On the 19th SQU Day, Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies & Research announced seven projects selected for funding by His Majesty’s Trust Fund for the year 2019. The selected project are the following with name of the principal investigators in brackets.
- The effectiveness of a proposed program in sustainable ecotourism in developing basic education students’ knowledge, behavior and attitudes toward the developmental dimensions of sustainable tourism in the Sultanate of Oman (Prof. Abdullah Ambusaidi, Humanities Research Centre)
- Developing climate smart strategies for improving wheat productivity in the Sultanate of Oman (Dr. Muhammad Farooq, College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences)
- Automatic detection and sample collection of oil spills and red tiedes in Omani shores using heterogeneous-cooperative unmanned vehicle systems (Dr. Ahmed Al Maashri, College of Engineering)
- Development of eco-friendly fungicides for the management of soil borne fungal diseases of vegetables in Oman (Dr. Raid Abdel Jalil, College of Science)
- Nano-fibers from date-flesh and date-pits of low grade or un-utilized date fruits: its preparation, characterization and functionality (Prof. Mohammed Shafiur Rahman (College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences)
- Organic farming for improving soil quality and agricultural sustainability in Oman (Dr. Rhonda R. Janke, College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences)
- Nocturnal sleep durations, afternoon siesta and sleep disturbances in young pregnant Omani women and related outcomes (Dr. Mohammed Al Abri, College of Medicine & Health Sciences).
Dr. Rahma Al Mahrooqi said that since 2001, as many as 95 Large-scale research projects addressing real-world issues in sustainable social and economic development have been carried out by SQU with the support of His Majesty’s Trust Fund. “In 2018, six projects with a total value of OMR 450,000 have been approved. As many as 119 research projects were also supported by SQU’s Internal Grants in 2018 with OMR 455,437. The Deanship of Research Grant supported 23 projects OMR 66,150. Joint grant includes 4 research projects supported by SQU-United Arab Emirates University Grants for OMR 53,500, and 8 projects funded by SQU-South African Universities Grants for OMR 57,100. BP Oman Research Fund Program approved OMR 70,000 for two research projects. Three research projects were approved by the Omantel Research Fund Program with a total value of OMR 60,000. Five projects received External Grant funding with a total value of OMR 1,143,673. A total of 41 consultancy projects occured during this period with a total value of OMR 1,326,368. As many as 11 projects supported by The Research Council’s Faculty-mentored Undergraduate Research Award Program with OMR 23,400”, she said.
The DVC further said that SQU organized 17 Conferences and symposiums in 2018, and 10 in 2019. SQU offered support for around 485 faculty members to attend academic conferences worldwide. In 2018, around 986 papers with SQU affiliations appeared in Scopus-indexed journals and sources, while, in 2019, 320 Scopus papers have been published. These papers have been cited around 1,306 times so far. In 2018, around 782 SQU-affiliated papers were published in Web of Science-indexed journals, with this figure already being 158 for 2019. These papers have been cited around 928 times so far. SQU Researchers published scientific papers with researches from 78 Countries across the globe.
Talking about agreements and cooperation programs, Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi said that an agreement has been signed with Occidental of Oman in 2019 to provide $2.7 million US dollars for purchasing equipment for the university’s Sustainable Energy Research Center. “This year has already seen the opening of the Living Lab for Smart Cities, housed in the Communication and Information Research Centre, which is the outcome of an agreement signed at the end of 2018 with Omantel and mOmkin. A cooperation program has been established with Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) and Jusoor Foundation to support research and innovation at SQU through the continued development of the Innovation & Technology Transfer Centre. A cooperation program is on with the National Field Research Centre for Environmental Conservation, Diwan of Royal Court, to create an interactive Atlas for Oman. Notable agreements include a cooperation program signed with the ‘One Million Date Palm Project’ and signing of a Letter of Agreement with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)”, she added.
Through the Innovation & Technology Transfer Centre, three patents were granted to researchers in SQU’s College of Medicine & Health Sciences. Two patent applications were filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty from the College of Engineering and the Communication and Information Research Center.
Elaborating on the postgraduate academic program at the University, the Deputy Vice Chancellor said that in the academic year 2018-2019, the university offered 30 doctoral and 63 master’s level programs across its nine colleges. “In 2018-2019, SQU graduated a total of 442 postgraduate students, including 42 PhD and 400 master’s students. The university’s postgraduate student enrolment included 237 PhD students and 1,300 master’s students. SQU’s postgraduate student society includes 71 members: 16 PhD & 55 Masters students from which 9 are international students”, she concluded.
Dr. Rahma Al Mahrooqi also announced that the “Modelling of Nanofluid Flows” Research Group at the College of Science led by Dr. Mohammed Mansur Rahman has been selected for the Most Active Research Group Award instituted by the Deanship of Research at SQU.