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Flow Assurance – Online short course

The Flow Assurance course is a compulsory module on two of our MScs in Engineering: the MSc in Subsea Engineering and the MSc Oil and Gas Engineering. However, the course itself, because of the fundamentals upon which it is based, is really relevant for people across a wide variety of industries. We are covering some very strong engineering fundamentals and fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer and phase behaviour, and those fundamentals are applicable across a whole host of industries in a whole host of applications. Skills which you’ll develop in doing the Flow Assurance course range from Fluid Mechanics where you’ll develop skills in understanding multiphase flow and elements of single-phase flow. Thermodynamics and phase behaviour, in terms of how temperature and pressure affect whether fluid is in the gas state, vapour state, liquid state, or a mixture of both. And heat transfer: the fundamentals of which we will look at in this course will allow you to develop from first principles a model for your pot boiling pasta at home. We start off looking at a bit of single phase fluid flow and then we get into multiphase fluid flow. So looking at different flow regimes, in terms of the composition of fluids, in terms of how much vapour and how much liquid, and how that relationship has an impact on the fluid flow patterns. In the thermodynamics and phase behaviour part of the course we look at how we determine whether there is gas or vapour in the flow: so we look at the effect of temperature and pressure on phase as a function of composition. And then within the heat transfer element of the course we look at the underlying mechanisms of how heat is transferred from one medium to another, so we get into looking at conduction, we get into looking at natural convection and forced convection. If we consider then a pipeline which is flowing, subsea, and let’s say that pipelines giving pressure, and say it’s flowing at 70 degrees Celsius. Seabed temperature may be 4 degrees, so we have to be able to understand and analyse how that pipeline loses heat. So the fundamental mechanisms of heat transfer which allow heat to be transferred from the fluid in the pipe to the sea. In terms of the Flow Assurance course, the course is actually taught by a research leader in fluid mechanics, and also at the moment it’s being taught by myself and I lead the Chemical Engineering programmes in the university. So in terms of the fundamentals which you’re learning, the expertise is here in order to support that. The course is also supported by local industry, so obviously the course is compulsory for our MScs in Subsea Engineering and Oil and Gas Engineering, and we do have input from industry professionals from those industries to the course. So it really does make it quite broad, quite varied, and really great fun.

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