Designing tech toolkit for offshore



As lead structural designer at Optimus, I deal with a wide variety of work scopes from developing 3D models and 2D technical drawings of greenfield sites to the smaller-scale but more intricate focus of modelling solutions for repair orders or modification projects for aging brownfield platforms.

Recently, my focus has been increasingly on repair order work
and the offshore surveys these jobs entail. I’ve been attempting to develop more innovative and cost-effective ways of undertaking this work by applying widely available onshore technology to offshore working practices.

I now have a technological toolkit for use in offshore surveys that includes an intrinsically-safe iPad and handheld 3D scanner. These tools significantly reduce the amount of time I spend offshore and they allow me to work more cost-efficiently.

Gianni Brooke

My working day typically starts at 7am. This morning I am presenting a client with the results of one of my offshore trips. Our client’s team is coming in for a hazard identification study (HAZID) for a modification taking place on Talisman Sinopec’s Claymore platform.

I have built an interactive 3D video overview that presents a fly-through of the proposed platform modification. The video is interactive and can be stopped and orbited to show any part of the proposed installation, which helps me to address any questions.

A visual representation of this type is not traditionally provided in HAZIDs so I am interested to see the attendees’ reaction.

It is well received and helps to stimulate discussion during the session. One attendee even tells me the video answered every query he brought to the meeting, so much so that the meeting finishes early.


Once the HAZID is finished I head for my desk. I sit at the centre of the design team hub within the structural department.

I’m responsible for overseeing a team of designers, including one trainee whom I’m mentoring through his training course. I try to make sure we eat lunch together as it gives us a chance to chat.


Over the past few months we’ve received a considerable number of enquiries about our use of the intrinsically-safe iPad and 3D scanner from clients keen to find out how the technology could benefit the working process on their installations.

Gianni Brooke

In the afternoon, managing director Karl Green and I go out to meet a new client who has expressed an interest in our new approach to offshore surveys.

I deliver a live demonstration of the tools, explaining how they speed up the working process offshore and reduce the cost of brownfield repair work. We discuss how they can be applied to their offshore installations.

Although most of my time is spent onshore, I go offshore to undertake structural surveys. The following day I’m going to spend several days onboard a different client’s offshore platform so I head back to the office to prepare for the trip.

The majority of the North Sea’s offshore installations still rely on a paper-based central filing system that can be cumbersome, time consuming and, as a result, costly.

With an iPad, I’m no longer reliant on photocopying and carrying paperwork around the platform. It acts as a mobile library: I download all of the drawings and background information I need for the trip onto the tablet so that I have it at my fingertips, no matter where I am on the platform.

This client has asked me to take the idea one step further and train its platform personnel in how to use the tools themselves.

The aim is that staff already onboard a platform will be able to undertake the survey and send all of the data gathered back to me onshore to process and analyse.


This would make it no longer necessary to send a member of Optimus’ team offshore and would reduce the cost and safety risks incurred by sending additional personnel offshore.


I head home to have dinner with my family before packing my bags for the 7am flight the next morning.

I have a young family and most of my spare time is spent with them, but when the kids are in bed I often pop down to the local golf course and in the summer months can be found playing late at night.


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