DOHA: Focusing on collaborative effort to share advanced technologies and explore new ideas, two of Qatar's largest industries, medical and energy, came together recently at the Pumps and Pipes Conference.
The event, organised by Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and ExxonMobil, brought together more than 150 international experts in the fields of medicine and energy.
“The Pumps & Pipes conference had experts in medicine and energy make real strides in identifying technology-based opportunities that can benefit Qatar and countries around the world. What the event demonstrates to people here is the latest technologies that are being developed in Huston and the collaboration between both the sectors,” said Dr. Tidu Maini, Executive Chairman for QSTP and Science and Technology Advisor.
With the idea that oil is pumped through a pipeline similar to how the heart pumps blood through vessels in the body, researchers, scientists and engineers used the opportunity at Pumps and Pipes to discuss challenges and opportunities with shared technologies, especially in the areas of imaging, fluid dynamics, robotics and remote monitoring.
“Robots are very much common in oil gas industry and in the medical world robots do a lot more complicated work in terms of manipulation and visualisation though at very small scale. The idea is how these small microscopic movements can be translated to moving big machinery in the energy sector,” Dr Maini told The Peninsula.
“The medicine and energy sector collabortion was born thorough an idea based upon the similarities of the technology used,” said Alex Dodds, President and General Manager of ExxonMobil Qatar Inc.
“The pumps and pipes with regards to oil and gas would mean massive pieces of equipment while in medicine it would be minute. The concept makes sense — the idea of fluid, be it blood or oil — pumping through long, narrow tubes is of interest to both parties, as is ensuring the integrity and longevity of that process.”
The conference highlighted the profits of sharing technology and ideas. “Just like the heart is pumping blood through the body, the reservoirs supply fuels through LNG networks. The fluid mechanics in both are same. Also there are technologies used both in health sector and oil and gas industry. We have catheter process in cardiovascular surgeries and in energy sector we have coil-tube, which is used to look at our production. Similarly, both are hard-to-navigate areas as it’s difficult to reach heart and fuel reservoirs are 10,000 ft under the earth,” said Hani Al Karaz, Production Engineering Advisor, RasGas.
The conference has been instrumental in exchange and realising many interventions in both the sectors, since Pumps and Pipes came into being in 2007. One of the oft-cited examples is the Inferior Vena Cava filter or Greenfield Filter, a conical filter inserted into blood vessels to restrict movement of blood clots, where the idea actually came from a drilling engineer.
“Also, engineers in the energy sector have helped build softwares and pumping systems that simulate actual heart which has allowed us to test artificial heart valves and new artificial blood vessels,” said Dr Alan Lumsden, Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, The Methodist Hospital, Huston and co-founder of Pumps and Pipes.
“New metals and chemicals are always being developed in the chemical industry which is spin-off from oil and gas industry which is of high interest to us. They have created ‘shape memory polymer’ that can grow to fill space annulus in abdomen or brain,” he told The Peninsula.
Additionally, conference participants were able to watch a live open heart surgery performed in Houston at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center via Web streaming.
Follow us on our social media channels: