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Underwater lifting research rated ‘outstanding’

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

A collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire-based oil and gas firm Aubin Group has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) focused on developing an underwater lifting system as a solution to technically challenging and costly subsea maintenance, commissioning and decommissioning operations.

The project has taken ‘DeepBuoy’ – Aubin’s patented pumpable liquid buoyancy technology – and incorporated it into an engineered system that can enable divers and ROVs to lift and move objects underwater.

The research and development carried out during the KTP resulted in the launch of the Aubin Underwater Lifting System (ULS) at the National Decommissioning Centre of Excellence – a partnership between the University and the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) - earlier this year. 

Richard Neilson, from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Engineering, led on the development of the system alongside Sergi Almirall from Aubin Group.


He said: “I am delighted that the University’s collaboration with Aubin Group has been acknowledged as ‘outstanding’ by Innovate UK’s KTP Grading Panel, in recognition of our achievement in meeting the KTP’s objectives.

“The University of Aberdeen is renowned for the strength of its industry partnerships, which are leading to the development of technologies that directly benefit the oil and gas industry.

“Our collaboration with Aubin Group is just one example of how we are working with industry to drive forward innovation in the sector.”

Aubin CEO Paddy Collins said: “We are delighted at the success of the KTP and the strides it has helped us take with our technology.  This project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when universities and SME’s work together.”

Demonstration footage of the Aubin ULS is available here.

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