Omani woman scientist wins Unesco fellowship for research in biofuels

Muscat - 

An Omani woman scientist is among those honoured at the fifth edition of the L’Oréal-Unesco ‘For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship’. 

Dr Lamya al Haj from the Sultan Qaboos University was recognised at a ceremony held on Monday along with four other extraordinary women from the GCC for their contribution to the field of science. The awards ceremony was hosted at the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City Hotel, in partnership with Zayed University.

Dr Lamya was honoured for her two-streamed research on exploring second, third and fourth generation biofuels as clean and sustainable energy resources and investigating the potential of utilising algae strains for the production of high-value products.

This year’s awards celebrated the contributions of distinguished female scientists and researchers in the GCC, whose works have contributed significantly to scientific development in the region. The inspiring women fellows were each awarded €20,000 in postdoctoral researchers category and €€8,000 for the PhD students category, in recognition of their outstanding achievements in their respective fields.

Prof Reyadh al Mehaideb, vice president of Zayed University said, “The L’Oréal-Unesco ‘For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship’ has become an inspirational platform in the field of scientific discovery, thanks to its impressive track record of achievements in science and technology in our region and beyond.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Prof Mehaideb said, “Today, we honour five exceptional individuals for their interest in scientific research and their ability to change the world for the better. They use their research and scientific discoveries to serve humanity and build a brighter future for generations to come.”

The L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Middle East programme was founded on the belief that ‘the world needs science and science needs women, because women in science have the power to change the world’.

Not only were the female fellows recognised for their achievements, they were also highly commended for their advocacy of the field of research and for influencing young women to tread similar paths. Dr Mouin Hamzé, president of the jury and secretary general of the National Council for Scientific Research – Lebanon (CNRS-L), said, “It has been my honour to chair the Jury Committee of this incredibly inspiring programme for the fifth year in a row. All winning fellows have truly impressed us and have shed light on some  fascinating topics in the fields of physical and life sciences, including early detection of ovarian cancer, exploring second and third generation biofuels for clean and sustainable energy and targeting mental health and depression through examining the connection between sleep and stress.”

Rémi Chadapaux, managing director, L’Oréal Middle East said, “In line with our commitment to women around the world, this programme continues to encourage gender diversity in scientific research, which is such an important field for global advancement.”

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