Texas A&M University at Qatar undergraduate students Fatima Al-Janahi ’20 and Rahul Balamuruga ’20 mentored by Dr. Robert S. Balog have been featured in the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) Research Matters newsletter for their award-winning Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) Thesis.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems are increasingly becoming popular as a renewable source of energy because they provide an alternative to traditional, non-renewable energy sources and are better for our health and environment. However, PV systems can be serious fire hazards and if a PV system catches fire, the risk it poses outweighs the benefits, as the fire can not only disrupt power supply but also cause considerable human and monetary loss. In recognition of the impactful outcomes of this project, two students from the research team, Fatima Al-Janahi and Rahul Balamurugan, were selected for the Undergraduate Research Scholars Outstanding Thesis Award in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) from the main campus of Texas A&M University.

Their research was supported in part by an Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) grant # UREP24-023-2-010 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation).