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New harsh environment technology centre to be created


Roger Basu, left, the director of research and development, corporate technology, with ABS signs the MOU while Dr. Ray Gosine, vice-president (research) pro tempore looks on.

By Jeff Green


Memorial is partnering with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to establish a new research and development centre at the university. The ABS Harsh Environment Technology Centre will be located on the St. John’s campus.

Dr. Ray Gosine, vice-president (research) pro tempore at Memorial was joined by Roger Basu, director, research and development, corporate technology, with ABS and head of the class society’s harsh environment program to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during the second annual Arctic Shipping North America Conference in St. John’s.

The signing took place on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The new centre will support the development of technologies for ships and offshore structures operating in harsh environments, particularly the Arctic.

Applied research will be conducted to study vessels and units operating in ice covered waters, low temperature environments and severe wave and wind climates. It is envisioned that the research and development facility will become an established fixture on Memorial’s campus.

Large exploration and production field developments in harsh waters have called for ice class guidance for offshore structures. Among the regions of particular interest and increased activity is marine transport in the Arctic regions of the North American continent, most of which lies in Canadian controlled waters.

“The establishment of this new centre will fill a void in research in support of our offshore industry,” said Dr. Gosine. “Creating a safer working environment for those employed in harsh conditions is pivotal to the economic growth of the industries directly linked to Canada’s Arctic. Memorial is delighted to partner with ABS to take the lead in research and development in this important field.”

ABS has a longstanding relationship with the academic institution having worked together on various research and development projects as well as maintaining an on-going student internship program for Memorial engineering students.

“This joint initiative with Memorial is timely and a natural outgrowth of our working relationship with the university. Their strong naval architecture and ocean engineering program dovetails neatly with our arctic program initiatives,” Mr. Basu.

“We are pleased to see this exciting collaboration unfold,” added Glenn Janes, chief executive officer of the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC).

“As a provincial Crown corporation that supports R&D, we look forward to exploring opportunities of mutual interest,” Janes added.

The ABS Harsh Environment program, co-ordinated within its Corporate Research and Product Development Department, develops state-of-the-art methodologies and tools for the assessment of ships and offshore structures intended to operate in ice and provides guidance on harsh environment operations.

ABS has extensive experience with vessels and offshore structures designed for service in harsh environments stretching back to the landmark Manhattan project and the first offshore facilities operating in the waters north of Alaska. More recently the society has been involved in evaluating semi-submersibles and drill barges designed for harsh environment operations and has dual classed the Vassily Dinkov series of 70,000 dwt Arctic shuttle tankers with Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS).

The society has also developed extensive guidance relating to the design of the expected new series of LNG carriers for service in the northern waters of Russia.
Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification society devoted to promoting the security of life, property and the marine environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities.
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