Offshore Engineering continues to develop and expand rapidly. While in the public eye its focus has shifted towards subsea and floating developments in ever deeper waters, bottom founded structures are still at the industry’s heart. The fixed structure remains its dependable workhorse and even today newly installed fixed structures far outnumber subsea and floating applications. Additionally, the knowledge and technology that have (literally) pushed the boundaries of Offshore Engineering into ever more demanding environments and water depths have been largely pioneered by bottom founded structures.
An engineer’s central skill is to develop coherent and balanced models for the problems encountered. Regrettably, due to availability of ever more sophisticated computer applications this expertise is at risk of getting lost, and adopting computer outcomes without truly understanding the models and their limitations is naive, risky and unprofessional. Therefore, every engineer needs fundamental knowledge and understanding of underlying theories and technologies.
This Handbook is intended to help offshore engineers acquire and sustain relevant expertise in some notoriously difficult subjects. It attempts to stimulate reflection and critical evaluation of the models used and the strengths and weaknesses of the solutions found. While dealing more specifically with bottom founded structures, the material is generally applicable to offshore structures of all types. The Handbook can be used as a textbook for Master’s students and as a manual and reference guide for practising professionals.
Jan Vugts graduated in 1963 as a naval architect from Delft University of Technology and continued research in its Hydromechanics Lab before joining Shell as a Ph.D. in 1970. He spent over 25 years developing and practising the offshore trade in the US, Brunei Darus Salam, Aberdeen and The Hague, and a decade teaching it as a professor of Offshore Engineering in Delft. He was a major contributor to the ISO 19900 series of offshore structures standards. His many contributions to the field earned him, among others, the Research Prize of the Royal Institution of Engineers in The Netherlands, honorary membership of its Offshore Department, and a place in the ASCE Hall of Fame for OTC papers that pioneered innovation and had lasting impact.