Corrosion Awareness Day calls into focus QEERI’s role in innovation to solve national challenges and enhance sustainability
Reducing the impact of corrosion for the sake of the environment was the focus of discussions during an interactive webinar to mark Corrosion Awareness Day, an international event that falls annually on April 24. The event was hosted by Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), in collaboration with the Qatar Association of Corrosion and Materials Engineers.
The webinar featured international speakers from the oil and gas industry and experts from academic and research entities who presented the latest research on the challenges of corrosion management and protection. Attendees representing several key industrial sectors in Qatar exchanged insights on how to solve common corrosion issues that are faced in the country, which, according to the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International), is estimated to cost the State of Qatar $7.8 billion annually.
“To date, corrosion is still a major issue in the Middle East that has been overlooked. The impact of corrosion is often under-estimated, and still, the approach is reactive rather than proactive in tackling the corrosion issues in the region. Raising awareness of the impact of corrosion on our economy, natural resources, life, and safety is crucial to ensure sustainability,” said Dr. Hanan Farhat, senior research director of the QEERI Corrosion Center, and chairperson of the Qatar Association of Corrosion and Materials Engineers.
Engineer Yasser Abou Elomrin, an active member of the association, expressed satisfaction that corrosion is getting more attention in Qatar and in the region. He said: “Having a corrosion engineers association and a corrosion center in Qatar has resulted in better focus and created a dialogue between industry and the research community that was much needed. The two parties have been able to join forces to solve the corrosion issues that we are facing in Qatar.”
Corrosion is a major concern in most industrial applications in Qatar (energy, desalination plants, infrastructure, transportation, and defense, and one of the largest expenditures to national economies.
Since its initiation in 2019, the QEERI Corrosion Center has focused on knowledge sharing in corrosion engineering and material selection through expert-led seminars, webinars, and workshops. The center has also been supporting the country’s industry, through its expertise in corrosion and materials engineering, to protect assets and tackle corrosion issues. That includes developing corrosion management plans and materials selection standardization.
The Qatar Association for Corrosion and Materials Engineers is one of the associations registered under the Qatar Engineering Society. The association foundation is based on safety, integrity, protection of the environment, and standardization. It is also a platform for experience and knowledge sharing in the field of Corrosion and Materials Engineering. It aims to establish joint industry projects between the industry and research entities in Qatar.
Dr. Marc Vermeersch, QEERI Executive Director, added: “At QEERI, we believe in working directly with stakeholders in Qatar and around the world to provide tangible solutions to the grand challenges relating to energy, water, and the environment. Enhancing sustainability by tackling corrosion is at the core of the work done by the Corrosion Center. Some of the projects we work on focus on the durability and evaluation of the coatings used for corrosion protection, while other studies focus on pipeline integrity management. In addition, we have several research and development projects going on with a number of the oil and gas companies.”
Among its initiatives to support the country’s industry, QEERI is in conversation with national stakeholders to collect preliminary data on the durability and condition of select reinforced concrete structures in Qatar, and to develop a system to monitor the condition of concrete buildings and bridges.
For more information on the work of Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, please visit qeeri.hbku.edu.qa.