Valuable contributors to the pipeline industry recognised

AJ Lucas Group’s Ben Cooper was announced as the recipient of the 2011 APIA Young Achievement Award. Also recognised by APIA, and announced as the winner of the 2011 APIA Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry was Stephen Dykes – who has been associated with the Australian pipeline industry for nearly 30 years.

Recipients were presented with their respective awards in Sydney by the Federal Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism Martin Ferguson at the opening business session of the Convention.

Young Achievement Award

Outgoing APIA President Peter Cox told delegates at the Convention that “Ben Cooper has been an outstanding and energetic supporter of APIA activities over recent years, and is one of the people who represent the next generation of our industry.

“Ben has worked for the Lucas Group since 1999, apart from three years when he spent one year in Germany and two years with Agility in Sydney,” Mr Cox said.

“He commenced with Lucas as a Graduate Engineer and has moved through the organisation from a Project Engineer to Project Manager and is now Estimating and Engineering Manager for the Oil and Gas Business Unit which includes pipelines and horizontal directional drilling.

“Ben now manages all the estimating and engineering in AJ Lucas Group’s Oil and Gas Business Unit and manages a small but growing team. He co-ordinates estimating activities for a turnover in the Unit of approximately $250 million per annum,” Mr Cox added.

Mr Cox said Ben made a valuable contribution to environmental regulatory compliance in his time at Agility where he rolled out environmental management plans for the operation of APT’s New South Wales transmission pipelines and the Somerton gas power station.

“He has demonstrated an innovative approach in developing and integrating an Enterprise Resource Planning program into the AJ Lucas business as well as innovations in Lucas’ approach to estimating and planning. Further innovations have been the application of his ideas to the sleeving of the Moomba to Sydney Pipeline to repair stress corrosion cracking,” said Mr Cox.

Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Stephen Dykes began his career in the industry in 1982, in the Roma oil and gas fields of Queensland.

Announcing Stephen as the award winner for Outstanding Contribution, outgoing APIA President Peter Cox said that the award was a fitting recognition for a man who has made a tremendous contribution to the Australian pipeline industry over such a significant period of time.

Mr Cox said that after beginning his career “Stephen…moved to work at NT Gas in Darwin with various responsibilities for the Amadeus Basin to Darwin gas pipeline asset management and operations.

“When the 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck on 22 January 1988, as a Project Engineer, Stephen was part of the team that excavated and replaced the buckled section of the pipeline without any interruption to gas deliveries to the Darwin power station and other end users.

“From 1992 to 1999, he worked principally in Asia on the engineering and construction of gas infrastructure, and in 1999, he took on the position of Operations Manager for the Duke Energy suite of gas transmission assets.

“During his time there, he developed the pipeline operations group from 20 to approximately 100 staff in two years and successfully managed the transition from construction to operations for two new pipelines – the Eastern Gas Pipeline and the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline.

“In 2002, Steve turned full time to consulting with his own company and since then he has been involved in a broad range of gas transmission projects and related activities, including being Project Manager for the design, construction and commissioning of the Bonaparte Gas Pipeline.

“Steve’s leadership contribution to the industry includes support of APIA and pipeline research through membership of the Research and Standards Committee, his willingness to present at APIA seminars to pass on his experience and learning to others, and his desire to ensure that the pipeline industry continues to develop in a sustainable manner.”

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