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Second edition of Forum for Industrial Repair and Maintenance focuses on industry resilience

Published Nov 23, 2023

Texas A&M University at Qatar, in collaboration with AIN Holdings, recently hosted the annual Forum for Industrial Repair and Maintenance (FIRM), under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al-Thani, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Almost 100 attendees, including representatives from government agencies and industry stakeholders, converged to discuss pivotal topics in the field. Qatar Technical International Metal Industries sponsored the forum, reinforcing its commitment to the advancement of the industrial sector.

The second edition of FIRM, served as a crucial platform for the exchange of expertise and knowledge within the domain of industrial repair and maintenance. Qatar's strategic focus on the development of large-scale industrial facilities and plants has underscored the importance of fostering a manufacturing sector reliant on an efficient supply chain system for components and tools.

In his welcome address, Texas A&M at Qatar dean Dr. César Octavio Malavé emphasized the significance of collaboration among all stakeholders, including government and industry, in ensuring resilience for the country.

“The Qatar National Manufacturing Strategy focuses on accelerating growth in the manufacturing sector as an engine for economic development and diversification,” Malavé said. “Equally important is the focus of Qatar’s strategies on sustainable technologies, decarbonization and combating impacts of climate change. This forum has brought together academia, industry and government to share ideas among the educational, technical and business sectors regarding opportunities in advanced manufacturing, and the role of the industrial repair and maintenance sector in Qatar.”

The forum facilitated the convergence of experts and stakeholders from the educational, technical, and business sectors to exchange ideas on opportunities and challenges in the industrial repair and maintenance sector. It also served as a platform for developing partnerships aimed at enhancing expertise and advancing capabilities in this critical field. Discussions also delved into educational and training programs essential for elevating knowledge and introducing state-of-the-practice standards.

Keynote presentations during the event included Fatma AlAmri from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, who highlighted the Qatar National Manufacturing Strategy 2023-2030, outlining the industrial vision for Qatar and identifying business opportunities for the local manufacturing sector.

Dr. Marwan Khraisheh, chair of the Mechanical Engineering Program at Texas A&M at Qatar, delivered a keynote talk, "Technological Advances for On-Demand Manufacturing and Supply of Engineering Components." Khraisheh underscored the importance of Qatari-based manufacturing companies adapting recent technologies to remain competitive and foster growth. He invited participants to engage with the Texas A&M at Qatar Manufacturing Consortium across various platforms, from research-and-development projects to student training.

The event also featured a panel discussion with leading industry experts exploring the role of the repair and maintenance sector in national resilience, current approaches in Qatar, its contribution to advancing Qatar’s manufacturing sector and strategy, and the role of the education sector in preparing qualified engineers for this field.

Dr. Eyad Masad, mechanical engineering professor at Texas A&M at Qatar and the event co-organizer, expressed gratitude to all participants for making the event successful. He stressed the need to leverage expertise and skills collaboratively for the benefit of Qatar, highlighting the pivotal role such forums play in bringing diverse stakeholders together.

Masad said, “I look forward to hosting more collaborative events in the future and on behalf of Texas A&M at Qatar, I express our gratitude and appreciation to AIN Holding for co-organizing and Qatar Technical International Metal Industries for their sponsorship.”