Where: CEME 2202

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Event Coordinator: Trevor Jones

On October 27, 2017, the UBC CSCE welcomed guests from RAM Engineering and Fortis BC to UBC campus to provide a presentation on a gas line twinning project taking place between Coquitlam and Vancouver.

Vancouver has grown rapidly since the majority of Vancouver’s natural gas transmission system was built in the 1950’s and 1960’s. FortisBC is embarking on a major project to upgrade its natural gas system including an 11km twinning between Surrey and Coquitlam that will address system capacity and add operational resilience.

The project presented many technical challenges to the group, including working through environmentally sensitive areas as well as vying for space in crowded utility corridors. The presentation discussed the design challenges and successes such as trenchless technologies that were used. Also, the talk addressed how the project team has overcome construction challenges in completing this $100M project in one year.

The project, The Lower Mainland Intermediate Pressure System Upgrade, will provide much more reliability and capacity to the network, supplying the growing demand of the communities it connects. We would like to again thank Joe Di Placito, Nick Richardson,and Karen Coldham for providing this insightful presentation to our members.


Joe Di Placito is a Project Manager and Partner at RAM who graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) with APEGBC and a Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute. He has worked with public and private project owners on traditional and design-build undertakings throughout BC and the Caribbean. Joe has extensive experience leading complex multi-discipline projects from design to construction. Successful notable project experience is the Canada Line cut-and-cover, South Fraser Perimeter Road (Highway 17) and FortisBC’s Lower Mainland System Upgrade Program.

Karen Coldham is a Project Engineer in the Pipelines Engineering group at FortisBC Energy Inc. She received her Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta in 2011 and is a registered Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) with APEGBC. Since graduation, Karen has worked as a project engineer, designing and constructing gas lines throughout Alberta and British Columbia. She is currently working on the Lower Mainland System Upgrade Program which involves upgrading and replacing approximately 30km of natural gas lines in the Lower Mainland to continue to meet the needs of FortisBC’s customers.

Nick Richardson is a Project Engineer in the Construction Management group at RAM. He received a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 2014. Nick is a registered Engineer in Training (EIT) with EGBC working towards his Professional Engineer (P.Eng) designation. His project experience includes the South Fraser Perimeter Road in Delta BC and the JACOS Hangingstone Expansion Project in Fort McMurray Alberta. Nick is currently working as part of the Construction Management team for the FortisBC Coastal Transmission System Upgrade Project.


When: October 27th, 2017, 11:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.

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