Research Fellow Offshore Structure Hydrodynamics

A Research Fellow is required to work within the Coastal Engineering Research Group, part of the School of Marine Science and Engineering at Plymouth University, in order to participate in an EPSRC funded research project, FROTH: Fundamentals and Reliability of Offshore Structure Hydrodynamics.

Whilst hydrodynamics in the bulk of a fluid is relatively well understood, the violent motion and break-up of the water-air interface remains a major challenge to simulate with sufficient accuracy for engineering design. Improved understanding is essential for engineers to design safe offshore structures. Some existing oil and gas offshore structures in UK waters are already up to 40 years old and these aging structures need to be re-assessed to ensure that they can withstand increased loading due to climate change, and to confirm that their life can be extended into the next 25 years. The cost of upgrading these existing structures and of ensuring the survivability of new structures will depend critically on the reliability of hydrodynamic impact load predictions. These loads cause damage to sea walls, the containers of sloshing liquids, such as in LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) carriers, and damage to FPSOs (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) and offshore structures.

The FROTH project is a close collaboration between five universities, Plymouth University, City University London, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Bath and the University of Oxford working together to combine and apply their expertise to different aspects of the problem. The team are joined by an End User Management Group comprising classification societies and key industrialists (Lloyds Register, Germanischer Lloyd, Bureau Veritas, Trinity House, Saipem). The aim is to investigate the physics of hydrodynamic impact loading on fixed and floating structures through a carefully integrated programme of numerical modelling and physical experiments at large scale. Open source numerical code will be developed to simulate the experiments to be carried out in the new COaSTLaboratoryatPlymouthUniversity [http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/pages/view.asp?page=34369]. The experiments are designed to investigate the influences described above and target three groups of experiments, namely: the impact of a falling block on aerated fluid; multi-directional wave impact with a floating block; wave impact with a rigid and elastic wall. Each of the experiments will be reproduced using the numerical codes, for comparisons, validation and detailed further investigation of the specific cases.

You are expected to conduct cutting edge research that will significantly update knowledge and understanding in extreme loading for offshore marine devices, to assist with all the project aims, to contribute to publications in scholarly journals and conference proceedings and to present at national and international meetings.

You must have a good engineering or science degree or equivalent and a PhD, or equivalent and demonstrable experience, in a relevant discipline. You must have experience of research relevant to hydrodynamics, wave impacts, coastal or ocean engineering, specialist knowledge of physical modelling in a relevant area and a record of research publications.

You should have a demonstrably high level of organisational and planning skills and to keep project deadlines. You should have excellent presentation skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to present complex information to a non-specialist audience, and good interpersonal skills. In addition, you should show the ability to work well under their own initiative and within a team.

This is a full-time position working 37 hours per week on a fixed-term basis for 30 months. Closing date: 12 midnight Tuesday 28th August 2012