We have focussed our efforts on ensuring that our research continues to be of a very high standard and relevant to the needs of the pipeline industry.
I believe that the Australian pipeline industry has benefited from the Energy Pipelines CRC existence and we aim to make sure our research and education activities continue to deliver useful outcomes.
As we look to the coming years I am confident that the strong partnership between industry and researchers will continue to deliver value and build on our past achievements.
At the heart of the Energy Pipelines CRC activities is solid, industry focussed research.
We are fortunate to have dedicated industry personnel who are genuinely interested in working with us to solve the challenges that face our industry.
All good research starts with good ideas.
The collaboration between the research partners and the APIA Research and Standards Committee (APIA RSC) has been effective in ensuring that the big challenges of industry are met.
As I said at the 2013 APIA Convention, we work in a dynamic environment and expanding into new research areas to support the industry and develop our capabilities is essential to support the long term sustainability of the Energy Pipelines CRC.
The establishment of user groups within the APIA RSC to act as catalysts for initiating new research is the first step in this process.
We have successfully established user groups for both offshore users and plastic and composite pipe users.
The recently approved project Pipeline Shore and Water Crossing, a joint industry project being led by Atteris, is the result of what these user groups can achieve.
To ensure that we are catering to the industry’s research needs, our Board Chairman Charles Rottier and I travelled around the country to meet with our industry partners from the APIA RSC.
The trips provided great insight for Charles and myself on current issues. Many APIA RSC members were surprised to see just how comprehensive our research programs are and it was a useful exercise in highlighting how members could engage with the Energy Pipelines CRC.
In the interest of building relationships within the industry and guaranteeing long term capability within the CRC and industry, it is my hope over the coming year to have greater engagement with younger members of the industry through groups such as the Young Pipeliners Forum.
Over time, it is this next generation who will take up the responsibility for maintaining Australia’s pipeline infrastructure.
Earlier in the year, the Centre worked with Deakin University to establish the National Facility for Pipeline Coating Assessment.
This independent testing and research facility sees a long term need of the Australian pipeline industry fulfilled and increases the capability of the Energy Pipelines CRC to conduct coatings and cathodic protection research.
With the launch of the decompression and fracture arrest software EPDECOM, Energy Pipelines CRC researchers and industry advisors have built a product which has been described as setting the new international industry standard.
The research behind the software, the fracture control projects, was awarded an Excellence in Innovation Award earlier this year by the Cooperative Research Centres Association (CRCA).
The CRCA judged that the work was a perfect example of how genuine and strong collaboration between researchers and industry could achieve the best result in advancing a key industry issue.
Expanding our research capability has involved bringing on a new research partner, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to assist in composite materials research.
This broadens the skill base supporting our research and provides the capability to address industry needs in a new area.
As a whole, Cooperative Research Centres are effective in training industry-ready graduates and perform extremely well in achieving doctoral (PhD) completions.
The Energy Pipelines CRC has been no exception to this over the past year.
Notable examples of industry-ready graduates include Adelaide Masters Student Luke Zadow who has recently been employed by Fyfe after making great contributions the Centre’s stress corrosion cracking research.
Another example is University of Wollongong PhD student, YouYou Wu.
YouYou finished her studies in September this year and has returned to Singapore to continue working with DNV Singapore.
YouYou was an important member of the Energy Pipelines CRC fracture control research team and has made a significant contribution to advancing the methodology of testing drop weight tear samples.
The APIA Convention this year is a chance for us to showcase the continuing success of the Energy Pipelines CRC to the Australian pipeline industry.
I encourage you all to come over to our trade stand and meet with attending researchers who will update you on their current activities.
One attendee will be Deakin University PhD student Facundo (Bob) Varela who recently attended the International Pipeline Conference as a candidate for the “˜Best Student Paper’ award.
I’m sure he will be pleased to tell you about his time at the conference and interactions with international experts.
By the 2015 APIA Convention, the Energy Pipelines CRC will be well on its way to determining our future direction to ensure we continue to make a valuable contribution into the future.
The achievements of the CRC to date show that long term industry driven research is not only essential but crucial to meeting the challenges of the Australian pipeline industry.
This continuing success will be achieved by taking on new areas of research to broaden the knowledge available to stakeholders, as well as ensuring that the long term capabilities of the Energy Pipelines CRC are enhanced through developing and maintaining strong partnerships with research and industry.