Gastech Student Essay Competition Launched

16th February 2009

Over the next 10 years it is estimated that the international LNG, LPG and natural gas industries will be faced with losing up to 50% of their most senior workers. With this serious impending talent shortage on the horizon, Gastech 2009, the international conference and exhibition for these vital industries, is investing in the future of the gas industry with the ‘Fuelling the Future’ initiative for students due to graduate in 2009.

The initiative helps to publicise the industry as a worthwhile and beneficial career path for new graduates, and also takes practical steps to ensure that some of them benefit from actually visiting Gastech 2009, hosted by ADNOC & Group of companies and being staged in Abu Dhabi 25-28 May 2009. By raising sponsorship from key companies the organisers of Gastech ensure that top students from around the world are funded to travel to Abu Dhabi to take part in the ‘Fuelling the Future’ special programme. This year two additional students can gain places on the programme by entering winning entries for the newly launched Gastech Student Essay Competition.

Students who have registered their interest in attending Gastech 2009 are invited to submit an essay of 1500 words for this competition by 6 March 2009. There will be two winners, one from the technical category and one from its commercial counterpart – these echo the two main conference streams at Gastech 2009. Essays for the technical category should be on one of three topics:
• Technical Developments in Gas Processing or Gas Transportation
• Technical Advances in the Gas Industry to Improve Efficiency or Reduce “Carbon Footprint”
• Environmentally-friendly Technologies

Students entering the commercial category are also invited to select from three topics:
• Trends in Energy Consumption
• Alternative Sources of Energy for the Future
• The Impact of the Banking Crisis on Capital-intensive Projects in the Gas Industry

The winners will be sponsored by the Gastech organisers, dmg world media (uk) ltd, and will attend the Student Programme in Abu Dhabi, and have the opportunity to turn their essay into a presentation to be given as part of the Student Programme Conference (this presentation will last 15-20 minutes). The winners will also be invited to the Delegate Lunch and Awards Ceremony on Thursday 28 May. Their essays will be included in the Gastech 2009 Exhibition Catalogue. Essays should be sent to Lucy Garrard, Student Programme Manager by the deadline on Friday 6 March 2009.

Fuelling the Future – looking back, and forward
Launched at Gastech 2006 in Abu Dhabi, and continued at Gastech 2008 in Bangkok, the Fuelling the Future programme has hosted over a hundred students from 26 universities.

“We are delighted that many key universities around the world including Imperial College London, Maryland, Cambridge, Hong Kong, Texas at Austin, Calgary, Ittihad, Curtin and Mehran are making the programme known to their students on websites and by other means,” explains Lucy Garrard.

“Taking place on the final two days of the event in Abu Dhabi, the Student Programme is dedicated to students who are interested in pursuing a career within the international gas industry following graduation. Applications are also considered from graduates who are on either work experience or currently in a placement programme. By joining us in Abu Dhabi they can observe, first hand, the varied issues raised by attending some of the conference sessions, as well as taking part in specially designed sessions, visiting the exhibition and taking part in networking events.”

The Fuelling the Future programme naturally relies on enthusiastic sponsors and ABS certainly fits the bill: “ABS has a longstanding tradition of supporting maritime academics. It has done so for years through numerous scholarships, endowments and various contributions to academic institutions throughout the world,” explains Hoseong Lee, Director, Global Technology & Business Development, ABS. “The Gastech Student Programme is a good example of ABS' commitment to education in the specific area of LNG transport. As the classification society to class the first LNG carrier in 1958, ABS continues to set standards for today's generation of LNG carriers and various novel concepts and technologies for the containment, transfer and transport of LNG offshore. ABS is proud to sponsor students to attend the world's premiere gas conference. We believe it is an investment in the future and supports continued innovation in the LNG industry.”

“We are delighted that ABS is once again a key sponsor of this initiative,” says Lucy Garrard. “Other sponsors of the programme that is supported by SIGGTO,and IGEM include KBR, Nigeria LNG, Oman LNG, Qatargas, RasGas, ADGAS, Fluor and Yemen LNG who are able to ‘meet’ the students on the dedicated website and select those they would like to take part in the programme.”

Student feedback
Students who took part in past Fuelling the Future programmes were enthusiastic about their experience: “It was really a great opportunity to learn more about the gas and oil industry,” says Johnson Tay, National University of Singapore, Civil Engineering, who took part in the 2008 programme. “Most importantly, it was a rare change for students to network and learn about the companies in the industry.”

Aneeqa Mannan, who studied Civil Engineering at the National University of Singapore, talked to GasTV about here experience explaining that she was finding information “that you couldn’t get from the internet or anywhere else” and went on to explain that Gastech offered “a great opportunity to network, which is really important, it is only when you talk to people not to websites that you get to know what it is all about.”

Ozunimi Iti a PhD student of Chemistry/Biomass Waste Recovery at Imperial College London, was also interviewed by GasTV and explained that she was learning: “Industry specific information such as how the basic sciences I know as a chemist can be applied in the design of LNG ships, and a lot of that information I would never have picked up from the university or textbooks”.

“I am taking a broader understanding of the natural gas industry from this convention,” said Darryl Naidu (BSc Chemical Engineering/Chemistry, Curtin University, Australia). “Energy has been a big driving force in me completing my degree, and this is another aspect that I really haven’t been taught too much about at college. It’s good!”

Seyed Saeid Hosseini, Ph.D. Candidate, Membrane Science & Technology Group,Dept. of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS), A*STAR Research Scholar, Molecular and Performance Materials Cluster , Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) wrote to the Gastech Conference Co-Chair Chris Clucas saying: ‘It was such a great opportunity to meet you during the Gastech 2008. As mentioned, I personally enjoyed your provoking talk at the student program.”

“It is these levels of enthusiasm that we want to see again at Gastech 2009,” says Lucy Garrard. “The dedicated website is where sponsors can make a commitment, and students interested in taking part can register and opt in to our dedicated Facebook community in order to blog, ask questions and pose thoughts on the LNG, LPG OR natural gas industries. Already nearly 230 students have registered hoping to be selected to be at Gastech 2009.“