Stronger together: Memorial collaborating with NRC to lead ocean engineering, technology and science research

Jul 2nd, 2019

By Jeff Green

From left: Dr. David Murrin, Dr. Neil Bose, Dr. Michel Dumoulin, Bernard Davis, Dr. Douglas Muzyka and Iris Petten.
Stronger together: Memorial collaborating with NRC to lead ocean engineering, technology and science research

Amid a flurry of congratulatory handshakes, group photos and facility tours, business leaders, researchers and students celebrated a new era in the partnership between Memorial and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the federal government’s largest science and research organization.

The Karluk Collaboration Space officially opened in St. John’s on Friday, June 28, formalizing the collaboration between Memorial and the NRC to lead innovation in ocean engineering, technology and science.

The new space is housed in the NRC’s St. John’s facility, which is located on the Memorial campus.

Discoveries and advances

The collaboration will better enable world-leading research, spanning disciplines as varied as maritime technology, oceanography and ocean and naval architectural engineering.

The innovative projects undertaken by the collaborative research teams will contribute to discoveries and scientific advancement in fundamental ocean research areas, develop scientific knowledge for the public good, help train researchers, develop intellectual property for commercialization by Canadian companies and support Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and the regional ocean engineering ecosystem.

‘Brightest minds’

Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research), took part in the ceremony. Joining him were Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and LabourIris Petten, chair, Board of RegentsDr. Douglas Muzyka, chair of NRC CouncilDr. Michel Dumoulin, vice-president, Engineering, NRC; and Dr. David Murrin, director general, Ocean, Coastal & River Engineering, NRC.

Also in attendance were members of the university’s research community, as well as industry and community stakeholders.

“The National Research Council of Canada and Memorial University have enjoyed a longstanding relationship for many years,” said Dr. Bose, who was appointed to a three-year term as a council member with the National Research Council of Canada last June. He also serves on NRC’s Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre’s Advisory Board.

“A majority of NRC researchers, technologists, and students based in St. John’s have studied or are studying at our university. This formal collaboration strengthens our partnership and will bring together some of the brightest minds in the country, enabling us to deliver tangible impacts in the fields of ocean engineering, technology and science. We are proud to be part of this ongoing collaboration as it will further strengthen Newfoundland and Labrador’s position as a world leader in the ocean sector.”

Innovative research

To help position Canada as a global leader, the NRC is increasing its collaboration with regional ecosystems, universities, polytechnic institutions and colleges and establishing collaboration centres across the country.

“With the longest coastline in the world, ocean resources are a significant priority for Canada,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“We continue to bring our ocean-related expertise together to ensure Canada is on the cutting edge of ocean engineering, technology and science. As with the Ocean Supercluster, this collaborative research agreement will keep Canada internationally competitive, as we work toward a better understanding of maritime technology, physical oceanography, ocean and naval architecture engineering and other related areas of ocean science.”

Historical roots

The new space is named after the HMCS Karluk, a brigantine sailing ship acquired by the Canadian government to lead the Canadian Arctic Expedition. Captained by Newfoundland’s Robert Bartlett, the Karluk set sail for the Arctic in July 1913. Just one month into her journey, however, the Karluk became trapped in pack ice and eventually sank. Today, the Karluk remains a symbol of the challenges vessels still face while operating in harsh climates and of the innovative solutions some of Canada’s top ocean researchers are exploring.

After the formal proceedings, participants took part in tours of select research facilities in the NRC building as well as the Autonomous Ocean Systems Laboratory in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

 Stronger together


“The Karluk Collaboration Space brings together leading researchers to form a team and make significant advances in ocean engineering, technology and science for Canadians,” said Iain Stewart, president, National Research Council of Canada.

“We are stronger working together to leverage shared resources, technologies and infrastructure that will support Canada’s regional and national economies. We are proud to partner with Memorial University and look forward to many successful projects from this exciting collaboration.”



Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000