Peter Blackwood

Professional Development Case Study

Name: Peter Blackwood


Job Title: Team Leader - Survivability


Professional Body (Member of): CEng

Professional Qualifications:

... Focus on dedicating your engineering career to protection of life, the environment and assets ...

Brief Summary of education, career and professional progression…

I started work in a small naval architecture consultancy company, there were only about 8 employees, and I was the first graduate to join the company, and I started in CFD, FEA and stability modelling. I continued to be more and more interested in closed form and analytical solutions as I started to realise the potential pitfalls in numerical modelling. Since I started working at QinetiQ, I have been working with more closed form solutions, and developing algorithm tools to improve the analysis of ship’s structures with the goal of improving safety of vessels and preservation of life at sea. I now lead the Survivability team at QinetiQ, where I am pleased to work with a dedicated team of professionals, and get to help share and develop their approaches to engineering, every day is a new opportunity to learn something from them.

Key projects undertaken throughout career

I’ve been involved in a large variety of projects, including:

  • Stability upgrades of vessels from SOLAS 90 to SOLAS 95, including subdivision optimisation and sponson and ducktail design;
  • Investigation into the implications of SOLAS index A calculations;
  • Dynamic and RAO analysis of ship seakeeping;
  • Dynamic analysis of damage ship stability and progressive flooding;
  • CFD analysis of wind on cruise ship topsides for passenger comfort, drag coefficients, and smoke propagation over the upper decks;
  • CFD analysis of hull form hydrodynamics, including hull optimisation and bulbous bow design;
  • CFD analysis of novel solutions and designs for various applications;
  • Global and local loading on cargo ships and fixations under various loading scenarios;
  • Development of structural analysis tools;
  • Development of a novel way to create and present structural analysis information for rapid appraisal of a vessel’s condition;
  • Significant investigation into vulnerability reduction measures when applied to a naval platform;
  • Investigation into the effects of fire on system availability given different levels of fire spread.

What advantages do you feel your career path gave you?

Starting at a small consultancy firm gave me an appreciation of all of the tasks and elements surrounding the technical delivery of a project, including project management, management processes and quality assurance. It also meant that I had early access to customers and clients, and had to develop relationships from an early stage in my career. Working in a small consultancy company meant very different working conditions, projects had to be delivered, and nobody else was responsible for it apart from the engineer working on it. This meant a robust adherence to delivery schedules was required, with very little scope from the customers to vary deadlines.

Advice for future engineers or those interested in the industry

Focus on dedicating your engineering career to protection of life, the environment and assets.