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News Releases

REF NO.: 79

SUBJECT: New chair in arctic engineering at Memorial University
DATE: Jan. 15, 2009

Memorial University’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has a new chair in arctic and cold region engineering.
The professorial chair is sponsored by the international energy services company John Wood Group PLC (“Wood Group”), and will be associated with the faculty of engineering’s Ocean Engineering Research Centre. This partnership with Wood Group is an important one for Memorial as it benefits both undergraduate and postgraduate students and faculty, as well as strengthens relations between the university and industry.
“We are extremely pleased with this collaboration with Wood Group. It is very important for an engineering school to have strong links with industry as this exposes students to a world outside of the university. It’s also important for faculty to have similar exposure, especially when working in frontier regions. Ideally, the boundaries between the university and industry are porous so people and ideas can move back and forth to the benefit of all,” said Dr. Eddy Campbell, Memorial’s acting president and vice-chancellor.
Wood Group is an international energy services company with $5 billion in sales, employing approximately 28,000 people worldwide and operating in 46 countries. The group has three businesses – Engineering and Production Facilities, Well Support and Gas Turbine Services – providing a range of engineering, production support, maintenance management and industrial gas turbine overhaul and repair services to the oil and gas, and power generation industries worldwide.
Wood Group’s director and chief executive of engineering activities, Mike Straughen, said, “I am delighted to announce that, over a five-year period, we are investing $500,000 to sponsor a new chair in engineering at Memorial, which will be known as the Wood Group Chair in Arctic and Cold Region Engineering. Our goal is to develop leading-edge technology so that we can source engineering solutions for our clients operating in these emerging, strategic regions. Memorial University is a recognized leader in this area, with a proven track record for research into the unique challenges of ocean and ice engineering. The combination of Memorial’s expertise with Wood Group’s experience of working in the cold regions of Canada, Alaska and Russia, through our IMV Projects Atlantic, Mustang Engineering and J P Kenny engineering companies, enables us to jointly find solutions to push forward new frontiers in these untapped regions.”
Since its inception, Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has had a long-term interest in, and focus on, harsh ocean and ice-covered environments, given its geographic location. This chair will provide the ideal opportunity for the faculty to extend its experience to the Arctic environment.

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