Water treatment can be sustainable, as found by ‘Women in Science’ fellow

Water treatment can be sustainable, as found by ‘Women in Science’ fellow

A sustainable mechanism for wastewater treatment can be and is possible, according to a research associate at Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI). This highly significant finding is a big step in advancing wastewater reuse.

Dr Deema al-Masri, an esteemed recipient of the Women in Science (WIS) fellowship from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF)—member of Qatar Foundation along with Hamad Bin Khalifa University of which QEERI is part—was pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy at HBKU when she was chosen as one of the two recipients of the prestigious fellowship. With its aim to support and enrich a new generation of female researchers in Qatar, the fellowship certainly helped both in financial and non-financial means.

With her PhD research funded by QNRF and her 2017 stay at the University of Texas at Austin funded as well, she was able to deepen her research into sustainable solutions for water purification, water reuses, and wastewater treatments.

Her studies include creating ceramic discs for water filtration, which will lead to a low-cost answer to the water problem. This eco-friendly solution involves developing membranes that will treat the wastewater as adsorption agents and sieves. This helps purify the water from foreign contaminants, as well as help in the preservation of water for industrial, agricultural, and sanitation purposes.

“The WIS fellowship opened many doors for me, and was a game changer in my professional life. I am grateful for the wonderful opportunities that QNRF has provided me, and the strong role it perpetually plays in inspiring female researchers to pursue careers within STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields,” Dr al-Masri said.

“We are very pleased to observe an increasing interest to study STEM subjects among local female students. This is highly inspiring for the development of Qatar’s local research capacity, and therefore we encourage our female students to pursue scientific research in their field of study,” QNRF executive director Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie said. “The achievements of Dr al-Masri and the importance of her research for water scarcity in Qatar is a vivid testament to how successful the program was, and makes her the perfect role model for our budding future female scientists, researchers, and engineers.”

As a priority in the Qatar National Vision 2030, solutions to water pollution and water scarcity are key. With the QNRF, more and more research professionals can have the right funding and development programmes that will help them apply their expertise in the development of Qatar as a whole.

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