UWI, New Fortress announce cryogenics engineering partnership

Professor Dale Webber (fourth left), pro-vice chancellor and principal of The University of the West Indies, accepts a donation of 10 laptops from Jacqui Burrell Clarke (fifth left), director of communications and community relations at New Fortress Energy. The donation is part of the partnership between the university and the energy provider to introduce an LNG cryogenics engineering course in the Faculty of Engineering for BSc engineering students. Also in photo (from left) are: Sherryahna Jones and Giovanni Buckle, engineering students enrolled in the cryogenics engineering course; Dr Roxanne Stennett-Brown, cryogenics engineering lecturer; Dr Adrian Lawrence, dean of the Faculty of Engineering; as well as Terrain Turner and Dervan Miller, students who are currently enrolled in the cryogenics engineering course.

THE University of the West Indies, Mona (UWI) has announced a partnership with New Fortress Energy (NFE) to introduce a cryogenics engineering course in the Faculty of Engineering. This course, said the UWI, is testament to the natural gas provider’s long-standing commitment to developing a sustainable future for Jamaica’s economy and society through LNG.

Professor Dale Webber, pro-vice chancellor and principal of the UWI, Mona, said the partnership is a milestone achievement for the university being the first to offer cryogenics engineering at the tertiary level in the Caribbean. “With LNG being the future of energy, this is no doubt a milestone achievement for the UWI, Mona in being the first tertiary institution in the Caribbean to offer a cryogenics engineering course for BSc engineering students.”

He added: “We have enjoyed a great partnership with NFE since their inception in Jamaica. In addition to scholarships and bursaries for over 50 engineering students over the past three years, we have been able to upgrade our existing combined heat and power plant (CHP) through an agreement with NFE to provide LNG for the plant. This has seen us reducing our energy cost by some $52 million annually and improving our environmental footprint with a 16 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, while allowing us to become energy independent. We commend New Fortress Energy for its vision and commitment to Jamaica’s energy sector. Importantly, we applaud them for their unwavering commitment to building an energy sector that is fit for purpose and fit for the future and we’re delighted to be part of this journey.”

The curriculum is fully funded by New Fortress Energy including all prescribed texts, lab equipment, simulation software tools and licences plus laptops which the natural gas company donated to the Faculty of Engineering to ensure that all cryogenics students can fully access their online classes. Students will also benefit from guest lectures by NFE experts as well as summer internship programmes at the company’s LNG plants in St Catherine, Clarendon, and St James.

“We are proud of the long-standing strategic partnership that we have shared with The University of the West Indies, Mona since our inception in Jamaica. For the LNG sector to be successful and sustainable, it is not enough to simply supply LNG to any market. Educating and upskilling the next generation of LNG engineering professionals play an integral role in this journey,” said Wes Edens, chairman and CEO of New Fortress Energy.

“The introduction of this cryogenic course at the UWI also aligns with our long-term interest in creating and sustaining a Cryogenic Center in Jamaica. The UWI plays a critical role in providing world-class education in Jamaica and the Caribbean and we are delighted to expand our partnership with them to ensure Jamaica is well positioned to compete in the global LNG marketplace,” added Edens.

In commenting on the implementation of the course, Dr Adrian Lawrence, dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: “We are extremely satisfied with the relevance and conduct of the course and we have no doubt that our students will be more marketable and competitive in Jamaica and globally. We are pleased to share that the first batch of 17 students registered for and have successfully completed the course in semester II of the academic year 2019-2020, have all had overwhelming positive feedback. For this 2020-2021 academic year, 17 students have again registered this semester and are already very excited about being part of the course.”

Said new Fortress: “Cryogenics engineering involves the design and development of systems and components which produce, maintain, or utilise low temperatures. Ever since the first liquefaction of air around the turn of the twentieth century, the interest of engineers and scientists on cryogenics have significantly broadened. Some of the uses of cryogenic systems include the research and development around the cure of diseases, liquid fuels (hydrogen) for space flights and liquefied natural gas (LNG). The primary aim of the course, therefore, is to introduce students to the engineering aspects and challenges of cryogenics with special emphasis on the design and analysis systems used to produce, maintain and utilise low temperatures including liquid natural gas technologies and their applications.”

Since its inception in Jamaica, NFE has invested more than $20 million in STEM scholarships and bursaries to students at the UWI and is main sponsor of the university’s Mathematics Olympiad, which are all part of the company’s commitment to STEM development in Jamaica at the tertiary level.



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