Divisions | Hamad Bin Khalifa University

The College of Science and Engineering is home to the Division of Life Sciences, the Division of Sustainable Development and the Division of Information and Computing Technology. The divisions are firmly committed to excellence in graduate teaching and the training of highly qualified students and personnel in the cutting edge areas that make up their combined broad disciplines. Their faculty members are internationally recognized and pursue high impact research in many of these disciplines.

Division of Life Sciences

The HBKU Division of Life Sciences’ mission is to perform outstanding basic and translational health research while providing exceptional training and research-based education to graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.

One of the strengths of the division is the research programs developed by faculty members that include disease models with an emphasis on translation to benefit clinical outcomes. The creation of multi-disciplinary teams will be a major focus, allowing the division to attract the necessary resources to maintain and build the requisite technologies to support its research goals. Through collaborations, the technologies and expertise within the Division will benefit a wide range of research themes within other HBKU institutions, including cancer, neurosciences, genetics, and infectious diseases.

It is well established that diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular conditions as well as mental health issues are in constant progression in Qatar and the region. While these diseases seem unrelated to each other, recent findings clearly established that their high prevalence in many areas of the world in general, and in Qatar in particular, is due to a combination of environmental pollution and heredity factors. The elevated levels of consanguineous marriages in Qatar and the Gulf region in general promote the expression of genetic mutations that trigger or favor these diseases, yet many of the specific genes involved remain elusive.

We also now know that the malfunction of defined molecular and cellular mechanisms produce clear pathologies, and that many diseases continue to progress despite the best treatments. In addition, secondary pathologies can emerge due to biochemical or cellular mechanisms unrelated to the primary cause of the disease. These pathologies not only complicate the diagnosis and treatment, but can also be more lethal than the primary disease itself. Despite the fact that the high prevalence of many of these and other diseases in Qatar could be explained by such unusual connections, there is no education and training programs available in the country to prepare scientists able to address these important health issues.

The Division of Life Sciences’ objective is therefore to fill this gap. It establishes world-class postgraduate programs to train the next generation of scientists to use their gained biological and biomedical knowledge for the improvement of diagnostics and therapeutics. By successfully completing these programs, graduates within the division will be well equipped to interface and collaborate with clinical and translational researchers to move basic research discoveries into the clinical setting.

Division of Sustainable Development

In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, the goal of the HBKU Division of Sustainable Development is to provide students with a comprehensive training to lead society, industry/business sectors and policy making processes.

Additionally, it fosters the search for the right balance between development needs, economic growth, environmental protection, human and social progress and preservation. Various multi-disciplinary programs, at both the MSc and PhD levels focusing on energy and environmental issues, provide students with a solid and fundamental education and broad understanding in the interdisciplinary aspects of sustainability issues that will be used in a wide range of professional positions.

The key goal of the Division of Sustainable Development is to develop students' understanding, analytical and decision-making skills related to sustainability issues through multi-faceted research on pioneering energy, environmental, policy, social and human capital topics that benefit Qatar and the greater Middle East region.

Division of Information and Computing Technology

The Division of ICT at HBKU is committed to perform outstanding research and provide unique educational and training programs in the broad areas of Computer Science, Advanced Computing and Engineering. It offers graduate programs at the Master levels in the areas of Cybersecurity, Data Science and Engineering as well as PhD in Computer Science and Engineering.

These programs have been designed to provide students with a comprehensive and state-of-the-art training within the CSE, producing knowledgeable researchers, entrepreneurs and leaders who are experts of contemporary methods, tools and technologies in computer science and engineering.

This will contribute to building a knowledge-based economy, helping diversify the country’s economy and contributing to a stable and sustainable business environment, which is in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. It is believed students graduating from our program will be prepared to lead our society in innovation and entrepreneurship in the ICT sector.

The field of Information and Computing Technology has had a profound impact on industry, commerce and society over the last 2-3 decades. ICT is a fundamental discipline training future innovators and industry leaders, addressing challenging research problems, supporting important applications, and offering strong opportunities for business development.

Innovations from ICT have contributed to reshaping our modern society and have supported much of the world’s high-tech economy. Internet, wireless communications, smart phones, Internet-of-Things (IoT), Big data, software engineering, fiber optic communications, medical imaging systems, Artificial Intelligence (AI), computer vision, computer graphics, smart grid and smart water pipes and digital multimedia are just very few of the many technologies arising from ICT. According to a 2014 report by the Association of Computing Machines (ACM), computing is the most in-demand amongst Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career options for the foreseeable future.

Ground breaking changes and revolution arising from technological development have become a hallmark of ICT. In Qatar, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, private and public investment in ICT has been increasing rapidly, to 2.1 billion US dollars in 2010. ICT firms see Qatar as a potential technology hub and want to invest in the country, according to numerous market research studies. Hence, it is critically important that Qatar establishes itself in ICT, which is of special significance and relevance to key technologies for the 21st century and its research will be vital to the solution of the significant problems facing society.