March 27, 2014

Schulich professor first Canadian to receive prestigious award

Global expert in pipeline corrosion advising B.C. on Northern Gateway pipeline

Frank Cheng, a professor of mechanical engineering in the Schulich School of Engineering and the Canada Research Chair in Pipeline Engineering, has received a prestigious award from NACE International, the Corrosion Society, the world's leading organization in corrosion science and engineering.

Cheng received the Herbert H. Uhlig Award at a ceremony in mid-March at San Antonio, Texas. The award recognized him for "spearheading corrosion education, engaging students in corrosion studies and developing the next generation of corrosion specialists." The organization accepts nominations from around the world for the annual award.

He is the first Canadian to win this award. "I am deeply honoured to receive this recognition," says Cheng. "It represents one of the highest awards in the corrosion field in the world."

Cheng was recently appointed to the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Panel on Kitimat West Douglas Channel Corridor Analysis. Previously, he was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on Pipeline Transportation of Diluted Bitumen and the Canadian Pipeline Roadmap Committee.

He's worked on a wide spectrum of pipeline technology including corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, erosion-corrosion, coatings, cathodic protection shielding, defect assessment, and composite pipe technology.

"My research advances the mechanistic understanding of material corrosion in pipeline and petroleum industries and develops effective techniques for prevention, monitoring, assessment and prediction of facility failure," he says. "The work emphasizes the importance of technology innovation to meet immediate industrial needs, ensuring safer pipeline systems and more reliable production assurance."

Originally from China, Cheng completed his BSc from Hunan University, China, his MSc from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his PhD from the University of Alberta. He then held a postdoctoral position at Nova Chemicals and joined the University of New Brunswick as research scientist before joining the University of Calgary in 2005.

NACE International, the Corrosion Society was established in 1943 and is recognized globally as the premier authority for corrosion control solutions. There are nearly 30,000 members in 116 countries. Every year it recognizes "outstanding effectiveness" in corrosion education at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels.