Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) hosted the QAFCO-Texas A&M at Qatar Conference 2015 on 3 March at the Texas A&M Engineering Building in Education City.

The focus of the conference this year is sustainable chemical processes. Sustainability is a top priority worldwide for governments, industry and academia. Developing new chemical processes that use less-harmful solvents, are more energy efficient and generate little or no waste or byproducts is a major driving force for research in chemistry and in chemical engineering.

Dr. Ioannis Economou, co-chair of the 2015 conference and professor in the Chemical Engineering Program, said, “As the conference’s theme suggests, sustainability is a global challenge in the 21st century. Chemistry and chemical engineering are in the forefront of developing new sustainable chemical processes.

Dr. Economou said:

We are glad to have Professor Peter Wasserscheid, head of the Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering at Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, and founding director of the Helmholtz Institute on Renewable Energy Production, as keynote speaker of the 2015 edition of the conference. In addition, we have 15 distinguished invited speakers from the United States, Europe and Qatar.’

The 2015 conference is the seventh edition presented with the sponsorship of Qatar Fertiliser Company, QAFCO.

Texas A&M at Qatar Executive Associate Dean Eyad Masad noted the importance of collaborations between industry and academia to further research and create new solutions, saying:

Texas A&M at Qatar is proud to partner with industry collaborators such as QAFCO to help realise sustainable solutions to real-world issues and to encourage the exchange of knowledge, ideas and expertise that is essential to fuel innovation and new thinking. This conference is another example of how Texas A&M at Qatar and QAFCO are partnering to help realise sustainable solutions to real-world issues.’

The event featured keynote lecture and invited talks focused on this theme, from fundamental, experimental and computational studies all the way to new process development with immediate industrial applications.

In his speech, QAFCO Vice Chairman and CEO Khalifa Abdulla Al Sowaidi, said:

In QAFCO we work hard to ensure that our fundamental values never change; among these is our commitment to sustainability. At QAFCO, sustainability is not an isolated function. It is integral to our business, culture, strategy, decisions, stakeholder interactions and long-term success.  Every day we focus on new opportunities to integrate our sustainability principles across our strategies and operations.’

‘Our company is always fostering the developing and delivering infrastructure that will serve the, environmental, economic, employment and social imperatives of our community. In this regard, QAFCO has taken the lead to collaborate in research activities with local and international universities and provide facilities that will benefit many industries not only in Qatar but all over the world. Through such initiatives, we aim to strengthen collaboration between industry and academia to enhance the process of connecting research with education for achieving the objectives and priorities for Qatar.’

Dr. Hassan Bazzi, conference chair and assistant dean for research and graduate studies, said:

We are very proud of our partnership with QAFCO, which has generously supported us in hosting the first conference series in Qatar since 2007. This series has attracted an impressive list of world-renowned scientists over the years, including 65 invited speakers from 15 countries. In addition, the list of speakers in previous years included two Nobel laureates, Dr. Robert H. Grubbs and Dr. Ei-Chi Negishi.’

‘We hope this conference will be an outlet for the exchange of scientific knowledge, sharing ideas, discussing future collaborations and building new projects. It affirms our pursuits of cutting-edge chemistry and chemical engineering research in Qatar and the region.’