Mallorca by Land, Air and Sea

UK & Australia. Acclaimed Metocean crourse comes to Perth

Friday, 13 January 2012

The effects of meteorology and oceanography (metocean) have a major impact on design and operations in all offshore industries. If users of metocean information are not aware of the implications that the weather, waves, currents and water levels can have on their operations or design work, then things can go wrong with serious health and safety and economic consequences.

It is with these consequences in mind that the Metocean Awareness Course has been developed by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) working with the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT). It is aimed at those who need to have a greater understanding of metocean conditions worldwide, and how they might impact the effectiveness of their work, coupled with the ability to engage internal and external stakeholders about metocean matters. Held to acclaim, in London, UK; Houston, USA; Kuala Lumpur, the course is now to be held, for the first time, in Perth, Western Australia from Wednesday 15 – Friday 17 February 2012.

Designed for Project Managers and Engineers in the offshore oil and gas and marine renewables industries who are involved in operations or design, the course is as relevant to new entrants to the industry as to those with many years’ experience. During three days at the Hotel Ibis Perth delegates will be able to interact with expert speakers and other delegates from various backgrounds who use, or provide, metocean data; and network with other delegates.

The course format includes a mixture of short presentations by expert speakers in the field, and interactive workshop sessions including a group case study exercise. Topics covered over the three days include offshore industry requirements for metocean criteria and statistics - the application; metocean data acquisition; data trends/climate variability; metocean parameters and processes; metocean conditions around the world; weather and ocean forecasting; developing metocean operational statistics; developing metocean design criteria; and metocean data and structural integrity monitoring.

Impressive speakers

All iterations of the Metocean Awareness Course have three key components in common – the topics covered; the comprehensive course work manual received by all delegates; and, above all, impressive speakers and course leaders – some regional experts, and others who work internationally. The Perth Metocean Awareness Course is no exception to the rule, as details of the nine course speakers attest.

• Dr Chris Graham is the Course Leader. He is a Metocean Engineering Consultant recently retired from Shell, who has 40 years’ experience in the offshore business and has worked in various metocean capacities around the world from the Arctic to the Tropics. His experience ranges from towing icebergs, to developing metocean data collection systems, and deriving metocean criteria. Most recently he has developed and presented online and face-to-face bespoke metocean courses. Chris is both a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Scientist.

• Steve Buchan is General Manager of RPS MetOcean Pty Ltd, a physical oceanographic consultancy which initiated in Perth in 1974. He joined in January 1979, and (probably uniquely) has been involved in the development of operational and/or design metocean criteria for every operational Offshore Oil & Gas facility (and related coastal facilities) on the NW Shelf and in the Timor Sea. He is a Member of The Institution of Engineers Australia and of the Society for Underwater Technology. He has over 30 years’ of experience in Physical Oceanography, and in Coastal and Ocean Engineering.

• Jan Flynn is a senior metocean engineer with Shell Development Australia Pty Ltd. She graduated from Southampton University with an MSc in Oceanography in 1987 since when she has worked in applied oceanography, primarily for the oil and gas, and water industries. She has undertaken studies in a wide variety of ocean environments in Europe, Middle East, Africa and SE Asia, including extensive field measurements, data analysis and interpretation. She is presently supporting the development of the world’s first Floating LNG processing plant, to be installed off the coast of Western Australia.

• Ron Hille has been working for the Bureau of Meteorology since 1984, and spent the last 21 years working in the Commercial Weather Services (CWS) section of the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia. CWS specialise in providing detailed tailored weather services to the Oil & Gas Industry operating in Australia and offshore waters (NW Shelf, Timor Sea, Bass Strait and Southern Ocean). He has worked for many years as the marketing manager for CWS and is currently under contract as a senior meteorologist with the CWS team. He has experience working on offshore drilling rigs/drilling ships/barges and platforms during weather sensitive operations, and has made numerous visits to offshore facilities providing pre cyclone season briefings. In more recent years he has been one of the main facilitators in weather training seminars and workshops provided by CWS for the Oil & Gas Industry.

• Tom Johnson is President of BMT Scientific Marine Services. He has worked on over 45 permanent monitoring systems in the Gulf of Mexico including the Holstein spar, the Independence Hub semi-submersible and the Neptune mini-Tension Leg Platform. A large proportion of these systems include real time wind, wave and current measurements for operational decision support as well as instrumentation for monitoring of structural response and integrity.

• Jason McConochie is Metocean Team Leader and Principal Metocean Engineer in Woodside. He holds a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from James Cook University, where he worked as a researcher on the measurement and numerical modelling of tropical cyclones and on developing a methodology for estimating wave heights at very low probabilities (1 in 100,000 years). For this, Jason and his colleagues were awarded the Institution of Engineers Kevin Stark Memorial Award in 2002. Since joining Woodside in 2003, Jason has developed new databases of tropical cyclone winds and waves across the North West Australian region that are now used for setting extreme design loading on all of Woodside’s offshore structures. This work included the “Ten-to-the-Minus Four Waves Study” which is now regarded as world’s best practice in tropical cyclone wave climatology.
• Professor Ralph Rayner has worked in metocean data collection and modelling for over 30 years. He is currently sector director for energy and environment for the BMT Group as well as having an advisory role to the US Integrated Ocean Observing System initiative. He serves as chair of the Global Ocean Observing System Scientific Steering Committee, is a Vice President of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and is a member of the Council of the Society for Underwater Technology.

• Stan Stroud has 45 years’ experience with Oil companies, and 35 years in the metocean area mainly for Woodside, where he is presently Senior Metocean Adviser and Metocean Technical Authority. He has been responsible for design of many oceanographic measurement programmes, assessment of operational and extreme conditions including FPSO response to tropical cyclones, and has lead research in the areas of extreme wave height, internal waves and impact of climate change on design wave heights. Experience is mainly off NW Australia, the Southern Ocean, East & West Africa, and Korea.

• Associate Professor Kevin Walsh is an active researcher and consultant in the field of tropical meteorology. He has published numerous papers on the present and future climate of the tropics, on tropical cyclone observations and theory, and on the interaction between the atmosphere and ocean at extreme wind speeds. He teaches classes ranging from introductory synoptic meteorology to advanced honours seminars on current topics in research. He is an Editor of the Journal of Climate, and a past President of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

Further information on the Perth Metocean Awarenss Course is available online at

Last Updated ( Friday, 13 January 2012 )