Muneera Al-Qahtani, Graduate, College of Science and Engineering

Interview with Muneera Al-Qahtani, Graduate, College of Science and Engineering, First Batch of HBKU Graduates

31 Oct 2021

HBKU Marks 10 Years of Innovation and Excellence

Muneera Al-Qahtani Graduate, College of Science and Engineering, First Batch of HBKU Graduates

Which program did you graduate from, and why did you choose this program?

I am a first-cohort graduate of the College of Science and Engineering. My background is in engineering as I received my bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Qatar. I am also a Qatar Foundation employee and I wanted to expand my academic knowledge while retaining my employment. I was very much interested in learning more about the energy sector and sustainability in particular.

I chose to focus my educational efforts on solar panel implementation and cleaning, and understanding the importance of keeping them clean in light of possible long-term damage. I studied the use of domestic cleaning technologies for solar panels on the rooftops of houses, and this was the focus of my thesis discussion.

How did this program help you achieve your lifetime ambitions?

This program helped bridge an evident gap in knowledge and encouraged me to apply and enroll in HBKU’s PhD in Sustainable Energy program. The program also helped give me a glimpse into research and uncover my hidden interests. As an engineer, I would find myself consumed with repetitive tasks but I also found the research aspect to be very intriguing. 

Where do you see yourself and the college in the next 10 years?

Over the next 10 years, I aspire to teach in one of Education City’s universities and lend a helping hand to other ambitious females. Females tend to follow the ‘leaky pipeline’ analogy and are hesitant to follow long-term careers because it is harder for them to maintain these responsibilities. Seeing a Qatari female who does this can open doors of opportunities.

As a student at Texas A&M, I did site visits to show school girls that this career is fully adaptable to women and is attainable. I want to continue to reflect a positive image as a female engineer, researcher, and graduate student.

What is your advice to other HBKU graduates?

I would encourage other HBKU graduates to further their education and knowledge of the university, and act as role models for their communities and within their circles.