Teesside University Masters student completes cable internship

Student develops a computer model designed to predict movement of subsea cables caused by waves.

Thesis to help predict the movement of subsea cables

Through Sofia's Memorandum of Understanding with Teesside University, the project recently supported a Mechanical Engineering Masters student as he undertook a thesis on the cable protection systems installed on offshore windfarms around the world.

Shivam Sharma was tasked with developing a computer model that could be used to predict the movement of subsea cables and understand the forces in the cable when it moves, as a result of current and tidal flows.

Using OrcaFlex modelling software from Orcina Ltd, he built a model to simulate the cable movement on the seabed. The initial modelling aimed to predict the amount the cable would move under the water and provide solutions to minimise any abrasion and fatigue the cables would be subjected to over the life of the wind farm.

Training himself on the software was a significant element of the internship while he also learnt about offshore wind industry infrastructure including monopile foundations, scour protection, cable types and cable protection systems.

Sofia's cable installation manager Stuart Haigh, who oversaw the internship, said: "The collaboration RWE's Sofia has set up with Teesside University helps to link the project to the next generation of engineers and scientists while also enabling students to learn more about the offshore wind sector by giving them first-hand experience of live industry issue.

"This internship was the first stage in both developing and testing the model to build confidence that the model is reliably predicting the cable movement- and it has set the scene for further interns to build on this topic, which has wide industry relevance."

Shivam's supervisor Teesside University Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering Perk Lin Chong was instrumental in guiding the project and supporting him with engineering theory, while Sofia education consultant Mike Cargill managed the overall coordination throughout.

Caption for photo above from left: Ruben Pinedo-Cuenca from Teesside University's School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies with intern Shivam Sharma and supervisor Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering Perk Lin Chong. 

August 2022