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University of Guyana to Establish World-Class Subsea Centre of Excellence; Partners with COAST Foundation

Friday, June 25, 2021 - 17:17

The University of Guyana, on Thursday, 17 June 2021, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Caribbean Oceanography Aquaculture and Subsea Technology (COAST) Foundation to collaborate on the establishment of a Subsea Centre of Excellence training facility. This would now allow the University to deliver world-class programmes designed to prepare students for careers in Subsea Operations and Engineering.

The MOU was signed by Vice-Chancellor, Xi, Professor Paloma Mohamed Martin, Dean, Faculty of Technology, Ms. Verlyn Klass on behalf of UG and Mr. Keith Lewis and Mr. Aaron Hardowar on behalf of (COAST) Foundation, during a simple ceremony in the presence of a few other faculty members and staff of UG.

Professor Mohamed Martin expressed sincere gratitude to COAST Foundation for choosing UG and for understanding how important the National University is to fulfilling the present and future needs of the industry noting that the Subsea Centre will be it is the first of its kind at a University in the Caribbean.

She posited: “We are excited about the innovative aspects of what you are proposing, we also are not only interested in producing people, we are also interested in advancing ideas and working on solutions because that’s really where the intellectual power and manifest value of the University really lies.”

Mr. Keith Lewis, who is leading the project highlighted the significant benefits of having the Centre of Excellence training facility at UG. He said: “COAST Foundation believes that there is a future for local students to become engineers in the subsea field and support the Deepwater development in Guyana.”

“All of the development, past, and future in Guyana will be via Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), therefore we want to ensure that we train local technicians and subsea engineers to support the process,” Mr. Lewis expounded.

The Subsea Centre of Excellence will be home to the first Remotely Operated Vehicle simulator in the region which will be the foundation of training and competency development programmes aimed at supporting educational programs from the Trade School, through Associate, Bachelors, and Masters levels.

Through the partnership, the University of Guyana will collaborate with international universities in the U.S., Canada and Scotland to deliver world-class programmes designed to prepare students for careers in Subsea Operations and Engineering. In addition to an ROV simulator, the Subsea Centre of Excellence will have an ROV Test Tank, an Electrical Workshop, and Hydraulic-Mechanical Workshop.

A key component of the programme will be a collaboration with the local and international subsea industry corporations to ensure stakeholder buy-in and a sustainable holistic approach to the Transfer of Technology to Guyana.

Ms. Verlyn Klass, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, also expressed her gratitude to COAST Foundation for bringing the technology to UG and her enthusiasm at the prospect of how it will benefit the students. She explained that the project started with one of UG’s civil engineering students who graduated and is employed with COAST. She recalled that the student reached out to the University with the hope that UG students would also be exposed to such technology.

Mrs. Elena Trim, Head of Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, expressed interest in discussing the certification of students who are involved in the programme.

The signing of the MOU is another strong reflection of UG’s strategic efforts to achieve the goals set out in the 2040 Blueprint and to support the build-out of a technically competent workforce to support the booming Oil and Gas industry in Guyana.

This important MOU enhances and underscores the University’s continued drive to ensure that Guyanese can take full advantage of the local content requirements as well as those spin-off opportunities that are emerging rapidly in the local market. This is a welcome addition to the recent suite of courses offered by the Institute of Energy Diplomacy, and those in the Faculties such as the Degree and Masters in Petroleum Engineering, Masters in Renewable Energy from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, the Masters in Environmental Management for the Oil and Gas Industry (Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Masters in Management of Supply Chains and Procurement (SEBI) all being offered from September 2021.


The University of Guyana is the 58th year state University of Guyana. It offers 136 programmes in over 60 disciplines online and face-to-face in 8 campuses across Guyana. With a student population of now 10,000, UG has provided education, learning and research for over 50,000 alumni. The mission of the University is to discover, generate, disseminate and apply knowledge of the highest standard for the service of the community, the nation and of all mankind within an atmosphere of academic freedom that allows for free and critical inquiry. UG’s forward-thinking Blueprint 2040 is currently setting the course for the University’s future design and institutional response to the changing needs of Guyana.

About COAST Foundation

The COAST Foundation was founded in 2017 by a group of marine and subsea professionals to engage in education through subsea exploration and technology development. Its regional program is centered on scientific exploration of the seafloor and its goal is to conduct expeditions from aboard an Exploration Vessel to be acquired by the Foundation in the Future.

COAST Mission is to implement programmess in Ocean Exploration, Education and Technology Development through collaboration with regional and international stakeholders, and to steward the responsible management of the Caribbean’s marine resources for future generations.

Please see the link below for UG and COAST MOU Signing Photos and Video highlights.

University of Guyana, Vice-Chancellor, Xi, Prof Paloma Mohamed Martin and a representative from the Caribbean Oceanography Aquaculture and Subsea Technology (COAST) Foundation, Mr Keith Lewis signing the Memorandum of Understanding.

Ms. Verlyn Klass, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology signing the MOU

Ms. Verlyn Klass, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology signing the MOU


Ms. Krest Cummings
Public Relations Officer
Department of Events Conferences and Communications (DECC)