CCRC team wins first place honors in Bahrain

(from left to right: Nawaf Al-Ghamdi, Mayadah Al-Hashem and Abdullah Al-Ramadan) won first place at the 4th edition of the Middle Eastern Process Engineering Conference & Exhibition technical debates in Bahrain on October 11. File photo.

-By David Murphy, KAUST News

A team of two Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC) students and one KAUST graduate won first place at the 4th edition of the Middle Eastern Process Engineering Conference & Exhibition (MEPEC) technical debates held in Bahrain on October 11. The team, which consisted of Nawaf Al-Ghamdi, Mayadah Al-Hashem and Abdullah Al-Ramadan, overcame stiff competition to receive top honors at the premier conference for oil and gas companies in the region.

MEPEC featured several debate teams from different universities in the Middle East, including KAUSTKing Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and the University of Bahrain. The technical debates, which were hosted by ChemME, the youth initiative component of MEPEC, were held between six teams of three engineers each. The participating teams tackled technical issues related to sustainability, future energy usage, process safety and regional policies.

Mayadah Al-Hashem, a KAUST master's degree graduate of chemical engineering who now works as a flow assurance engineer at Saudi Aramco, felt that strong leadership and thorough preparation were the keys to success for the CCRC team.

"Preparation was essential. As one of the judges expressed, our winning quality was that there were no individual favorites or specific members that stood out," Al-Hashem said.

Tough competition

Al-Ghamdi and Al-Ramadan felt that their participation and subsequent win was both a distinct, tough and rewarding experience for all involved.

"The competition was tough and the debates were intense at times, but the fact that there were two technically adept, high-caliber individuals with me on the team made it a lot easier and actually a lot more fun," said Al-Ghamdi, a Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering at the CCRC.

"It was a really unique experience. Each argument we made needed to be backed up with as much evidence as possible. It was quite tough at the beginning but exhilarating towards the end, as you hear both sides of the argument. I'm sure this experience will help me look at all sides of any situation in the future," said Al-Ramadan, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at the CCRC.