2018 Michigan Tech Magazine: Issue 2

  • On January 15, 2018, the state of Michigan hired Michigan Technological University
      to lead an independent risk analysis of the Straits Pipelines portion of Line 5. With
      six months to complete the task, the University pulled together a 41-member team of
      experts to determine the costs of a worst-case scenario spill. Here’s what they found.
    » Interdisciplinary

    Navigating Risk

    The year was 1953. Dwight Eisenhower was president, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr were rolling around on the beach in From Here to Eternity, and engineers in Flint, Michigan, put the finishing touches on the first-ever Chevrolet Corvette. About 225 miles north, two parallel 20-inch pipelines were getting their first taste of crude oil on the bed of the Straits of Mackinac. Designed by the Bechtel Corporation—a company made famous by building the Hoover Dam 20 years prior—the Straits Pipelines stretch out for 4.5 miles, tethered to the bottom of the channel by screw anchors at depths ranging from 65 to 270 feet. They are part of a 645-mile pipeline system known simply as Line 5. Line 5 runs from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and is now owned and operated by multinational energy corporation Enbridge.

On the cover: In an independent risk analysis of the Straits Pipelines, Michigan Tech led a team of experts to answer one question: what's the worst that could happen?


Published by University Marketing and Communications

Ian Repp—Assistant Vice President of University Marketing and Communications

Stefanie Sidortsova—Managing Editor

Nicole Kelly—Creative Director

Vassilissa Semouchkina—Senior Designer

Jonathan Halquist—Graphic Designer

Sarah Bird—Photographer

Mariana Grohowski—Articles Editor

Sarah Williams—Advancement and Alumni Engagement Editor

Crystal Verran '11—Director of Operations

Josh Jaehnig—Freelance Artist

Ben Jaszczak—Multimedia Specialist

Megan Ross—Digital Services Coordinator

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