The impact arises from the study of extreme ocean waves and their
interaction with marine
structures. It is relevant to the offshore, shipping, coastal and marine
renewables industries and
has been both economic and regulatory, involving:
(a) The establishment of revised guidelines for the design of new
structures / vessels.
(b) Enhancing best practice, both from an economic and a safety
(c) Reducing the uncertainty in critical design issues, thereby improving
(d) Enabling "end-of-life" extensions for existing structures.
(e) Facilitating the effective decommissioning of redundant structures.
(f) Contributing to the development of new industrial R&D equipment,
specialist UK manufacturers to secure international orders.
Examples are provided of significant impact by the Centre for
Mathematical Modelling and Flow Analysis (CMMFA) upon the Marine
Renewables and Offshore Wind communities. In particular, CMMFA informed
the design of a novel wave energy converter being commercialised for
connection to the national grid. CMMFA has also contributed to a study of
the design parameters for an offshore wind power station as part of a
larger interdisciplinary collaborative research effort. This work responds
to and informs the RCUK
Energy Programme via underpinning research, capacity building and
provision of trained personnel thus enacting UK Government Energy Policy.
Wave power research at Queen's has led directly to the development of two
types of convertor by Aquamarine Power Ltd (Edinburgh) and Voith Hydro
Wavegen (Inverness). Direct employment totalling 400 person years has
resulted along with hundreds of people in other companies delivering the
different phases of the prototype machines. Financed by over £60 million
from both the public but mainly the private sectors, this represents 20%
of the total investment in wave power worldwide during this period.
Internationally recognised success in wave power has led to the
establishment of the Queen's team in tidal stream energy and environmental
monitoring of marine renewable systems.
Guidelines and standards underpinned by Strathclyde research have
improved the design, assessment and the safety of marine structures
subjected to wave impact in large steep waves. The guidelines and
standards are widely used in the design of floating structures,
particularly Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessels (FPSOs)
and offshore wind turbines. Since January 2008 the work has impacted the
design, strength assessment and failure analysis of fixed offshore oil and
gas platforms, renewable energy devices and ships. The guidelines and
standards are used by designers to mitigate against damage caused by
breaking wave impact, thereby improving the safety of mariners and
offshore workers, reducing lost production due to downtime, and cutting
the risk of environmental impact due to oil pollution. The research has
also been used by Strathclyde researchers in industry-focussed studies, in
legal work related to the loss of the oil tanker Prestige (2009-2013), in
the assessment of the Schiehallion FPSO for BP (2010), and design of a
Scottish harbour wave screen (2009) that allows ferries to access and stay
in the harbour in more severe weather.
Our research has been key to the development of investor confidence in an
emerging UK tidal stream industry. We have contributed to the development
and validation of commercial and open- source software for tidal stream
system design and our expertise has been instrumental to the successful
delivery of major objectives of two national industry-academia marine
energy projects commissioned by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
Taken together, these outcomes have reduced engineering risks that had
been of concern to potential investors. Investor confidence in tidal
energy has been increased, as highlighted by Alstom's £65m acquisition of
a turbine developer following a key outcome of the ETI ReDAPT project.
The Warner-McIntyre parametrization scheme for non-topographic
atmospheric gravity waves,
developed at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
University of Cambridge, during the period from 1993 to 2004, has since
2010 been used by the
UK Met Office in their operational models for seasonal forecasting and
climate prediction .The
parametrization is regarded by the Met Office as a vital part of improved
representation of the
stratosphere in those models, which in turn has been shown to lead to
Research led by Professors Cawley and Lowe (employed at Imperial College
over the whole 1993-2013 period) resulted in guided wave inspection being
established as a new non-destructive evaluation (NDE) method. It is used
worldwide to screen long lengths of pipework for corrosion, particularly
in the petrochemical industry. A spin-out company has been established
that employs seven PhD graduates in NDE from Imperial and the technology
is also licensed to another company. Turnover on equipment sales 2008-2013
exceeds £50M and the service companies using the equipment generate about
£75M pa in revenue worldwide and employ about 300 FTE staff to carry out
the inspection. The oil companies benefit from greatly reduced cost of
inspection, especially in areas such as insulated, offshore and buried
pipes where access is difficult and expensive for conventional inspection
methods. Furthermore, the reliability of inspection is significantly
improved, leading to major improvements in safety.
Mathematical models of violent flows developed by Dr Mark Cooker at UEA
have been adopted by industry. The work enhances the capabilities of
coastal engineers to design and repair seawalls and coastal structures,
and enhances their interpretation of damage inflicted by storm waves. The
research has direct industrial application, and is used to contain,
interpret and lessen sea-wave damage to structures. Commercial software
has proved inadequate in this field, compared with Cooker's mathematical
modelling, because computations alone cannot resolve the brief time-
scales and short length-scales over which there are large changes in
pressure, and sudden excursions of the liquid as splashes. An example of
this impact is the design of an observation gantry exposed to storm waves.
Professor Kim Parker in the Department of Bioengineering has developed
Wave Intensity Analysis (WIA) for characterising pressure and flow waves
in arteries. It is being used to assess whether patients need
interventions to reduce narrowing of their coronary arteries. Conventional
diagnoses require the use of a drug that is costly, time consuming to
administer and has unpleasant side effects; it cannot be used in some
patient groups. WIA obviates the need for the drug and can be used as the
sole diagnostic method in more than half of patients. After being assessed
in trials involving >2500 patients, the method became commercially
available, and is in routine clinical use in 3 continents. It removes the
cost of the drug (which can be US$500 per case in some countries),
increases throughput by halving the time taken for the procedure, reduces
side effects and makes rigorous diagnosis available to patient groups that
cannot tolerate the drug and therefore depended on unreliable,
imaging-based methods until now.
Large-amplitude horizontally propagating internal solitary waves commonly
occur in the interior of the ocean. This case study presents evidence to
demonstrate the impact of research conducted by Professor Grimshaw at
Loughborough University on the development and utilisation of Korteweg- de
Vries (KdV) models of these waves, which has formed the paradigm for the
theoretical modelling and practical prediction of these waves.
These waves are highly significant for sediment transport, continental
shelf biology and interior ocean mixing, while their associated currents
cause strong forces on marine platforms, underwater pipelines and
submersibles, and the strong distortion of the density field has a severe
impact on acoustic signalling.
The theory developed at Loughborough University has had substantial
impact on the strategies developed by marine and naval engineers and
scientists in dealing with these issues.