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Former resident honoured by oil industry standards society

A former resident was presented with an award of appreciation last month for having invented and developed a kit for testing crude oil vapour pressure.

A former resident was presented with an award of appreciation last month for having invented and developed a kit for testing crude oil vapour pressure.

At a recent meeting of ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)

International, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, former Kamsack resident Robert J. (Bob) Falkiner was presented with an award of appreciation.

Falkiner also received a service award from Imperial Oil for the same work.

ASTM is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards, said information from Falkiner’s family. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.

The award was presented in recognition of Falkiner having invented and developed a field test apparatus and kit for testing crude oil vapour pressure in the field that is now a new international standard: ASTM D7975.

Concerns about imperfect sampling and testing for high vapour pressure crude oil have been around since 2000 when Falkiner raised it in a paper submitted to the Canadian Crude Quality Technical Association (CCQTA), the information said. “The consequences of the prior flawed sampling and test methods played down the crude oil’s volatility and potential contribution to recent disasters including that at Lac Megantic, Que.”

Falkiner has been broadly quoted as CCQTA’s director of refi ning in related articles in the Wall Street Journal, the Globe and Mail, and Reuters news agency, the information said.

Unlike older sample test methods, the new method is designed to minimize vapour losses from the most volatile light ends resulting in a truer value for crude oil vapour pressure, without the time delay for a pressurized cylinder sample to be shipped to a central lab for analysis.

Falkiner has a wellearned reputation as being creative in his problem solving abilities, it said.
His original prototype, built in his basement with parts from Princess Auto and a vacuum gauge from his 1965 Mustang, will go on display, along with the plaque awarded to him, in the new Esso offi ces in Calgary Quarry Park when the offi ce moves next spring.

Falkiner, is the son of Evelyn Falkiner and the late Jim Falkiner of Kamsack, and a frequent visitor to the family cottage at Madge Lake.

Born in Kamsack, Falkiner complete Grade 9 in the community before his father, the CN Express agent, was transferred to Fort William, Ont. in 1967 when the CNR was reorganized.

After graduating from Hammarskjold High School in Thunder Bay, Ont., Falkiner completed his honours chemistry degree at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, obtained his masters degree in petrochemistry from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and received an engineering degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont.

Initially Falkiner was a research chemist with Imperial Oil in Sarnia, Ont. and he continues to work for Imperial Oil, Down Stream and Chemical, as its senior process technical advisor. He lives in Brampton, Ont., but his office is in downtown Calgary at Imperial Oil headquarters.

Evelyn Falkiner’s permanent residence is Madge Lake. She is 99 this year and spends the winter months with her daughters and from May to November at the lake.