Research

The group primarily works on topics related to offshore structural dynamics with a particular focus on the Vortex-Induced Vibrations (VIV) of long slender structures exposed to ocean currents. When vortices are shed behind the trailing edge of a fluid immersed body, the structure is subjected to strong periodic forces. If the frequency of shed vortices coincides with one of the structure’s natural frequencies, large response amplitudes can result that can lead to considerable damage accumulation. Long-slender structures such as risers, umbilicals and cables are particularly prone to VIV and the accumulated fatigue damage is often the most critical parameter driving the design process. Despite the significant improvements that have been made over the past few decades to commercially available computational fluid dynamics packages, the iterative design process and the necessity to evaluate hundreds or even thousands of different current profiles still make the use of CFD prohibitive for riser design. To date, semi-empirical computer programs such as SHEAR7, VIVA and VIVANA remain the most popular options for predicting VIV on offshore risers and the associated fatigue damage.  These semi-empirical tools employ a strip-theory approach which requires hydrodynamic data that is most often obtained from tests on rigid cylinders.

Professor Vandiver's research teams have studied and worked on VIV problems since the late '70s. Current research topics include: 

  • Improving the VIV response prediction program (SHEAR7)
  • Conducting high mode number VIV field experiments
  • Modeling vibration suppression, including fairings and strakes
  • Modelling boundary conditions to further improve how we conduct model testing
  • High Reynolds number testing at prototype scales
  • Sources of damping in cables and risers and how to improve damping modelling in VIV prediction software
  • Analysis of field data from sensors installed on subsea risers and platforms
  • Using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to identify the most important parameters in flexible cylinder VIV experiments

This work is primarily sponsored by a Joint Industry Project which is informaly known as "the SHEAR7 JIP". This group has sponsored Prof. Vandiver’s VIV research for over 20 years. The current members are BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, Shell, Statoil, and Technip. The group has also received significant funding by the Office of Naval Research and another large group of companies known as 'DeepStar'.


Please explore the individual experiment pages under the Research menu.