The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Oct/Nov 2018


Society for Underwater Technology

Subsea accomplishments using digital technology

The August 2018 SUT Perth evening meeting, held at the new venue Four Points By Sheraton, was co-opened by Jennifer Maninin and SUT Perth Branch vice chair Rex Hubbard.

The evening was chaired by SUT Perth Committee member Pawan Gupta and kindly sponsored by DNV-GL, IntecSea and Cisco.

The objective of the meeting was to demonstrate what has actually been implemented and achieved in terms of improvement in safety, security and workforce productivity in the age of IoT, AI and digital technology. We had four presentations, with DNV-GL and Subsea Engineering Associates focusing on improved subsea pipelines system design and calculation in the digital age, IntecSea talking about flexible riser integrity management using “digital twin”, and finally Cisco’s engaging presentation on cyber security for an IoT world.

The first presentation was from James Knipe of Subsea Engineering Associates who talked about the recent Balticconnector gas transmission project using the ICE (Intelligent Computation Engineering) platform technology to deliver a fast-track detailed engineering project in just 14 weeks. James explained that the ICE platform, developed in Perth, was an integrated suite of automation and data management technologies that accelerates many aspects of subsea and pipeline engineering. It was a well-received presentation and triggered multiple questions from the audience.

Next up was Hema Wadhwa of IntecSea presenting on a recent West Africa Bonga project where two flexible risers were inspected and assessed for integrity using a FlexIQ process. Hema talked about how MEC-FIT riser inspection and defect identification was carried out and how numerical simulation and fatigue life estimation was conducted using the FLEXAS. The presentation covered the project overview and the findings to demonstrate the credibility of digital twin.


The next presentation saw Nicholas Nielsen from DNV GL taking us through the current approach and the limitations of subsea pipeline free span assessment. The implementation of a revised DNVGL-RP-105 and a better way of estimating fatigue life using Global Free Span Service were discussed. The presentation also touched on how the use of cloud computing and storage has added computational power and systematic unlimited storage. Nicholas concluded his presentation by showcasing two project case studies using the new tool for the assessment of free spans and cost savings by eliminating the potential need for subsea intervention work.

The final presentation of the evening was by David De Lima of Cisco Systems, who talked about the potential cyber security risks for an IoT world, which made a nice change from the first three technical presentations. The presentation talked about the typical ways a malware works while giving real life examples of a few previous cyber attacks. The presentation was concluded by showing a video on the anatomy of a cyber attack, which was thought provoking for engineering professionals. David finished his presentation by giving high level advice to all on how to protect individuals and organisations in an IoT world while dealing with social engineering and emails in the work place.

Each presentation received a number of interesting questions from the audience. The discussion and networking continued in the Subiaco room where drinks and food were arranged. The event was attended by about 130 professionals, which was a very good number considering the new venue and an evening with heavy showers.

Huge thanks go to all of the participants for their time and presentations. Also, special thanks go to Hema for coordinating the presentations and Fiona Allan and Peter Clarke for helping with the registration and facilitating the Q&A session on the floor.

Pawan Gupta

OSIGp OTC selections

The Perth Branch’s special interest group Offshore Site Investigation & Geotechnics in Perth (OSIGp) held its Selection of OTC 2018 event at the Rigby’s Bar. This is the third year that OSIGp has brought to Perth audiences selected presentations from the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held in Houston, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The event began with food, drinks and casual networking amongst the attendees. SUT OSIGp Committee member Michael Cocjin formally kicked off the evening with an introduction to the remit of the OSIGp Committee and a rundown of the presentations for the evening.

The first presentation was given by Dermot O’Brien from Atteris. The presentation that Dermot delivered at OTC Houston talked about a new approach for on-bottom stability analysis accounting the effect of seabed scour.

The duo of David Field from ICON Engineering and Noel Boylan from NGI Perth reprised their OTC Asia presentation on a novel combined jacket and foundation concept for wellhead platforms.


Next was a presentation from Michael O’Niell from Fugro who presented his OTC Houston paper on a new design tool to identify the primary mechanism for the formation of seabed trenches running along mooring lines in front of anchors.

Finally, Hongjie Zhou of NGI gave a presentation of an OTC Asia paper on recent advances in numerical modelling techniques of the well system. The presentation focused on the axial interaction between the structural casing and surrounding soil under cyclic thermal loads.

All of the presentations were of a high quality and were well received, with enthusiastic questions from the audience and engaging discussion with the presenters.

The programme ended with Sarah Madrigal, SUT OSIGp Committee secretary, wrapping up the presentations and concluding the event.

Thanks go to sponsors Atteris and ICON Engineering for making the event possible.

Michael Cocjin

  • From left to right: Presenters Michael O'Niell, Dermot O'Brien, Hongjie Zhou, Noel Boylan and David Field with committee member Michael Cocjin





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