Canadian Minister of Natural Resources visits UBC’s Pipeline Integrity Institute

Natural Resources Canada at UBC

Earlier this week, UBC hosted Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable James Carr, at the Faculty of Applied Science’s Pipeline Integrity Institute (PII).

Established in 2014, the PII strives to fill multiple pipeline sector-related needs, including the development of technologies for safe and reliable pipelines, the training of highly qualified pipeline engineers and the dissemination of unbiased information to promote the establishment of sound pipeline practices and policies.

After a presentation by Dharma Wijewickreme, PEng, the co-director of the PII, Minister Carr visited two on-campus research stations to learn more about current PII research projects. These projects include the development of advanced pipeline coatings and investigations into the complex interactions between pipes and soft Muskeg soil under different conditions, including ground movement and water saturation.

UBC is the first university in North America — perhaps even the world — to offer courses in pipeline engineering at the undergraduate level. Students who completed these courses have already secured positions in the pipeline field.

Minister Carr, who is in British Columbia for a series of meetings relating to the Pipeline Safety Act, emphasized the importance of strengthening pipeline security and commended the PII for its timely and relevant work in the area. The Act, which came into effect last year, is part of an effort by the Government of Canada to build public confidence in the way the country regulates the development and transportation of its natural resources.