New Qatalum/Hydro Chair Professors at Qatar University

Hydro reinforces the metallurgical and process expertise at Qatar University by introducing two prominent senior professors who will hold Qatalum/Hydro Chair positions in tandem for three years. The professors a​im to​ position Qatar as a core knowledge c

Hydro Chair Professors at Qatar University

​​​​​Hydro reinforces the metallurgical and process expertise at Qatar University by introducing two prominent senior professors who will hold Qatalum/Hydro Chair positions in tandem for three years. The professors a​im to​ position Qatar as a core knowledge centre for aluminium technology and application in the Middle East.

The two positions will be held in tandem by Professor Hans Roven and Professor Geir Martin Haarberg, currently based out of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. Professor Roven will start his newly appointed responsibility in September 2013, and Professor Haarberg will commence with his responsibility from January 2014.

“Our main responsibilities are linked to expanding knowledge, research and innovation with aluminium alloys and processes in Qatar. We hope to help position Qatar as a core knowledge centre for aluminium technology in the Middle-East,” says Roven and Haarberg.

Qatalum’s Deputy CEO Khalid Larem addressing the audienceQatalum’s Deputy CEO Khalid Larem addressing the audience

​The professor’s sentiment was echoed by Qatalum’s Deputy CEO Khalid Larem, who added, “This is Qatalum’s commitment to facilitate a knowledge based economy in line with Qatar’s Vision 2030. By playing a leading role at an educational level we hope to connect students and our culture with the attributes of aluminium and encourage them to choose our field as their career of choice. Qatalum maintains a strong commitment to the educational sector and is more than willing to discuss further opportunities for research and development. By bringing such expertise here, Qatalum is enabling Qatar to become an aluminium technology leader within the GCC.”​

Qatalum has had great success supporting student research and internship programmes over the years, allowing for hands on experiences at the smelter. Qatalum has already built a strong relationship with the Centre for Advanced Material (CAM) at Qatar University to promote research and graduate studies building a stronger competence cluster in Qatar.

Qatalum believes there is more value to be gained in promoting aluminium as a material of choice in the building/construction sector, structural and transportation sector, automotive sector and marine applications, as well as furthering the industrial application and usage of aluminium will create more opportunities and jobs in Qatar and the GCC.

Head of Hydro Technology Center Qatar, Chris Devadas, believes the professors bring with them valuable academic expertise. “Professor Haarberg and professor Roven represent extensive experience from materials research and we believe their high level of materials research and educational competence will be valuable for Qatar University, Hydro and for Qatalum,” he says.

The Hydro Technology Center Qatar was established in 2009 with the aim of improving safety and productiveness of the Qatalum smelter, through both technology development and training in close cooperation with Qatar University. Projects in scope include hot-climate working conditions, environmental issues, logistics and aluminium competence development in the Gulf region oriented towards downstream activities.

“We believe that a fundamental success criterion for the sustainable development of downstream process industries is predicated on cooperation between industries and universities. Qatalum is eager to be part of this development in Qatar,” says Devadas. He also adds that close cooperation with universities in several countries is at the core of Hydro’s strategy to educate and train future material technologists. 

Professor Roven and Professor Haarberg highlight that they, in their new functions, will lead and support the effort towards establishing research projects that will be oriented towards aluminium applications and end use. “We will try to further develop a centre of high international standard for research and education related to important aspects of the process for primary aluminium production,” they say.

Hydro has been very active in the process of establishing the arrangement of the New Qatalum/Hydro Chair Professors. Qatar University is one of Hydro strategic university partner and an important recruitment base for Qatalum in the coming years. Hydro is very pleased that Roven and Haarberg are taking the chair position and that their expertise is complementary and covers Qatalum’s main operational units as well as the downstream processes for customers of Qatalum. An additional outcome of the new chairs is the possibility of close collaboration within education and research between QU and the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.​ 

Prof Hans Roven

Prof Hans Roven is the director of Strategic area materials at NTNU’s materials department. His former fields of research include forming processes, severe plastic deformation (SPD) and direct nanostructring of aluminium and other light alloys. In addition, he has done research on physical metallurgical-chemical aspects of recycling, plastic deformation of metallic materials and mechanical behaviour of such materials. Prof Roven has more than 100 publications and lectures along with several patents.​ 

Prof Geir Martin Haarberg

Prof Geir Martin Haarberg is most known for his contributions to research on molten salts and electrochemistry. He has been chairman of several key global committees that are related to electrolysis, energy and environment. Professor Haarberg’s research is centralized around the areas of electrochemistry related to electrowinning of aluminium, magnesium and other metal, as well as to develop new technologies based on sustainability with respect to energy and environment.

About Qatalum

Qatalum is an equal joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Hydro Aluminium of Norway, with a production capacity of 600,000 tons of high-quality primary aluminium products per annum from twin 1.2 kilometre potlines. Qatalum’s complex facilities include a carbon plant, port and storage facilities, as well as a captive power plant. The state-of-the-art cast house produces value-added products such as extrusion ingots and foundry alloys that meet the stringent quality standards of Qatalum’s global customer base. In July 2010, Qatalum was awarded ISO 9001/2008 followed by ISO/TS 16949:2009 in 2012, the automotive prescribed standard of excellence.

Used in a variety of industries including the automotive, construction, engineering and in the manufacturing of consumer goods, by the end of its journey, Qatalum’s aluminium reaches the entire global community.

Qatalum has a dynamic and diversified work force, representing over 37 nationalities and is perusing industrial diversity for Qatar and its people by actively creating a future of environmental sustainability and economic opportunities.