Press releases

The competition was held on 26 September at the Address Sky View Hotel, Dubai, UAE as part of the 7th GPCA Research and Innovation Conference


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 28 September 2022 – The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the voice of the chemical industry in the Arabian Gulf, today announced the winners of the second edition of the GPCA Innovation Competition ‘BIG Ideas Wanted’. The competition was held on 26 September at the Address Sky View Hotel, Dubai, UAE as part of the 7th GPCA Research and Innovation Conference, which took place under the theme ‘Catalyzing a Sustainable Future through R&I’.

Muzna Sultan Al-Jabri from Sohar University, Oman, won first place in the Undergraduate category of the GPCA Innovation Competition for her ‘Utilization of a novel marine based green corrosion inhibitor for petroleum industry applications’. Her project involved the synthesis of a novel eco -friendly corrosion inhibitor from locally available cheap biomass, crab shell, for protecting pipelines in petroleum industries.

The second place in the Undergraduate category was claimed by Amna Wahab Al Rasbi from the National University of Science and Technology, Oman, for her ‘Synthesis and application of silica and calcium carbonate nanoparticles in the reduction of organics from refinery wastewater’. The winning research involved the utilization of synthesized nano particles for the reduction of chemical oxygen demand (COD) from refinery wastewater.

Amna Abdulla AlJumaily from Qatar University Young Scientists Center was awarded in third place for her ‘Leidenfrost effect drops as a reactor for direct methanol fuel cell catalyst’. She impressed the jury with her research which used an alternative to petrol which is methanol to generate energy. These quantities of methanol could be turned into significant amounts of energy with the presence of a novel catalyst, the research proved.

In the Postgraduate category the winner in first place of the GPCA Innovation Competition is Muhammad Hafizh from Qatar University for his development of ‘A novel hybrid energy harvester for sustainable remote sensing pipeline applications’. The research team from Qatar University led by Prof. Asan investigated energy harvesting from flow-induced vibration for pipelines.

In second place, Sehrish Habib, from Qatar University, won for her ‘Smart single layer polyolefin coatings for corrosion protection of steel parts. S2Coat’. The jury was won by the invention of a single layer smart coating capable of providing autonomous corrosion protection of steel parts exposed to aggressive environments.

The third place was claimed by Sadik Rahman from Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, for his research project entitled ‘Evidence study for simultaneous desalination, acid and base production in a novel design of bio-electrochemical reactor using petrochemical wastewater treatment’. This promising novel design of a bio-electrochemical reactor enables the extraction of valuable chemicals from wastewater treatment and desalination.

Besides a monetary prize, the winners received the opportunity to present in front of global and senior industry executives at the 7th GPCA Research and Innovation Conference. Their contribution to the field of chemistry research and innovation was recognized for its impact on the industry and its potential to transform the environmental, health, safety, and sustainability performance of chemical processes and operations.

Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented: “GPCA is delighted to announce the winners of the second edition of its Innovation Competition ‘BIG Ideas Wanted’ which attracted entries from 45 undergraduate and 22 postgraduate students from 20 educational institutions across the six GCC states. I would like to thank the Award Committee for their time and effort, presiding over the judging panel and evaluating the merit of each award submission. We were both humbled and impressed by the high volume of excellent quality applications which showcased new solutions to existing challenges, as well as new processes and equipment to enhance sustainability and safety at chemical and petrochemical operations.”

He added: “GPCA and its member companies are committed to advancing STEM education across the region and supporting the development of young talent, and we wholeheartedly congratulate the winners and shortlisted candidates of this edition who demonstrated ingenuity, talent, and creativity to win this year’s prizes. Thank you to everyone who participated, and we hope to see you again next time. Our region’s future truly lies in the next generation of talent, and we are encouraged to see our youth motivated and inspired to shape a better tomorrow for us all.”

Now in its 2nd edition, the GPCA Innovation Competition is aimed at bridging the gap between industry and academia and stimulating applied research and innovation in the field of chemistry in the Arabian Gulf Region. Through the initiative, GPCA will further engage university students in chemical research and innovation and provide a valuable opportunity for university students from the region to gain exposure to the global chemical industry.

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