Over the past academic year, 20 high school students from different schools in Qatar explored the engineering behind district cooling by participating in a program hosted by Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, in collaboration with Qatar Cool.

During the program, Keeping Cool with Qatar Cool, the students gained insights on various topics including the physics behind pumps, heat transfer and heat exchangers, water and energy conservation, thermodynamics, refrigeration, water purification, and reverse osmosis. During each lesson, students worked on hands-on projects such as building water fountains, making swamp coolers, creating hydroponics systems, studying refrigeration components, and creating water filtration and purification systems with an economic analysis for their designs.

The students also visited the Qatar Cool plant, which helped the participants understand how district cooling works and the engineering behind it. The students researched solutions to clean or re-use the refrigerant gas within Qatar Cool plants or develop a more environmentally friendly method to discharge the gas into the atmosphere, as part of their final project. 

Karima Ahmed, a student at ACS International School Doha, said: "I was interested in the program because it would help me explore more about engineering. I aspire to be an engineer so it was very important to me to have real life experience in the field. I expected to be challenged and pushed to try my very best in every class. Throughout the course I constantly felt challenged, I had to be a good communicator and work well with my team to create complex solutions. For students who are interested, this program gives the best real-life experience in engineering. If you are unsure that engineering is the path for you then this course shows you what engineering is and how it looks like in real life."

Hasan Zubeidi, a student in Qatar Academy Doha, added, "I’d personally describe my journey with the ‘Keeping Cool with Qatar Cool’ program as extremely inspiring and informative, as well as fun.

It wasn’t just the physics and mathematics that I learned in class, but also the real-life application of those concepts. Every aspect of a solution was taken into consideration during the program, and we relied heavily on the engineering design process that our supervisors taught and explained to us.

Overall, I would say that this experience has been eye-opening and inspiring. I’ve been introduced to the world of engineering, a world that I had no idea was so extensive and deep. Thanks to that, my amazing team, and our great supervisor Ms. Katbeh, I can confidently say that I will be pursuing a career in engineering or at least in STEM."

The program was developed by TAMUQ’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Hub to give students a firsthand look at how district cooling works in Qatar from the industry experts who [do it]. STEM experts Tala Katbeh ’15 and Benjamin Cieslinski led the program with input and some lessons from Qatar Cool.

Katbeh said, "The Keeping Cool with Qatar Cool program is one of a kind, and it was exciting to see how the students were actively engaged in the learning process. As an educator, I feel very proud to have been able to contribute towards preparing the next generation of future engineering leaders in Qatar. We are also grateful for the support that Qatar Cool provided in making this a valuable experience for the students." 

Qatar Cool’s CEO Yasser Al Jaidah commented on the program, “Innovation and scientific advances are rapidly expanding, creating a demand for innovators. It is our next generation who will lead the way and build a knowledge-based economy.  To succeed in this new information-based and highly technical culture, students need to expand their skills in STEM to levels beyond what was deemed acceptable in the past.  STEM education creates critical thinkers and enables the next generation of innovators.  We are pleased to have been involved with Texas A&M in this program. As an organization rich with engineers from all disciplines, we know the worth of STEM education and the invaluable role our future engineers will have in sustaining and enhancing the efforts we are putting in place.  We look forward to continuing to work with institutes and students, helping to nurture and develop our future engineers.”

At the end of the program, students were recognized for their outstanding efforts. Bayan Khraisheh, Hasan Zubaidi, Karima Ahmed, and Yaman Adwan received the Best Teamwork Award, while JLina Elzeini, Rama Al Hamidi, Sana Al Hamidi, and Zeid Kailani received the Best Presentation Award for their team’s efforts in the final project. Wafaa Ismail received the Outstanding Citizen Award, Bartosz Werla received the Most Inquisitive Award, and Karima Ahmed received Best Engineering Notebook Award.


About Texas A&M Uninversity at Qatar

Since 2003, Texas A&M University has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering in Qatar Foundation’s Education City, and graduate degrees in chemical engineering since fall 2011. Texas A&M at Qatar has awarded nearly 1,400 degrees. All four undergraduate programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. Faculty from around the world are attracted to Texas A&M at Qatar to educate the next generation of engineering leaders in Qatar and to conduct research valued at more than $277.7 million that address issues important to the State of Qatar. Visit www.qatar.tamu.edu.

About Qatar Cool

Qatar Cool is the leading district cooling company in Qatar, with The United Development Company (UDC) as the majority shareholder. Since its inception in 2003, Qatar Cool has aimed for operational excellence in every aspect of its business. Over the past 19 years, the company has developed solid technical and operational experience and has refined its approach on both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) fronts.

Qatar Cool owns and operates four cooling plants spanning across two major districts in Qatar. Three of the cooling plants are situated in the West Bay district, with a combined cooling capacity of 92,500 Tons of Refrigeration.

The fourth cooling plant is located on the Pearl Qatar, a 41 million square feet man-made island. The Pearl Qatar plant is the largest in the world housing a cooling capacity of 130,000 Tons of Refrigeration. Qatar Cool’s fifth cooling plant in the Pearl Qatar is under construction and will serve the Gewan Island development. The cooling plant has a capacity of 18,000 Tons of Refrigeration.

Over 12 years, Qatar Cool has achieved a saving of over 2.9 billion KWH, that’s enough energy to power over 12 thousand houses in Qatar for one year. The savings in energy, when converted to CO2, is over 1.6 million tons of emissions reduced. To put this into perspective that is the same as planting over 20 million mature trees, these trees would fit into almost 57 thousand football stadiums, or to look at it another way, it’s comparable to removing over 315 thousand cars off our roads.