iVDynamics is a spin-out from the University of Aberdeen
iVDynamics specialises in the prediction, control and tuning of nonlinear dynamic vibrations and in the design of mechanical and structural systems with optimised dynamic response outcomes. Our skills are routed in advanced engineering mechanics, the analysis of nonlinear vibration, the development of analytical and numerical models, and the construction of physical laboratory prototypes that verify and calibrate our models and lead to practical design solutions. Our expertise is the culmination of some 15 years of international, leading-edge, collaborative research driven by the Centre for Applied Dynamic Research (CADR) at the University of Aberdeen and has led to the formation of iVDynamics to commercialise our capabilities and technologies. As such, we have access to extensive laboratory test rigs for demonstrating and calibrating the dynamic behaviour of many systems that include energy harvesters, well bore drilling, slender rod dynamics and rotor blade grazing. Our world leading Resonance Enhanced Drilling technology (RED) is now focused on deep well geothermal drilling that can contribute to the search for clean and sustainable energy.
Our Leadership Team
iVDynamics benefits from the huge and advanced technical know-how of the research teams in the University of Aberdeen working on world leading research in the area of nonlinear dynamics and vibration. The company has direct access to large laboratory facilities at the university to verify its advanced analysis and design models and to enable the company to provide testing and technology development services for our clients. On an ongoing basis, we have great opportunities to hire Master and PhD level graduates with advanced technical skills directly related to our core expertise. Short biographies of the iVDynamics leadership team is given below.
Prof Marian Wiercigroch
Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Professor Marian Wiercigroch educated in Poland, UK and US holds a prestigious Sixth Century Chair at the University of Aberdeen. He is a founding director of the internationally renowned Centre for Applied Dynamics Research at the University of Aberdeen. His area of research is theoretical and experimental nonlinear dynamics, which he applies to various engineering problems such as Oil & Gas drilling, rotor systems, underwater acoustics, fatigue and vibration isolation and renewable energy harvesting.
Professor Wiercigroch has extensive track record of innovation in drilling technology and he is the author of over 350 journal and conference papers and 9 international patents. He has been the principal investigator of many fundamental and applied projects in different areas of engineering In Oil & Gas area, his projects have been aimed to reduce the over cost of drilling by developing new and novel drilling technologies. In this field, he has collaborated with a number of companies including BG Group, BP, Halliburton, MacScott, MagComp, NOV, Prospect, RotoJar, QinetiQ, Shell, Varel and Welltec.
Sixth Century Chair in Applied Dynamics, Founder and director of Centre for Applied Dynamic Research (CADR)
University of Aberdeen (link to personal page)
Dr Patrick O’Brien
Chairman and Commercial Director
Dr Patrick O’Brien was educated in Ireland and has played a leading role in the international oil and gas industry for over 35 years. He is an internationally recognized expert in subsea riser mechanics and during his career he has spearheaded company growth linked to ongoing successes in the commercialisation of new technology. He has operated at Managing Director, Strategic Director and Chief Executive levels and he has participated in the set up and leadership of industry bodies. He is a Chartered Engineer; a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering; a Fellow of the Energy Institute; a Fellow of the Society for Underwater Technology; and a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.
Dr O’Brien started his career with Irish company MCS where he eventually became a shareholder and part of the leadership team of the company. He was appointed Managing Director of MCS in the UK in 1996. MCS was acquired by Wood in 2008, and in 2010 Dr O’Brien became worldwide Group Director of Strategic Business and Marketing for Wood Group Kenny, then the subsea division of Wood. In 2013 Dr O’Brien was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF), where he led the launch of many technology development joint industry projects. On behalf of ITF, he led its merger with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) in 2018.
Dr O’Brien was a founding director of industry body Subsea UK and served on its board for a period of nearly ten years from its original formation in 2004. Dr O’Brien is an Honorary Professor of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen; he sits on the industrial advisory board of the School of Engineering and he has played a leading role in the set up and ongoing delivery of the university’s MSc in Subsea Engineering.
Dr O’Brien has a long experience in engaging with the oil and gas industry at an international level, specifically including the UK, Europe, US, Australia, Middle East and Brazil.
Honorary Professor at School of Engineering
University of Aberdeen (link to personal page)
The History of RED within the University
Research into Resonance Enhanced Drilling (RED) has been ongoing within the University of Aberdeen for up to 10 years. Given the location of the university at the centre of the UK North Sea offshore oil and gas industry in Aberdeen, it made sense for Professor Marian Wiercigroch and his team to investigate the application of nonlinear dynamics to the drilling of oil and gas wells. The essence of RED is to apply an axial vibration to the drill bit tuned to the resonance of the rock-bit interaction in such a way as to create microcracking in the rock and thus reduce its resistance to drilling. Understanding how to predict and control the nonlinear dynamics of the bit-rock intermittent contact mechanics was crucial to the development of RED.
The research moved from theory to practice with the design and construction of a large vertical drilling rig capable of drilling up to 6-inch diameter holes in large rock samples. Over the years an extensive programme of the full-scale experiments was carried out using PDC and roller-cone drill-bits to drill various rocks ranging from sandstone, limestone and granite. The rig is well instrumented, allowing for real-time response monitoring of the dynamic behaviour of the system through a LabVIEW data acquisition system that includes measurements of Weight On Bit (WOB), angular velocity, frequency and amplitude of dynamic oscillations, Rate Of Penetration (ROP) and Torque On Bit (TOB).
Further developments resulted in the construction of a large-scale horizontal drilling rig, as shown opposite. This rig was designed and built to enable full scale experimental studies under conditions which are closer to those in the real drilling process (rock type, fluid pressure, axial force). The rig is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation allowing real-time response monitoring through a LabVIEW based data acquisition system. In this rig, rotary speed, Weight-On-Bit, frequency and amplitude of dynamic force (RED) are fully controllable by the user through a computer interface and various type of rock samples and drill-bits can be used. The whole process is monitored through several cameras and strict safety measures are in place when the test rig is in operation.
A typical RED module is shown in this photograph, and when in operation the module is attached to the drill string just prior to the drill bit. Early designs of the RED module at the university used a magnetostrictive mechanism to axially activate the module. This module proved to be effective in generating a highly controllable dynamic force at frequencies up to 700 Hz. Subsequent developments of RED involved the design of a 6-inch diameter RED Mechanical Exciter. This new 6-inch mechanical exciter was manufactured and fully tested in-house. This mechanical actuator module can be driven by an electrical motor or a turbine and in the laboratory proved to be effective in generating a controllable dynamic force of frequency up to 400 Hz.
More recent research within the university has investigated the application of RED to coring. A series of coring experiments on sandstone and granite using diamond impregnated and polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits were carried out on a specially designed vertical laboratory drilling rig. Improvements in penetration rates of up to 180% compared to conventional coring for the same drilling conditions were achieved. All cores retrieved from the tests were found to be in good condition showing consistent diameters, generally smooth core surfaces and no evidence of fracturing or other visible core damage. The preliminary finding from this research demonstrated that the RED coring technology can provide significant improvements in Rate-of-Penetration (ROP) compared to conventional coring, while maintaining a consistent core quality.
University of Aberdeen – A Strategic Research Partner
The University of Aberdeen is a strategic research partner for iVDynamics. The key benefits of this partnership to us are:
iVDynamics plans to execute contract research work together with the University of Aberdeen as a key strategic research partner for the company and through this joint working relationship provide the capability to utilise extensive laboratory test facilities at the university
Our academic founders are working on the very latest world leading research in nonlinear dynamics. Furthermore, the Centre for Applied Dynamics Research (CADR) at the University of Aberdeen is actively connected to many leading universities around the world including in the US, UK, Europe, South America and China.
We have access to the best of talent up to MSc and PhD level qualifications to recruit into iVDynamics
Please send an email to the addresses below or use the form to contact us.
Fraser Noble Building, School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen, Kings College Aberdeen AB24 3UE, Scotland, UK
+ 44 (0) 1224 274177
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iVDynamics Limited, Registered in Scotland, Company Registration Number: SC594858, Registered Address: 13 Queen’s Road, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, AB15 4YL