Students showcase innovation at Texas A&M at Qatar’s annual Invent for the Planet competition

Students showcase innovation at Texas A&M at Qatar’s annual Invent for the Planet competition By Fathimath Nasli - March 27, 2024
Students showcase innovation at Texas A&M at Qatar’s annual Invent for the Planet competition

The Planet competition organized by Texas A&M University at Qatar

Students from across Education City showcased their innovation skills during the Invent for the Planet competition, organized by Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university.

Over a period of 48 hours, participants developed, designed, built and presented ideas and technologies of benefit to the world.

Started by Texas A&M University’s flagship campus in College Station, Texas (USA), Invent for the Planet asked students from more than 24 participating universities around the world to tackle the most challenging issues facing the world today in just 48 hours.

At each location, teams were formed based on a shared interest in one of the available need statements. Then over the following two days, the teams researched their topic, collaborated with mentors, came up with a solution and built a simple prototype. Each team then presented its product to a panel of judges comprised of faculty from different Education City campuses and industry experts.

First place and a $1,500 prize went to Team Aqua Vision, which included students from Texas A&M at Qatar and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) — Aiman Ali, Anurag Srivastava, Nahin Kabir, Osama Hasoneh, Mohamed Bakri and Elyas Al-Amri — for building a submersible remote-operated vehicle to reduce the issue of bycatch that is harmful to marine life ecosystems. This team also won the best prototype award.

Second place went to Team Gaith (Texas A&M at Qatar and HBKU): : Hadi Zamzam, Hamza Seddek, Laith Hamad, Leticia El Jurdi, Rhee Jeremiah Costan and Mustafa Altayeb. They built “Smartgrow,” a closed-system greenhouse powered by solar energy, equipped with many sensors and an Arduino UNO control system. This innovation offers a sustainable solution to the global water crisis, particularly beneficial for low-income countries reliant on water-intensive agriculture.

Team SustainaBuilders — Alaa Laswi, Hasan Shomar, Shahd Darwish, Noor Alhamadaney, Sara El-Sallabi and Omar Arafeh — placed third for developing an innovative solution to tackle the issue of limited and unsafe housing in poverty housing regions and overpopulated slum populations. Their multilayered solution focuses on both the provision of safe and durable housing as well as allowing people in such communities to utilize materials and tools that already exist in their respective regions to build sustainable houses.

The Best Presentation Award went to Team Sharkshield (Texas A&M at Qatar and HBKU): Abdulla Babikr, Farah Alawiya, Racha Qaddura, Sai Surag Lingampalli, Muhammad Hanif and Imran Parvez. The Best Video Award was for Team Sealife Guardians (Texas A&M at Qatar and HBKU): Salahudin Abu-Munshar, Marilyn Abou Jaoude, Mohamed ElRayeh, AlGhalya Al-Hajri and Dana Abou Hassan.

Texas A&M at Qatar’s Engineering Enrichment and Entrepreneurship Program organized and hosted the Qatar competition, in collaboration with the Meloy Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at the main campus. The winning team from Qatar will now compete with other winning teams around the globe from 24 universities participating from America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

The team from Texas A&M at Qatar will also showcase their posters at the global finals in April this year. 

The students said that it was a valuable and educational experience for them, and that it helped them get hands on experience and upcycle their technical knowledge and soft skills.

El-Sallabi said, “IFTP provided me with an enlightening journey, fostering the development of both my creative and critical thinking skills while empowering me to innovate. Through this experience, I discovered a profound passion for innovative problem-solving, a revelation that I owe entirely to this transformative opportunity.”

Abu Bakar Majeed Bin Abdul Rab, a participant from HBKU who participated in Invent for the Planet, said, “Being a part of IFTP 2024 was an enriching, enlightening, transformative, and memorable journey for me. Over 48 intense hours of innovation and collaboration, I honed my skills, devising engineering solutions to real-world challenges amidst a diverse cohort of astute peers from around the world—an experience that has not only broadened my perspectives but has also equipped me with invaluable knowledge for engineering and beyond.”

Dr. Hazem Nounou, senior associate dean for undergraduate studies and student success, said, “Invent for the Planet is a multiversity competition that provides TAMUQ students the opportunity to engage in a high-impact experience by collaborating over a period of two days with students from different majors and universities within Education City. During this competition, students utilize their technical and professional skills to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems. Such experience expands students’ skillsets and prepares them to be more successful in the future.”

By Fathimath Nasli - March 27, 2024

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