Week 2

posted 2 Jun 2012, 07:25 by Group Design Projects Imperial
Group 5 took a leisurely weekend off before getting stuck in to some number crunching on Monday. One of the big issues the client felt hadn't been given enough attention was the geotechnical problems. Our area is has experienced some pretty hefty earthquakes recently and we were gently informed that under seismic loading some of our proposed solutions were about as secure as a paperweight.

We took the feedback on the chin and came back fighting, with Liz and Finlay calculating some hard numbers to demonstrate that monster piles were out of the question. This left us with only one feasible solution to the brief: a semi-submersible platform. As you’d expect, this is a floating structure with ballasted pontoons beneath the water and topsides above water resting on top of four columns linking the two.

Mark felt that what the project needed was more structural calculations and produced an impressive truss system to act as a deck for our topsides. Weighing in at a mere 6,000 tonnes, it is one of the most graceful trusses I’ve ever had the pleasure of letting someone else design.

Clement dived into the wave calculations and provided the group with a critical wave height, which allowed some preliminary sizing to get done. It is truly a colossal structure, standing about 100m from the tip of flare to the base of the pontoon.

Much like last week, the feedback came thick and fast at the critical session as we presented to some of AMEC’s most senior engineers that actually designed the project we’re now working on. It is a fantastic experience presenting to such experienced engineers and finding out their thoughts on our work and progress. Eyebrows were raised when we made to leave with the remaining sandwiches, but we made sure they had finished marking us by then.