College of Engineering & Mines

Updates for students, alumni, supporters and constituents

Hess Supports Senior Design, Mechanical Engineering

Hess presents check to UND Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Team. Pictured are William Semke (ME Chair), Brent Lohnes (Hess ND General Manager), students Riley Monson & Zachary Reinholdt, Dominik Steinhauer (Instructor), and faculty advisor Cai Xia Yang.

The intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program (iPIPE) is an industry-led consortium whose focus is to contribute to the advancement of near-commercial, emerging technologies to prevent and detect gathering pipeline leaks. The program is a direct response to North Dakota Governor Burgum’s May 2017 challenge to industry to think outside the box and apply new technology to address the challenge of eliminating pipeline leaks.

Through funding from the iPIPE consortium, Ingu Solutions has developed Pipers®, an affordable and easy to deploy screening tool used to identify risks and performance issues in pipelines. Launched in 2018, and developed in Canada, Pipers® are truly a groundbreaking technology that continue to push pipeline inspection development forward.

Pipers® are miniaturized (roughly the size of a golf ball) sensors that can be placed inside a pipe and let flow with the product stream. The small stature of the sensors means that there are no diameter or flow constraints.


"How it works" infographic for pipers
Infographic taken from Pipers website:


Why is this important? An estimated 40 percent of the world’s pipelines are too difficult or expensive to inspect using traditional methods (ex: smart pig). Pipers® offer a cost-effective solution that provides comprehensive and reliable data for pipe defect detection and leak detection.

Pipers® are a readily available technology, however the ability to implement this groundbreaking technology has been limited due to the inability to deploy and retrieve the units from a live pipeline. This is mostly due to the physical size and the lack of pipeline pig launchers and receivers.


Brent Lohnes stands with two mechanical engineering students holding large check.
Brent Lohnes, Hess ND General Manager presents check to students Riley Monson & Zachary Reinholdt.


Partnering with Industry

ME 487/488 Engineering Design Courses dubbed Sr. Design by the students is intended to simulate the experience that students will have in the work force.  The Department of Mechanical Engineering partners with companies in industry to give students a practical hands on project that the company is interested in researching and/or developing.


Project Description

As part of the ME 487/488 Engineering Design Courses, UND College of Engineering & Mines has partnered with Hess to develop a way of reliably deploy and retrieve Pipers®.  The students have been tasked with the design of a working proof of concept that can be used to demonstrate recommendations to officials from Hess and possibly the state government.


Project Members:

Sponsor Adviser

Reuben Gates, Hess Corporation, Engineering Advisor


Active Stakeholder

Brad Stevens, Research Engineer, EERC


Class Instructor

Dominik Steinhauer, Sr. Lecturer, ME


Faculty Advisors

Dr.  Anjali Sandip, Sr. Lecturer, ME

Dr. Cai Xia Yang, Assistant Professor, ME


Student Team

Riley Monson, Project Manager, ME

Zachary Reinholdt, ME

Noe’ Lopez III, Distance Education, ME

Karen Redig,  Distance Education, ME