Chair Holders

Dr. Rocky Taylor

In 2014, Dr. Rocky Taylor was appointed as the CARD Chair in Ice Mechanics.

The chair is funded by CARD, a centre of excellence for medium- to long-term Arctic research and development. CARD was founded by the Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering (C-CORE) in 2011 with a core funding of $12.5 million over five years from the Hibernia and Terra Nova projects. The new chair will be funded using $500,000 over five years from the CARD program.

Dr. Taylor has been with CARD since its inception in 2011, initially as a senior research engineer and then as a principal investigator for ice mechanics. A graduate of Memorial University, Dr. Taylor holds doctoral and master’s degrees in Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering, as well as an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Taylor’s research encompasses a variety of significant ice-engineering problems, particularly those related to ice-load estimation for the design of offshore structures and the mechanics of compressive ice failure. Much of his work is focused on fracture processes in ice and the analysis of associated scale effects. Dr. Taylor recently completed a Research & Development Corporation (RDC) IgniteR&D-funded program focused on spalling, non-simultaneous ice failure and extension of the probabilistic fracture mechanics model developed during his doctoral studies, which were supported by C-CORE. He is also a co-investigator on a Statoil-RDC-Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council-funded initiative focused on an investigation of dynamic interactions between ice and compliant structures.


Dr. Brian Veitch

In 2013, Dr. Brian Veitch was appointed as the Husky Energy Chair in Oil and Gas Research.

The $2.5-million endowment for the Husky Energy Chair in Oil and Gas Research was initiated in 2003 by Husky Energy. The current focus of the chair is to undertake an innovative research program in offshore oil and gas research, with particular emphasis on offshore engineering for harsh ocean and arctic environments.

Dr. Veitch grew up in St. John’s and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree, followed by a Master of Engineering degree from Memorial University. He completed further graduate studies at Helsinki University of Technology, where he focused on Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering. Dr. Veitch returned to Canada in 1996 to work with the National Research Council. In 1998, he was appointed to the Terra Nova Project Junior Research Chair at Memorial University, where he developed an applied research program on ocean environmental risk engineering. In parallel, he initiated an inter-disciplinary research program on offshore and maritime safety with the goal of improving the safety of life at sea. His work has garnered a number of awards, including the President’s Award for Outstanding Research at Memorial University and Transport Canada’s Marine Safety Award. He also helped launch several technology companies with his graduate students.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Veitch has held several administrative roles in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador.


Dr. Lesley James

In 2011, Dr. Lesley James was appointed as the inaugural Chevron Chair in Petroleum Engineering.

In late 2010, Chevron Canada Limited, the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) and Memorial University announced a five-year, $1-million dollar partnership to create a chair that would strengthen the capacity for petroleum engineering research in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Chevron's contribution of $500,000 is being utilized to establish the chair position. RDC is also investing $500,000 in partnership with Chevron to increase research and development in petroleum engineering given its importance to the future of Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore petroleum industry. Its funding comes from its Collaborative R&D Program.

Dr. James has a blend of academic and industry experience. She holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and has worked as a management consultant. Her research, which is largely focused on enhanced oil recovery (EOR), aims to improve the percentage of oil recovered from petroleum reservoirs. As the Chevron Chair in Petroleum Engineering, Dr. James will research ways to maximize the recovery of oil from offshore Newfoundland and Labrador fields based on an understanding of their fluid-fluid and rock-fluid interactions. Dr. James is also excited by the opportunity this work provides to bring locally relevant, real-world data and industry challenges into the classroom and teaching laboratory.

The Chevron Chair in Petroleum Engineering represents a new focus on upstream oil and gas research at Memorial University. Dr. James will be leading this effort through a world-class program of applied research. It is also a further illustration of how Memorial, in partnership with industry and the RDC, is addressing the needs of and helping to build future prosperity for our province. 


Dr. Faisal Khan

In 2010, Dr. Faisal Khan, a professor of Process Engineering in Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, was appointed as the new Vale Research Chair in Process Risk and Safety Engineering.

The chair is supported by Vale, the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

Associated with Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the chair will expand and support the faculty’s safety and risk engineering program. The research chair will strengthen the ongoing research, teaching and training initiative in this important area. It will also provide opportunities for students and professionals to acquire knowledge and skill in the area of Safety and Risk Engineering, which is much desired in industry and other professional institutions.

The Vale Research Chair in Process Risk and Safety Engineering will support Memorial’s long-term vision to establish a cluster of scientists and engineers focused on supporting the minerals and oil and gas industries in the province and Vale’s goal to reduce and ultimately eliminate the incidence of disabling injuries and production loss at all operations and projects.

In addition to the above, the chair will develop highly trained personnel to create expertise and knowledge in the important area of safety and risk engineering, particularly in process systems relevant to mineral extraction and oil and gas processing. It will generate new data and develop advanced methodologies and models for risk assessment and design of safety measure for processing facilities. It will also develop expert tools for fault diagnosis and accident prevention in processing facilities, develop advanced systems for risk-based integrity management and loss prevention in harsh and remote operating conditions as well as develop novel methods for inherently safer process design and operations.

With a significant research record in the area of risk assessment and an international reputation in his area of expertise, Dr. Khan brings more than 15 years of experience to his position. He is also sought after by several companies from around the world to provide support and expert advice on safety and risk assessment. His research interests include safety and risk engineering, environmental risk modeling, life cycle analysis, computer aided process plant design and inherent safety. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Dr. Khan has authored four books and more than 150 internationally referred research papers.