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Professional Experience

Discovery

Named inventor on Discovery's patent

Publication no. GB2521765

Discovery is a novel subsea pipe scanner that is capable of giving a high resolution image of the structure and contents of a pipe from the outside, without requiring a stop in the flow and without requiring any removal of pipe coatings. It can be used at depths of over 3,000m (1,000m for Generation 1), and is designed for both pipe integrity (checking for damage of pipe walls) and flow assurance (checking for blockages). It has a very high resolution for identification of wall damage, and can detect gas pressure changes. It can easily cope with complex layouts such as pipe-in-pipe. We worked closely with two major oil company clients for the development of the two generations of Discovery. Sales page, Video, Video, Video.

Hyperion

Hyperion is a family of level and density gauges for the oil and gas industry, used to measure the contents of pipes and vessels, usually in harsh and hazardous environments.

Veritas

Governments around the world chemically tag their fuels to prevent (amongst other things) illicit sales of subsidised fuel at standard prices. In the UK, the best known example of this is 'Red Diesel' - agricultural fuel, subsidiseed by the government, and only to be used in farm equipment. It's coloured red to make it easy to recognise - but the dye is easy to remove, and much cheap 'Red Diesel' is used as standard diesel.

Tracerco produces fuel markers which are nearly impossible to remove, to duplicate, or to detect. Traditionally a sample would need to be sent to a lab for complex analysis. Previous attempts to make a portable device were large, cumbersome, and difficult to use.

Veritas is a small, portable device that can quickly detect the presence of various different chemical tags at minute quantities, and can detect even small amounts of adulteration (mixing with unmarked fuels).

SMD - ROVs

I was employed by SMD to work on a novel, modular, flexible control system that would be capable of running a number of different asset types using standard methods and protocols. The system is designed to allow for increasing levels of autonomy, and users can access remotely as necessary for fine grained control. Control intelligence was moved from a single controller on the surface accessing the asset remotely to a more distributed intelligence model, where individual subsystems are able to control low level aspects of themselves. The system capability allows a step change from the existing technology, which was based on a PLC/SCADA system.

As part of this project I helped to analyse a number of use cases and developed a range of draft specifications. I created various demonstration user interface concepts, including one designed to be used on a big screen, one to be used on a handheld tablet, and one to be used with a 3D stereoscopic headset.

Team Tao - XPrize

The $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE was a global competition challenging teams to advance ocean technologies for rapid, unmanned and high-resolution ocean exploration and discovery.

XPrize creates international challenges to incentivise innovation. Teams were tasked with mapping the seafloor at up to a 4km depth with no human intervention. All equipment had to fit within a 40ft container.

Team Tao was the only British finalist - one of only four teams to make it to the competition area in Kalamata, Greece, for the finals, out of 32 original entrants from 25 countries.

While most teams looked at conventional methods for seabed exploration, the Team Tao system has a novel method of pinpoint scanning using a swarm of units which greatly increases speed and flexibility.

Going forward, our design is well placed for the future commercial prospects of subsea exploration and mapping - scanning the 95% of our ocean which currently is entirely unexplored.

I led the software team for this project - not only writing much of the software for the autonomous Bathypelagic Excursion Modules (BEMs), which work together to scan the seabed, but also running the interview process for additional software engineers, chairing the interview panel, and managing software contractors - designing the software architecture and splitting it into work packets, along with requirements specs, and lists of tasks with priorities and deadlines.

This project had a lot of media attention, from broadcasters like the BBC, and from various magazines such as ROV Planet