25 April 2012
Scottish chemical engineers earn praise from First Minister
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has praised the country’s chemical engineers, emphasizing their major contribution to the nation’s economy.
Speaking at a record breaking IChemE Aberdeen Member Group dinner on Monday, Salmond underlined the importance of engineering to Scotland's identity and economy. "Engineering is in our DNA. Across the range of disciplines, from chemical to mechanical, engineering excellence is vital to Scotland and particularly to Aberdeen where the oil and gas industry supports some 200,000 jobs in Scotland and slightly more again in the rest of the UK."
He stressed that while more than half the oil and gas reserves off the coast of Scotland had already been extracted in terms of quantity, the same is not true in terms of value. "It is estimated that Scotland still has some 24b barrels of recoverable oil. If we apply an estimated oil price of US$100/bbl, that oil is worth US$2.4tn, which puts us at less than half way in value terms."
Oil and gas also dominated the annual awards of the Aberdeen Members Group, which were announced at the dinner.
The winner of the Chairman's Award was the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen for its new undergraduate degree programme in chemical engineering, which was set up in 2006 and received its formal note of accreditation from IChemE on the day of the dinner.
The Safety Award went to the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG), a body led by the industry association Oil and Gas UK, which, in the wake if the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the US was tasked with designing, constructing and testing a well-capping device that could be used to avert a similar disaster in the UK.
Jim Cowie of BP was honoured with the award for the best technical presentation. His January 2012 talk on the lessons learned of the Deepwater Horizon was praised for its forthrightness, particularly during the Q&A session.
Lastly, Miranda Edwards, production engineer at Total E&P’s Laggan-Tormore project, was crowned Young Member of the Year. Edwards, who worked previously for Chevron and Schlumberger, was awarded the title in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the group’s activities and her impressive progress during the early stages of her career.
Speaking about the awards, Salmond said: “"Each one of the awards highlights areas of real achievement in industry over the past year. The awards also underline the important role of chemical engineers in the continued success and future prosperity of the Scottish economy.”