Dr. Ian Gates Brings Light to Heavy Oil Recovery
This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.
“I wanted to be part of the dream of doing things better than yesterday.”
2016 ASTech Award Winner for Oil Sands innovation Dr. Ian Gates says it is this dream that started him on his award-winning path, including the Achievement in Innovation Award from Innovate Calgary in 2012. Over the past 16 years, Gates has been a valued member of the oil and gas industry, producing groundbreaking research that has changed entire industry processes.
The majority of Gates’ work has focused on heavy oil recovery process design. This area has required major improvements to keep up with environmental expectations, largely due to the fact that heavy oil is much denser than conventional (light) oil, is time-consuming to harvest and often requires contaminants to refine it, all of which can have harsh environmental impacts.
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Dr. Ian Gates is an engineer, professor, and co-founder of several businesses in the oil and gas sector, and continues to use his 36 patented innovations to improve the province's fossil fuel operations.