Subsea Engineering

Course — SUBS 6370: Computational Methods and Design Experiments

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Usually offered in the Spring Semester.


The course provides an overview of subsea systems Structural FEA, Thermal FEA, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Design of Experiments. Subsea systems simulations are inherently Multiphysics involving mechanical, thermal, fluid and their interactions. An approach capturing the underlining physics involved in each system will be presented, geared towards a systems perspective, enabled through simulations and design of experiments techniques. The materials for this course emphasize the understanding of basic sciences, engineering and numerical principles to subsea systems.

The course outcomes include an understanding of systems engineering, ability to analyze flow physics and temperature losses in deep-water production, and an ability to influence structural design for stress and thermal-fluid flows using state-of-the art prediction tools. The course focuses on modeling components and systems for subsea equipment design, and enhancing the student’s engineering solving skills when faced with specific or uncertain subsea simulation and modeling problems.

Topics Covered: 

Subsea Systems Simulation & Modeling: This part of the course introduces simulation tools and methodologies for subsystems and systems comprising subsea equipment. Simulations and best-practice techniques for pipelines, trees, manifolds, valves, and any subsea component will be highlighted from physics based approach.  Requirements for geometry simplifications, meshing requirements, post-processing, and verification/validation will be highlighted. This topic will conclude with a review of simulation steps needed to conduct a proper computer simulation with application to an open-ended engineering problem with optimization as a key objective.

Design of Experiments: Engineers must also be prepared to test a model to be sure of its validity, extend its range or define its range of applicability. Thus, experimentation is very important to all phases of engineering. This part of the course covers the use of Design of Experiments for subsea systems with particular emphasis on DOE techniques and statistical methods. In addition, a proper procedure for development of experimental validation of simulations will be introduced. Surface Response modeling will be a key component of this topic.

Simulation Software Tools: 

Use of simulation tools developed by Ansys (e.g., Mechanical and Fluent), CD-adapco (Star CCM+), Simula (Abaqus), JMP, MiniTab, and the course instructors will be used during the computer lab portions of the course and throughout the semester.

Course Grading: 

The course grade will be based on homework, project and exams.


Three in-class or out-of-class projects will be completed in this course. The projects will focus on developing either partial or complete subsea system simulation models. These simulation models will be used to gain knowledge of the simulation process, documenting findings, and then draw conclusions from the findings/predictions. Each student will help write three technical reports, working in a team, which is of archival quality for evaluation, and potentially, conference presentation (e.g., OTC).