UFRJ Wins International Student Offshore Design Competition

Monday, October 28, 2002

A team from the Naval and Ocean Engineering Department at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) won the first International Student Offshore Design Competition sponsored by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) and the Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) with their entry "Preliminary Design of the 'Maracanã' FPSO Unit."

The entry was one of eight projects submitted by students from universities around the world. The UFRJ team was honored with a cash prize of $1,500 and the opportunity to present the Maracanã floating production/storage and offloading unit (FPSO) to industry at the SNAME Annual Meeting in Boston on September 25-28.

"We created this competition to promote the challenging and exciting opportunities in the offshore industry," said John Filson, Design Competition Coordinator. "Plus it offered the chance to increase awareness of good engineering talent as well as develop closer relationships with industry professionals and academia." Filson says this first year was successful in terms of the participation level and quality of entries.

Alexandre Alho, Assistant Professor, UFRJ and Advisor to the six person award-winning design team, said, "This gave them real-world experience and it was not only good from a technical engineering standpoint but also from a business perspective as I worked side-by-side with my students as fellow professionals."

According to Alho, to simulate an actual commercial project, the team was divided into six main categories: structure, stability, marine engineering, sea keeping and costs with a team leader or project manager. "The biggest challenge for us was this was not a conversion of an existing ship but an FPSO design from the beginning," said João Alberto Rangel de Almeida, Team Leader. "We worked with a software program to extrapolate design dimensions and optimize the weight and cost of the structure." The students used research and data from Petrobras to base their design model on a site- specific structure located offshore Brazil in the Campos Basin.

Three of the design team students worked as interns for the independent Brazilian offshore and ship design company Projemar during the competition. "Our offices became the 'unofficial headquarters' for the team," says Ricardo Portello, Senior Engineer, Projemar. "They were able to meet here, ask advice from our staff, and use our computer programs while working on their project. It was a great experience for both the students and our staff of professionals."

The award winning "Maracanã" FPSO features a symmetrical ship form with 30m depth, 48m width, 270m length and a load capacity of 1.5 million barrels. The full entry can be viewed at the International Student Offshore Design Competition (ISODC) website at http://www.isodc.org.

The UFRJ team members are: Rodrigo Klim Gomes, Eleandro Meira de Oliveira, João Alberto Rangel de Almeida, Antonio Goncalves de Vasconcelos Neto, Maiza Pimenta Goular and Cassiano Rodrigues Neves.

The corporate sponsors for the competition were ABS (American Bureau of Shipping), Conoco and Projemar. Companies serving as mentors to the student design teams were: Alan C. McClure Associates, Inc., CSO Aker Engineering, BMT Designers & Planners, Transocean Sedco Forex, Exxon Mobil Development, Wärtsila, ABS, Exmar, Lloyd's Register, Conoco, Bluewater, Oceaneering, Chiles Offshore Inc. and Zentech Incorporated. The official publication of the ISODC is Maritime Reporter and Engineering News, sister publication to MarineNews.

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