Engineering students help develop oil industry

Two students at Perth College UHI presented their project findings to an oil and gas operator in the UK North Sea to help solve the problem of emptying the remaining oil out of underwater oil storage tanks.

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Qian Tang and Kirsty Gow

Qian Tang and Kirsty Gow, studying Mechanical and Energy Engineering presented to TAQA, an energy company based in the North East of Scotland. Each tank can hold the equivalent of 69 buses and Qian and Kirsty analysed the project and proposed a solution to squeeze the last of the oil out, as they are no longer required for storage.

Allan Thomson, lecturer and project supervisor said: “Only the best students get chosen to take on consultancy work such as this. Both Qian and Kirsty worked hard, and it gave them a great insight into problem solving in a real-life situation. The project further developed and improved on Perspex models and numerical analysis previously conducted by TAQA.”

Qian explained: “This is experience we couldn’t get from a textbook. Having lots of communication with the company helped us progress and learn. We were delighted the company were extremely happy with the project results.”

Kirsty added: “Being part of this project allowed me to push my boundaries and it was an invaluable opportunity to learn about industry challenges and leading meetings and presentations.”

David Anderton, rotating equipment deputy technical authority and project facilitator at TAQA explained:  “TAQA is delighted to support this joint initiative between industry and academia. The projects are designed not only to challenge the students technically but also to give them realistic exposure to overall project planning, organisation, communication and delivery.

“Although challenging at the time, the overall experience will be invaluable in helping the students make career decisions and at job interviews. The results have added real value, helping to provide us with information for key decision making where little or no data existed previously. A real win-win scenario for all parties involved.”