A three-day workshop, “Sustainable Materials and Materials for Sustainability,” held recently at Qatar University (QU) brought together more than 50 experienced and early-career researchers from multidisciplinary backgrounds such as materials science, chemistry, engineering, and energy & environment.
The workshop was co-organised by the QU Centre for Advanced Materials and Ulster University under the Qatar-UK Research Networking Programme, and sponsored by British Council and Qatar National Research Fund in collaboration with the UK Science and Innovation Network and UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The workshop programme featured lectures by QU Qapco chair Prof Igor Krupa, QU researcher Dr Anton Popelka, Ulster University Royal Academy of Engineering chair Prof Eileen Jones, University of Sheffield research fellow Dr Hassan El-Dassouky, Qapco head of R&D Dr Mabrouk Ouderni and Qatar Shell senior materials and corrosion engineer Dr Nick Laycock.
Key topics included sustainable design, energy & environment, advanced polymer composites & coatings, functional materials, environmental challenges faced by industries, and recycling & waste management.  Also discussed were advanced lightweight polymer composites/nanocomposites used in aerospace, wind turbine blades, low-cost solar cells & fuel tanks as well as disposal issues.  
The third day of the workshop consisted of a poster session in which more than 40 early career researchers from QU, Texas A&M University at Qatar, and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute participated. It was an opportunity for the participants to get feedback from academic and industrial experts as well as network with colleagues.
Commenting on the forum, QU VP for research and graduate studies Prof Mariam al-Maadeed said: “Collaboration among researchers and institutes is essential for advancement in scientific discovery. Qatar University is pleased to be hosting such workshops that serve as a platform for researchers to build upon each other’s ideas as well as challenge them, hence paving the way for future collaboration”.
British Council director Dr Frank Fitzpatrick said: “In Qatar, we’re supporting research capacity and identifying common research priorities between Qatar and the UK. This helps us identify and back UK-Qatar partnerships that support greater economic engagement, and joint research and innovation with Qatar.”
Head of UK Science and Innovation Network (Gulf) Dr Malak Hamdan noted: “International collaboration in scientific research plays a crucial role in promoting prosperity and sustainable growth in every country. We hope to see a number of long-term UK-Qatar research projects established as a result of this research networking programme”.
QU post-doctoral researcher Dr Deepalekhsmi Poonnamma, who participated in the oral and poster session, added: “As an early-career researcher, this workshop was as an excellent opportunity for me.”

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