Cloud MEM simulator supports Arab Academy Training Program


As long-term customers of the Pisys MEM training simulator, the Arab Academy for Science. technology and Maritime Transport were early adopters of the cloud-based Operations Training Simulator during COVID – allowing them to continue to serve students and deliver a high quality MEM training product.


Captain Ashraf Halawa is the Head of the oil and gas training program and vice dean for foreign affairs at the Arab Academy for science. technology and Maritime Transport based in Alexandra. The academy is one of the leading training organisations in the Middle East and have been using the Pisys Major Emergency Management training simulator in an on-site suite since 2017. He describes how his approach to MEM training was affected by the COVID pandemic.


Captain Halawa described the main challenges faced during COVID ‘During COVID it was difficult to hold MEM training courses where students had to share the same room – normally we use a pre-configured training suite which works well but of course students were unable to travel to the site and when they arrived it was difficult to hold courses due to restrictions on proximity etc. As long-term users of the on-site Pisys MEM simulator which had been installed at our training centre, we really valued the sheer realism of the training scenarios we were able to create for students – basically we were able to simulate a control room in any type of offshore asset – we could then create simulated emergencies to test the response of the students either individually or as teams and these were delivered in a highly realistic environment, for example with authentic radio and telephone comms, PA,  and authentic alarms, explosions etc. We were struggling to come up with any alternative solution which would provide a similar level of realism while respecting the restrictions which COVID imposed’


Captain Halawi describes his approach to Pisys following the imposition of COVID restrictions: ‘When we contacted Pisys who supplied our on-site system, we were very keen to learn whether they had an options which would allow us to continue delivering our courses. We were delighted to hear that they had invested heavily in porting their system to the cloud – the system is available via the internet and so our instructors were able to recreate the exact scenarios which we required to ensure effective training.

After adopting the cloud-based system our students were able to join training sessions remotely, without having to travel or put themselves at any risk. The on-line simulator has the key features of the on-site suite including real time voice communications, PA, radio and telephone – just as one would expect in the real world environment. The students and instructors are represented by avatars in the online control room and it’s amazing to see just how effective the platform is. Instructors can monitor individual students and communicate directly with them if they are struggling with any aspect of the training, the instructor can also influence the course of the scenario being run, for example an instructor may cause a failure in a piece of equipment (like a valve) or initiate an alarm  to test student response to unexpected occurences. The audio is very realistic – students can use simulated radios and telephones to communicate with each other and also with the instructors who typically role-play key personnel in the exercise. It’s extremely important that our students experience training scenarios as close to real-life situations as possible so that they are well prepared to deal with actual emergencies in the hazardous offshore environments which they work in.

The students interact with realistic models and scenarios representing their working situation and the setup and implementation was very quick and easy, with great support from Pisys. Obviously we had to ensure that students had access to reliable internet connections  but Pisys are able to allocate servers in an area which is as close to both our instructors and our students as possible, which reduces latency.  We’re able to run courses at short notice and of course we don’t have the overhead of maintaining and running an on-site facility so that has been an additional benefit to us.


The Pisys online MEM simulator allowed the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport to continue to offer a high quality training experience to their students at a time when face to face training was at best severely restricted and at worst, impossible. The academy has continued to use the online tool post-COVID in conjunction with its on-site simulator and Captain Halawi has been extremely impressed with the technology and with the level of cooperation and flexibility provided by Pisys

In summary Captain Halawi says ‘ I consider Pisys to be pioneers in this new method of delivering MEM courses online. we have always been very happy with their licensing model and Pisys continue to innovate with new features and models. They are a great company who stood with us during the pandemic, we consider them to be a good model for business and friendship’








Pisys are a great company who stood with us during the pandemic, we consider them to be a good model for business and friendship’

Captain Ashraf Halawi Head of Oil and Gas Training, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport

We appreciate that it is no longer straightforward to justify the cost of travel to an international training centre. That’s why we have built our Cloud-based training platform – allowing access via the internet while retaining the high levels of realism and effectiveness of the ‘on premise’ system.

Our on-premise version allows local installation - If required, we can supply the system installed on a hydraulically activated platform for added realism (also available on FPSO and Jack-up systems). We can also create a bespoke model of your specific asset, replicating all relevant aspects of the control room to provide whatever level of fidelity is required.

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