News Release

REF NO.: 196

SUBJECT: New Wood Group Chair in Arctic and Harsh Environment Engineering appointed at Memorial University

DATE: July 28, 2015

Memorial University has welcomed a new research chairholder. Dr. Hodjat Shiri joined the Department of Civil Engineering as the Wood Group Chair in Arctic and Harsh Environment Engineering and assistant professor on June 15.

Sponsored by the international energy services company Wood Group, the industrial research chair is associated with Memorial’s Ocean Engineering Research Centre in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

In his role, Dr. Shiri will pursue innovative research, development and applications for engineering in Arctic and harsh environments. The post will benefit both undergraduate and post-graduate engineering students by increasing course and project availability in areas of growing industry activity in the province.

Wood Group is investing $500,000 to sponsor the chair over a five-year period in collaboration with Memorial University.

“We are delighted that Dr. Hodjat Shiri has been appointed to this post, which supports our commitment to driving the development of leading-edge technology,” said Robin Watson, chief operating officer, Wood Group. “This strong investment in research will enhance the engineering solutions we can provide for our clients operating in deep water and challenging marine environments.”

“This partnership with Wood Group supports the world-class ocean and harsh environment engineering research being conducted at Memorial,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. “We appreciate Wood Group’s investment in research at Memorial University and I congratulate Dr. Shiri on his appointment.”

Dr. Shiri is looking forward to developing new research initiatives to help fulfill the mandate of the chair.

“The strategic importance of harnessing offshore energy resources necessitates continuous optimization and enhancement of subsea engineering practice and technology in Arctic and harsh environments,” said Dr. Shiri. “This is the goal that I hope to achieve and contribute through this appointment under the partnership with Wood Group.”

Dr. Shiri has an extensive industrial background in offshore oil and gas project development, particularly subsea pipelines and risers, offshore structures and subsea installation technologies. He brings experience and expertise to the position obtained through offshore pipeline and subsea development projects in the Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and offshore northwest Australia.

Dr. Shiri’s research interests lie in the areas of offshore foundations, subsea installation, fluid-soil-pipeline interaction, fatigue performance of steel catenary risers, Arctic seabed hazards and their impact on subsea flowlines and subsea structures, vortex induced vibration and the integrity of subsea flowlines.

“Through this new research chair appointment, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science further strengthens its internationally renowned leadership in offshore engineering in cold ocean environments,” said Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Dr. Shiri brings valuable industry experience and a distinguished record of achievement in these areas of strategic importance to the faculty and our industry partner, Wood Group.”

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