Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) in collaboration with founding supporter ORYX GTL has launched the ORYX GTL – Gas-to-Liquid Excellence Program to prepare the highly skilled engineers and technical staff needed to lead and operate Qatar’s world-class industrial facilities.

Globally, this is the first specialized university-industry program in gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology and is supported by the TEES Gas and Fuels Research Center, both in Qatar and the United States. This is also the first Texas A&M at Qatar initiative to address all three pillars of the academic institution in one program, combining elements of teaching, research and community outreach.

The new program will educate the public in Qatar — starting from school students to college students, to working engineers and technical staff — about the role of GTL in Qatar’s economy and in the future of global energy for the production of ultra-clean fuels and value-added chemicals. It will also support ORYX GTL outreach activities and public programs besides supporting the recruitments of highly qualified Qatari and others students to join the company.

ORYX GTL will fund the program for five years beginning in 2015, with the option to continue its support beyond 2020.

Abdulhadi Barqan, Chief Adimistration Officer at ORYX GTL, said:

ORYX GTL has supported several initiatives at Texas A&M University at Qatar in its efforts to support the mission of preparing highly skilled engineers and technical staff to lead and operate Qatar’s world-class industrial facilities. And we are very proud to become the founding supporter of a Gas-to-Liquid Excellence Program at Texas A&M University at Qatar which shall be known as the “ORYX GTL Excellence Program.’

The program has been developed by Texas A&M at Qatar in consultation with ORYX GTL and has been signed Dr Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO of the branch campus; Dr Karan Watson, provost and executive vice president at Texas A&M University’s main campus in College Station, Texas, USA; and Abdulrahman M. Al-Suwaidi, ORYX GTL CEO.

Dr Nimir Elbashir will chair and coordinate the ORYX GTL – Gas-to-Liquid Excellence Program. Elbashir is associate professor of chemical engineering and petroleum engineering, and the director of the TEES Gas and Fuels Research Center. His research group of 25 researchers (including postdoctoral researchers, research associates, Ph.D. and master’s students and undergraduate students) has a research fund that has exceeded $12 million dollars in the past six years. Elbashir’s team handles many projects of critical interest to Qatar’s natural gas-processing technologies and his team collaborates with both national and international energy corporations. The Fuel Characterization Lab and the Applied Catalysis Lab of Texas A&M Qatar will support this program. Both labs are equipped with multimillion-dollar equipment run by highly skilled researchers and technical staff.