Texas A&M at Qatar hosts its third annual Liberal Arts International Conference from 1 to 3 February 2015 at Hamad bin Khalifa Student Center (HBKU-SC) at Education City.

The event is organised by the university’s Liberal Arts Program in collaboration with The Initiative in Professional Ethics (TIPE), an umbrella organisation for all ethics-related activities at Texas A&M at Qatar. The branch campus and Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) are conference co-sponsors, and Hamad bin Khalifa University is co-host. Dean and CEO at Texas A&M at Qatar, Dr Mark H Weichold, said:

Texas A&M is recognised globally as a leader in engineering education and research. Part of its success rests on its multidisciplinary approach, which includes a strong commitment to the social sciences, arts and humanities. Our Qatar campus is no exception. Our substantial social sciences, arts and humanities faculty include internationally recognized leaders in their fields, and all of our students take a variety of these courses to complement their engineering courses. This is critical to creating future engineering leaders who are problem-solvers, innovative thinkers and effective communicators.’

Liberal arts programme chair and professor of history at Texas A&M at Qatar, Dr Troy Bickham, said:

We are especially gratified by the large number of participating scholars within Qatar this year. The conference is a unique opportunity within Qatar for scholars across the country in the social sciences, arts and humanities to engage with each other and colleagues around the globe. This year, we have scholars from six continents and more than 20 countries coming to present research papers in a variety of fields.’

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back: Transnational Perspectives on Globalisation’. The event will explore the impacts of globalisation from a variety of disciplinary lenses. The three-day conference will feature lectures and panels for students, faculty and staff of educational institutions and research centers in Qatar. More than 70 participants representing more than 20 countries and nationalities are expected to attend. Conference co-organiser and assistant professor at liberal arts at the branch campus, Dr Leslie Seawright, said:

This is the third year for the Liberal Arts International Conference hosted by Texas A&M University at Qatar, which has been a meaningful and successful event for the region. This year, we are welcoming conference participants who represent some of the most prestigious universities in the world, such as Oxford University in the UK and Harvard University in the US.’

Instructional associate professor of liberal arts at Texas A&M at Qatar, Dr Nancy Small, said:

Being both interdisciplinary and transnational means that the Texas A&M University at Qatar Liberal Arts International Conference is a unique and dynamic gathering of scholars, rich in opportunity for inspiration and cross-pollination. Anchored by keynotes from well-known speakers in a variety of disciplines, the Liberal Arts International Conference will feature sessions that approach globalisation and its implications from an interesting and compelling array of perspectives. One great thing about this conference is its size. Rather than thousands of attendees and hundreds of sessions — potentially overwhelming — the Liberal Arts International Conference balances the diversity to suit varied research interests with a friendly and relaxed vibe.’

Opening day keynote speaker was Dr David Jolliffe, professor and Brown Chair of English Literacy from the University of Arkansas, USA. His address, ‘Global Corporate Decisions, Local Impacts and the Need for Economic Literacy’, launched the conference.

The conference’s second day featured a keynote speech by Dr Michael Reksulak, director, social sciences, arts and humanities at Qatar National Research Fund.

Keynote speaker on the conference’s final day was Dr Tim Winter, professor and Research Chair of Cultural Heritage from Deakin University, Australia, who gave the talk, ‘Thermal Modernities and the Entangled Future of Air’.

Texas A&M University, recognised as having one of the premier engineering programs in the world, has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering at Qatar Foundation’s Education City campus since 2003, and graduate degrees in chemical engineering since fall 2011. More than 500 engineers have graduated from Texas A&M at Qatar since 2007. In addition to engineering courses, Texas A&M at Qatar provides classes in science, mathematics, liberal arts and the humanities. All four of the engineering programs offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.