Hydro reinforces the metallurgical and process expertise at Qatar University by introducing two prominent senior professors who will hold Qatalum/Hydro chair positions for three years. The professors aim to position Qatar as a core knowledge centre for aluminium technology and application in the Middle East.
The two positions will be held in tandem by Professor Hans Jørgen Roven and Professor Geir Martin Haarberg, currently based out of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. Roven will start his newly appointed responsibility now in september, and Haarberg will commence with his responsibility from January 2014.
"Our main responsibilities are linked to expanding knowledge, research and innovation with aluminium alloys and processes in Qatar. We hope to help position Qatar as a core knowledge centre for aluminium technology in the Middle East," says Roven and Haarberg.
Dr. Chris Devadas, head of Hydro's technology center in Qatar, believes the professors bring with them valuable academic expertise.
"The two professors represent extensive experience from materials research and we believe their high level of materials research and educational competence will be valuable for Qatar University, Hydro and for Qatalum," he says.
The Hydro Technology Center Qatar was established in 2009 with the aim of improving safety and productiveness of the Qatalum smelter through technology development and training in close cooperation with Qatar University. Projects in scope include hot-climate working conditions, environmental issues, logistics and aluminium competence development in the Gulf region oriented towards downstream activities.
"We believe that a fundamental success criterion for the sustainable development of downstream process industries is predicated on cooperation between industries and universities. Qatalum is eager to be part of this development in Qatar," says Devadas.
Important partnership with Qatar University
He adds that close cooperation with universities in several countries is at the core of Hydro's strategy to educate and train future material technologists. Qatar University is one of Hydro's strategic university partners and will in the coming years be an important recruitment base for the Qatalum primary aluminium plant, owned 50/50 by Hydro and Qatar Petroleum.
"We hope an additional outcome of the new chairs is the possibility of close collaboration within education and research between Qatar University and the NTNU in Norway," says Trond Furu, senior advisor in Hydro's Technology unit and university program manager.
Professor Roven and Professor Haarberg highlight that they, in their new functions, will lead and support the effort towards establishing research projects that will be oriented towards aluminium applications and end use.
"We will try to further develop a centre of high international standard for research and education related to important aspects of the process for primary aluminium production," they say.
Roven and Haarberg's fields of expertise are complementary and cover Qatalum's main operational units as well as the downstream processes for customers of Qatalum. Hydro has been active in the process of establishing the arrangement of the new Qatalum/Hydro chair professors.