Mohammed Al Housani, a graduate of Texas A&M at Qatar, was named the overall winner of Stars of Science in a live finale in Doha, Qatar, concluding the sixth season of Qatar Foundation’s edutainment reality TV programme.  

Al Housani earned a combined score of 49.6% from public voting and a jury deliberation to win, taking home the first prize of US$300,000 to help develop his efficient solar energy system, Taqatech. Al Housani said:

I am delighted to win first place of Stars of Science Season 6 and proud to represent Qatar. Stars of Science was an incredible experience that was made unforgettable by my fellow candidates as well as the programme’s mentors, judges and viewers. I thank Qatar Foundation for making the programme possible and continuing to believe in the potential of young Arab innovators like myself. It is my hope that others around the region are encouraged to participate in Stars of Science.’

For the past five years, Texas A&M at Qatar has offered great support to the programme in areas of research and manufacturing to achieve production of functional prototypes in short time frames based on certain criteria. Specifically, the branch campus has offered hands-on support with PCB manufacturing, 3-D rapid prototyping, fuel research and instrumentation lab requirements.

Candidates were able to make use of the facilities wherever needed in their product development cycle. Dr Eyad Masad, executive associate dean at the branch campus, said:

Al Housani did very well in representing the quality of education and preparation we provide at Texas A&M University at Qatar and Qatar Foundation. He was an excellent representative of the ambitious Arab youth and Qatar’s next generation of discovery.’

Launched in 2009 by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Stars of Science is the region’s first pan-Arab Edutainment TV programme dedicated to innovation. For its sixth season, Stars of Science debuts a new format aimed at increasing competition, pitting small groups of innovators against each other for the chance to turn their project ideas into reality. Following the competitive selection process, 12 candidates aged 18 to 30 from across the Arab world were selected to come to Doha, where they are mentored by engineering and design specialists from across the globe. The innovators’ resilience, ingenuity and teamwork are tested in challenges throughout the programme as they develop their potential products from concept to working prototype with the ultimate goal of winning a share of US$600,000 in prize money.

Texas A&M University, recognised as having one of the premier engineering programmes in the world, has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering at Qatar Foundation’s Education City campus since 2003, and graduate courses 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.