SURO internship program helps students gain scientific research and technical skills
Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), has concluded its inaugural Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity (SURO) internship program, as part of its student outreach initiative for the year.
Over the course of eight weeks, local and international participants had the opportunity to develop their research and technical skills in a hands-on environment, under the mentorship of QEERI researchers and scientists. In addition to conducting research on ongoing projects that address critical national priorities related to water security, energy, and environment, the students participated in educational and team-building activities including seminars and software training.
Dr. Marc Vermeersch, executive director, QEERI, said: “We were delighted to have worked with a group of such capable and enthusiastic students over the summer. Education and capacity building fall within our core mission areas at QEERI, and we recognize it is important to identify, teach, and nurture students interested in science, research, and technology. Through the SURO program, we hope to help undergraduate students identify academic pathways to reaching their professional goals and ambitions in these fields, and thereby contribute toward developing the next generation of scientists to help solve the critical challenges facing Qatar and the region.”
Among the highlights of the internship program, according to the students, was the opportunity to work in the exceptional facilities at QEERI and contribute to multidisciplinary projects alongside QEERI scientists, which offered real insight into the world of research.
Mustajeb Rana, pursuing mechanical engineering at George Mason University in Virginia, United States, worked on a project related to Phasor Measurement Units with the energy management team at QEERI’s Energy Center. He said: “What I really enjoyed about interning at QEERI is the real-life experience of getting to work with highly-qualified scientists and engineers in these world-class facilities. All the scientists here are very accessible and showed their eagerness and enthusiasm to help me learn and grow.”
A mechanical engineering student from Inti International University, Malaysia, Asmaa Ashraf, who was placed at QEERI’s Water Center, said: “This internship has been of immense value to me. In the labs, my mentors taught me the actual process of desalination and treatment of brackish water; and we also worked on several software programs. I am thrilled to have had this opportunity to work alongside some excellent scientists in world-class laboratories.”
The SURO program is in line with QEERI’s mission to inspire an interest in science and research among the youth. QEERI provides opportunities for students to be mentored by their scientists throughout the year. For school students, QEERI provides sustainability related activities while a number of PhD students from across Qatar conduct research under the guidance of QEERI’s researchers.