A newly established partnership between TWI, the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and British oil and gas company BG Group - through its affiliate in Brazil - will allow nine Brazilian students to come to TWI to conduct research for their PhD degrees.
Four students are currently scheduled to start their PhDs at TWI in January 2015. Two will study the use of techniques for inspecting the weld overlay transition area in corrosion-resistant-alloy-lined pipes; one will study girth welds in sour environment; and one will study the performance of cathodic protection of thermal sprayed aluminium coatings at elevated temperatures. Two other PhD students will be selected to study corrosion fatigue of armour wires in flexible pipes, starting later in 2015.
Conducting research at TWI is an unique opportunity for this group of PhD students, who will gain international experience and develop practical skills in a technologically challenging industrial environment, by working with - and learning from - TWI's world-class experts. Time spent at the organisation will also allow them to develop a valuable industrial network for the future.
This arrangement underpins TWI's partnership with BG Group, which will facilitate future R&D work with them. Upon the conclusion of the programme, students are expected to return to Brazil and share their knowledge and experience across the local academic environment, contributing to the work being done at the Physical Metallurgy Laboratory (LAMEF) in UFRGS.
The partnership will also benefit BG Group by adding strategic technical competence to the work conducted at the company's Global Technology Centre, an innovation hub currently under construction in Rio de Janeiro. Richard Moore, BG Group's Chief Technology Officer, says: 'We expect the expertise developed through this partnership to contribute on a critical theme for our operations in Brazil, and help us improve our understanding of the behaviour of current and future riser systems in ultra-deepwater environments.'
The initiative will be funded as part of BG Brasil's commitment to the Science without Borders programme, a mechanism from the country's federal government to promote knowhow through funding of scholarships for nationals abroad. BG Brasil will provide financial support for the nine students to complete their PhD research at TWI and UFRGS, over the next five-and-a-half years.
The students will have their PhDs awarded by LAMEF in UFRGS, which is noted for its research activities in materials science. The overarching theme of the students' research will be the fatigue and corrosion of riser systems - areas of investigation that should help ensure the safety and integrity of these structures, whilst reducing costs.
The research addresses some of BG Group's technical challenges in Brazil, whose local activities include the installation - along with its partners - of hundreds of risers in one of the most challenging ultra-deepwater environments in the industry today: the giant pre-salt fields in the Santos Basin.
For additional information about this partnership, please contact us.