University signs deal to strengthen ties with Mexican energy sector

The University of Aberdeen has put pen to paper on an agreement that will encourage greater ties between the University and Mexico's energy sector.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by University Principal, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, and Emilio Lozoya Austin, CEO of state-owned Mexican oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), during yesterday’s visit of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to Aberdeen.

Mexico’s energy sector is undergoing significant reform, and the visit was organised to showcase the expertise on offer in Aberdeen to key policymakers.

The signing of the MoU took place during a ceremony at the city’s Town House which was held to welcome the President, and involved political leaders and industry figures.  The President was later addressed by John Scrimgeour, Director of the Aberdeen Institute of Energy, on the broad range of energy-related teaching and research available at the University.

The central intention of the MoU is to encourage collaboration between the University, PEMEX and the Mexican Petroleum Institute (MPI) to undertake research and educational programs, and to strengthen institutional links. 

More specifically, it aims to help professionals working in Mexico’s oil and gas sector access graduate courses, and to facilitate knowledge-sharing through joint seminars, conferences and workshops.

The MoU also encourages collaboration on educational projects to build Mexico’s energy sector, as well as research projects. 

In addition, it encourages work towards energy efficiency measures aimed at climate change mitigation through collaboration with the University of Aberdeen’s Carbon Capture Research Group.

Welcoming the signing of the MoU, Professor Sir Ian Diamond said: “This is a significant step forward in enhancing the University’s profile in Mexico, where we have already developed strong links through our existing academic and research activity.

“The Memorandum of Understanding provides a pathway for attracting academic talent to Aberdeen, and for greater collaboration in research and knowledge-sharing at a time when Mexico’s energy sector is undergoing significant reform.

“The agreement will help provide access to the skills and expertise available through the University’s Institute of Energy that can help turn these reforms into reality.  At the same time, it is recognition of the global reputation the University of Aberdeen has in terms of the quality of our energy-related teaching and research activities.”

Seth Kunin, Vice-Principal for Internationalisation at the University, said: “The University is committed to supporting the development of research, teaching and business networks worldwide, and the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is a welcome boost to our ambitions.

“Internationalisation is a key part of the University’s strategy, and this project is a perfect fit to our expertise and experience of 50 years of the North Sea energy industry.

“I am delighted that experts from the University will be working more closely with their Mexican counterparts, helping to drive forward reform in the country’s energy sector.”