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November 13 , 2003
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Test facilities expanding

ACOA has contributed $400,000 towards the expansion and development of offshore oil and gas structural testing facilities at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The announcement was made Oct. 30 by Gerry Byrne, minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Newfoundland and Labrador’s representative in the Federal Cabinet.

“AOCA’s investment in Memorial’s research infrastructure is important to the future growth of our province’s oil and gas industry,” he said. “This expansion project will allow researchers and engineers to conduct tests under conditions that more closely mimic the rigors of our unique offshore environment. This in turn will allow them to develop materials and structures that meet industry needs.”

“Memorial University already has some of the best structural test equipment available anywhere,” said Dr. Axel Meisen, president and vice-chancellor at Memorial. “This project will allow us to further improve our research capabilities, enabling us to develop innovative designs of structures that are better suited to the harsh environment experienced by our province’s offshore oil and gas operations.”

The Structural Test Facility is a three-pronged project of the Ocean Engineering Research Centre (OERC) in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. OERC will design and construct a structural test frame that will enable researchers to test load levels on marine structures at pressures several times larger than current capacity.

As well, improvements to the material testing capabilities of the cold room will allow researchers to investigate the impact of high-pressure ice zones on material strength, a capability that will be unique in Canada.

The third component of the project will entail the implementation of a high-speed data/video link to the C-Core’s Centrifuge, allowing researchers to view the facility virtually and in real-time.

Funding is being provided through the non-commercial component of ACOA’s Business Development Program, which supports the promotion of entrepreneurship, trade, marketing and education through industry, community, youth and business associations.


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