Research Students: REMS 2021

Wael Nofal

Wael Nofal is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer specialising in structural mechanics. He received his BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt in 2003 and in 2015 attained his MSc in Oil & Gas Structural Engineering at Aberdeen University. He has spent the last 13 years in the Offshore Oil & Gas industry where he gained experience in the fields of transportation and installation of offshore structures, engineering consultancy for jack-up rigs and the design of offshore structures, with particular focus on substructures (jackets). Wael is an EPSRC funded student, enrolled in the EngD program at Cranfield.

Thesis title: Reliability of condition monitoring technologies for offshore wind foundations under uncertainty.

Project description: The use of sensors and condition monitoring (CM) technologies to collect continuous real time measurements on wind turbine foundations as a means of detecting the existence of damage, identifying the location of damage, assessing the type and severity of damage, and estimating the remaining useful life (RUL) has been significantly growing in recent years. Quite often, considerable errors are reported between the measured structural modal properties through inspection and the simulated results based on CM-base dataset due to various uncertainties. These uncertainties are usually related to design parameters, variable and complex offshore environments, complexity of the non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques, degree of detection of defects, etc. Neglecting the uncertainties involved in offshore wind structural monitoring may lead to collection of unreliable data and inaccurate evaluation of the system conditions, thereby inappropriate planning of inspection and preventative maintenance tasks.
This project will provide an analytical reliability model to identify, analyse and evaluate the impacts of different types of uncertainties on condition assessment and monitoring of wind turbine foundation based on its sensor system, damage sensitive parameters, damage identification techniques, and system reliability index. The model will be then tested on a baseline offshore jacket platform structure and the probability of detection (POD), rate of false positive, true positive, false negative, and true negative are assessed.

Academic supervisors: Dr Mahmood Shafiee, Prof Feargal Brennan

Kuen Wei Wu (Wayne)

Kuen-Wei Wu obtained his BSc (2015) and MSc (2017) in civil engineering from National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), Taiwan. He joined Prof. An-Bin Huang’s research group for four years to carry out research on optical fibre-based sensing technology for civil infrastructure. In his master’s research, he spent a month at Schofield centre, Cambridge University, working on developing a miniature pore pressure transducer using fibre Bragg grating (FBG) for geotechnical centrifuge modelling.

Kuen-wei is now a research student of the fourth cohort of the REMS CDT programme, based at Oxford University with the support of DONG Energy. His research interests include numerical analysis, physical modelling and in-situ monitoring for offshore foundations.

Thesis title: Rate Effects for Monopile Foundations

Academic Supervisors: Prof Byron Byrne, Prof Guy Houlsby
Industry Supervisor: Avi Shonberg (DONG Energy)

Stephen Gabriel McCann

Stephen is a Chartered Engineer with an extensive background in manufacturing, prognostics and heavy equipment maintenance with extensive hands-on, managerial and commercial experience.
He attended Sir Sanford Fleming College in Canada studying Robotics and completed a military technical apprenticeship as a Weapons Technician in the Royal Canadian Navy. Stephen returned to higher education later in life and completed an integrated Masters’s programme at The University of Aberdeen, graduating with joint First Class Honours in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, receiving several awards and a winning the IET prize for outstanding academic achievement in his final year. His master’s thesis, titled “Design of Experiments and Analysis for Drive Train Test Rig” was composed while attending Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg Sweden as a participant in the ERASMUS programme; a topic related to the development of testing apparatus to better understand the failure mechanics of indirect drive wind turbine gearboxes. Stephen’s career spans decades in various industries and continents with his most recent experience working in heavy cranes and lifting for oil and gas, marine sectors and port services. Stephen is a member of the IMechE, IET, and Chartered with the UK Engineering Council. Stephen is an EPSRC funded student, enrolled in the EngD program at Cranfield.

Thesis title: TBA

Project description: TBA

Academic supervisor: Prof Feargal Brennan

Sabina Aghasibayli

Sabina Aghasibayli is a Corrosion Control Engineer with a Chemical engineering (oil refinery) background. She obtained her MSc from the University of Manchester in 2016. Since graduating, Sabina was actively searching for an EngD project she would be passionate about so that she can enhance her knowledge in engineering as well as contribute to the field. In 2017 Sabina received funding from EPSRC and joined the REMS CDT program. For her thesis, she will be focusing on the corrosion aspects of the offshore renewable marine structures.

Thesis title: Corrosion Damage Effects on the Structural Integrity Assessment of Offshore Structures.

Project description: An important issue to be considered in the structural integrity assessment of offshore structures, such as offshore wind turbines and Oil & Gas pipelines, is the characterisation of material degradation due to environmental damage and its subsequent effects on the remaining lifetime predictions. The main aim of this project is to investigate the importance of corrosion and corrosion-fatigue damage in the structural integrity assessment of offshore steel weldments (i.e. base metal, heat affected zone and weld metal) using experimental testing and numerical modelling techniques. S355 structural steel weldments, which are widely used in offshore industry, will be exposed to different corrosive environments for various durations and the corresponding changes in the mechanical response, fracture and fatigue crack growth behaviour of the material will be examined. Furthermore, a numerical model will be developed and validated to predict corrosion pitting, corrosion weight loss and corrosion-fatigue crack growth behaviour in S355 weldments in the seawater environment.

Academic supervisors: Prof Feargal Brennan, Dr Ali Mehmanparast

Lorena Tremps

Lorena is a Civil/Structural Engineer with over five year's of experience in the renewable energy sector, first, in hydropower engineering and later in large-scale offshore wind projects. For more than four years she worked as Structural Asset Integrity Engineer at Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) being responsible for all structural aspects with an impact on the operational phase of the offshore wind farms across the portfolio. Progressing to a Senior Engineer level, she now holds the position of Foundations Design Manager for the development of Baltic Hub OWF (Germany) whilst keeping a structural lead role on major integrity issues at operational sites.

She obtained her 1st Class MEng in Civil/Structural Engineering at the Universitat Politenica de Valencia (Spain) in 2013, and in 2014 completed a Master in Renewable Energies and Environment at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain) funded by an Iberdrola/SPR's scholarship.

Lorena is now a member of the fourth cohort of the REMS CDT program and is undertaking her EngD simultaneously while she keeps working at SPR. Her research will be in relation to structural integrity and design in the context of the EU H2020 ROMEO project where both SPR and Cranfield University are involved.

Thesis title: TBA

Project description: TBA

Academic supervisor: Dr Athanasios Kolios

Emily Anderson

Emily is a Civil Engineer with a particular interest in offshore structures. She graduated from the University of Bristol with an MEng in Civil Engineering with Study Abroad. Her final year focus involved assessing extreme loading on structures, specifically earthquakes, hurricanes and landslides, for developing countries. She is part of the DPhil program at Oxford in the fourth cohort and is funded by the EPSRC. The specifics of her thesis title are yet to be defined; however it is likely to involve assessing the effect of fluid-structure interaction on offshore wind or tidal stream turbines.

Thesis title: TBA

Project description: TBA

Academic supervisor: Prof Byron Byrne

Ali Hamedany

Ali is hydrodynamic/ structural engineer with over 10 years’ experience in offshore industry both oil& gas and renewable energies.
He obtained his master degrees in Marine and Offshore engineering from universities of Tehran and Technical university of Delft.
Currently working as technical expert in KCI the Engineers. In the last couple of years, he was involved in some major offshore projects, like KOAMBO FPSO, Papa terra TLP and a concept design for an innovative soft yoke system.
He start his EngD with interest in health monitoring systems and fatigue enhancement for offshore wind industry.

Thesis title: Investigating computational uncertainties and their effects on the fatigue life of an Offshore Wind Turbine Foundation 

Project description: Monopiles today make up over 80% of all offshore wind installations in Europe .While large monopile structures are, in the main, fabricated from welded steel tubular and plate sections similar to structural details commonly encountered in the Ship and Offshore Oil and Gas sectors, the design requirements differ significantly. This is due to harsh environmental aspects as well as the loading regime coupled with requirements for low CAPEX and OPEX. The aim of this project is to investigate computational uncertainties involved in the design process of monopiles and examine their effects on the fatigue life of OWT foundations.

Academic supervisors: Dr Ali Mehmanparast, Prof Feargal Brennan
Industrial Supervisor: Robert Rawlinson-Smith (DNV.GL)

Ali Marjan

Ali is an industrial engineer with 3 years’ experience in the industry. He obtained his BEng (Hons) in Aerospace Engineering from Institute of Space Technology, Pakistan. Ali obtained his MEng in Industrial Engineering and Management from Politecnico di Torino, Italy and did his research work at Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Ali is now part of the fourth cohort of the REMS CDT Engineering Doctorate program and is funded by the Merit Scholarship of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF).

Thesis title: Operation and maintenance cost optimization of offshore wind farms using advanced financial models

Project description: The operation and maintenance (O&M) costs for the offshore wind turbines are usually 25-30% of the total life-cycle costs. So even a small saving have huge impact on the overall cost reduction. There is a need to move from traditional periodic maintenance towards advanced maintenance strategies. For this purpose, condition-based maintenance has gained significance to cut down O&M costs.
There are several discounted cash flow based maintenance models like RCM (Reliability Centred Maintenance) motivated but they presume fixed future cash flow scenarios and future conditions, while they ignore RUL predictions. This project will aim to incorporate PHM (Prognostics and Health Management) based maintenance, and further provide financial and managerial flexibility to the decision maker by adapting to future uncertainties. The uncertainties will be incorporated using stochastic modelling with the aim to simulate various predictive maintenance paths. The optimum O&M schedule under various uncertainties will then be selected based on the financial model.

Academic supervisors: Dr Mahmood Shafiee, Dr Ali Mehmanparast

Osahon Ehigiator

Osahon Ehigiator obtained his BEng in Mechanical Engineering from Ambrose Ali University, Nigeria. He worked in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria as a Maintenance Engineer and managed the repair and maintenance of seagoing vessels for marine logistics operations. He received his MSc in Welding Engineering from Cranfield University and has worked in the last four years as a Welding Engineer, with experience in the welding and fabrication of high integrity oil and gas components, utilised in the manufacture of subsea flow equipment.
Osahon is currently a PhD research student, funded by the Materials, Modeling & Mechanical Technologies (3MT) Schlumberger, Houston.

Thesis Title: Characterisation of Influence of Thermal Cycle and Build Strategies on the Evolution of Microstructure, Mechanical, Fracture toughness and Corrosion Properties of Low Alloy Steels, Deposited Using WAAM Process

Project Description: The application of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology enables fully dense metallic components to be built, by successive depositions of weld metal. This research aims to leverage on some of the business drivers of this innovative technology including- reduction in manufacturing lead times, improved design flexibility, increased material utilisation and reduction in overall manufacturing cost. However, before this could happen, it is crucial to ensure that such components fabricated by this technique can meet or surpass stringent technical requirements demanded for use in subsea oil and gas environment.

Academic Supervisors: Dr Filomeno Martina, Dr Supriyo Ganguly