November 29, 2012 texas a&m university at qatar’s elbashir wins prestigious research prize groundbreaking new discoveries by researchers and faculty at texas a&m university at qatar have been recognized at the third annual qatar foundation research forum. the “best energy and environment research program of the year” award went to associate professor of chemical engineering nimir elbashir for his multi-scale investigations leading to the design of a novel fischer-tropsch reactor, the heart of the gas-to-liquid processes that convert natural gas into ultra-clean fuels and value-added chemicals. nimir elbashir carrying a $100,000 prize, the award, a key goal of this year’s forum, was recognized to inspire collaboration for future research. winning abstracts were chosen based on quality, merit and relevance to the nation. the designed reactor technology treats a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide obtained from natural gas utilizing a chemistry known as fischer-tropsch to produce synthetic fuel, gas and value-added chemicals. the uniqueness of their process is that it operates in a reaction medium that has properties in between the gas-phase and liquid phase, known as the supercritical fluids media. the research being led by elbashir is examining new and more efficient ways to undertake the process and the environmental factors that influence it with a view to commercialization of the technology, the impact of which would be felt across the oil and gas industry. elbashir’s research highlighted the ways in which research at texas a&m at qatar is contributing to the nation’s goal to become a knowledge-based economy. “it is a great honor to be recognized with such a prestigious award and it also shows the depth of the research talent within qatar,” he commented. “qatar and the qatar foundation’s emphasis on building a culture of research through the qatar national research strategy enable projects such as this to flourish. “it is this environment that encourages ‘breakthrough ideas’ and we are proud to be involved in a project that puts qatar firmly at the forefront of the industry.