World-class process safety center to come to Texas A&M at Qatar

March 22, 2013
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Texas A&M University at Qatar signed an agreement recently to bring an extension of Texas-based Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center to Doha.

The extension will replicate all academic programs and activities of the center at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The document was signed during the annual Qatar Process Safety Symposium March 11-12 at the Qatar National Convention Center.

The center's mission is to promote safety as a second nature in industry around the world with goals to prevent future accidents. It is set to be an international leader in minimizing losses within the process industry through safer processes, management, equipment and procedures. The center (MKOPSC-Q) will provide good science based counsel, develop and disseminate best practices through consulting and short courses, provide benchmarking for process safety management systems and practices and conduct research. It will also provide industry with a forum to exchange ideas and advance technologies to keep competitive.

Dr. Kenneth Hall, associate dean for research and graduate studies at Texas A&M at Qatar, said, "The Qatar Process Safety Symposium has become a showcase for the commitment of the University to improving the quality of life in Qatar.

"This year, the symposium contained an event of special significance," Hall continued. "The Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center, the premier academic program addressing this crucial issue, elected to establish an extension of itself in Texas A&M University at Qatar. At the Qatar Process Safety Symposium, Dr. Sam Mannan, executive director of the center, and I signed an MoU to Dr. M. Katherine Banks, dean of the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M, requesting her approval to establish the extension. We have proposed Dr. Luc Véchot to be the Managing Director of the extension. Texas A&M University at Qatar is proud to have gained the confidence of Dr. Mannan and the MKOPSC, and we pledge that MKOPSC-Qatar will strive to instill the goal of MKOPSC "making safety second nature."

Dr. Sam Mannan, executive director of the MKOPSC, said, "The establishment of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center in Doha represents a major step forward in bringing all the successful programs and activities that have been developed at the main campus in College Station to Texas A&M at Qatar. These programs will lead to the integration of process safety into curriculum in the education, research and service programs of Texas A&M at Qatar. This will be of tremendous mutual benefit for the university and the industry in Qatar."

Dr. Luc Véchot, managing director of the MKOPSC-Qatar, said, "We are very pleased by the establishment of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center here in Doha. Such a structure, which brings together academia, industry and regulatory institutions, was needed in Qatar and we look forward to working with industry on process safety issues. Very importantly, together with our colleagues from the industry, the center will actively contribute to educate new generations of engineers for whom safety is second nature."


About the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center

The Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center was established in 1995 in memory of Mary Kay O'Connor, an operations superintendent killed in an explosion Oct. 23, 1989, at a petrochemical complex in Pasadena, Texas. Mary Kay O'Connor graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in chemical engineering and received a MBA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Dr. Sam Mannan, because of his reputation as a world-renowned expert in process safety, was appointed director of the center in 1997. The center's mission is to promote safety as second nature in industry around the world with goals to prevent future accidents. In addition, the center develops safer processes, equipment, procedures and management strategies to minimize losses within the processing industry. However, the center realizes that it is necessary to advance process safety technologies in order to keep the industry competitive. Other functions of the center include that it serves all stakeholders, provides a common forum, and develops programs and activities that will forever change the paradigm of process safety. The funding for the center comes from a combination of the endowment, consortium funding, and contract projects.

The center is jointly operated by the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, an engineering research agency of the State of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System.


About Texas A&M University at Qatar

Texas A&M University, recognized as having one of the premier engineering programs in the world, has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering at Qatar Foundation's Education City campus since 2003, and graduate courses in chemical engineering since fall 2011. More than 300 engineers have graduated from Texas A&M at Qatar since 2007. In addition to engineering courses, Texas A&M at Qatar provides classes in science, mathematics, liberal arts and the humanities. All four of the engineering programs offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are accredited by ABET. The curricula offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are materially identical to those offered at the main campus in College Station, Texas, and courses are taught in English in a co-educational setting. The reputation for excellence is the same, as is the commitment to equip engineers to lead the next generation of engineering advancement. Faculty from around the world are attracted to Texas A&M at Qatar to provide this educational experience and to participate in research activities now valued at over $135 million, and that address issues important to the State of Qatar. Visit http://www.qatar.tamu.edu.




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