July 2, 2020
The OFFshore Hub welcomes the announcement of the TIDE Research Hub, a new federally funded research initiative which will integrate data science techniques with engineering to transform Australia’s offshore energy industry.
The Transforming energy Infrastructure through Digital Engineering (TIDE) Research Hub has been awarded $5 million through the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Program, which will be supplemented by an additional $20 million in cash, in-kind contributions and co-investment from industry partners, UWA, the University of Wollongong (UOW) and a number of leading international universities.
Deputy Director Nicole Jones (left) recovering oceanographic equipment from the Northwest Shelf in 2019
The TIDE Research Hub will launch in 2021 and will work over the next 5 years to unite insights from experimental and industry-generated data in order to improve the design and management of offshore energy infrastructure, a critical component of this nationally important industry.
“Offshore energy adds over $55 billion gross value to the economy annually and directly employs 100,000 people” explained TIDE Director Professor Phil Watson (UWA). “The new TIDE Research Hub will provide enduring benefits to all Australians.”
The new Research Hub leverages the success of UWA’s current Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities (OFFshore Hub), and will bring together a team of leading Australian researchers alongside international and industry partners.
Hosted at the UWA Oceans Graduate School, a world-leader in oceans engineering, the TIDE Research Hub will draw experts from the core disciplines of oceanography, hydrodynamics, geotechnics and data science. The chief investigators comprise 17 researchers from UWA and three from the National Institute for Applied Statistics Research Australia at the University of Wollongong (UOW).
“This is a wonderful opportunity to bring two leading data science teams together, one at UWA and the other at UOW, to work on a problem of such national importance” said Chief Investigator Dr Andrew Zammit-Mangion (UOW). “Data science is revolutionising the energy sector. This Hub will be the national centre for transforming the way we use data for decision making in offshore engineering through the fusion of domain expertise and statistical inference.”
The Australian team will be joined by international collaborators from the University of Texas, the University of Oxford, the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine Singapore, the University of Southampton, HR Wallingford, Lancaster University and the Alan Turing Institute.
These researchers will work with an additional 17 investigators from industry partners, including three of Australia’s largest LNG producers – Woodside, Shell and INPEX – as well as Lloyd’s Register Group, Bureau Veritas, Fugro and Wood. Also contributing to TIDE are the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
Through this collaboration, the TIDE Research Hub will allow unprecedented access to industry field data as well as the collection of new observations, allowing deeper understanding of the real offshore environment.
“The TIDE Research Hub represents a tremendous opportunity to engage with key industry partners and world leading experts on applied research problems that can have genuine impact” said co-Deputy Director Associate Professor Scott Draper (UWA). “It will provide access to novel, high quality field data which will enable fundamental insights into real offshore environments.”
“It is this unique combination of applied and fundamental research opportunities that I believe will allow the TIDE Research Hub to transform offshore engineering. This remarkable group of people will combine their knowledge and skills to enable agile decision-making, improve safety, efficiency and long-term reliability, and lower the environmental risk for offshore energy infrastructure” said co-Deputy Director Associate Professor Nicole Jones (UWA).
This federal funding is a recognition of the quality of ocean engineering research at UWA as well as an opportunity to create further research impact through far-reaching collaboration.
“Marine/Ocean Engineering researchers at UWA are recognised as world-leaders based on their academic outputs – UWA is ranked 7th in the world by ARWU for this subject area. Our researchers also enjoy their productive collaborations with a wide range of industry organisations and experts; together developing innovations which improve processes, reduce costs and ensure reliable supplies of the highest safety to workers and the environment. UWA is proud to host the ARC TIDE Research Hub for the benefit of all stakeholders” said the UWA Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Tim Colmer.
As the Australian energy industry shifts to long-term operations, the TIDE Research Hub will be well placed to lead transformational research. TIDE will focus on lowering the cost of future production in order to assist Australian companies to cost-effectively maximise LNG export, safely manage assets while minimising environmental risk.
The skills and strategies developed by the TIDE Research Hub for the offshore energy industry will be readily transferable to other offshore industries, such as renewable energy and aquaculture.
TIDE Research Hub Director Prof Phil Watson (right) with Deputy-Directors A/ Prof Scott Draper (left) and A/ Prof Nicole Jones (centre) at the UWA Coastal and Offshore Engineering Laboratory