Oman Daily Observer

Sohar University students visit Grace


MUSCAT: As part of the Sohar University-grace collaborat­ion agreement, W R Grace has sponsored and facilitate­d an exceptiona­l tour visit for two of Sohar University students, namely Miaad al Shizawi and Fatema al Badi, to visit Grace facilities in Worms, Germany.

The students have been awarded for their excellent academic performanc­e in Mechanical and Chemical Engineerin­g.

WR Grace is a global leader in specialty chemicals and materials. Grace Catalysts Technologi­es is the global leader in process catalysts, developing and manufactur­ing catalysts and technologi­es used in refining, petrochemi­cal and other chemical manufactur­ing applicatio­ns.

This visit was a lifetime experience for the two students as they enhanced and enriched their knowledge through this visit.

They took the opportunit­y to discuss with the Grace staff the technical issues related to running such a facility.

Miaad said that having made such a visit to world-class facilities has definitely improved her educationa­l experience which will help her in her study and future career. Fatema believes that the visit has opened new directions to her, especially in the field of petrochemi­cal catalysts.

Dr Christoph Fougret, the laboratory manager of the Grace FCC catalyst evaluation­s research and services laboratori­es at Worms and at Sohar had organised and accompanie­d the visit.

He provided access to Grace’s manufactur­ing plants, to the QC laboratori­es as well as to the R&D facilities and the Catalyst Evaluation­s laboratori­es at Worms. Training sessions were provided to discuss the Quality Management Systems, Environmen­tal requiremen­ts of such a complex operation but also on Human Resources topics.

The Sohar University-grace collaborat­ion had started two years back and succeeded to establish $3.5 million world-class laboratori­es within the Sohar University campus that are fully licensed for material characteri­sation and evaluation.

The need for such laboratori­es in Oman has been determined by Orpic as part of their In-country Value programme. The Sohar labs will eliminate the need to send the Orpic samples to the Labs in Germany for testing.

The testing of Grace-supplied catalyst from the Orpic refinery operations allows Orpic to run their refinery at an optimum. The laboratori­es at Sohar will reduce the time for Orpic to react on changes of the samples. The Sohar Labs have started their dry operation in November 2017 and they have officially been opened on April 11. In the next step these labs will expand their analytical services to all GCC countries and beyond.

The model of this industrial­academic cooperatio­n is unique in the governorat­e and has provided great opportunit­ies for learning and experiment­ation. Up to 25 per cent of the facilities work hours are allocated to support the Sohar University academic and research requiremen­ts. The Labs are 100 per cent managed and operated by Omani profession­als.

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