Inaugural appointment for energy pipelines research centre

Professor Valerie Linton was appointed inaugural chief executive officer of the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre in January.

The Energy Pipelines CRC (EPCRC) was announced by Federal Industry Minister, Senator Kim Carr in the latest round of Cooperative Research Centre appointments.

Announcing the CEO appointment, the EPCRC’s board said Professor Linton – currently Professor of welded structures at the University of Adelaide – has been active on the international stage in high-pressure energy transmission throughout her 20-year career both in industry and academia.

Professor Linton, who will be based in Wollongong to take up the role, said she was looking forward to the new challenge.

“Research into the best possible energy transportation for Australia is vital, given this nation’s distances and the expected increase in demand for natural gas as an alternative to coal for power generation,” Professor Linton said.

“In order to safely, effectively, and efficiently transport natural gas, Australia will need to expand the use of current transmission pipelines as well as build new infrastructure over very long distances.

“Our research will also have application well beyond energy transmission. For example, our long-distance pipeline research will also be critical to the success of carbon capture, transportation and storage projects.”

Professor Linton is aware of Australia’s issues in needing to move natural gas and other energy over long distances.

“Having been educated and working in the UK in the early part of my career, the contrast with this country’s vastness highlights the challenges in pipeline engineering in Australia,” she said.

“I look forward to bringing my skills to the EPCRC and leading its contribution to this important area.”

The research centre provides research into the transmission of natural gas in Australia and is one ten centres allocated funding by the EPCRC in 2009.

The program has a focus on new technologies and innovation in support of energy security, climate change mitigation, indigenous health, and deep minerals exploration, among others.