The new Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities (ITRH OFF) will help to deliver applied research outcomes through collaboration with world leaders in industry according to Dr Scott Draper who works within the hydrodynamics team at The University of Western Australia (UWA).The Hub hosted by the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics will make use of the highly specialised infrastructure including the O-tube flumes for simulating cyclone speed currents and ocean-seabed interaction, the National Geotechnical Centrifuge Facilities and an extensive pool of oceanographic instrumentation.
“Our team within the Hub will work to develop better predictions, for example, of the quantity of water washed on to the deck of an FPSO in large waves, and the relative motions of two floating vessels such as an FLNG facility and an LNG carrier in close proximity. These problems are particularly important to safe and efficient offshore operations,” Dr Draper said.
“To gain efficient and reliable solutions we will use model scale experiments, field data and computation fluid dynamics collectively. The Hub presents an excellent opportunity in this respect, enabling model scale experiments at a larger scale than ever before and providing access to high quality field measurements collected and analysed by our industry partners.
“The Hub will also have a multidisciplinary approach, providing an opportunity for cross-disciplinary engineering research spanning the areas of metocean, risers and moorings, anchor and foundations and data analytics, integrity and operational decision-making.”
UWA hosts more than 40 academics with interests in offshore engineering and ocean systems and the ITRH OFF will be led by the Shell EMI Chair in Offshore Engineering Professor David White, a team of 15 academic staff and it will also train 15 PhD students.
Industry partners are shaping the research directions, driving the technology transfer, and assisting with the mentorship of the researchers and students.
The five year program of research at the Hub is funded by the ARC, in partnership with four industry organisations – Shell, Woodside, Lloyd’s Register and Bureau Veritas.
Energy and Minerals Director Mark Stickells said that the technology transfer between academics and industry was essential to help us achieve status as a global research hub.
“We have the expertise and facilities so this is just the beginning - our opportunities are boundless as we are developing many world firsts in terms of technology here in Australia,” he said.
Image: Observing the world's first Floating LNG technology in a working model are (l-r) Professor Mike Efthymiou, Dr Scott Draper, Dr Hugh Wolgamot and Dr Wenhua Zhao.
Photography: Nicola Holman
EMI Communications Coordinator Nicola Holman +61 439 906 200