“When you invest in women, you invest in a more sustainable future,” says QF alumna
Change never comes easy for women, but for Dr. Hanadi Ghanim Mohammed Jassim Al Thani, pursuing change has been the impetus for her many successes and invaluable contributions to sustainability research in Qatar.
Dr. Al Thani, an alumna of Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Science and Engineering Master’s in Sustainable Energy – who also holds a PhD in Sustainable Environment programs from Qatar Foundation’s homegrown university – was inspired to shift from her previously chosen academic field because she was wanted to make a difference.
“I hold a bachelor's degree in computer engineering which is a different specialization from sustainable environmental engineering altogether. But I was inspired by the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030) and all of the monumental achievements leading up to, during, and after the FIFA World Cup Qatar to do more. I wanted to leave this world a better place for everyone.
“When I decided to complete the master's degree in this new discipline, I realized I had to invest great effort to understand the fundamentals of this science – how to approach it creatively to determine what I could do to add value to my country and drive change to contribute to QNV 2030.”
Pursuing her newly paved academic path, Dr. Al Thani realized that at that time there was no extensive research being conducted on air quality in Qatar and she aimed to fill that gap. Ultimately, her research investigated the source and impact of air pollution in an urban context which could lead to the development and implementation of applicable mitigation policies..
She focused on traffic emissions in terms of actual and projected values in order to determine mitigation strategies that can be adopted to reduce air pollution in Qatar .
It was this unique niche that she carved for herself that led to her double Education Excellence Award win. The annual award is an initiative of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education that honors Qatari high school, undergraduate and graduate students for the remarkable work they are doing to contribute to addressing the challenges outlined in QNV 2030. She was recognized first in 2019 as the recipient of the 12th Education Excellence Award in the Scientific Master’s Degree, and more recently she won the Platinum Medal for PhD holders in March 2023 for the impact of her PhD work.
She credits many individuals and organizations for helping her on her way.
“The great learning environment provided by Qatar Foundation (QF), and more specifically by Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), further motivated me to pursue my higher degree in sustainability. Despite completely shifting fields, HBKU has provided me with a quality education that enabled me to accomplish my research and my goals. I am extremely grateful for the inspiring environment within QF.”
Her supervisor for her master’s and PhD studies, Dr. Rima Isaifan, Head of Academic & Journals Publishing at Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press and Joint Faculty at HBKU’s College of Science and Engineering, reflects positively on being Dr. Al Thani’s mentor.
She said: “I found Hanadi to be an exceptional student and researcher in many aspects. She showed great interest in the evolving subject of air pollution and sustainable environment which was reflected in her insatiable curiosity and high-level scholarly output.
“As a mother of four, this further motivated her dedication to her full course load and enthusiasm about making a difference, which is admirable. I’m sure many of my colleagues who have had the privilege to teach her agree – our efforts have not gone to waste. We are truly proud of her, and congratulate her on all of her monumental achievements.”
For her part, Dr. Al Thani extends her gratitude to her many mentors at HBKU and knows their investments in her will be a source of inspiration for other women as well.
“With my mentors by my side, I hope my journey is a motivation for others who are considering changing paths. My mentors’ belief in me and continuous support, coupled with my own hard work and perseverance, is the foundation for my success.
“As a woman and a mother, I believe when you invest in women you invest in a more sustainable future because we all just want to leave the world a better place for our children. I can already see the fruits of my efforts and the investments of others in me reflecting in the pride of my daughters. I hope they follow in my footsteps and have every opportunity to contribute back to our beloved Qatar, and to the world.”
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