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Adrian Gerlich

Adrian Gerlich

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
University of Waterloo

Chair Title

NSERC/TransCanada Industrial Research Chair in Welding for Energy Infrastructure Associate Industrial Research

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Associate Industrial Research Chairholder since 2013


There is ever-increasing demand for reliable infrastructure for the extraction, transportation, and conversion of energy resources in Canada. At the same time, infrastructure construction and maintenance are subject to economic constraints, not the least of which is the cost of fabricating welded metal structures. The goal of the proposed research is to expand the knowledge base related to high-productivity welding of steel structures and promote the fabrication of reliable and robust energy infrastructure. The research will develop refined correlations between the materials selected for pipelines and their performance following welding. The microstructure, chemistry and welding parameters of various grades of line-pipe steel joints made using existing mechanized welding techniques will be analyzed in order to develop optimized process parameters to ensure robust joints and improved integrity. The productivity of advanced techniques will be assessed to promote their widespread implementation in future designs. This involves identifying scenarios where the current manual welding processes may be replaced with techniques using a higher level of automation. Emphasis will also be placed on reducing the likelihood of crack formation during fabrication, as well as on developing techniques for more reliable field and repair welding.

Dr. Gerlich will lead these efforts in close collaboration with TransCanada Pipelines Limited, with the help of several graduate students. His past work has focused mainly on characterizing welded materials and developing correlations between processes and microstructures. This work has generated more than 60 journal and conference papers, which have garnered over 500 citations. This expertise will be vital to identifying appropriate materials and welding parameters which can deliver more reliable and robust energy infrastructure.

The research findings will lead to improved standards and practices which will promote increased reliability of new infrastructure. The research results will also lead to higher productivity during construction of energy infrastructure, while helping to reduce the potential environmental and economic impacts of pipeline system failures in Canada. The enhanced knowledge base regarding superior materials and practices will also increase TransCanada's competitiveness in the energy sector, and promote the adoption of state-of-the-art welding technologies in other metal fabrication industries.


  • TransCanada Pipelines Limited

Contact Information

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario

Tel.: 519-8884, ext. 38560
Fax: 519-885-5862

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