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Tribune News Network
TWENTY-FIVE students from Texas A&M University at Qatar (Tamuq) took part in the third International Workshop on Humanitarian Engineering at Leeuwarden and The Hague in the Netherlands.
The workshop was designed as a multidisciplinary immersive experience in which Texas A&M at Qatar engineering students collaborate with master's students in Humanitarian Action at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) to learn about engineering techniques and applications specifically in context of humanitarian situations.
Students were provided 30 hours of instruction on topics related to professional ethics, Big Data analysis, food security, and interdisciplinary and multicultural communication.
Students also learnt rapid prototyping techniques and use these skills to propose unique solutions to humanitarian crises.
The workshop was organised by Texas A&M at Qatar in collaboration with University of Groningen's Campus Fryslan and the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA). Participating workshop instructors include faculty from the University of Leiden's Peace Informatics Lab and Concordia University in Canada.
Representatives from Royal Dutch Shell also gave lectures at the workshop.
The workshop focused on the critical role engineers play in improving the technological capabilities of at-risk and disadvantaged communities.
Dr Hassan Bashir, programme director and associate professor in the Liberal Arts Program at Texas A&M at Qatar, said:"The Humanitarian Engineering Workshop is unique and the first of its kind in the region. It enables undergraduate engineering students to appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of engineering as a vocation in today's globalised world."
Mechanical engineering student Alaa Abdalla said,"The workshop helped me to understand the interdisciplinary nature of being an engineer and gave me an idea about something that I can pursue after my degree."
Electrical and computer engineering student Leen al Homoud said,"This workshop changed me in a way that I understood the importance of the humanitarian organisations that come in to help people who are in need. This experience made me want to ask more about the humanitarian action programme because I am now interested in pursuing a master's degree in this field."
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