A student at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) is being recognized on a national level for her pioneering research that aims to alleviate the environmental challenges facing Qatar.
Hanadi Al-Thani, currently pursuing a PhD in Sustainable Environment at the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), is the recipient of the 12th Education Excellence Award in the Scientific Master’s Degree category for her extensive research assessing air quality in Qatar.
The annual award is an initiative of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education that honors Qatari high school, undergraduate and graduate students for the remarkable work they are doing to contribute to addressing the challenges outlined in the Qatar National Vision 2030.
On March 3, Hanadi was given the incredible opportunity to meet His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani when he presented her with the accolade at the award ceremony – a moment that reaffirmed her passion and reasons for pursuing research in air quality.
“The Qatar National Vision 2030 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup are both a huge part of my inspiration to further my studies in sustainability. Air quality in Qatar is a challenge, but at the time I began pursuing my masters, there was no extensive research being conducted – I wanted to fill the gap,” Hanadi said.
In 2016, she enrolled in the Master of Science in Sustainable Environment program at CSE. Hanadi began working under the guidance of Dr. Muammer Koç, a professor at HBKU’s College of Science and Engineering (CSE) and Dr. Rima Isaifan, a scientist at HBKU’s Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), who mentored her thesis and research project on ‘Particulate Matter in Urban Doha: Characterization, Source Apportionment and Mitigation’.
“The research I carried out over a two year period involved investigating the physical and chemical properties of particulate matter of samples collected from various urban areas in Doha.”
Hanadi then set about to identify if the sources - residential, traffic and construction emissions - of particulate matter in the samples were natural, or anthropogenic, which are toxic or harmful to human health.
Using the findings of her research, Hanadi aims to propose strategies to mitigate particulate matter and work towards putting certain policies in place that will reduce the adverse impact of harmful emissions on human health and the environment.
The Education Excellence Awards recipient is currently embarking on a PhD in Sustainable Environment at HBKU, which involves building on the extensive research she conducted during her master’s degree.
“My current research involves assessing how transportation contributes to poor air quality. I am working with researchers to develop mandatory policies to implement laws to reduce the impact of transportation and safeguard the environment and human health,” Hanadi explains.
Having been recognized on a national level for her significant research has further motivated Hanadi to continue on her chosen career and research path, working to advance environmental research and firmly place Qatar on the road to securing a sustainable future.
“I am grateful to His Highness the Emir for supporting and guiding our nation to achieve distinguished accomplishments in all areas. I am thankful to Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser for empowering the next generation through education, both nationally and internationally.
“Being recognized for my research through this Ministry of Education and Higher Education initiative is a great honor – I feel extremely proud to be able to contribute to my country through impactful research that will lead Qatar towards a greener path.”