Site: The Marine Technology Directorate Ltd. (MTD)
Innovation Center
Exploration Drive
Offshore Technology Park
Bridge on Don
Aberdeen AB23 8GX
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)244 827 005
Fax: +44 (0)244 827 017

Date Visited: May 14, 1993

Report Author: C. Brancart

ATTENDEES

WTEC:

D. Blidberg
C. Brancart
L. Gentry
J. Mooney

OTHER:

J. Sampson (ONR London)

HOSTS:

Dick Winchester; Office Manager

BACKGROUND

The Marine Technology Directorate (MTD) is a United Kingdom-based association with an international membership. The membership comes from industry, government, research establishments, academic institutions, the U.K.'s Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), and the Royal Academy of Science. The members have significant interest and capabilities in ocean-related technology, and their membership level entitles them to certain privileges. MTD advances research and development through its funding of marine technology studies via academia, research institutions, and industry. Many of the ongoing programs are managed by the eight marine technology centers. Presently, MTD operates programs with a total value of $9.6 million in three broad areas:

The marine technologies that are presently under contract are:

North Sea oil and the commercial market interests motivated the creation of MTD. Nevertheless, the technology developed is of interest to commercial, environmental, and military concerns.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

Marine Resources

The major thrust has been directed toward the needs of oil and gas endeavors, with the balance (10 percent) directed to mineral resources, energy, and bioresources. The 1990 budget was $1.6 million.

Ocean Structures and Materials

During 1990, there were forty-five projects and six managed programs budgeted for a total of $3.7 million. Major topics under evaluation are: structural integrity monitoring, defect assessment, fatigue, stress, buckling, grouts and grouting, corrosion and fouling, foundations and piles, welding and materials, concrete, other ocean structures' (e.g., pipelines) designs, and decommissioning of structures.

Working Underwater

This area involves diving, viewing, measurement, survey, communications, subsea automation, automation technology, and underwater working. The annual budget in 1990 was $880,000.

Ship and Floating Structures

Programs in this area involve compliant systems, wire rope and cables, shipping semisubmersible technology, and floating structures. In 1990, the budget was $1.1 million. Areas of high interest have been fire safety and offshore reliability.

Physical Ocean Environment

Studies pursued are fluid loading, ocean environment, and coastal engineering. In 1990, the budget was $600,000.

The advancement of unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) technology has proven to be of value to both the civil (commercial and scientific) and military sectors of marine operations. The needs of the civil sectors (namely the offshore oil and gas industry, the search and recovery industry, and the scientific community) and those of the defense industry cannot be met with existing available technology. Consequently, MTD has undertaken the Technology for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (TUUV) program. This is a two-year, $2.4 million program that was started in October 1992. The problems to be studied under TUUV include work that is fundamental to the development of truly advanced UUVs. TUUV has identified six major missions:

Based on the review of fifty-three proposals received, twelve were selected to form the TUUV Program Portfolio (see Table MTD.1).

SUMMARY

MTD appears to be a cohesive force to tie together the offshore and ocean industry needs and available knowledge. Its major operating area is the North Sea/European sector, but it is forging closer links with North America and the increasingly important countries of the Pacific rim.

MTD is a relatively new multifaceted spin-off from the SERC organizational structure. Apart from its research efforts, activities include marine technology student ships, training and master of science courses, society for underwater technology, and international collaboration. Several European Community maritime efforts are given in Table MTD.2.

Table MTD.1
Program Portfolio

Table MTD.2
EC Maritime Activities

Note: The MTD office in Aberdeen was opened in 1992 to service North Sea interests. The major point-of-contact for MTD is:

The Marine Technology Directorate, Ltd.
15 Buckingham Street
London, WC2N 6EF
United Kingdom

Telephone: 44-71-321-0674
Fax: 44-71-930-4323

REFERENCES

Technology for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (TUUV)

. Prospectus.

MTD, A Focus of International Activity in Ocean Technology. Brochure.


Published: June 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian