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Smart Solutions for Challenging Environments


Four Decades of Excellence!


C-CORE was founded in 1975 with a mandate to provide solutions to the challenges of the imminent offshore oil and gas development in the presence of ice and, particularly, icebergs. The foresight and commitment of many individuals and organizations made C-CORE a reality. Memorial University President Dr. Moses Morgan and Faculty of Engineering Dean Dr. Angus Bruneau identified the need in a proposal to the Science Council of Canada: “…the frontiers of this country are being rolled back revealing the vastness and wealth of ... our great lands, their mass covered by the surrounding oceans…. To realize the potential benefits these territories and seas may bring this country, massive efforts will have to be made… to explore and grapple with our ocean environment on a scale and in ways we have not yet imagined.” 

ABOVE: The iconic Hibernia facility offshore Newfoundland, designed to resist iceberg impact. (c) HMDC.

They also proposed a solution: “The gathering of scientific data must be continued of course, but must be supplemented with development of engineering systems for the economic utilization of our ocean-based resources in environments different from any in which activity has ever before been attempted.  For this basic reason, a Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering in this country is essential.” With initial funding from the Devonian Foundation of Calgary, C-CORE’s groundbreaking work began.

For the first 10 years, C-CORE focused applied research on UNDERSTANDING the behavior and prevalence of sea ice and icebergs in regions of potential development, and developing techniques to MITIGATE RISK through physical management.  To address these issues, we assembled teams of experts in Ice Management and Remote Sensing.

From the beginning, C-CORE fostered a collaborative culture that values a close working relationship with clients and other stakeholders from industry, government and the broader community.  

C-CORE & Memorial University

C-CORE maintains a close relationship with Memorial University. Not only is Memorial our founding Associate, having our headquarters on the University campus fosters effective collaboration on many levels. We have a variety of corporate and administrative links. The University provides continuous learning opportunities for C-CORE employees and C-CORE employees sometimes teach at Memorial.  C‑CORE also supports faculty positions at Memorial. Our interaction with Memorial students provides access to leading-edge research and a talent pool for recruitment. Together, C-CORE and Memorial enjoy strategic sharing of capabilities, facilities and resources.

Bridging Past & Future

As the oil and gas market and the international business climate changed throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, favouring lean operations, strong emphasis on the bottom line and a more rapid return on R&D investments, C-CORE adapted and evolved. With the emphasis on turning research investments into commercial application, we broadened our focus to include both engineering research and development, and the practical application of new technologies. Emphasizing technology transfer initiatives, we evolved into a self reliant, contract-supported corporation. C-CORE’s business is contract R&D and the provision of research-based services. Because we are a not-for-profit corporation, client satisfaction with us solving their tough problems and advancing the limits of their capabilities is more important than profit.

Increased globalization opened the door for C-CORE to diversify its technical capabilities and market portfolio.  We now provide Ice Engineering, Remote Sensing and Geotechnical Engineering internationally. Over the past few years C-CORE has worked on every continent and in most oceans, and we have built systems used in space. Building on our core expertise in offshore oil and gas, we also entered new market sectors such as pipelines, mining and hydro-power.

Along with this shift in business focus, C-CORE strengthened our role in developing highly-qualified personnel with knowledge of industrial operation issues, as well as industry business practices and expectations. We increased opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to gain experience on industrial projects. Since 1975 C-CORE’s ability to be flexible, proactive and responsive to changing markets has yielded steady growth. Our corporate culture is honed to address client challenges. We are vigilant in understanding current and emerging needs, then rigorous in developing very highly-qualified personnel to meet those needs. As a solution-focused organization, C-CORE also partners to create extremely effective teams to exceed client expectations.  

ABOVE: C-CORE staff retreat, Murray's Pond, NL, 2012.