WE Colloquium: William A. Bruce, Cross-country Pipelines – Current Industry Challenges and Opportunities for Welding Engineers
Oil and natural gas constitute three quarters of the energy consumed in the US and cross-pipelines are by far the safest, most cost-effective way to deliver these fuels. Unlike electric power with thousands of miles of visible power lines and transmission towers, cross-country pipelines are buried and transmit energy with minimal impact on the landscape. Pipelines tend to become newsworthy only when the construction of a new pipeline is challenged because of perceived environmental issues or following the occurrence of an unfortunate pipeline failure because of ageing infrastructure issues.
The construction of new pipelines and the operation and maintenance of existing pipelines involve may engineering disciplines, including welding engineering. Many opportunities currently exist in the pipeline industry as the result of a pipeline construction boom necessitated by increased oil and gas production from the use of enhanced recovery techniques (hydraulic fracturing) and as the result of ageing infrastructure issues. Opportunities for welding engineers as the result of current technical challenges in the pipeline industry – for both new construction and operations and maintenance – will be highlighted.
William A. (Bill) Bruce is a Senior Principal Engineer and Group Leader, Welding Technology, at DNV GL USA, Inc. (formerly Det Norske Veritas) in Dublin, Ohio. Prior to joining DNV GL, he was a Technology Leader at Edison Welding Institute and a Senior Engineer at Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company. He has been involved in pipeline welding research and development continuously since his graduation from The Ohio State University in 1981. He is Vice Chairman (elect) of the API 1104 Committee and is a co-chair of the Maintenance Welding Subcommittee. He holds a B.S. degree in Welding Engineering and is a Registered Professional Engineer, an IIW International Welding Engineer, and an AWS Certified Welding Engineer.