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Dr. David Risk And Flux Lab Team Receive $1.8 Million For Gas Leak Detection Technology

Dr. Risk, StFX Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Director at the FluxLab, and ExACT Project Lead, was joined at the announcement by fellow StFX Dr. Kevin Wamsley, StFX Academic Vice President & Provost, and event emcee, Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX Associate Vice-President Research & Graduate Studies, among other distinguished guests.

The funding will support a four-year applied-research process to build on a patent-protected platform technology to develop a gas detection sensor used as an inspection tool for the oil and gas industry.

The ExACT sensor, short for “Emissions Attribution via Computational Techniques,” will be designed to be mounted on a vehicle which, while driving around a site, gathers near-ground geochemical readings, uploads these readings to a cloud-based database, and allows for real-time analysis. The detection of gas leaks in a comprehensive, cost effective and efficient manner is of paramount importance in regulatory compliance as well as in minimizing product loss and maximizing environmental protection.

In adding his congratulations to Dr. Risk and his research team, Dr. Wamsley shared a few words on behalf of StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald, who was unable to be in attendance at the ceremony.

“Dr. Dave Risk and his team of student researchers have worked diligently in creating new tools to detect gas leaks in the oil and gas industry,” says Dr. MacDonald. “This ACOA funding will help StFX researchers continue to develop ground breaking technology to encourage environmental improvements, regulatory compliance, and minimize product loss in the energy sector in Canada.

“Methane leaks and vents from energy developments are a worldwide problem. Over the past few years we’ve worked with progressive energy companies and developed tools to help them see what’s being emitted—often 100 times faster than before,” Dr. Risk said.

“Since bold new reduction targets have been announced by Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, demand for our expertise has soared. We’re excited that with this project, ACOA is helping us improve our technology for the mass market so that we, in turn, can empower companies to hit reduction targets early and easily, and create benefits for all.”

ACOA’s innovation programming, which includes the Atlantic Innovation Fund and the Business Development Program, responds to the evolving needs of Atlantic businesses and researchers. It is designed to help bring to market new products, technologies and services that will improve the competitiveness and productivity of the Atlantic economy. The programs also support small and medium-sized enterprises across the region to acquire or adapt innovative technologies that can improve their productivity and competitiveness, while also enabling them to build the skills they need to innovate and compete in today’s global economy.