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Photo of winning IgniteDoha presentation

Texas A&M University at Qatar engineering student Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani won the finale of the first edition of IgniteDoha with his presentation on problem-solving at the Texas A&M Engineering Building in Education City.

IgniteDoha, much like a TED talk, tasked students to introduce a particular topic to a general audience in an engaging manner. The format constraints challenged students to give fast and fun five-minute presentations, while also testing their ability to be clear and concise. IgniteDoha is a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) initiative of Texas A&M at Qatar that develops communication, organization, visual literacy and presentation skills

Six students competed in the IgniteDoha finale. Munazza Sayed placed second and Midhat J. Zaidi came third. The other finalists included Arshaad Ali, Zeinab Makki and Yossra Osman.

They all performed admirably in front of a lecture hall packed with fellow students, staff, faculty and guest industry judges. The judges were Dr. Fawzi Al-Ajji, education relations manager at Maersk Oil Qatar; Yousef Al-Meer, head of academic affairs at Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO); Ibrahim Bu-Hazzaa, senior maintenance specialist at QAPCO; former student Karim Youssef, associate water researcher at Qatar Shell Research and Technology Center; and former student Rinchu Matthew, Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University.

IgniteDoha aims to develop future Aggie Engineers’ communication skills, which is becoming increasingly important for both their academic and industry careers. IgniteDoha was a successful STEAM initiative of Texas A&M at Qatar in that the event challenged students to get their message across eloquently within all of the parameters and constraints of the completion. Students had to be familiar with the topic at hand beyond a peripheral grasp and have a command of the language to convey it.

The event required engineering students to flex their otherwise relaxed language-skills muscles. IgniteDoha prepared students for the rigors of business presentations in the engineering industry.

Watch Al-Qahtani's winning presentation here: