Posted on April 10, 2018

The ninth annual Qatar Process Safety Symposium (QPSS), hosted by ConocoPhillips and Texas A&M University at Qatar, concluded after two days of invaluable knowledge exchange between academia and industry.

Held at the Intercontinental Doha Hotel, the unique event opened with a keynote speech by H.E. Dr. Ali Al Mulla, assistant secretary general for Industrial Projects Sector at the Gulf Organization of Industrial Consulting (GOIC), who spoke about the benefits of leveraging the combined expertise of process safety scholars and professionals. Centered on the theme of “Emergency Preparedness,” QPSS included a total of 21 speakers from 16 local and international organizations; it gathered about 300 attendees, including experts from the oil and gas industry, academics, students, regulatory institutions, media, and the wider community.

ConocoPhillips and TAMUQ 1 [].jpg“Throughout my career, I have believed the key to advancing knowledge of process safety lies at the intersection of thought leaders in our industry and educational institutions,” said H.E. Dr. Ali Al Mulla. “When we cooperate with like-minded bodies to pursue common goals, our impact is magnified. I fully support and congratulate ConocoPhillips and Texas A&M at Qatar for their leadership in bettering process safety in the industry.” H.E. Dr. Ali Al Mulla was instrumental to launching Texas A&M at Qatar’s Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center – Qatar (MKOPSC-Qatar), which furthers theoretical and practical process safety knowledge. Many students of MKOPSC-Qatar, which is now celebrating its fifth anniversary, attended the event and participated in discussions with top industry experts and researchers.

Dr. Luc Vechot, MKOPSC-Qatar managing director and chair of the QPSS organizing committee, said: “A sound, well-rounded understanding of process safety is paramount to ensuring industrial operations are carried out safely and responsibly around the world. By creating synergies between academia and industry, while facilitating the interaction of students and professionals, QPSS creates knowledge that helps to save lives. We are proud to collaborate with ConocoPhillips to improve process safety in ways that are beneficial now, and will be for many years to come.”

The first day of the symposium included discussions on process safety management, research, and technologies. Highlights included a keynote presentation on emergency response preparedness from Dirk Faveere, vice president of Health, Safety, and Environment at ConocoPhillips. Opening the second day, Dr. Geoffrey Maitland, professor of Energy Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, and former president of the UK Institution of Chemical Engineers, addressed delegates on leadership in the process safety industry. Other topics on the second day focused on the importance of unity, risk control, and future developments.

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At the Symposium, the QPSS Process Safety Excellence Award was presented to Yousef Abdulla Rebeeh, chief operations officer of Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO), for the exemplary initiative he has taken to advance the process safety field. Over 20 years with the company, Mr. Rebeeh has had a leading role in developing the company’s risk reduction initiatives and high performance safety culture. Texas A&M at Qatar student Shaikh Nawayd was also recognized at QPSS for his outstanding dedication to process safety research. As a graduate student, Mr. Nawayd conducts process safety research at MKOPSC-Qatar. He was honored by QPSS for his groundbreaking work, a methodology to predict and simulate crowd evacuation in emergency situations.

Throughout the event, delegates from Qatargas, Nakilat, TOTAL E&P Qatar, DNV GL, and others participated in sessions entitled “Be Prepared: Expect the Unexpected” and “Applying Process Safety in Shipping.” Speakers proposed ways in which process safety can be elevated across the industry. In 2017, ConocoPhillips Qatar and Texas A&M at Qatar signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding to support events that foster the advancement of process safety in the country.