
Students entering in 2016-2017:
1 credit hour: QR5,576
2 credit hours: QR 9,384
3 credit hours: QR13,192
4 credit hours:  QR17,000
5 credit hours: QR20,808
6 credit hours: QR24,616
7 credit hours: QR28,425
8-11 credit hours: QR43,657
12+ credit hours: QR57,795
Graduate students enrolling for classes at Texas A&M University at Qatar are billed per credit hour. 2016-2017:
1 credit hour: QR4,806
2 credit hours: QR7,473
3 credit hours: QR10,141
4 credit hours: QR12,809
5 credit hours: QR15,477
6 credit hours: QR18,144
7 credit hours: QR20,812
8 credit hours: QR23,480
9 credit hours: QR26,148
10 credit hours: QR28,815
11 credit hours: QR31,483
12 credit hours: QR34,151
13 credit hours: QR36,762
14 credit hours: QR39,372
15 credit hours: QR41,983
More details on tuition fees, financial aids and scholarships are available on http://www.qtar.tamu.edu/ 

The Peninsula