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Since 1984, STI has offered assistance and services to the water, power, petrochemical, and oil & gas sectors. (Image source: Cleanova)

Cleanova, the licenced distributor of Plenty and Dollinger filtering products in Saudi Arabia, has extended its long-standing cooperation with Saudi Technic Industries (STI). According to the agreement, STI will still be a recognised provider of aftermarket services and Dollinger filtration, Plenty process filtration, and Plenty strainers.

Cleanova, which was founded in October 2023, has revolutionised the filtration industry by putting the needs of its clients first and providing cutting-edge filtration solutions that increase productivity, lower emissions, and minimise waste. Customers that are managing the energy transition are showing a particular interest in their filtration solutions.

Saudi focus

Since 1984, STI has offered assistance and services to the water, power, petrochemical, and oil & gas sectors. Prominent companies including Saudi Aramco, Saudi Electric Company, Saudi Chevron, and Jazan Integrated Gasification and Power Company are among their clientele.

Paul Baker, sales director for Cleanova, said, “With our aligned mission to exceed the expectations of our customers and deliver high-quality products alongside ongoing aftermarket support, we look forward to continuing to partner with Saudi Technic Industries. We can continue to combine technical expertise with local knowledge and experience to provide a comprehensive service to customers in the region.”

Fawzi Aqel, general manager of STI, commented, "The oil and gas industry plays a pivotal role in the transformation outlined in Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. With over four decades of experience, STI is proud to partner with Cleanova to advance this vision. Together, we will deliver cutting-edge and innovative filtration and separation solutions, setting new standards of excellence and driving progress within the industry."

Aarti Dange, customer experience leader, Middle East and Africa and MEA DE&I leader, at Emerson. (Image source: Emerson)

On the occasion of International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June, Aarti Dange, customer experience director, Middle East and Africa and MEA DE&I leader, Emerson, shared her experiences and insights on providing a supportive environment for women in engineering. 

Can you give us some background about your role, and how you came to get where you are today?

My role at Emerson is multifaceted, allowing me to leverage my engineering background and my passion for innovation. As the customer experience director and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) leader for Middle East and Africa, I support marketing and business development functions as well as product development for new digital solutions. I strongly believe in the power of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, and therefore I constantly strive to create a working environment where everybody feels valued and empowered.

My journey to this point began with my keen interest in the energy sector. It is a constantly evolving field, driven by innovation, creative ideas, and various challenges such as sourcing new energy resources from increasingly intricate places like deep underground or under the ocean. This calls for the employment of cutting-edge technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It is fascinating and inspiring to see how these advanced technologies constantly improve and drive positive change, whether in finding new energy sources or making processes safer. Nevertheless, there exists several challenges in the industry, such as the cyclic nature of the industry and its impact on the environment. These challenges, however, open doors to innumerable opportunities for innovation and sustainable energy solutions.

What are the main challenges you have experienced as a woman engineer so far in your career, and how have you overcome them?

As we know, the engineering industry has traditionally been a male-dominated field, which can create a culture that may not be inclusive or supportive of women. Additionally, specific roles in the industry, particularly those involving work on rigs or in remote locations, may set forth physical demands that can be challenging for women. In order to overcome these challenges, I focused on honing and expanding my technical skills and expertise as well as staying current on the most recent technologies. This commitment earned me acceptance and respect from my male counterparts at the company.

I also strived to demonstrate diligence and confidence in my work in order to challenge existing biases, pursued opportunities for professional development and endeavoured to build a robust network within the industry. Industry events, conferences, and workshops not only broadened my skillset and knowledge but also enabled me to connect with other fellow women engineers..

Overall, my journey as a woman engineer, despite all the hurdles in the historically male-dominated industry, has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. Through perseverance, seeking mentorship, advocating for myself, and committing to positive change, I have been able to achieve success.

What do you think have been your main achievements, and what are your aspirations and ambitions for the future?

One of the major achievements that stands out as a pivotal milestone in my career is being selected for the SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) Distinguished Lecture Program. Being selected for this program recognises my expertise and contributions to the field and empowers me to make a meaningful impact beyond my immediate sphere of influence, enabling me to serve as a technology ambassador for the oil and gas industry globally. Representing the industry and having the opportunity to inspire and educate individuals about the developments and challenges in the oil and gas industry is a humbling yet thrilling experience. It reaffirms my dedication to remain at the forefront of technological advancements and exchange insightful knowledge with the global community. I consider this achievement as a tremendous honour and responsibility that I deeply cherish.

What do you think companies could do to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for women in engineering, and help them advance in the industry?

Companies can offer training for their employees, particularly those engaged in hiring and promotion procedures, to identify and address unconscious bias. This can guarantee that women are evaluated fairly according to their qualifications and skillset. Furthermore, companies can host diversity events, honour accomplishments of female engineers, and foster an inclusive workplace where all employees are treated equally and fairly, and feel valued.

Mentorship and sponsorship programmes can be established, which can help women engineers to overcome challenges in the field by allowing them to interact with seasoned professionals and mentors who can offer guidance, support, and opportunities for professional growth. Providing women engineers with specialised training programmes, conferences, workshops, and other professional development opportunities can help them grow their skills and networks, in addition to advancing their career in this industry.

One initiative that has received significant recognition is the ‘Women in Engineering (WIE)’ program by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) which offers networking events, professional development workshops, mentorship opportunities, and advocacy for gender diversity in the field of engineering.

How do you think young girls and women can be encouraged to pursue careers in engineering?

Gender stereotypes in around science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers must be dispelled, and this starts with early childhood education and interventions for boys and girls. Encouraging young girls and women to pursue engineering career needs an interdisciplinary strategy that includes diversity initiatives, supportive environments, and exposure.

One successful method is to introduce girls to this field at a young age through various means, such as STEM education programs through schools and organisations. For example, the ‘Girls Who Code’ organisation seeks to bridge the gender gap in technology by providing young girls from diverse backgrounds with coding education. Academic institutions can provide STEM education focusing on female students. These programs can include engineering-related workshops, mentorship opportunities, and hands-on activities. Showcasing success stories of accomplished female engineers will encourage young girls to consider this field as a feasible career option. Likewise, parents have a great influence in shaping children’s career aspirations and professional goals. They can support the interest of their daughters in STEM subjects and offer resources for them to learn more about engineering.

Creating supportive environments through mentorship, networking opportunities, and offering a safe space to address bias and stereotypes is crucial for retaining women in the field of engineering. All these strategies contribute to empowering and encouraging women to pursue careers in engineering as well as help them succeed in the industry.

What future do you see for women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and the opportunities on offer in these sectors?

I see a promising future for women in STEM. Over the past few decades, women have made great strides in the STEM professions, and this trend is only anticipated to increase. STEM sectors offer diverse opportunities to individuals with varying backgrounds and interests. These industries have a growing need for qualified workers and provide excellent career prospects, competitive pay, and opportunities for advancement.

The air taxi in demonstration. (Image source: Front End)

Front End, a leader in integrating advanced technology across sectors, demonstrated the first unmanned air taxi trial in Mecca, supported by its partner, EHang, an urban air mobility (UAM) technology platform company.

The annual Hajj pilgrimage, which brings together diverse nationalities, presents unique logistical challenges. This innovative demonstration streamlined transportation during the sacred event, enabling faster movement of pilgrims between key locations and ensuring a smoother and safer Hajj experience.

Front End’s dedication to introducing cutting-edge technology to the kingdom, combined with EHang’s expertise in urban air mobility, and the leadership of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services, the Ministry of Hajj, and the Ministry of Interior, marked a significant step towards a faster, more efficient, and sustainable Hajj. This collaboration revealed an innovative solution, highlighting the remarkable potential of government-private partnerships in advancing technology in Saudi Arabia.

His Excellency Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, president of GACA said, “The trial marks a major advancement in integrating Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) solutions into Saudi Arabia’s aviation landscape. We are committed to the highest safety standards and seamless integration into existing air traffic systems. This trial acts as a proof of concept for multiple use cases and contributes to various AAM roadmap initiatives. We appreciate the instrumental support of Front End and EHang to mark this historic milestone for Saudi Arabia."

Majid Alghaslan, chairman and CEO of Front End Limited Company, said, “Front End is at the forefront of this trailblazing trial, paving the way to a new era in smart mobility solutions, potentially revolutionising Hajj transportation. Aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, our purpose is to foster a ‘Connected Kingdom,’ serving as a gateway for our partners to access growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. This achievement stands as a testament to the power of government-private partnerships in accelerating new technology adoption. Partnering with EHang made this pioneering solution a reality.”

Conducted in a low-risk area within protected airspace, the trial helped assist authorities in setting the right regulatory environment for the deployment of eVTOL aircraft which will redefine the Hajj experience by enhancing mobility, reducing congestion, and promoting sustainability.

“These eco-friendly marvels offer a cost-effective solution for urban transportation, tackling congestion while aligning perfectly with the Kingdom’s goals for a sustainable future. This advancement underscores Front End's dedication to national progress and its commitment to shaping a greener, more efficient tomorrow in mobility”, Majid added.

Mr. Huazhi Hu, founder, CEO, and chairman of EHang, stated, “This debut flight of the EH216-S pilotless eVTOL in Saudi Arabia marks a significant milestone in EHang's ongoing internationalisation and an important step forward in propelling global advanced UAM reform, showcasing the potential of our pilotless eVTOL products and solutions for widespread adoption in the Middle Eastern market. Looking ahead, with the strong support of GACA and in partnership with Front End, we will work together to establish a benchmark for regular AAM operations in Saudi Arabia, driving progress in both regional and global AAM markets."

The goal for both companies is to revolutionise industrial inspections across the Gulf countries, using advanced technology drones. (Image source: Flybotix)

FEDS Drone Powered Solutions, a pioneer in the field of drone technology and aerial data, has announced its partnership with Flybotix, a Swiss company that specialises in drone technology for inspecting confined spaces 

This partnership signifies Flybotix’s debut in the Middle East and is set to transform industrial inspection practices throughout the Gulf nations.

The collaboration will concentrate on sectors such as construction, oil & gas, and mining within the Gulf region, offering cutting-edge drone solutions that aim to improve safety, efficiency, and the precision of data in confined space inspections. Coinciding with this partnership is the introduction of Flybotix’s newest drone, the ASIO X, to the Gulf market. The ASIO X is equipped with advanced technology and post-processing analytics software specifically designed for confined space inspections. It features orientable LiDAR technology for 3D mapping of inspection zones, and its integrated AI analytics software converts raw data into practical insights, thereby optimising the inspection workflow and boosting operational efficiency.

The industry for confined space inspections in the Gulf has experienced notable expansion recently. A MarketsandMarkets report forecasts that the global market for inspection drones will hit US$2.8bn by 2025, with the Middle East emerging as one of the most rapidly growing regions. The surge in demand for confined space inspections, especially in the oil and gas, construction, and infrastructure sectors, is attributed to the increasing emphasis on safety and efficiency. Specifically, in the UAE, the adoption of drone technology for industrial inspections has surged by 35% in the last two years.

Samir Bouabdallah, CEO of Flybotix, commented, "I am thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with FEDS, bringing ASIO X to the Middle East for the first time.”

Rabih Bou Rached, CEO & Founder of FEDS, added, “The driving force behind this partnership is FEDS' commitment to a future-forward approach. Recognising the growing demand for indoor confined space inspections in the Middle East, we identified Flybotix as a perfect fit to meet market needs.”

This partnership is set to pave the way for enhanced confined space industrial inspections across the Gulf, driving innovation and efficiency in the region.

Greg Pada, vice president, head of engineering business at AVEVA. (Image source: AVEVA)

Greg Pada, vice president, head of engineering business at AVEVA, writes about overcoming business complexities with collaborative, data-centric engineering and design industrial cooperation. He says that this de-risks design and build processes to unlock value and sustainability gains for capital projects.

Against a complex backdrop of supply chain issues, geopolitical tensions and environmental crises, engineers are being tasked with designing and building a sustainable future for generations to come. They must execute capital projects within razor-thin margins, prevent cost overruns, adhere to tight schedules, and navigate intricate workflows. These challenges face brownfield and new projects alike and must increasingly factor in newer challenges such as lower-carbon processes and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Challenges

Digital transformation technologies, particularly industrial intelligence tools, can help. Within an integrated, intelligent ecosystem, internal and external teams can come together to transform value chains into agile, profitable and sustainable networks. Across geographies, industrial teams are already collaborating on common problems with colleagues from within their companies and from partner organisations.

However, they must frequently contend with data silos and a diverse mix of tools and disciplines. An open, agnostic digital backbone can help break down these barriers. Such a connected ecosystem enhances real-time collaboration and builds communities that can access the same intelligence to build solutions for complex, multifaceted problems together. With increased transparency, the design, build and handover stages of capital projects become less risky. In turn, businesses can reduce time to market for new products.

Secure data sharing is the game-changer. In a connected industrial ecosystem, engineering data becomes accessible to teams at all levels, regardless of where they are based—often with tools such as the digital twin.

Digital twins

While maintaining security and confidentiality requirements, these united workflows foster a flexible, collaborative work culture and help attract new talent. Business stakeholders likewise gain timely access to the information they need, promoting efficient collaboration. Several industrial enterprises are realising tangible benefits from just such connected, data-centric approaches to design and build.

Engineering processes become simpler. Teams at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, the US-based energy innovator, work to deliver clean, limitless power to the world. By sharing essential 1D, 2D, and 3D engineering data in the cloud, remote and hybrid teams can design and build simultaneously. As they develop data models, they can add complex details specifying how each component relates to the next.

This has improved accuracy, reduced re-work and slashed project times, while eliminating IT overheads. Real-time collaboration helps optimise industrial operations. Yinson Production helps the energy services industry improve safety and sustainability with its autonomous floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units. The maritime contractor is involved across the entire project lifecycle, from engineering and build to operations and decommissioning.

Examples

As business has expanded, Yinson has required more control of its data and the ability to structure it better. Using a cloud-based data management system together with a digital engineering suite, Yinson teams can now collaborate around real-time data dashboards and view operational assets in context. This speeds up maintenance and execution, all within the same solution. With the software, greenhouse gas emissions are now monitored daily instead of monthly, putting Yinson on track for reductions of 30% by 2030.

As we can see, connected data solutions offer the competitive advantages needed amid an increasingly complex engineering landscape. They can help avoid the time and budget delays that are common to capital projects, while improving project sustainability.
Accenture estimates that 95% of all billion-dollar projects are delivered late or over budget.
EPC 4.0—digital transformation of EPC companies using industry 4.0 technologies—fosters innovation and empowers teams to deliver projects on time and within budget.

Their benefits encompass cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and innovation, all of which are vital for the growth and prosperity of EPCs and owner operators in today’s competitive market. As markets continue to grow more challenging, building a collaborative environment to support data-centric engineering and design teams is the way forward for simplified engineering.

In short, enabling collaboration across the industrial ecosystem can transform business outcomes for people, profit and planet.

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