Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) focusing in the area of process safety. The signing ceremony took place during the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center (MKOPSC) International Symposium at Hilton Conference Center, College Station, Texas on 28 October 2014.
UTP Vice Chancellor, Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hashim and TEES Deputy Director, Dr Dimitris Lagoudas signed the MOU on behalf of the two organisations.
“The signing of this MOU is another important milestone for UTP’s journey towards becoming an internationally recognised higher learning institution. Indeed, we are honoured to have TEES to collaborate with us,” said Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim.
“The collaboration will cover various academic and research activities, which include technology transfer of advanced knowledge through sharing of academic materials and joint publications, staff and student exchange, joint fundamental and industrial research and services and organising joint lectures, symposia and conferences,” added Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim.
UTP has recently established a Centre for Advanced Process Safety (CAPS) to provide support in the advancement of knowledge, research and services to industries to prevent major accidents.
The Centre, headed by Prof Dr Azmi Mohd Shariff, has begun research in process safety since 2003. Since then, a number of postgraduate students have graduated in the areas of risk assessment, inherent safety, fire hazard analysis, toxicity and process safety management. Further, a number of journals and conference papers have been published in similar areas.
CAPS has completed a number of industrial projects and conducted a series of short courses in the areas of Quantitative Risk Assessment and Electrical Safety and Operability Review. CAPS is currently appointed by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia to conduct a Regulatory Impact Assessment on the revision and improvement of Control of Industrial Major Hazards regulations 1996 by including process safety management elements.
CAPS is presently working together with Chemical Engineering Department, UTP to offer MSc in Process Safety programme in 2015. Strategic linkages and partnership have been established with industries, government and international institutions to this programme with the industrial needs.
The programme will be conducted in a modular-base mode and aims to attract practitioners from local and international companies within Asia Pacific region, with the background in engineering and other related degrees.
The MKOPSC, TEES was established in 1995 as a centre to develop training methods and materials for process safety competency.
The centre, led by Prof Dr M Sam Mannan, receives approximately USD2.5 million annually from almost 40 industrial consortium memberships and other funding for research expenditures. The centre offers numerous academic and certificate programmes in process safety.
The centre has published more than 350 peer reviewed journals, book chapters, technical proceedings and major reports. The centre has also collaborated with more than 15 international institutions on academic and research works.
In addition, the centre has been organising the Annual International Safety Symposium since 1998. This symposium gathers experts from industry, academia, government agencies and other stakeholders to discuss critical issues of research in process safety.
Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim hopes that the strategic collaboration with MKOPSC TEES will further strengthen the scientific and technical capabilities of CAPS UTP in research and academia in advanced process safety.
Apart from TEES, UTP has established various strategic collaborations with industries and universities to support its aspiration to be internationally recognised as a partner of choice for industries and scientific communities.