Doha venue for only second American Chemical Society conference outside USA


Qatar is the first Arab country to host a regional research conference of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.

The three-day event, ACS Research Conference: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in MENA, is devoted to chemistry and chemical engineering in the MENA region and kicked off 9 May at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha. The conference is only the second ACS conference to be held outside of the USA and was held under the patronage of HE Dr. Ibrahim Al Naimi, Undersecretary of Qatar’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education of the State of Qatar.

HE Dr Al Naimi said, “Qatar is a leading country in oil, gas and the petrochemical industry — and its products. These industries have environmental impacts, but Qatar is committed to improving air quality, enhancing gas and energy efficiency, recycling waste and increasing green spaces. Convening this conference comes in line with our development principles and orientations to serve environmental sustainability issues, especially since environmental development is one of the four pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030. It is an opportunity for our institutions to employ this conference’s outcomes and recommendations, especially the papers submitted by the participants, and the experiences of the Nobel Laureates, which help us develop relevant plans and policies.”

The conference has attracted a high-profile and influential speaker platform headlined by its plenary speakers: Sir Fraser Stoddart, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 2016 and a chemistry professor at Northwestern University (USA); and Dr. Ben L Feringa, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2016, from the University of Groningen (Netherlands). More than 30 keynote, invited and accredited speakers from North America, Europe, the subcontinent, Middle East and Far East will address audiences on the latest advances and challenges impacting the MENA region’s chemical and chemical engineering sectors.

The conference is presented by the ACS Qatar Chapter and chaired by Dr. Hassan S. Bazzi, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Advancement at Qatar Foundation partner Texas A&M University at Qatar, and ACS Qatar Chapter Chairman.

“We strongly believe that this conference will advance the MENA region’s culture of research and development, engineering advances, and educational outreach,” Bazzi said. “Such progress will run parallel to the industrial, economic, and educational development in Qatar. This outstanding conference is a platform to discuss the latest MENA research in the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering, to promote the role of MENA countries in industry leadership, and to highlight advances in science and engineering education across the MENA communities. Beyond the value of this conference to MENA-based scholars, our meeting will be an opportunity to exchange ideas and for discussions with distinguished scientists and engineers coming from all over the world.”

Dr. Angela Wilson, ACS president, made the trip from the USA as an invited speaker for the highly anticipated conference. 

I am delighted that the ACS and the chemical science and engineering communities in the Middle East and Africa are able to come together again to share science and collaborate.  Years of dedication and hard work by our colleagues and chapter leadership in Qatar, and collaborators from the Qatar Ministry of Education and Texas A&M Qatar, have made this conference possible.  As we return to sharing our science in person, I am excited to be here in support of the global scientific enterprise - my very first international trip since the start of the pandemic.

The conference program consists of eight dedicated sessions devoted to a range of issues, including Advanced Functional Materials and Nanomaterials; Computational and Theoretical Results; Preparing Students for a STEM Career; Process Safety Engineering; Advanced Chemical Process and Product Design for a Better World; Chemical Engineering Sciences and Fundamentals; Catalysis and Polymers; and a final poster session on general chemistry and chemical engineering topics.

The conference attracted a powerful portfolio of sponsors and partners, including Qatar Foundation, Qatar Fertiliser Company Ltd. (QAFCO), Qatar Airways, ConocoPhillips Qatar, TotalEnergies, and Qatar University.

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