Sunbury-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Sunbury-on-Thames, United Kingdom

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Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.73M | Year: 2011

National infrastructure (NI) systems (energy, transport, water, waste and ICT) in the UK and in advanced economies globally face serious challenges. The 2009 Council for Science and Technology (CST) report on NI in the UK identified significant vulnerabilities, capacity limitations and a number of NI components nearing the end of their useful life. It also highlighted serious fragmentation in the arrangements for infrastructure provision in the UK. There is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from infrastructure, to respond to future demographic, social and lifestyle changes and to build resilience to intensifying impacts of climate change. If this process of transforming NI is to take place efficiently, whilst also minimising the associated risks, it will need to be underpinned by a long-term, cross-sectoral approach to understanding NI performance under a range of possible futures. The systems of systems analysis that must form the basis for such a strategic approach does not yet exist - this inter-disciplinary research programme will provide it.The aim of the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium is to develop and demonstrate a new generation of system simulation models and tools to inform analysis, planning and design of NI. The research will deal with energy, transport, water, waste and ICT systems at a national scale, developing new methods for analysing their performance, risks and interdependencies. It will provide a virtual environment in which we will test strategies for long term investment in NI and understand how alternative strategies perform with respect to policy constraints such as reliability and security of supply, cost, carbon emissions, and adaptability to demographic and climate change.The research programme is structured around four major challenges:1. How can infrastructure capacity and demand be balanced in an uncertain future? We will develop methods for modelling capacity, demand and interdependence in NI systems in a compatible way under a wide range of technological, socio-economic and climate futures. We will thereby provide the tools needed to identify robust strategies for sustainably balancing capacity and demand.2. What are the risks of infrastructure failure and how can we adapt NI to make it more resilient?We will analyse the risks of interdependent infrastructure failure by establishing network models of NI and analysing the consequences of failure for people and the economy. Information on key vulnerabilities and risks will be used to identify ways of adapting infrastructure systems to reduce risks in future.3. How do infrastructure systems evolve and interact with society and the economy? Starting with idealised simulations and working up to the national scale, we will develop new models of how infrastructure, society and the economy evolve in the long term. We will use the simulation models to demonstrate alternative long term futures for infrastructure provision and how they might be reached.4. What should the UKs strategy be for integrated provision of NI in the long term? Working with a remarkable group of project partners in government and industry, we will use our new methods to develop and test alternative strategies for Britains NI, building an evidence-based case for a transition to sustainability. We will analyse the governance arrangements necessary to ensure that this transition is realisable in practice.A Programme Grant provides the opportunity to work flexibly with key partners in government and industry to address research challenges of national importance in a sustained way over five years. Our ambition is that through development of a new generation of tools, in concert with our government and industry partners, we will enable a revolution in the strategic analysis of NI provision in the UK, whilst at the same time becoming an international landmark programme recognised for novelty, research excellence and impact.

Morrison I.,Ninewells Hospital | Morrison I.,Royal Infirmary | Flower D.,BP International Ltd | Hurley J.,University of Melbourne | MacFadyen R.J.,University of Melbourne
Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh | Year: 2013

The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) limits excessive night shifts and restricts the working week to no more than 48 hours. The underlying rationale is to minimise the health risks to all workers. Here we debate the impact of night rotas for doctors-in-training on patient safety and medical education; when the EWTD was agreed these topics may not have been considered, either systematically or objectively. The impacts of diurnal rhythms on human functions affect all night workers, but the nature of rostered medical and surgical work has little precedent in other industries or even in the contracts of other healthcare staff. For example, rostered night duties need to be distinguished from permanent night shift work. On-call medical night work from training doctors is generally required for short periods and usually involves fewer patients. It is an important time in training, where clinical responsibility and decision-making can be matured in a supervised setting. To comply with the EWTD most hospitals have adopted rota patterns that aim to cover the clinical needs, while ensuring no doctor works for more than 48 hours in an average working week. To monitor this process longterm studies are necessary to evaluate effects on a doctor's health and on patient care generally. The EWTD has also led to a loss of continuity of patient care; does this really matter? © 2013 Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 4.31M | Year: 2009

The MULTIMOD Training Network will have duration of 48 months and will bring together 8 academic research groups with 5 industrial partners from 8 European countries to undertake innovative research and scientific research training in Multi-Scale Computational Modeling of Chemical and Biochemical Systems. The network will provide unique cross- and multi-disciplinary training opportunities for 19 ESRs (each for 3 years) with background in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, biology and applied mathematics. The MULTIMOD training network will address the objectives of a) equipping young researchers at the start of their careers with the knowledge and skills required for Europes knowledge-based economy and society and b) overcoming the fragmentation that exists across the European chemical/biochemical research sector. MULTIMOD will intend to raise the efficiency of the chemical/biochemical research sector and improve Europes attractiveness for researchers by (a) concentrating on advances in process modeling and simulation and (b) offering decisive training and transfer of knowledge opportunities. The operation and scope of the training network will be in accordance with the objective identified in the SusChem report Vision for 2025 and Beyond as the urgent need to train the next generation of individuals able to work across the boundaries of chemistry, biology, chemical and biochemical engineering.

Gray T.,Gray Geophysical Ltd | Puzrin A.,ETH Zurich | Hill A.,BP International Ltd
Proceedings of the Annual Offshore Technology Conference | Year: 2015

Geophysical observations of palaeolandslides in offshore settings include long and relatively thin failures that occur on very mild slopes. Back analysis of such failures using the limiting equilibrium approach and measured geotechnical soil properties is typically used to inform the likely causes of past failures. An assessment can then be made of the present day significance of causal factors (e.g. the presence of excess pore water pressure), with the limiting equilibrium approach used to assess factors of safety for present-day slopes and predict the potential size of any future failures. However, for long, thin slides, use of the limiting equilibrium approach can lead to the conclusion that either a significantly large seismic trigger or other, abnormal geological condition was required to initiate failure. A result has been the focusing of academic research into other failure causes and conditioning factors. Further, the stability of the present day seabed for offshore developments can be overestimated, given the rarity of large seismic events in many areas and geotechnical measurements that not always show abnormal soil conditions. The shear band propagation approach offers an alternative view, where an initial small failure can grow into a larger failure at the point of initiation. A result is that an explanation of the conditions leading to failure can be attributed to many submarine landslides. Further, accounting for the potential propagation of a shear band in the future prediction of submarine landslides can result in greater predicted failure sizes and lower factors of safety than using limiting equilibrium only. The application of the shear band propagation approach to back analyse a palaeolandslide in the ACG Field, Caspian Sea, is used to demonstrate the methodology and compare with results using the limiting equilibrium approach. Results show that the shear band propagation approach successfully predicts observed failure geometries and suggests triggering conditions from a lower magnitude seismic event compared to that predicted using limiting equilibrium. The future application of shear band propagation theory to submarine landslide analysis is also discussed. Copyright © (2015) by the Offshore Technology Conference All rights reserved.

Monnington S.,BP International Ltd | Wilkinson J.,Keil Center
Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium Series | Year: 2016

Investigation can be a difficult process and activity for many people, whether they are investigation leaders, regular or occasional investigation team members or even those charged with implementing the subsequent recommendations. Opportunities for most people are limited either by the availability of incidents or by the time and resource made available to devote to them (and few companies have permanent investigation teams). So gaining experience, and maintaining and improving investigation skills and knowledge is a challenge. Investigation methods used by companies vary widely too and are often changed for perceived benefits such as better and more detailed root cause identification or apparent improved validity and reliability. Investigation training is often classroom based and not necessarily consolidated by structured on-the-job training or other effective consolidation. Furthermore the extent to which human and organisational factors (HOF) is included in training and in methods is also very variable e.g. many methods make claims for such inclusion but this is not supported by research or experience. In practice even the best methods - with HOF fully integrated, and they are very few - are very reliant on the investigators' own HOF understanding and experience, and of course effective implementation of related recommendations is too. While organisations may have an appetite to investigate lower level incidents and precursors to major incidents there may be barriers such as their internal classification system which may only permit a site to deploy very basic capability to investigate and for a very short time. The outcomes then usually lack depth and rigour and may simply result in more and longer procedures, re-training, reluctance to improve design or other measures higher up the hierarchy of control, and very little HOF analysis. Investigators can only find what they look for or are permitted and prepared to look for. The other area of difficulty for sites is that investigation depth means contributions from others can play a greater role. Potential recommendations / actions can be challenged and played down during review and discussions. Lead investigators may feel they cannot push findings if e.g. they may be perceived as pointing to site leadership. This paper offers the views of two very experienced ex-regulatory investigators rooted in a largely non-methodological approach. They introduce a project which changed BP's methods and approach significantly, and this is illustrated by a case study for one incident. Experience from a wide range of industries and other regulators is also offered with a view to providing pragmatic advice and guidance to industry investigators. Learnings and experience for investigators are offered on investigation method selection, training and practice. Some of the pitfalls of the more theory-driven methods are discussed. Wider experience on improving organisational learning from incidents and more widely are also offered. © 2016 IChemE.

Welling O.,University of Cambridge | Collings N.,University of Cambridge | Williams J.,BP International Ltd. | Moss J.,BP International Ltd.
SAE Technical Papers | Year: 2014

One of the limits on the maximum fuel efficiency benefit to be gained from turbocharged, downsized gasoline engines is the occurrence of pre-ignitions at low engine speed. These pre-ignitions may lead to high pressures and extreme knock (megaknock or superknock) which can cause severe engine damage. Though the mechanism leading to megaknock is not completely resolved, pre-ignitions are thought to arise from local autoignition of areas in the cylinder which are rich in low ignition delay "contaminants" such as engine oil and/or heavy ends of gasoline. These contaminants are introduced to the combustion chamber at various points in the engine cycle (e.g. entering from the top land crevice during blow-down or washed from the cylinder walls during DI wall impingement). This paper presents results from tests in which model "contaminants", consisting of engine lubricant base stocks, base stocks mixed with fuel and base stocks mixed with one or more additives were injected directly into a test engine to determine their propensity to ignite. The ignition tendency was found to be lower for less reactive base stocks and for base stocks mixed with certain additives. Further, when small amounts of fuel were mixed with relatively non-ignitive lubricant base stocks the ignition tendency was found to increase significantly. These results may guide development of new lubricants which could be used to reduce megaknock in downsized engines. Copyright © 2014 SAE International.

Dingle S.F.,Brunel University | Cairns A.,Brunel University | Zhao H.,Brunel University | Williams J.,BP International Ltd. | And 2 more authors.
SAE Technical Papers | Year: 2014

This work was concerned with study of lubricant introduced directly into the combustion chamber and its effect on pre-ignition and combustion in an optically accessed single-cylinder spark ignition engine. The research engine had been designed to incorporate full bore overhead optical access capable of withstanding peak in-cylinder pressures of up to 150bar. An experiment was designed where a fully formulated synthetic lubricant was deliberately introduced through a specially modified direct fuel injector to target the exhaust area of the bore. Optical imaging was performed via natural light emission, with the events recorded at 6000 frames per second. Two port injected fuels were evaluated including a baseline commercial grade gasoline and low octane gasoline/n-heptane blend. The images revealed the location of deflagration sites consistently initiating from the lubricant itself. With the high octane fuel (and the limited load adopted for safe optical work) lubricant induced pre-ignition was observed, but without knock. This pre-ignition was repeatedly the result of the lubricant deliberately introduced earlier on in the same cycle. With the lower octane fuel, the previously well reported "on-off" knocking nature of pre-ignited knocking combustion was observed during a sequence of cycles following a single injection of lubricant. In addition it was sometimes apparent that cycles with knock would result in oil subsequently being ejected from the piston top land area during the power stroke. Copyright © 2014 SAE International.

Leach B.,BP International Ltd. | Pearson R.,BP International Ltd.
SAE Technical Papers | Year: 2014

Rising fuel prices and changes to CO2 and fuel economy legislation have prompted an interest in the electrification of vehicles since this can significantly improve vehicle tailpipe CO2 emissions over homologation test cycles. To this end plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and range extended electric vehicles (REEVs) have been introduced to the market. The operation of the engines in these vehicles differs from conventional vehicles in several key ways. This study was conducted to better understand how the engine design and control strategy of these vehicles affects the temperature and operating regimes experienced by engine crankcase lubricants. A Toyota Prius Plug-in PHEV and GM Volt REEV were tested on a chassis dynamometer over several legislated and pseudo 'real world' drive cycles to determine the operating strategy and behaviour of the powertrain. The lubricant and coolant temperatures were monitored, together with other key control parameters. Tests were completed with both hot and cold engine starts at 25°C and -7°C test cell temperatures in charge-depleting and charge-sustaining operating modes. The key findings for both vehicles were: The vehicles operate primarily as battery electric vehicles (BEVs) until their range is exhausted - they then switch to HEV operation where the internal combustion engine and the electric traction motor, together or independently provide the propulsive effort.The engines stop and start regularly when operating at low load conditions in charge-sustaining mode.The engines do not generally run below 1250 rev/min or above 3500 rev/min.The lubricant temperature can be significantly lower than a conventional vehicle but is strongly dependant on drive cycle and vehicle design.A complex warm-up strategy protects the engine from high load and speed operation from cold while heating the after treatment devices efficiently. Copyright © 2014 BP International Ltd.

BP INTERNATIONAL Ltd and British Petroleum | Date: 2012-05-14

A device for relieving pressure in a subsea component comprises a housing including an inner cavity, an open end in fluid communication with the inner cavity, and a through bore extending from the inner cavity to an outer surface of the housing. In addition, the device comprises a connector coupled to the open end. The connector is configured to releasably engage a mating connector coupled to the subsea component. Further, the device comprises a burst disc assembly mounted to the housing within the through bore. The burst disc assembly is configured to rupture at a predetermined differential pressure between the inner cavity and the environment outside the housing.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-24-2016 | Award Amount: 4.99M | Year: 2016

Membrane separation processes can be applied to many capture processes from Pre-Combustion ( CO2-H2 / CO2-CH4 separation) to Post-Combustion (CO2-N2) and Oxyfuel (O2-N2) and are generally endowed with high flexibility and potentially low operative costs with respect to other capture methods. However the current materials are still lacking of separation performance and durability suitable for an efficient and economically feasible exploitation of such technology. The Project NANOMEMC2 aims in overcoming the current limitation focusing on the development of innovative CO2 selective membranes with high flux and selectivity suitable for application to both Pre and Post-combustion Capture processes. To that aim nanocomposite or mixed matrix membranes will be considered with particular focus on facilitated transport mechanisms promoted by carrier attached to the polymer or the filler. Graphene based nanosheets and cellulose nanofibres will be studied in detail considering their possible modification to improve polymer compatibility and affinity with CO2. A new generation of Facilitated Transport Mixed Matrix ( FTMM) membranes for CCS applications will be developed with increased CO2 flux and selectivity beyond the current target for industrial deployment of carbon capture membrane technologies

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