Memorial University’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has a new research chair. Dr. Brian Veitch, a professor of ocean and naval architectural engineering, has been appointed the new 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.
“The Husky Chair in Oil and Gas Research will support further understanding of harsh environment operations and underscores Husky’s commitment to help develop the province’s engineering capability in this very challenging area,” said Malcolm Maclean, senior vice-president for Husky Energy’s Atlantic Region. “We look forward to working with Dr. Veitch to make the Chair a key part of the local research and education community.”
Dr. Brian 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.
“I am honoured and delighted to have the opportunity to serve as the Husky Energy Chair. I look forward to working in partnership with Husky Energy to develop an interdisciplinary research, development and innovation program focused on offshore engineering. Through our work, we aim to create an exciting teaching and learning environment for students and researchers alike, with the ultimate goal of having positive, practical impact on the industry,” said Dr. Veitch.
Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research), Memorial University, said the appointment is an excellent example of industry-academic collaboration.
“The Faculty of Engineering has been steadily growing its research capacity and building a reputation for innovative offshore engineering research,” said Dr. Loomis. “The success of faculty members like Dr. Veitch is attracting the attention of industry partners like Husky Energy and I have no doubt that this research partnership will lead to further advances that will enhance our knowledge of operating in harsh offshore environments and provide new insight to industry.”
Dr. Veitch was selected for this position after a thorough international search. The appointment, effective Jan. 1, 2013, is a five-year term and is eligible for renewal.