Centre dedicated to process safety opened

01 August 2013

A CENTRE dedicated to best practices in process safety and run as an extension of a similar establishment in the US has been opened in Doha.

Qatar Petroleum and the Texas A&M University at Qatar launched in the Qatari capital the extension of the Texas-based Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Centre.

The Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Centre-Qatar (MKOPSC-Qatar) will replicate all academic programmes and activities of the centre 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 on October 23, 1989 at a petrochemical complex in Pasadena, Texas. The centre’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 minimising losses within the process industry through safer processes, management, equipment and procedures.

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.

It was launched under the patronage of Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry.

Dr Ali Hamed Al Mulla, manager of corporate health, safety and environment at Qatar Petroleum, said: “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 Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M University at Qatar, said his institution is proud to bring to the region a centre 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 Centre will provide resources of best practices and expertise, enhancing process safety in Qatar and ensuring that its key industries operate safely,”
he added.

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, Dr. Sam Mannan, executive director of the MKOPSC-Qatar, and Dr. Luc Véchot, managing director of the MKOPSC-Qatar, also stressed the importance of the centre.

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