Qatar University researches win top two UREP honours
DOHA: Studies on wireless system to monitor corrosion of reinforcements in bridges, an online oral history project and use of information technology in human trafficking won top notches at the fourth annual competition of the Undergraduate Research Experience Programme (UREP).
The programme, launched by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) on its establishment in 2006 encourages undergraduate students in Qatar to engage in research projects under the supervision of their faculty members.
An annual competition is held for selected completed UREP projects for the previous year. Qualified reviewers score the Final Reports of completed projects according to specified evaluation criteria and the students for the top projects will present their research work in an open final competition. A panel of independent experts will evaluate the students’ presentations and winning projects will be awarded.
This year, some 101 projects completed in 2011, were assessed in two rounds of evaluation and the top five researches were scrutinised at the finals held yesterday. Qatar University studies won the top two places at the competition.
QU study on using wireless system to predict and monitor the corrosion of Post-Tensioned strands (used for concrete reinforcements) in bridges, won the first place. The experimental results of the study had shown that the wireless technology helping in early detection of corrosion, that over long term can result in concrete cracking.
The second prize went to “Swalif,” an oral history project that gives everyday people in Qatar the opportunity to make digital audio recordings of their life stories. Started in 2010, the project focuses on everyday people who have deep roots in Qatar and want to have their stories recorded and preserved in an online audio archive. The QU project, QatarSwalif.org is expected to become an unparalleled online archive of sound recordings documenting life in 20th and 21st-century Qatar.
Meanwhile students at Ahmed bin Mohammed Military College, took the third prize with a study investigating the role of information technology in human trafficking and especially how it can be used to prevent and combat this phenomenon. The study also aimed at issuing recommendations that could be helpful to Qatar and elsewhere.
“UREP programme aims to promote, at an early stage, a culture of scientific research among undergraduate students and to provide an opportunity of “learning by doing”, carrying out projects in different fields under the supervision and guidance of members of university faculty by collaborating with experts from outside the education sector. The percentage of the collaborative projects is 34percent,” said Dr Abdul Sattar Al Taie, Executive Director, QNRF
Since the launch of UREP, QNRF has received about 1260 research proposals, and around 560 of these have been awarded grants valued at more than $18 m. A total of 1,700 students from 11 educational institutions in Qatar have participated in these proposals under the supervision of 800 faculty members and mentors.
“As an indication of the success of this program, 94 research papers have been published in scientific journals or presented at local and regional conferences, reflecting both the quality of the projects funded and the positive guidance of the faculty and experts,” he said at the final competition.
The representatives from each of the students’ research teams presented their proposals in front of the judging panel made up of five experts Chaired by Dr Hessa Al Jaber, Secretary General, ictQatar. Others on the panel included Dr Obaid Younossi, Director, RAND-Qatar Policy Institute; Dr Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive Director, Qatar Computing Research Institute; Dr Okasha El Daly, Director of Projects, ViceChairman’s Office, Qatar Museums Authority and Dr Kassim Habib, Senior Geologist, Exploration and PSA Development, Qatar Petroleum.
Source: The Peninsula
URL: The Peninsula