Doha: Four research projects designed to contribute to Qatar’s development in the areas of global citizenship education, cybersecurity, environmental management, and STEM education have been awarded grants by Qatar National Research Fund.
Designed to address Qatar’s strategic challenges, the Qatar Foundation (QF) member’s National Priorities Research Programme-Cluster track (NPRP-C) aims to develop solutions that produce tangible societal and economic impact.
Through this programme, Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) supports multi-institutional and inter- or multi-disciplinary research to solve significant and complex problems that need an unconventional approach.
The NPRP-C encourages researchers from multiple institutions and disciplines to work on mega-research projects in areas of national importance, including energy, health, resource sustainability, society, and digital technology. Under this cycle, QNRF received 25 initial proposals submitted by researchers in seven Qatar-based institutions, with 10 shortlisted for the final round of evaluation, and four ultimately selected to receive funding for 3-5 years.
Dr. Haitham Abu-Rub, Professor at QF partner university Texas A&M University at Qatar, is the Project Director of one of the awarded projects, titled Multi-layer Cybersecurity and Situational Awareness to Enhance Resiliency in Qatar’s Power Grid. “The main motivation behind applying for this project is to contribute to building a smart grid cybersecurity infrastructure in Qatar,” he said.
“Our team of researchers from Texas A&M University at Qatar and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) aim to create a cyber-physical security infrastructure for Qatar’s smart grid while addressing the challenges associated with cyberphysical security and situational awareness of Qatar’s power grid. We will also explore the development of critical infrastructure through the integration of cybersecurity mechanisms, machine learning, smart devices, and multi-agent distributed networked proactive control strategy.
“The outcomes of this project will ensure the security of Qatar’s critical infrastructure by helping to protect Qatar’s smart grid and critical infrastructures from any cyberattacks, damage, and energy disruption.”
Dr. Ahmed A Al Emadi, Professor and Dean of the College of Education at Qatar University, has been awarded a grant for a project promoting sustainable development of K-12 STEM education in Qatar in the digital age. “Our project employs a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach that involves experts from multiple domains including pedagogy, affective and cognitive sciences, math education, pedagogy, and engineering.
“This approach will help us identify the challenges in STEM education, and subsequently develop and design pedagogy that addresses development of STEM learning at K12 level. We also aim to apply and implement new technology designs to promote STEM education and propose sustainable development strategies,” said Dr. Al Emadi. A research project that aims to promote education about sustainable development goals (SDGs) and global citizenship locally has also been awarded a grant.
Dr. Evren Tok, Associate Professor at the College of Islamic Studies at QF member Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), said: “The overarching objective of our project is to provide applied solutions to educational challenges with the aim of providing evidencebased designs and piloting innovative educational modalities in Qatar.”
The fourth project that received funding aims to develop an efficient and practical carbon management system to improve Qatar’s sustainability.
Dr. Abdulkarem Amhamed, Senior Scientist and Energy Efficiency Program Director at HBKU’s QEERI said: “The motivation behind this project is to address the challenges faced by Qatar due to the perennial increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, as it can affect indoor air quality and lead to issues relating to economic diversity and food security. Qatari stakeholders and research end-users that are collaborating with the research team and co-funding the project include the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Kahramaa, Agrico, and Qatar Shell as well as international partners.
Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director of QNRF, said that, since the inception of the NPRP, the projects it funds have played an instrumental role in helping Qatar to build resilience in key sectors and develop evidence-based and sustainable solutions to its key challenges.