Offshore engineers to benefit from new wave modelling tool?

Designers of offshore structures could soon benefit from a new software tool under development at City University London. The research team, which has already been awarded more than £100k in funding, claims the tool can model the behaviour of extreme ocean waves more accurately, efficiently and consistently than current technology.

The year long project will deliver an application to predict the wave force that offshore structures – whether oil rigs, wind turbines or floating tidal power stations – are subjected to. The modelling is based on parameters such as weather conditions, wave height and wave spectrum, and is designed to enable engineers to create optimised designs with a reduced risk of failure.

The University has received £103,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Finance South East, to commercialise research by its Hydrodynamic Engineering Group. A new collaboration with GL Noble Denton – a global technical advisor to the oil and gas industry – will also provide an additional £50,000 to the work.

"Interest in building offshore structures is growing rapidly as oil and gas exploration moves to deeper waters and marine renewable projects take off," said Qingwei Ma (pictured), Professor of Hydrodynamics at City. "Ensuring that structures are resilient to the harsh ocean environment is key and we hope that our software will make this process more reliable."

Dr R V Ahilan, managing director of Advanced Engineering Consulting at GL Noble Denton, added: "Our engineers are engaged in developing offshore assets the world over, which must be safe, sustainable and affordable. The research at City will aid this by enabling us to generate designs with a much better understanding of the forces that they must stand up to under extreme conditions."

Laura Hopperton

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