Ideas, Innovation, Integrity: Memorial centre for excellence celebrates three years

Feb 4th, 2019


Group pic
Ideas, Innovation, Integrity: Memorial centre for excellence celebrates three years

The Centre for Risk, Integrity and Safety Engineering (C-RISE) leads interdisciplinary research on safety, integrity and the sustainability of industrial processes and systems, with a particular focus on harsh environment operations.

In February 2016, the Board of Regents officially approved C-RISE as an interdisciplinary centre for excellence located in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The centre developed out of the Safety and Risk Engineering Group, which was founded in 2002 by Dr. Faisal Khan, Canada Research Chair in Offshore Safety and Risk Engineering and department head, process engineering.

Since its inception, the centre’s membership has grown from 40 to over 100, and now includes undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students, visiting researchers, faculty, alumni, a full-time administrator and industry partners.

The centre’s industry engagement opportunities and interdisciplinary research projects have also increased significantly.

“C-RISE now supports larger collaborative projects and partnerships, nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Khan. “Members of the C-RISE team have been instrumental in developing international partnerships with universities and other institutions, co-organizing events such as the 2nd International conference on advances in the field of health, safety, fire, environment, and allied sciences (HFSEA 2018) in India and Loss Prevention Asia (LPS 2019) in Malaysia.”

C-RISE offers monthly tutorials on contemporary topics, industry and professional society supported lectures (NACE, SPE), and training programs in the St. John’s area. Students, in particular, benefit greatly from these opportunities.

Masters student Zaid Kamil joined C-RISE when starting his M.Eng. degree at Memorial in Fall 2016. He said the presence of C-RISE has been valuable to students like him.

“C-RISE events and the monthly tutorials, in particular, have been a constant source of learning and a chance to share ideas with others in the field of safety and risk engineering,” he said. “It is not only beneficial to interact with other graduate research fellows, but it also helped me to understand my own research roadmap.”

Research lead Dr. Susan Caines, who is now a faculty member at the Marine Institute, joined C-RISE as a PhD student and continues to be involved in the centre.

“I joined initially with no expectations, but found that I got to know many different people and gained a much deeper understanding of other research being conducted,” she explained. “The ability for researchers to come together to connect is one of the many benefits provided by the centre.”

This summer, C-RISE is organizing a major workshop and symposium in Safety and Integrity Management of Operations in Harsh Environments.

“A highlight of the C-RISE program is the workshop and symposium which takes place every two years,” said Dr. Khan. “The event, which is organized by C-RISE members, brings together industry experts, researchers and regulators to solve local problems with global perspectives.”

For professors like Dr. Caines, the opportunity to be involved in the planning of the event has helped her gain experience and to develop leadership skills which have been very useful in her career.

“These experiences helped me learn valuable networking skills and introduced me to many international industry members and researchers,” she said.

As C-RISE celebrates its third year as a centre for excellence, it continues to look for new ways to support the development of new knowledge in the areas of safety and risk engineering, providing benefits to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond.