BURNABY, B.C.—A new position has been established at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) to support advanced welding education and shipbuilding.
The Centre of Welding Technologies and Metallurgy Research Chair was established in partnership with Seaspan Shipyards and will be the first at BCIT to be exclusively based on funding and collaboration with an industry partner.
“Seaspan’s new research chair at the British Columbia Institute of Technology is a critical step for our marine manufacturing,” said François-Philippe Champagne, innovation minister, in a statement. “This new centre of expertise will create an environment where innovation can thrive while creating good opportunities for Canadians from coast to coast.”
The chair position is intended to enhance B.C.-based industrial research capabilities in advanced welding and metallurgy which are critical for marine construction.
Seaspan will contribute $1.65 million over five years to fund the new research chair and a supporting centre of expertise managed by an industry professional, with instructors, analysts and associated research equipment and materials.
The research chair will focus on advancing the state of practice in welding engineering.
BCIT officials noted welding technologies and metallurgy are highly complex fields that are evolving rapidly to address the needs of new ship designs and materials as well as the increasingly complex structural and operational requirements of modern vessels, including those used for icebreaking in harsh ocean conditions such as those in the high Arctic.
The chair will be tasked with doing applied research into emerging areas that are expected to provide Seaspan and the broader marine sector in B.C. with manufacturing advantages and competitive differentiation.
The new technologies and techniques developed through the work of the chair are also expected to lay the foundation for innovations in BCIT’s training and certification program.