Qatalum hosts Aluminium Symposium at Qatar Science and Technology Park

Qatalum co-hosted with Hydro Aluminium, December 10th Symposium addressing materials challenges for the 21st Century. Additionally the next day prizes were given to winners of the student competition 2014: “Aluminium Reduce CO2 Footprint.”

Qatalum, producer of high-quality primary aluminium products, organised and hosted a day-long symposium on December 10th at the Qatar Science and Technology Park to address materials challenges in the 21st Century, with a focus on aluminium. The Symposium attracted 80 delegates from, Oil and Gas, Automotive, Industrial, Government and Academia.

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Co-hosed with Hydro Aluminium, Qatalum supported the Centre for Advanced Materials (CAM), within which the Qatalum/Hydro Chair was established in 2013. Qatar University presented the session, building on a long-standing collaboration to develop competence and international best practice in aluminium production, application and research – part of Qatar's National Vision 2030 objective of diversifying away from oil and gas toward a knowledge-based economy.

A key indicator of a progressive society will be how well and effectively the community has been able to utilize materials in all aspects of industrial, building and construction activities, as well as day-to-day consumption. With this in mind, the applications for aluminium in particular are broad and far-reaching. A series of internationally renowned experts from various sectors and corporate stakeholders, including Boeing, Qatar Petroleum, Volkswagen, Hydro/Qatalum, Marine Clean Tech, as well as academics from Qatar University, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and different research bodies attended the symposium.

Dr Chris Devadas, Head of Hydro Technology office at QSTP, Qatar who chaired this Symposium said "Materials play a crucial role in the development of and advancement of society. A key indicator of a progressive society will be how well and effectively the community has been able to utilize materials in all range of activities; industrial, building and construction and day to day usage. Aluminium is a versatile metal that can be applied everywhere. Engineers, researchers and academics are constantly seeking to expand the application of this wonder metal."

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Dr Chris Devadas addressing some of the audience

Mr Ahmed Al Khudairi, CFO of Qatalum welcomed the gathering and highlighted the achievements of Qatalum and its contribution towards global Aluminium supply. He also stressed that "Qatalum is committed to contribute towards Qatar's human capital development, by developing a world class research and development hub through available educational and scientific resources and investment in people."

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Mr Ahmed Al Khudairi at his welcome speech

The key note speaker for this symposium was Mr Raj Talwar, Technology Director from Boeing, managing research and technology portfolio of Boeing in the ME, including Qatar. He presented the dominant position that Aluminium holds in the aviation industry but made a powerful case for more research needed to improve the performance of Aluminium to compete with newer materials and technology. The suitability and challenges for Aluminium in Oil and Gas sectors and Marine sectors were illustrated by excellent presentations by Dr Trond Furu of Hydro, Mr Demien Roulston of QP and Dr Otto Lunder of Sintef, Norway.

Apart from Oil and Gas, the symposium also focused on other industrial sectors. Dr Sami Labidi of MSCQ, part of VW and Porsche based at QSTP, spoke about VW's vision for producing aluminium parts and components in Qatar for internal consumption. Some of the challenges to enable aluminium to be a key material for the automotive sector was addressed by Dr Ole Runar Myhr of Hydro, Professor Hans J. Roven, Qatalum/Hydro Chair at CAM.QU presented new technologies for forming advanced aluminium parts in the automotive sector. Dr Aboubakar of CAM QU, presented the key role CAM has taken in being the engine for future growth of materials research in Qatar.

Innovation is a key driver for increasing the usage of aluminium, its lightweight and high strength have encouraged a wide range of companies to explore the utilization of this material. A riveting presentation was provided by Mr Nils Aadland about the usage of Aluminium in Urban Water Shuttle system to enable Zero Emission technology in water transport. This concept seems to be very adaptable for Qatar and the GCC.

With aluminium's growing and successful role in automotive and aviation production in particular, due to its light weight, strength and suitability for meeting stricter environmental standards, emerging sectors such as oil and gas and maritime will be represented as the new frontiers in aluminium.

Speaking of the issues addressed at the Aluminium Symposium at Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatalum CEO Mr. Tom Petter Johansen said, "Materials challenges for the 21st century present enormous opportunities for new aluminium research, production and application, the Aluminium Symposium is a highlight in our calendar and a chance to share the ideas which will shape the future of the aluminium industry". He continued: "The issues addressed were as wide ranging as they were innovative and it was a pleasure to host such a knowledgeable exchange of thought with so many distinguished individuals from the industry."

Commenting on the success of the symposium, Qatalum DCEO Mr. Khalid Mohammed Laram said, "With so many pioneering personalities of the aluminium industry in attendance, the Aluminium Symposium was a realisation that while the materials challenges facing the future are great, the talented professionals ready to tackle them with original thinking and inventive solutions are both reassuring and inspiring."

The symposium was open to the public and was attended by a variety of aluminium stakeholders, including resources companies, Ministries of Environment and Industries, investors in downstream industries, faculty, researchers and students.

On Thursday the 11th of December Qatalum and Hydro, in cooperation with Centre of Advance Material, Qatar University are pleased to announce the winners of the student competition 2014: "Aluminium Reduce CO2 Footprint"

Prizes were awarded to the following students:


​1stBaraa Tayeh, Mohammad Fazle Rakib:

"Rechargeable Aluminium Batteries for safe utilization in electric vehicles and electrical energy storage systems for renewable energy sources"

​Qatar University
​2ndIkram Boukhelif:

"Aluminium Foam in Refrigeration and Air Condition Systems"

​​Qatar University
​3rdMohammad Ayub, Mohammad Al Ramahi:

"Aluminium Packaging: A step towards containing the Global C Footprint"

​Texas A&M University


​1stAbdullah Alashraf Abulbaker:

"Aluminium Alloys in Solar Power – Impact on Renewable Energy to Reduce Global C Footprint"

​Qatar University
​2ndOmar Al-Jarod, Haneen Abdelrazeq:

"Minimization of C footprint in an Aluminium plant through the design of a CO2 separation system"

​Qatar University
​3rd ​Jahanzaib Malik:

"Aluminium Shipping Containers: A prospective Aluminium Application to reduce CO2 footprint"

​Qatar University

The students were challenged to present their own ideas on "Novel application of aluminium to reduce the global carbon footprint". The paper was to contain, design concepts and a description on the functions of the idea with regards to reducing CO2 emissions.

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Winning students with sponsors

The announcement of winners took place at the New Research complex at Qatar University, with the involvement of the Director of CAM, Professor Mariam Ali S A Al Maadeed. Professor Hans Jørgen Roven Qatalum/Hydro Chair at CAM provided a review of the winning entries. Dr. Aboubakr M. Abdullah Ali of CAM introduced the 21 students that participated in this student competition. Mr. Ibrahim Fakhri, Communication manager Qatalum and Dr. Chris Devadas, Head of Hydro QSTP awarded the prizes to the students.

The judging committee was very pleased to see the novelty and quality of papers handed in, and saw future potential for some of the submitted ideas, both with respect to environmental and economic aspects.

"I was impressed by the good ideas. They should be considered by the aluminium industries going forward to reach their goal of being carbon neutral. If Qatalum, the collaborating aluminium downstream companies and financial sources realize such ideas locally in the State of Qatar, I am convinced this could make significant contributions to the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030. They would assist in building a knowledge-based economy and at the same time contribute to preservation of energy and the environment. It is promising that the younger generation takes active engagement to these fundamentally important issues'

'Aluminium products when applied widely are certainly part of a more sustainable society. Combining the special properties of this light metal with new concepts and advanced technologies, this will certainly make a difference in the future. One will see significant lower carbon footprints and less energy consumption when aluminium intensive products and constructions are applied at a higher rate," said Qatalum/Hydro Chair Professor Hans J. Roven in a comment after the function.

In his conclusion Dr Chris Devadas remarked that the Symposium was a great success both in terms of knowledge sharing and supporting Qatari industries in optimal material selection and utilization.