Hands Free Mooring at the St. Lawrence Seaway

Tuesday June 7th, 2016 - 7:30pm


Location: Yummy Grill Restaurant, 531 Atkinson Ave., Thornhill, Ontario

Fee: $15/pp includes refreshments

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/hands-free-mooring


Winner of the 2015 OPEA Project of the Year Award


Years of research, patience and innovative engineering led to the creation of the world's first hands-free mooring (HFM) system for deep water locks in 2014 by the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC). The innovation was designed to improve safety, reduce transit times and increase competiveness of this all-water trade corridor.

THE SLSMC operates the Canadian sections of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which connects 40 ports within the 3,700 kilometres of the Great Lakes/Seaway System to the Atlantic Ocean.

Development of this pioneering technology started in 2005 and was completed eight years later with a production-ready system. HFM was a complex project, having to overcome many obstacles and incorporate solutions for a wide variety of vessels and environmental conditions. It also involved key design, operational and programming changes that challenge the very foundation of how vessels are processed in locks.

The HFM system employs vacuum pads mounted on vertical rails to secure a vessel during the lockage process, tracking the ship as it is raised or lowered, while keeping it at a safe, fixed distance from the lock wall during the mooring process.

pic2Our speaker, Benoit Nolet, P.Eng. is the Corporate Manager of Operational Services, a program that brings technology into the lockage process in order to improve efficiency and safety, throughout the St. Lawrence Seaway System. Benoit is a civil engineer from Sherbrooke University who started at the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation in 1989 as a concrete engineer for the resurfacing of the lock walls, as part of the Welland Canal Rehabilitation Program. Upon the program completion, he assumed the roles of Civil Inspection Engineer, then Remedial Program Engineer. Since 2004, he has held numerous Management positions, and in 2009 was assigned the lead for the Hands Free Mooring program, which uses vacuum technology to secure vessels in the locks during the lockage process.

Friends are welcome and networking encouraged!

Rick Vender, P.Eng.
Program Director – PEO York Chapter
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