On the 18th of March, 2013 Qatalum, the joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Hydro Aluminium of Norway, signed an agreement with Qatar University’s Center for Advanced Materials (CAM) to create a faculty chair position. The Qatalum/Hydro Faculty Chair in Aluminium will be a three-year position, with the relevant professor based in CAM, developing applied research programs related to aluminium applications and their end use.
Hydro Vice President Hilde Aasheim signing the agreement with Qatalum CEO Tom Petter Johansen
They will also be required to establish and develop close collaborations with universities across the world, which are leading the way in this field of materials science. CAM already has strong bilateral ties with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
The research program will be integrated with the QU undergraduate senior student projects and graduate theses as relevant. CAM Director Dr. Mariam Al-Maadeed, Qatalum CEO Tom Petter Johansen, DCEO Khalid Laram and Hydro Vice President Hilde Aasheim announced the partnership at QU in the presence of Dr Sheikha Al Misnad – Qatar University President.
Dr Sheikha Al Misnad, Qatar University President receiving the agreement from the Qatalum CEO
Upon the signing, CAM Director Dr Mariam Al-Maadeed said: “We are delighted to cement our long-standing close partnership with Qatalum – Qatar Petroleum and Hydro Aluminium’s joint venture – through the establishment of this Chair. It will play an important role in developing our research capabilities and knowledge related to aluminium applications and the work undertaken through this will be accessible not just by graduate students but also senior undergraduates”.
She added: “This further develops CAM’s role as a Center for Excellence in the region in this specialist field, which plays an important role to Qatar’s growth, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.”
Qatalum DCEO Khalid Laram in his speech said: “The Centre of Excellence for Aluminium Materials within CAM will grow to be an institute for the global aluminium industry, a world-recognised entity where innovations, challenges and solutions are addressed, where international best practice is critically examined and taught, and where the next generation of experts in this important industry can be nurtured”.
“This venture will build competence for solving important challenges for the Aluminium industry on important issues like energy saving/recovery, CO2-capturing, environmental friendly technology and operational health care. We need to produce technologists of the future who understand materials and make Aluminium as their material of choice and nurture the growth of downstream Aluminium activities in Qatar.”
Ms. Hilde Aasheim, Executive Vice President of Hydro, signing the Qatalum Chair MoU on behalf of Hydro, said: “In my view technology development is the same as business development. This is why I am so enthusiastic about signing this MoU and Chair agreement with Qatar University and Qatalum. We will cooperate to create an even stronger competence cluster in Qatar, and I am very happy that we all are so willing eager to contribute to more aluminium related research activities at the Qatar University”.
She added that it was her hope this agreement will develop into something more - an Institute of Aluminium, which could be a cornerstone in the realization of Qatar’s 2030 Vision.
Qatalum has already built a strong relationship with the Centre for Advanced Material (CAM) at Qatar University to promote research and graduate studies. Hydro is also cooperating with various departments of the College of Engineering at Qatar University, with several projects and guest lectures.
Dr Sheikha Al Misnad standing with DCEO Khalid Laram (left) CEO Tom Petter Johansen, and Hydro Vice President Hilde Aasheim
Together as Qatalum they believe there is more value to be gained in promoting aluminium as a material of choice in 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 GCC.
The remit for the Faculty Chair will be to: provide recruitment basis for Qatalum and the local aluminium downstream industry; develop aluminium materials competence in Qatar by establishing building blocks, Masters and PhD programs as supported by NTNU; to launch research programs on aluminium and its application appropriate for Qatar and GCC; promote and develop applications for Aluminium in humid and corrosive climates; assist launch of National Priorities Research Program(NPRP) with core resources from Hydro and CAM; and promote Aluminium as a green recyclable and versatile material.