The UK offshore oil and gas industry benefits our lives in many ways. Its products underpin modern society, supplying energy to power industry and heat homes, fuel for transport to carry goods and people all over the world and the raw materials used to produce many everyday items. Through its extensive supply chain, it employs hundreds of thousands of people and makes a major contribution to the UK economy in terms of tax revenues, technology and exports.
Flow control is a major rapidly evolving field of fluid dynamics deeply enshrined at the heart of the industry. There appears to be a growing interest in Flow control engineering in the UK and rightly so too. With booming technological expansion, and UK based component brands, there is a steady increase in the demand for skilled workers in the industry. It is an industry that affects lives – personal and business.
Some areas of the industry where expertise in the production and maintenance of quality products and appliances in Flow Control are –
Nuclear Power – This involves the design and manufacture of nuclear products and services, designed for impeccable performance. These products include critical isolation, pumps and safety valves on the nuclear island to general isolation and control applications for balance of plant. Services rendered include provision design of maintenance strategies, station outages, power uprate and life extension projects.
Conventional power – This is the use of coal and natural gas facilities for power generation. With population growth and rapid economic development, fossil fuels remain the dominant source of power globally today. The delivery of flow control and whole plant solutions for power stations including highly engineered valves and small steam turbines has helped to cater for the ever-increasing pressure and temperature demands within the industry.
Hydro Power – This aspect of flow control provides a range of services to support rotating equipment and flow control assets in hydro (water) electric power generation. Engineers provide expertise in all aspects of a plants life cycle from installation to operation & maintenance to complete station refurbishment.
Aerospace engineering – is the primary field of engineering concerned with the development of aircraft and spacecraft. It has two major and overlapping branches: Aeronautical engineering and Astronautical Engineering. Avionics engineering is similar, but deals with the electronics side of aerospace engineering.
Chemical and fertilisers – Engineers in this aspect embrace the challenges of designing and servicing equipment for chemical and fertiliser applications. They develop a range of products and support solutions for diverse chemical processes, including extreme temperatures and pressure, and corrosive and erosive operations. They also refurbish and repair almost any valve or rotational equipment used in the process. Services for the chemical and fertilizer markets cover: valves, pumps, fans & blowers, compressors and heat exchangers.
Water and wastewater – Equipment fulfils a critical function globally in effective recycling and processing of wastewater into potable water. Engineers use their expertise and experience with in designing specialty pump and related pumping equipment, which includes recessed impeller pumps, screw centrifugal pumps,spring and pilot operated valves, self-priming pumps, chopper pumps, and a cyclone and classifier dewatering separator system.
Marine engineering – Engineering provides a broad range of multi-disciplinary engineering and technical services related to naval equipment, including marine systems, combat and control systems, and information and communication systems. Engineers carry out independent test and evaluation, and verification and validation across all engineering disciplines related to materials, equipment and complex systems for surface ships and submarines. Marine systems engineering and naval architecture related to mechanical and electrical systems, life safety, and pollution abatement.
With many universities offering courses in Flow control engineering, some even giving scholarships, there is no better time than to join the industry. The forecasts for the future of the industry show that it will forever remain relevant. That is only normal, for as mentioned earlier, it is relevant to human life.