MEDRC Water Research have announced the winners of the ‘Omani Young Water Researchers Award 2018’ at an official ceremony held at their headquarters in Al Hail today.
Established by MEDRC and sponsored by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Oman and the Omar Zawawi Establishment L.L.C, it aims to encourage and promote research work that can have a meaningful impact on Oman’s water sector as well as tackling the global challenge of fresh water scarcity. Held under the auspices of the Public Authority for Electricity & Water (PAEW) of Oman it recognizes excellence in water research undertaken by young Omani students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level within the following specific areas:
• Water management
• Water treatment technologies
• Desalination and or related environmental research

Speaking of the event, Center Director of MEDRC, HE Ciarán Ó Cuinn said “It gives us great pleasure to announce the recipients of the Omani Young Water Researchers Award. We were delighted by the standard of the submissions received this year. The work was strong and investigative and we take great pride in offering a platform from which it can be celebrated. Showcasing excellent research; such as that which we’ve seen here today, is vital for the continued development of water research here in Oman”
The winners and runners up were announced as follows:
Postgraduate Category:
1st Place: Mr. Abdullah Al Balushi, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
2nd Place: Ms. Asma Al Kharusi, Caledonian College of Engineering
3rd Place: Ms. Raya Al Farsi, Sultan Qaboos University
Undergraduate Category
1st Place: Ms. Azza Al Subhi, International Maritime College Oman
2nd Place: Ms. Zaineb Al-Hajji, Sultan Qaboos University
3rd Place: Mr. Mohammed Al Naaimi, Sultan Qaboos University

In the undergraduate category, Ms Azza Al Subhi, conducted her research on the use of graphene-based materials for wastewater treatment while the winner of the postgraduate category Mr. Abdullah Al Balushi investigated Membrane Distillation as a more cost-effective alternative technology to reverse osmosis for sea water and brackish water desalination. Having been announced as the winners, Mr. Abdullah Al Balushi and Ms. Azza Al Subhi are the lucky recipients of an all-expenses paid trip to The Netherlands to attend the European Water Tech Week in Leeuwarden this coming September.

Her Excellency Laetitia Van Asch, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Oman, said at the event “I am very glad to see the increased number of applications for the Young Omani Researchers Award this year. We are very happy to be able to support two prize winners this year to participate in the Aquatec conference in the water capital of the Netherlands; Leeuwarden. The interest and enthusiasm among Omani researchers show their commitment to, and expertise in the water sector in Oman,”

With a marked increase in submissions received for this year’s competition MEDRC was grateful to have the assistance of the Scientific Committee who volunteered their time to review the research submissions. Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, Head of Research at MEDRC commented “I am extremely grateful to the committee for the time they took to review the submissions and to interview the finalists. We formed a panel representative of many different sectors, each bringing their own area of expertise to the table. The superb quality of the submissions meant that their task was by no means easy and we’re indebted to them for volunteering their valuable time”.

Among the distinguished guests present at today’s ceremony were, H.E. Laetitia Van Asch, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr.Hussain Abdul Hussain, CEO of Haya Water, Mr. Salem Nasser Al Bortmany, Executive Director at Omar Zawawi Establishment (OMZEST),Zaher Al Sulaimani, Chairman, Oman Water Society.

The recipient of last year’s inaugural Award was Ms. Manal Al Balushi (Middle East College) for her work on non-revenue water in the Seeb supply system.