(Left to right) Dr Sam Mannan, executive director of the center, and Dr Kenneth Hall, associate dean for research and graduate studies at Texas A&M at Qatar, sign the MoU for the extension of MKOPSC-Q.

Texas A&M University at Qatar recently signed an agreement to bring an extension of Texas-based Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center (MKOPSC-Q) to Doha. The extension will replicate all academic programs and activities of the center at the university’s main campus in College Station, Texas. The MoU was signed during the annual Qatar Process Safety Symposium held 11-12 March 2013 at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).

The center’s mission is to promote safety as a second nature in industry around the world with goals to prevent future accidents. It is set to be an international leader in minimising losses within the process industry through safer processes, management, equipment and procedures. MKOPSC-Q will provide good science based counsel, develop and disseminate best practices through consulting and short courses, provide benchmarking for process safety management systems and practices and conduct research. It will also provide industry with a forum to exchange ideas and advance technologies to keep competitive.

Dr Luc Véchot, managing director of the MKOPSC-Q, said:

‘We are very pleased by the establishment of the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center here in Doha. Such a structure, which brings together academia, industry and regulatory institutions, was needed in Qatar and we look forward to working with industry on process safety issues. Very importantly, together with our colleagues from the industry, the center will actively contribute to educate new generations of engineers for whom safety is second nature.’

About Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center

The Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center was established in 1995 in memory of Mary Kay O’Connor, an Operations Superintendent killed in an explosion on October 23, 1989 at a petrochemical complex in Pasadena, Texas. Mary Kay O’Connor graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in Chemical Engineering and received a MBA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

In 1997, Dr Sam Mannan was appointed Director of the center for his reputation as a world-renowned expert in process safety. Other functions of the center include that it serves all stakeholders, provides a common forum, and develops programs and activities that will forever change the paradigm of process safety. The funding for the center comes from a combination of the endowment, consortium funding, and contract projects.