This article is over 6 years old

Health & Science

Cross-Industry Collaborations Grow In 9th Year Of ‘Pumps & Pipes’ Houston Conference

Pumps & Pipes brings together Houston’s top three industries – oil and gas, medicine and aerospace – to swap ideas and technologies. This year the conference reached out to Houston STEM schools and laid the groundwork for a European version.

Listen

To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="https://embed.hpm.io/140085/130211" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>
X

Pumps & Pipes grew in 2015 with a new focus on education and outreach to Houston schools. In addition, organizers announced they will launch a European version of the conference in 2016 in Stavanger, Norway.

The partnership with HISD began this past summer, with 14 teachers at five high schools and two middle schools. The teachers paired off with local industry mentors in energy, medicine and aerospace, who are helping them develop projects and field trips with a STEM focus (science, technology, engineering and math). The seven schools are the DeBakey High School for Health Professions, the Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan, M.C. Williams Middle School, and Energy, Furr, Kashmere and South Early College high schools.

"Pumps & Pipes" is a cross-industry Houston conference that brings together innovators in energy, medicine and aerospace to swap ideas.
Pumps & Pipes is a cross-industry Houston conference that brings together innovators in energy, medicine and aerospace to swap ideas.

"Asking a kid to study math, physics, chemistry – sometimes these are regarded as fairly dry subjects," said Dr. Alan Lumsden of Houston Methodist, chief of cardiovascular surgery and co-founder of Pumps & Pipes.

"What we're trying to show them is: you study math and science, you can be an astronaut. You study chemistry, you can still be a surgeon for example. And that's the link and the opportunity that I think Pumps & Pipes provides," he said.

Pumps & Pipes organizers also announced they will launch a European version of the conference in 2016. The host city will be Stavanger, the center of the Norwegian oil industry. It also has a medical sector and some aerospace connections, Lumsden said.

Because oil prices are low, there's a big hunger in the energy industry to learn how to collaborate with other businesses like aerospace or medicine, Lumsden added. He said the Pumps & Pipes conference can help energy companies learn how to spin off technologies to make money in other ways.

"It's very interesting, because four or five years ago we were talking about economic cutbacks and hardship in the space industry, and they were looking to do this," Lumsden explained.

"Now, with the price of oil down to $30-$40 a barrel, these oil companies are looking to do the exact same thing," Lumsden added. "They don't want to lose their engineering base which has been built up over decades. They're really trying to look at what are the other opportunities that can keep our engineers gainfully employed."

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required