Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has announced plans by the authorities to establish a regional ‘Centre of Excellence in Petroleum Engineering’.
The University’s vision, he said, was to augment post-graduate and professional training of engineers and technical personnel for the petroleum industry, especially within the West African sub-region.
Prof. Obiri-Danso made this known in Kumasi, at the presentation of a cheque for US$250,000 by the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) to the University.
It is the first instalment of a million dollar fund to be disbursed over four academic years, and the purpose is to establish a professorial chair at the University’s Department of Petroleum Engineering of the College of Engineering.
Present at the ceremony were Nana Effah Appenteng, Omanhene of the Bompata Traditional Area and Chairman of the University Council, as well as members of convocation and graduate students.
Prof. Obiri-Danso said the fund would provide support in terms of salary supplementation for the professorial chair, research work in petroleum engineering, guest lecturers and stipend to graduate students, and conferences and workshops.
In addition, funds would also be made available for the establishment of a laboratory for petroleum engineering, teaching and research, software acquisitions and journal subscriptions, faculty development and refresher training of faculty members.
He lauded the GNPC for signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the University in 2008 for academic-industry research cooperation, and assured of their resolve to work with corporate bodies in achieving their mission and vision.
Dr. Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, an official of the GNPC, who presented the cheque, said the Commission remained committed to its corporate social responsibilities.
For this reason, they would continue to offer the University the needed support as it seeks to produce the critical human resource for the petroleum engineering industry.
Prof. Mark Adom-Asamoah, Provost of the College of Engineering, in an interview on the side-line of the programme, said the University authorities had taken up the mantle to resource the College in order to play its functions effectively in addressing the engineering challenges confronting the nation.