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Staff Profiles

Neil Barton
CFD Engineer

What does your role cover?
I am a specialist in fluid mechanics, so a lot of my time is spent running computer simulations of oil and gas flowing through pipes to assess various failure mechanisms, mostly using computational fluid dynamics and finite element software. My primary focus is on multiphase flow, erosion and vibration in pipework, but I also work with a range of disciplines. It’s essentially a small business within a business, and I get involved in business development, project management, R&D, training and presenting at conferences. The big challenge is to get from theoretical predictions to a practical solution that can be implemented on a subsea well or in a gas plant in the desert. It is interesting work and keeps me on my toes.

Best Xodus moment?
I have been involved in erosion modelling and testing on and off for almost 20 years, so being chosen to write the Energy Institute guidelines on erosion management was a real highlight.

Greatest challenge?
Flow induced vibration is a rapidly developing field and relatively new. Therefore, the industry has not yet settled on an accurate method to model it. Xodus ran a joint industry project on this which led to ongoing work with world-leading experts to chart a way forward. It’s a real privilege to bounce ideas around with these people. Also, as computers become more powerful, we are finding we can do more and more with CFD modelling. One of the nice bits about my job is that there are several things we are doing now that seemed impractical only a few years ago. There are always new things to learn.

Why Xodus?
Xodus provides flexible working with good people in a good location. The CFD team is very capable and a joy to work with. The vibration group has hundreds of man years of field experience and we can make a close connection between our computer predictions and what happens in real life. This is a rare thing and gives us a real edge.