Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center-Qatar launches

July 5, 2013
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, Qatar Petroleum and the Texas A&M University at Qatar celebrated July 1 the launching of the extension in Doha of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center, which is based in Texas in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

The Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center-Qatar (MKOPSC-Qatar) will replicate all academic programs and activities of the center at the university's main campus in College Station, Texas. Formed in 1995, it was established in memory of Mary Kay O'Connor, an operations superintendent who was killed in an explosion Oct. 23, 1989, at a petrochemical complex in Pasadena, Texas. The center's mission is to promote safety as a second nature in industry around the world with the objective of preventing future accidents. It is set to be an international leader in minimizing losses within the process industry through safer processes, management, equipment and procedures.

In line with this, the MKOPSC-Qatar will provide science-based guidance, develop and disseminate best practices through consulting and short courses, provide benchmarking for process safety management systems and practices, and conduct research that would change the paradigm of process safety. It will also provide industry with a forum to exchange ideas and to advance process safety technologies in order to keep the industry competitive.

In his keynote address during the launching event, Dr. Ali Hamed Al-Mulla, Manager of Corporate Health, Safety and Environment at Qatar Petroleum, said, "With the patronage of H.E. Dr. Al-Sada, we have an opportunity to influence the center's activities in a direct and continuous manner to promote safety as second nature in the industry in Qatar and to educate a new generation of engineers who are committed to safety. The inclusion of process safety in the academic curricula is a foundational element which will sow the seeds of process safety concepts in those aspiring to become future engineers, providing them with essential underlying principles to enable appreciation and application of process safety from the very beginning of their professional careers."

Dr. Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M University at Qatar, said, "Texas A&M University at Qatar is proud to bring to the region a center known globally for its work in process safety practice and research. Process safety is essential to critical industries in Qatar, and the launch of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center will provide resources of best practices and expertise, enhancing process safety in Qatar and ensuring that its key industries operate safely."

Dr. Nazmul Karim, holder of the Michael O'Connor Chair II and head of the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, said, "The opening of the MKOPSC at Texas A&M University at Qatar is a significant milestone in providing training and education in process safety to the scientists and engineers working in Qatar and other parts of the Gulf. Teaching future generation of engineers to design plants, which are inherently safe, is a goal of any engineering curriculum, and this new center will help achieve this goal at Texas A&M University at Qatar. It will allow students to think of process safety as a second nature during design and operation of plants. Texas A&M University at Qatar Chemical Engineering is strategically placed to carry out this very important mission of the university and the industry."

Dr. Sam Mannan, executive director of the MKOPSC-Qatar, said, "The establishment of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center in Doha will provide a regional center of excellence in process safety and help institutionalize a sustainable and strong safety culture impacting Qatar's society and industry."

Dr. Luc Véchot (pictured above), managing director of the MKOPSC-Qatar, said, "We are grateful to H.E. Dr Al Sada for the very strong support he has provided to the MKOPSC-Qatar. This event shows the commitment of the country and its industry to achieve high process safety standards. The center has started to educate a new generation of engineers with safety as second nature. Our students are very motivated and enthusiastic about the idea of performing high quality research and collaborating closely with the industry. We really look forward to developing a vibrant process safety program through the center's activities."


About Qatar Petroleum
Qatar Petroleum (QP) is a state-owned public corporation established by Emiri Decree No. 10 in 1974. It is responsible for all phases of the oil and gas industry in the State of Qatar. The principal activities of QP, its subsidiaries and joint ventures are the exploration, production, local and international sale of crude oil, natural gas and gas liquids, refined products, synthetic fuels, petrochemicals, fuel additives, fertilizers, liquefied natural gas (LNG), steel and aluminum. The operations and activities of QP and its affiliates are conducted at various onshore locations, including Doha, Dukhan and the Mesaieed and Ras Laffan Industrial Cities, as well as offshore areas, including Halul Island, offshore production stations, drilling platforms and the North Field. Thriving on a spirit of enterprise, each of our joint ventures is underpinned by transparency, innovation and high standards of quality and service. At Qatar Petroleum, we are committed to one thing above all: Excellence. For more information, please visit www.qp.com.qa.

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. Almost 300 engineers have graduated from Texas A&M at Qatar since 2007. In addition to engineering courses, Texas A&M University at Qatar provides classes in science, mathematics, liberal arts and the humanities. All four of the engineering programs offered at Texas A&M University at Qatar are accredited by ABET. The curricula offered at Texas A&M University 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 www.qatar.tamu.edu.

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