Palestinian Student From Gaza Receives Borealis Student Award
Mag. Rana Qudaih a Palestinian student of a family originally from Gaza, from the town Abasan Al-Kabirah in the North of Khan Yunis, and who now lives in the UAE, was chosen by jury to attend the Borealis Innovation Day event in Austria in January 2012. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology announced that Rana Qudaih, one of its students, has won the prestigious Borealis Student Innovation Award for her thesis on Polyolefins (plastics). Mag. Qudaih will travel from UAE to Austria to present her thesis in front of the audience in mid January 2012, during the Borealis Innovation Day event which will be held in Linz, Upper Austria. (Click on the images to enlarge them).
Mr. Naim Solaiman Qudaih, the father of Mag. Qudaih, invited me to attend the awarding ceremony in which his daughter will receive the award, He sent an open invitation to all Palestinians and the Arab community at large in Austria to join the celebration. He dedicated the scientific achievement of his daughter Rana to all Palestinians, wherever they are. I asked Mag. Qudaih about her family, her study and the award. She wrote back answering my questions. Her answers are published below.
About my family:
After graduation in August 2008, I joined Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI) as a research assistant in Waste-to-Energy group. I was one of the first pioneers who were selected to work at MI. I worked in renewable energy and fuels from waste: thermochemical pathways research and wind energy research. During my studies at MI, I went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT in Boston, USA to participate and present my work in 2009 and 2010 MIT Energy Conference Showcases. I also participated in different conferences and seminars related to renewable energy and sustainability.
In 2009, I was enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering Master’s program at MI. My Master’s thesis topic is “Mechanical Recycling and Thermochemical Conversion of Cross-Linked Polyethylene Waste research”. The main objective of my work is to explore the recycling and thermochemical conversion of the low density polyethylene waste (LDPE) via two methods. One involves recycling Si-XLPE back to extruder at a controlled quantity, enough to stay within the threshold of the mechanical and thermal properties of the end-product, thereby converting the cable industry into green or zero plastic waste industry. The second solution follows a thermo-chemical process and converting such waste into a byrolytic-oil that is observed to have approximately similar physical and thermo-chemical properties as to that of diesel fuel, which was demonstrated by my work following intense laboratory testing and analyses.
Currently, I am working as a manufacturing engineer at Dubai Cable Company Pvt. Ltd (Ducab), and after getting some industrial experience I am planning to continue my PhD in renewable energy and sustainability field.
I am very pleased to receive the Borealis Student Innovation Award 2011 for my Masters Thesis .The Borealis Student Innovation Award recognizes the two most innovative research papers (one for a master’s degree graduate and one for a doctorate degree graduate) on polyolefins, olefins or melamine to engage young people in Borealis´ mission to be the leading provider of innovative solutions that create value for society. I am very proud as I am graduated from MI to win this prize. How nice to see such fruitful results from my hard experimental work! I had to overcome professional and personal difficulties, but I succeeded. I think this is a real success and this award is the representation of that success. This award means a lot for me and means that woman can succeed in the engineering and technical fields and achieve a lot.
I am sincerely grateful for the UAE and Masdar for offering world-class research and academic facilities for me to succeed and innovate. I am also grateful for the recognition from Borealis. I would like to extend my appreciation to my advisor, Dr. Isam Janajreh, for his continued support, guidance and encouragement through the completion of this research. Finally, I want to express my gratitude to my family, colleagues and friends who supported me academically and spiritually to achieve this successful work.
Moreover, I would like advice Arab youth to work hard, be proactive, be patient, keep up a positive attitude and stay motivated. I encourage them also to believe in their abilities and skills that they can be successful and build a solid research institution for development and technology in the Arab world.
Finally, I consider this success is not only for me, but also it is for my family, my home land Palestine and my country UAE where I was raised and educated. I promise to keep the good work and to be one of the renewable energy and sustainability leaders in the future.
The Borealis Student Innovation Award recognizes two most innovative research papers – one for a master’s degree graduate and one for a doctorate degree graduate – on Polyolefins, olefins or melamine. Rana Qudaih is being awarded for her thesis on the Polyolefins (plastics) category. Currently employed as a Manufacturing Engineer with Dubai Cable Company (Ducab), Qudaih worked under the guidance of Dr. Isam Janajreh, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering at Masdar Institute.
Using the cable industry as a case study, Qudaih’s thesis focuses on providing two innovative solutions to reduce the rejected waste of Low Density Poly Ethylene (LDPE), which comprises over 80% of the discarded plastic waste globally. It also reaches up to 12% of total Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). Qudaih’s thesis successfully demonstrates that these solutions work not only at the macro scale but at the large ‘batch’ scale as well.
Among the two solutions discovered by Qudaih, one involves recycling LDPE back to extruder at a controlled quantity, enough to stay within the threshold of the mechanical and thermal properties of the end-product, thereby converting the cable industry into green or zero plastic waste industry. The second solution follows a thermo-chemical process and converting such waste into a byrolytic-oil that is observed to have approximately similar physical and thermo-chemical properties as to that of diesel fuel, which was demonstrated by Rana Qudaih’s work following intense laboratory testing and analyses. Click here to read the full story.
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