Since the historic first visit of CEO, Stephen Tetlow, to the Middle East in October 2011, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has been forging ever closer links with engineers in the region. Institution’s International Business Development Manager, Rachel Leech, undertook a visit to the Middle East, including, for the first time, Oman.
After landing in Doha, Qatar, Rachel met with local members, as well as businesses across the capital, including Qatargas and Williams F1. The latter is based at the country’s Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) on the north campus of Qatar Foundation’s flagship project, Education City. Having invested $600 million in its first phase of buildings, QSTP provides world-class offices and laboratories specifically designed for engineering and technology-based firms.
With a large number of oil and gas companies based in Oman including LNG and PDO, there was a good opportunity to meet existing members of the Institution for one to one discussions about their professional development but also reach out to many of the highly skilled engineering professionals who are looking for support and career development through professional registration with the Institution. In discussion with local companies, Rachel said: “Many local engineers were concerned about their level of academic qualification, despite their extensive and impressive career record in engineering. Through the Institution’s various routes to membership it is possible for us rigorously to assess these applicants and account for their experience and competence in addition to their academic profile.”
In addition to meeting companies, Rachel also visited representatives of local training programmes and universities in the Gulf region. At Caledonian College of Engineering, Oman, students and lecturers gathered to learn more about professional registration through the Institution. The students are Affiliate members of the Institution, and hope to form a team for the prestigious Formula Student UK competition in 2013. Rachel said: “It was superb to witness the enthusiasm of the students. They really appreciate that through membership of a professional engineering institution it is possible to work towards a career in engineering on a global stage.”
After meeting BP, global engineering specialist solutions provider, Kentz and local Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Rachel commented: “There is a wealth of engineering talent across the Middle East and I know from talking to engineers that there is a desire to work with the Institution, and there is a great deal that we can do to develop and support individuals or work in-house with companies to ensure that engineering professionals have the support they need from us to go through professional registration or develop their careers or gain the recognition for their skills and experience.”
Going on to visit the Roads Transport Agency of UAE, Rachel was honoured to be present at the signing of an agreement of cooperation with this organisation which is responsible for planning and providing the requirements of transport, roads and traffic in the Emirate of Dubai, and between Dubai and other Emirates of the UAE and neighbouring countries.
After meeting representatives from Babcock International Group and consultancies WSP and Halcrow, Rachel returned to London, UK, and will continue to visit and work with members and companies from the region in 2013.
LNG World News Staff, September 27, 2012; Image: Oman LNG