Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

PHMSA Doubles Awards to Universities for Pipeline Safety Research

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Program Offers Research Funding for University-Affiliated Projects

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration today awarded nearly $2 million to 11 universities to research new ideas and technologies that will improve the safety of the nation’s energy transportation pipelines. PHMSA has provided almost $3.5 million for student and faculty researchers since 2013 as part of its Competitive Academic Agreement Program (CAAP); the latest round of awards is more than double the amount that PHMSA awarded the previous year.

“The Competitive Academic Agreement Program pays for critical research into safety technologies and mechanisms that could improve safety throughout the entire pipeline sector,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These investments have contributed to new pipeline technologies that are being used across the country to improve pipeline safety.”

PHMSA launched CAAP to engage students enrolled in graduate and Ph.D. programs to research common pipeline safety challenges and demonstrate how their engineering or other technical backgrounds may contribute to the field of pipeline safety. This year’s applicants received as much as $300,000 for their proposed studies on topics such as calculating pipe toughness, enabling plastic pipeline detection, protecting pipelines from corrosion, and detecting methane emissions.

“Thanks to support from Congress, PHMSA has invested nearly $93 million dollars in R&D projects that have resulted in 22 patent applications and 25 new pipeline technologies,” said PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. “Above-ground, radar-based pipeline mapping and a nondestructive testing method for unpiggable pipelines are among the many technological advances that wouldn’t have been possible without federal investment. We’re looking forward to new innovation that emerges as a result of this next round of CAAP projects.”

Proposals were evaluated on their relevance to PHMSA’s mission, scientific merit, feasibility and past institutional performance. PHMSA intends to adopt the most promising findings into its core research program for further, long-term investigation.

For more information, please visit the Research & Development section of PHMSA’s website at:

FY2015 Awardee Funding Distribution

FY2015 Pipeline Safety Research Awardee Funding Distribution


Focus Area

Project Title


Arizona State University

Development of Inspection Tools to Quantify Pipe Strength and Toughness

Bayesian network inference and information fusion for accurate pipe strength and toughness estimation


University of North Dakota Energy  & Environmental Research Center

Intrinsically Locatable Plastic Materials

Application of amorphous metal foil for plastic pipeline detection


University of Alaska at Anchorage

Preventing or Mitigating Pipeline Corrosion

Corrosion under insulation: innovative solutions to cold climate corrosion challenges


University of Akron

Preventing or Mitigating Pipeline Corrosion

Understanding and mitigating the threat of AC induced corrosion on buried pipelines


North Dakota State University

Preventing or Mitigating Pipeline Corrosion

Mitigating pipeline corrosion using a smart thermal spraying coating system


Rutgers State University

Preventing or Mitigating Pipeline Corrosion

An inorganic composite coating for pipeline rehabilitation and corrosion protection


University of Tulsa

Intrinsically Locatable Plastic Materials

Electromagnetic Strategies for Locatable Plastic Pipe

$297, 432.00

University of Colorado Denver

Intrinsically Locatable Plastic Materials

Embedded Passive RF Tags towards Intrinsically Locatable Buried Plastic Materials


West Virginia University

Intrinsically Locatable Plastic Materials

Advancement in the area of intrinsically locatable Plastic materials


University of Missouri (Curators-Rolla)

Preventing or Mitigating Pipeline Corrosion

Chemically Bonded Porcelain Enamel Coated Pipe for Corrosion Protection and Flow Efficiency


University of Colorado at Boulder

Methane Detection

Small-Scale DIAL for methane detection

$35, 908.00

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation's 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit for more information.

# # #