UG to establish Subsea Centre of Excellence in partnership with COAST Foundation

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The University of Guyana on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Caribbean Oceanography Aquaculture and Subsea Technology (COAST) Foundation to collaborate on the establishment of a Subsea Centre of Excellence training facility. This would now allow the University to deliver world-class programmes designed to prepare students for careers in Subsea Operations and Engineering.

The MOU was signed by Vice-Chancellor, Xi, Professor Paloma Mohamed Martin, Dean, Faculty of Technology, Ms. Verlyn Klass on behalf of UG and Mr. Keith Lewis and Mr. Aaron Hardowar on behalf of (COAST) Foundation, during a simple ceremony in the presence of a few other faculty members and staff of UG.

Professor Mohamed Martin expressed sincere gratitude to COAST Foundation for choosing UG and for understanding how important the National University is to fulfilling the present and future needs of the industry noting that the Subsea Centre will be it is the first of its kind at a University in the Caribbean.

She posited: “We are excited about the innovative aspects of what you are proposing, we also are not only interested in producing people, we are also interested in advancing ideas and working on solutions because that’s really where the intellectual power and manifest value of the University really lies.”

Mr. Keith Lewis, who is leading the project highlighted the significant benefits of having the Centre of Excellence training facility at UG. He said: “COAST Foundation believes that there is a future for local students to become engineers in the subsea field and support the Deepwater development in Guyana.”

“All of the development, past and future in Guyana will be via Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), therefore we want to ensure that we train local technicians and subsea engineers to support the process,” Mr. Lewis expounded.

The Subsea Centre of Excellence will be home to the first Remotely Operated Vehicle simulator in the region which will be the foundation of training and competency development programmes aimed at supporting educational programs from the Trade School, through Associate, Bachelors and Masters levels.

Through the partnership, the University of Guyana will collaborate with international universities in the U.S., Canada and Scotland to deliver world-class programmes designed to prepare students for careers in Subsea Operations and Engineering. In addition to an ROV simulator, the Subsea Centre of Excellence will have an ROV Test Tank, an Electrical Workshop, and Hydraulic-Mechanical Workshop.

A key component of the programme will be a collaboration with the local and international subsea industry corporations to ensure stakeholder buy-in and a sustainable holistic approach to the Transfer of Technology to Guyana.

Ms. Verlyn Klass, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, also expressed her gratitude to COAST Foundation for bringing the technology to UG and her enthusiasm at the prospect of how it will benefit the students. She explained that the project started with one of UG’s civil engineering students who graduated and is employed with COAST. She recalled that the student reached out to the University with the hope that UG students would also be exposed to such technology.

Mrs. Elena Trim, Head of Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, expressed interest in discussing the certification of students who are involved in the programme.

The signing of the MOU is another strong reflection of UG’s strategic efforts to achieve the goals set out in the 2040 Blueprint and to support the build out of a technically competent workforce to support the booming Oil and Gas industry in Guyana.

This important MOU enhances and underscores the University’s continued drive to ensure that Guyanese can take full advantage of the local content requirements as well as those spin off opportunities that are emerging rapidly in the local market. This is a welcome addition to the recent suite of courses offered by the Institute of energy Diplomacy, and those in the Faculties such as the Degree and Masters in Petroleum Engineering, Masters in Renewable Energy from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, the Masters in Environmental Management for the Oil and Gas Industry (Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Masters in Management of Supply Chains and Procurement (SEBI) all being offered from September 2021.