The 2015 LRF Distinguished Lecture in Safety & Reliability Engineering

The 2015 LRF Distinguished Lecture in Safety & Reliability Engineering

This is a past event

Breaking ice - the challenge of building structures in ice-infested waters

Off the coast of Alaska, Canada and Russia structures have been and will be built for oil and gas exploration and production, for port facilities and other purposes. There are many uncertainties in estimating the design load for such structures. For example, an artificial island built to provide a base for oil production facilities may have a lifetime of fifty years and during this period will experience a wide range of ice conditions – stationary fast ice in the winter subject to wind loading putting pressure on the structure, smaller ice floes moving with the wind in the spring break-up or multi-year sea ice or iceberg fragments driven by currents striking the structure. What are the factors that determine the design load for such a structure and how can their probability distributions be estimated?

Sea ice is a matrix of liquid brine pockets and fresh water ice. Ice shows some remarkable properties: an exceptionally low fracture toughness and high creep resistance near the melting temperature. The reasons for these unusual properties and the implications for ice loading and ship ice breaking will be explained.

The lecture will be illustrated with stunning images of the Arctic and Antarctic.

Admission free, booking required. Please book here.


Speaker BiographyDr Goodman undertook research into the mechanical properties of sea ice at the Cavendish Laboratory (the Physics Department) in Cambridge before joining BP. In his early years at BP he led a research programme to understand ice loading on offshore structures. He then worked as an offshore production manager on one of the Forties platforms, operations manager for the Magnus oil field and Head of Safety for BP. After a year at Stanford Graduate School of Business he returned to BP to work in the Chief Executive’s strategy team on a project to reconfigure the company, as planning and strategy manager for European refining and led a project for the Board to examine whether or not BP should buy a reinsurance policy for the company. Dr Goodman left BP in 1995 and became Deputy Director of the British Antarctic Survey. BAS operates two ships, five aircraft and a private airstrip in the Antarctic and employs around 150 scientists engaged in a wide range of polar research. He is now Chief Executive of The Foundation for Science and Technology, a charity set up to facilitate debate between parliament, Whitehall departments, and the business and research communities on policy issues that have an underlying science, engineering or medical element. He retains a strong interest in polar matters. He travelled to West Greenland in 2014, plans to visit Antarctica in 2016, and last year submitted evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee inquiry into UK interests in the Arctic. He has a Polar Medal for leading science expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic and an OBE for services to science. He is a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering.

Hosted by the LRF Centre for Safety & Reliability Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen. Lloyd’s Register Foundation helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.


Dr Dougal Goodman OBE FREng, Chief Executive, The Foundation for Science and Technology
King's Conference Centre

01224 273109