Research Facilities

Markin/CNRL Natural Resources Engineering Facility (NREF)

The Department and School are located in the Markin/CNRL Natural Resources Engineering Facility (NREF). Constructed in 2004, NREF houses 78 research laboratories, 26 specialized instructional laboratories, and many state-of-the-art lecture rooms.

Our research labs and facilities allow our students access to leading edge technology and equipment including:

I.F. Morrison Structures Laboratory

  • Used for large scale testing of structures or structural elements
  • MTS closed-loop electro-hydraulic testing machines that apply static or slowly applied cyclic loads in tension or compression
  • Data acquisition systems consisting of several hundred channels of low speed data acquisition for static testing and 100 channels for high speed data dynamic testing
  • Facilities for manufacturing and fabrication of test specimens of metal, concrete, plastics or wood; three high-speed concrete mixers; weight batching system installed in the lab
  • High energy impact testing frame couples with high-speed cameras capable of 100,000 frames per second
  • 3D digital image correlation system. This hardware allows for non-contact deformation measurement on specimens.
  • Upgraded hydraulic system controls to the newest MTS control systems

T. Blench Hydraulics Laboratory

  • DISA two-colour laser Doppler anemometer (LDA) capable of nonintrusive measurement of two components of the instantaneous velocity at point simultaneously
  • Fibre optic laser Doppler anemometer (FOLDA) measures velocity and turbulence in one direction through a moveable probe which is connected to laser optics via glass fibre cables
  • Instruments available for use: hot-wire/film anemometer, pressure transducers, hydrogen bubble generator, pitot tubes, current meters, Leopold-Stevens water level recorders, fluorometer, cameras etc.
  • Ellerslie Hydraulics Laboratory (located on the university farms) equipment: mixed flume; tilting flume and a curved (S) flume for studying flow in bends. This lab is traditionally used for model studies
  • Ichthyo-Hydraulics or I-H flume was developed to allow volitational fish responses under controlled conditions and assist with observations
  • 25-metre long flume can be tilted to 1% slope; has 9 flume sections and white boards are identical spacers to hold the glass in place

Mine Waste Laboratory Cold Room

  • 4 walk-in freezers and 2 walk-in coolers
  • Constant temperature baths
  • Large capacity chiller used for in-lab ground freezing
  • Data acquisition systems and freezing/consolidation cells

Oil Sands Tailings Research Facility (OSTRF)

  • Designed to process tailing slurries at 600 kg solids per hour and 2000 kg solids per hour
  • Is an intermediate scale continuous-flow-through facility capable of accommodating a number of interdisciplinary research projects concurrently
  • Consists of three independent modules for delivery/production, treatment and deposition of tailings
  • Modular equipment skids can be arranged in several process-flow-configurations allowing subsequent additions and/or exchange of process modules
  • The OSTRF includes provisions for the delivery, handling, storage and processing of materials like tailing sand, mature fine tailings, total tailings slurries and tailings water

Laser Research Facility

  • Fibre optics phase Doppler anemometry laser system
  • A modular optics phase Doppler anemometry laser system
  • A flow map particle image velocimetry/particle laser-induced fluorescence system

Surface Mining Laboratory

  • Conduct heavy mining equipment research specializing in machine design and operational solutions for the oil sands industry
  • MTS 1000 cyclic testing frame with 180 gpm available power
  • HD video and HR still cameras
  • 120 channel HBM digital data acquisition system
  • Multi-layered Somat eDaq and NI digital/analog/GPS field data acquisition systems
  • Portable generator and welding equipment
  • Scale fully operational jaw and roll crusher systems
  • Operational dragline; truck rolling resistance included test bed; large tire and rim testing capability