University of Calgary

Pipeline research gets a boost

UToday HomeJuly 21, 2011

By Grady Semmens

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, right, and University of Calgary Vice-President of Research Ed McCauley (left) are briefed on rock core samples by Dr. Godfrey Nowlan, Acting Director Geological Surveys Canada.Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, right, and University of Calgary Vice-President of Research Ed McCauley (left) are briefed on rock core samples by Dr. Godfrey Nowlan, Acting Director Geological Surveys Canada, after a signing ceremony for research agreements between the Government of Canada, the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, Tuesday. Photo by Grady SemmensUniversity of Calgary research to make energy pipelines safer and more efficient is taking a step forward thanks to a new agreement between the federal government and the University of Alberta.

The university entered a collaborative research agreement with Natural Resources Canada’s CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory and U of A on Tuesday that will promote collaboration on metal and materials research, particularly work related to pipelines.

“Our government is committed to building a competitive advantage for Canada based on excellence in science and technology,” says Joe Oliver, minister of Natural Resources. “These agreements will provide learning and research opportunities for Albertans, new jobs and training, and greater pipeline reliability and environmental protection.”

Oliver was joined at a signing ceremony by Ed McCauley, vice-president (research) and Dr. Lorne Babiuk, vice-president of research at the University of Alberta.

McCauley says the agreement will lead to important synergies between researchers at the three institutions in the high-priority area of energy and environmental research.

“In particular, it will help advance the work being done by our Pipeline Engineering Centre in the Schulich School of Engineering to improve the safety, security and efficiency of energy pipelines,” he says.

Led by mechanical engineering professor Ron Hugo, centre is an interdisciplinary research centre that undertakes R&D as well as teaching graduate-level courses to industry professionals.

Since 2003, the centre has focused on research and development in support of the pipeline industry and involves researchers from a variety of faculties and disciplines at the university. Its mandate is a unique mixture of teaching and research.

“(The centre) is addressing the knowledge gap that exists between the large number of experienced engineers who are expected to retire from the industry in the next decade and the new generation of young engineers that is taking their place,” McCauley says.