HBKU research impacts nationally and globally: official
May 22 2022 11:01 PM
Dr Richard O’Kennedy during the convocation ceremony of the HBKU Class of 2022.
Dr Richard O’Kennedy during the convocation ceremony of the HBKU Class of 2022.

The research projects being carried out at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), part of Qatar Foundation (QF), are not only relevant to Qatar and the region but are addressing several international challenges, a top official said.
“We virtually cover every area of research,” HBKU vice-president of research Dr Richard O’Kennedy told Gulf Times. “Global issues such as climate change and water purification, among other topics, are being researched with intensity at the HBKU.”
“We are very strong in sustainability and the environment research areas,” he said. “We have very strong research in health, particularly in precision health and precision medicine.”
“We have also a lot of work in the engineering areas, public policy and law. The whole campus is involved in several research areas. All the students are focusing on different areas of research, which means that they can actually translate the learning into practical projects,” Dr O’Kennedy added.
According the official, the research at the university has focused on every aspect.
“The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic showed the practical application of research as many students got involved in looking at new diagnostics for detecting Covid-19,” he explained. “We have some very nice work going on in relation with autism and detecting it at the early stage with eye tracking method.”
“The students are trying to understand how they can take their ideas and do things that can impact the good of the community in Qatar and globally,” Dr O’Kennedy continued. “Qatar Foundation and the HBKU have a number of themes that call for progressive education, social progress, sustainability, artificial intelligence and precision health and many more.
“Across all these areas, there is a great deal of research ongoing and many of them address national issues and global challenges.”
He said that there are several research activities going on at the HBKU addressing climate change such as effective recycling methods, and how to manage waste materials and reuse them efficiently.
“Water utilisation is a big factor in Qatar, he pointed out. “Desalination has been used for a long time to purify water, and much of that has been labour-intensive as well as energy-intensive.”
“The programme that we are doing can use membranes to purify water which has a more sustainable and cheaper process and produces extremely good quality water,” the official said. “The HBKU is very clear that the university wants the students to do research on the needs of the community, the region and the world over.”
“This is the focus of the research programmes of the university, and we are coming out with several publications at leading international journals which have highlighted the impact of the research,” he added.

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