Patrick Vieth received the PRCI Distinguished Researcher Award last week at the Research Exchange Meeting (REX2020) that was held March 3rd– 4th in San Diego, California. Nominated by industry leaders and his fellow peers at PRCI, Pat received this award for the tremendous contributions he has made over the past decades to advance the pipeline integrity industry, reflected in the below article.
Pat has been a leader in the industry since the late 1980’s when he was with Battelle Memorial Institute, Kiefner & Associates, CC Technologies/DNV, and currently with Dynamic Risk. Through each of these organizations, Patrick has been a constant advocate for the benefits and values of collaborative pipeline research and improving pipeline safety. Pat’s work as a researcher led to several significant outcomes for PRCI and he has co-authored many PRCI reports. Most notably, Pat was a key contributor to the development, validation and application of the RSTRENG methodology that has been used over the past several decades to assess corrosion-caused metal loss. Pat also contributed to some of the earliest forms of risk assessments. One of the PRCI projects, “Methods for Prioritizing Pipeline Maintenance and Rehabilitation”, produced one of the first relative risk-ranking models for the Corrosion Supervisory Committee. Pat recalls that the reason for the long project name was that the industry was not yet prepared to use the word “risk.” As part of the risk assessment modeling, Pat worked with the ASME B31.4 committee to help develop the first database of PHMSA incident data (prior to it being in electronic form) for hazardous liquid pipelines and then through PRCI, Pat evolved the PHMSA incident data and analytics for the natural gas pipeline systems.
Pat has shared how he has been fortunate to have worked with and support some of the best researchers in the pipeline industry. Throughout his career, he has been involved in supporting the response to numerous pipeline incidents by providing support related to metallurgical failure investigations, regulatory and legal support, root-cause failure analysis, and return-to-service programs. This work has naturally evolved into the continued assessment and evolution of analytical approaches for the assessment of pipeline defects: low-frequency ERW pipe, stress corrosion cracking, complex corrosion, mechanical damage, and geotechnical hazard assessments. Pat has also assumed the technical leadership roles in several Joint Industry Projects including the transportation of fuel grade ethanol and enhanced girth weld performance for new grade X70 pipelines. His unique perspective helps to ensure that research results are applicable to solving problems for the pipeline operators.
Application of technology to solving problems for pipeline operators is often done in real time. In the mid-1990’s, a liquid pipeline operator had experienced a longitudinal seam failure in AO Smith flash welded pipe. Since ultrasonic crack detection was not yet available for this pipe size (20-in diameter), Pat led a team to utilize transverse field inspection (TFI) to identify seam weld defects. This technology has continued to evolve over the past 25 years where Pat has been involved in validation programs associated with the TFI technology, along with all other in-line inspection technologies.
Pat has contributed his time and energy in many ways across the pipeline industry. In addition to his contributions to PRCI and applied research specifically for pipeline operators, Pat has served Vice Chair of the ASME B31.4 Committee, advisor to Qualification Panel for the Pipeline Industry (QPPI), Chair and Vice Chair for the International Pipeline Conference (IPC), Board Chair for the IPC Foundation, and past Chair and Board Member for the Young Pipeline Professionals (YPP USA) organization. Pat’s leadership role in the development of YPP USA demonstrates his commitment to the pipeline industry, and ensuring that the transfer of knowledge to the next generation is successful. For these achievements, Pat has been recognized for this year’s PRCI Distinguished Researcher Award and the impact of his contributions for PRCI and the pipeline industry as a whole.
PRCI is a community of the world’s leading pipeline companies, and the vendors, service providers, equipment manufacturers, and other organizations supporting our industry. Since 1952, PRCI has been recognized around the world as a unique forum within the energy pipeline industry delivering great value to its members and the industry — both quantitative and qualitative — through the development and deployment of research solutions to the operational, maintenance, and regulatory challenges that face it. Please visit www.prci.org for more information.