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Dr James Durrant.

Symposium to advance chemical sciences and research held at Qatar University

: Tuesday, December 17 - 2013 @ 06:45

A one-day international symposium held last Thursday at Qatar University (QU) discussed the latest research, ideas, challenges and solutions in the field of carbon storage, photochemistry and new materials.

The symposium titled “Materials and Chemistry for New Energy Technologies” was co-organized by QU’s College of Arts & Sciences Department of Chemistry and Earth Sciences with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and drew international experts and researchers to network and develop collaboration and partnerships to advance research in chemical sciences that would ultimately benefit society.

Attendees also included CAS Dean Dr Eiman Mustafawi, Deputy Head of Mission of the United Kingdom to Qatar Ms Cecile El Beleidi, department head Dr Hala Sultan Al-Easa, RSC international development manager for Middle East and Russia Mr Stuart Govan, Imperial College London professors Dr James Durrant and Dr Paul Fennel, University of Glasgow professor Dr Duncan Gregory, department faculty and chemistry and chemical engineering students.

In her remarks, Dr Mustafawi said: “Being selected as host of this event is a testament to the rapid development of the petrochemical industry in our country and an appreciation of its world-class facilities for the production of many chemicals and materials based on its natural resources. Such groundbreaking technologies as the gas-to-liquid (GTL) processes of Qatar Petroleum’s “Oryx” project and Shell’s “Pearl” project are but some examples of how Qatar leads in the application of new, clean technology for energy. Here at Qatar University, we have many research projects on the topics discussed today, including carbon capture and solar energy, as our faculty members presented.”

“By hosting international academic symposia on national research priority areas, CAS is working towards QU’s strategic objective to build internationally-recognized research performance and ensure that research efforts address contemporary challenges in Qatar and beyond. Today’s event also caters to the College’s aim to engage its students with a rounded student experience. Not only will this event contribute to building students’ academic abilities but will also support an enriching, active learning environment that helps to prepare them for their future careers.”

Ms El Beleidi gave a brief on UK/Qatar relations, recalling the numerous events that were organized to commemorate the 2013 Qatar/UK Year of Culture – such as the Women in Science workshop in November, and the “Cafe Scientifique” gatherings in the Museum of Islamic Art Park and the Souk. She drew attention to the Embassy’s appointment of a Science and Innovation Counsellor to support the development of new Qatar/UK research links and collaborations.

“The UK puts great emphasis on strengthening Qatar/UK science and innovation links in Qatar’s priority research areas: energy & the environment – the theme of this symposium — healthcare, ICT and the social sciences,” she said.

Mr Govan said: “This week is an exciting milestone for the Royal Society of Chemistry. Materials and Chemistry for New Energy Technologies is the first event of its kind that the Society has organized in the Gulf, in recognition of the increasing quantity and quality of chemical research to emerge from the region. We intend this to be the first of many events, initiatives and partnerships forged in the Arab world as part of our global mission to advance the chemical sciences for the benefit of the society.”

Dr Al-Easa noted that the request by the Royal Society to host the event gave CAS the opportunity to highlight the importance of research in chemistry and materials science to Qatar’s economy.

She further pointed to the RSC’s newly-chartered sister society in Qatar, the Qatar Chemical Society, saying, “We hope not only that many in the audience will join us as members, but also that we can establish close relations between the Qatar charter and the RSC.”

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Tuesday, December 17- 2013 @ 6:45 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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