Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Brief on myself and the project

I am Guang Zou, researcher for European project TRUSS ESR 5. After receiving my MSc in ship structural mechanics, I worked on development of new marine and subsea structures in an institute in Wuxi, China. One of the best parts of that experience is that I have engaged in multiple stages of development of engineering structures, including research, model testing, conceptual design, detail design, construction, assembling and field measurements. However, we only used deterministic methods and our objects were new structures. To meet new challenges, I want to address structural safety with probabilistic methods and TURSS gives me opportunities to do this.

My project in TURSS is titled Integrity Management of Passenger Ship Structures. This will be based on a ship structural integrity management using Risk-based Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (RBIMR) techniques to striking a balance between structural reliability and inspection costs which is key in determining in-service RBIMR strategies. Also, in satisfying the maritime stakeholder's interests, such questions as follows need to be asked and answered.

  1. What are the requirements of stakeholders? How to balance them? What are the criteria?
  2. What are the structural details of interest?
  3. How to model the impact of threats (fatigue and corrosion) and human interventions (maintenance and repair) on structures?
  4. How to obtain optimum inspection, maintenance and repair strategies (inspection/monitoring techniques, time and interval, maintenance and repair time and alternatives)?

In passenger ships scenario, such criteria may reduce to balance between safety and cost. Safety indicator can be reliability index or risk. Cost includes failure cost, inspection (monitoring) cost, maintenance and repair cost. Structural details an be selected based on risk analysis or hot-spots listed in rules or specific fatigue-prone details for a specific passenger ships.

Ship structures are complicated, and are subjected to stochastic wave and wind loading. Also, uncertainties in structural capacity arise from those related to fabrication, fatigue and corrosion, the latter  two resulting in deterioration of structures with respect to time. The project will address probabilistic and stochastic modelling techniques for assessing the capacity of a deteriorating ship structures due to fatigue and corrosion as well as impacts of human interventions, taking into account inherent uncertainties associated with these.

In addition, algorithms for optimising RBIMR strategies will be investigated. to maintain ship structural integrity while minimize corresponding costs. Optimization scenarios will be defined based on certain in-service assumptions, and suitable optimization algorithms will be developed.

P. S. Introduce a beautiful city in China--Wuxi. Wish you enjoy the pictures!