PhD position on-line risk modelling

Position available at NTNU, Marine Technology Dept (see

Hazards related to marine systems (ballast, anchoring, dynamic positioning – DP) have had insufficient focus in Norwegian and international offshore petroleum industry for a long time. Norwegian petroleum activities have been spared such serious accidents after the Kielland accident in 1980, but there were two serious incidents with marine systems on the Norwegian shelf in 2012 with major hazard potential. There have been several serious accidents worldwide, even in recent years.

The primary area of research is on-line risk modeling for DP systems. DP systems are used on mobile installations, diving vessels, shuttle tankers and other vessels. Errors in DP systems can cause serious accidents and injuries. In spite of every effort made to reduce the occurrence of errors, such errors still have a relatively high frequency. On-line risk modeling can help reduce the risk of serious accidents, by providing operational personnel with vastly improved decision support, in connection with manual intervention, when the technical system fails or gives erroneous response to external influences.

The petroleum industry has in recent years devoted considerable attention to barriers against major accidents and aiming to model risks, inter alia using barriers. This is best developed for risk associated with fire and explosion on the installations, but so far there is little development of such risk modelling for marine systems. Barrier modelling will be an important secondary research topic for the PhD position.

Operational aspects are of vital importance for the risk control of marine systems, it is therefore essential that the research focuses on the interaction between the technical components (including reference systems), control systems and operators, also considering if the degree of automation can be modified to give operators better preconditions for safe operation (“human factors”).

Supervisor: Jan EriK Vinnem, NTNU

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