MEDRC announces water researcher award winners

MUSCAT, Aug 11 – MEDRC Water Research announced the winners of the ‘Omani Young Water Researchers Award 2018’ at an official ceremony held at their headquarters in Al Hail last week. Established by MEDRC and sponsored by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Oman and the Omar Zawawi Establishment, it aims to encourage and promote research work that can have a meaningful impact on Oman’s water sector as well as tackling the global challenge of fresh water scarcity.
Held under the auspices of the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), it recognises excellence in water research undertaken by young Omani students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level within the following specific areas: water management, water treatment technologies and desalination or any related environmental research.
Speaking of the event, Centre Director of MEDRC, Ciarán Ó Cuinn, said, “It gives us great pleasure to announce the recipients of the Omani Young Water Researchers Award. We were delighted by the standard of the submissions received this year. The work was strong and investigative and we take great pride in offering a platform from which it can be celebrated. Showcasing excellent research; such as that which we’ve seen here today, is vital for the continued development of water research here in Oman.”
The winners and runners up were announced as follows:
Postgraduate Category: 1st Place — Abdullah al Balushi, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; 2nd Place — Asma al Kharousi, Caledonian College of Engineering; and 3rd Place — Raya al Farsi, Sultan Qaboos University
Undergraduate Category: 1st Place — Azza al Subhi, International Maritime College Oman; 2nd Place — Zaineb al Hajji, Sultan Qaboos University; and 3rd Place —Mohammed al Naaimi, Sultan Qaboos University.
In the undergraduate category, Azza al Subhi, conducted her research on the use of graphene-based materials for wastewater treatment, while the winner of the postgraduate category Abdullah al Balushi investigated Membrane Distillation as a more cost-effective alternative technology to reverse osmosis for sea water and brackish water desalination.
Having been announced as the winners, Abdullah al Balushi and Azza al Subhi are the lucky recipients of an all-expenses paid trip to The Netherlands to attend the European Water Tech Week in Leeuwarden in September.
Laetitia Van Asch, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Oman, said, “I am very glad to see the increased number of applications for the Young Omani Researchers Award this year. We are very happy to be able to support two prize winners this year to participate in the Aquatec conference in the water capital of the Netherlands; Leeuwarden. The interest and enthusiasm among Omani researchers show their commitment to expertise in the water sector in Oman.”
Dr Jauad el Kharraz, Head of Research at MEDRC, commented, “I am extremely grateful to the committee for the time they took to review the submissions and to interview the finalists. We formed a panel representative of many different sectors, each bringing their own area of expertise to the table. The superb quality of the submissions meant that their task was by no means easy and we’re indebted to them for volunteering their valuable time.”