(St. John’s, NL; 26 Mar. 2014) Dr. Rocky Taylor is the new CARD Chair in Ice Mechanics. The chair is funded by CARD, a centre of excellence for medium- to long-term Arctic research and development. CARD was founded by the Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering (C-CORE) in 2011 with a core funding of $12.5 million over five years from the Hibernia and Terra Nova projects. The new chair will be funded using $500,000 over five years from the CARD program.

Building upon one of the three streams in CARD’s five-year research and development plan, the CARD Chair in Ice Mechanics will work in partnership with CARD and industry to establish, promote, maintain and seek additional funding to grow a world-class research program that will strengthen Memorial’s research capability involving ice loads on offshore structures and challenges associated with Arctic oil and gas development.

“It’s a real privilege to take on a leadership role in this very important and interesting field of work,” said Dr. Taylor. “Ice loads are a dominant consideration for ships and structures designed for operations in ice-prone offshore regions, and our research spans multiple scales of the ice-structure interaction process. This work ranges from fundamental investigations of the physical mechanisms that limit ice forces during interactions to the development of robust probabilistic methods that can be employed in design practice. 

“New frontier regions here in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as throughout the Arctic, hold vast resource potential and yet they also present engineers with some unique challenges. Working every day to build the research programs and to help train the personnel that will be needed to overcome these challenges is a very stimulating and rewarding experience.”

Dr. Richard Marceau, vice-president (research), Memorial University, said the appointment is the result of academia and industry working together to have huge impact.

“The Arctic is an ecologically important region, yet there is so much to learn, and many unique challenges have yet to be overcome,” said Dr. Marceau. “The establishment of the new CARD Chair in Ice Mechanics will allow Memorial University to increase our understanding and research capacity in this critical area while solidifying Memorial’s position as a leader in ice and Arctic-related research.”

“C-CORE was created 38 years ago to address the technological challenges of oil and gas development offshore Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Dr. Charles Randell, president and CEO, C-CORE. “Two years ago, again with the help of industry, we founded CARD to address the challenges of hydrocarbon development in even higher latitudes and to foster the next generation of Arctic experts. We believe creating the CARD Chair in Ice Mechanics will support that effort very effectively.”

“The study of ice mechanics will build on current ice-zone technology and help develop innovative solutions to the challenges associated with offshore oil and gas drilling, development and production in Arctic and harsh environments,” said Sandy Martin, vice-president, East Coast, Suncor Energy, operator of the Terra Nova oil field. “We see tremendous value in both the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s and CARD’s work, and expect that the appointment of Dr. Taylor will further advance this important research.”

As the new CARD Chair in Ice Mechanics, Dr. Taylor will lead research programs, build a team of full-time researchers and graduate students and develop collaborative relationships with other academic and industry-based researchers. Dr. Taylor will also contribute to a strong academic program in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science by teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, supervising student projects and theses and providing academic and professional service.

Dr. Taylor has been with CARD since its inception in 2011, initially as a senior research engineer and then as a principal investigator for ice mechanics. A graduate of Memorial University, Dr. Taylor holds doctoral and master’s degrees in ocean and naval architectural engineering, as well as an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. 

Dr. Taylor’s research encompasses a variety of significant ice-engineering problems, particularly those related to ice-load estimation for the design of offshore structures and the mechanics of compressive ice failure. Much of his work is focused on fracture processes in ice and the analysis of associated scale effects. Dr. Taylor recently completed a Research & Development Corporation (RDC) IgniteR&D-funded program focused on spalling, non-simultaneous ice failure and extension of the probabilistic fracture mechanics model developed during his doctoral studies, which were supported by C-CORE. He is also a co-investigator on a Statoil-RDC-Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council-funded initiative focused on an investigation of dynamic interactions between ice and compliant structures.

– 30 –