It has been an eventful year with the Canadian Underground Infrastructure Innovation Centre (CUIIC). We appreciate the contributions of our more than forty member organizations across the country, as well as those who have been involved in our current activities.
I personally have enjoyed representing CUIIC at events including NASTT No-Dig North in Toronto, the Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) Damage Prevention Symposium in Whistler, Canada’s Rural and Remote Broadband Community (CRRBC) Conference in Banff and the International Pipelines Conference in Calgary. It has been a privilege to meet and connect with so many in the underground sector across Canada.
Another highlight has been the submission of the first major proposal titled Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction in Underground Infrastructure: Design, Construction, Operation and
Maintenance to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. This proposal focuses on identifying and quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions associated with underground infrastructure, as well as on the implementation of strategies to reduce emissions of underground installations across their service life. A big thank you to the twenty-three organizations, including many CUIIC members, who have committed more than 1.5 million in in-kind contributions to this research, as well as the academic team of more than eight researchers at five universities across Canada who put this proposal together under a tight timeline. Should the three-year project in this proposal be funded, we anticipate a total of 3M CAD in funding (1.5M CAD in-kind and 1.5M CAD from NSERC) and training 18 undergraduate, MSc and PhD students, as well as PDFs.
Thank you to the Educational Committee and moderators who made the first CUIIC webinar series a success. In September 2022, CUIIC formed a collaboration with Benjamin Media to launch the CUIIC Academy. This partnership will allow CUIIC to offer classes, courses, webinars and events. The first educational offering will focus on Pipeline Rehabilitation, with a two-day course to be offered in Mississauga in March 2023 based on a strong agenda developed by the Rehabilitation Committee. In 2023, CUIIC Academy will also hold another webinar series, as well as a course focused on underground safety.
Again, I wish to thank the many volunteers, CUIIC staff members, and other academics who have contributed time and expertise to make the early activities of CUIIC successful. We also are grateful to our 42 member organizations who have joined us and continue to partner with us to fill our mandate of advancing research, education, and innovation in underground infrastructure.
- Ali Bayat, PhD, PEng
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta