Peter Kauders read Natural Sciences and Chemical Engineering at Cambridge, and worked in the UK chemical industry for five years, initially troubleshooting thermal cracking processes, such as the production of acetic anhydride and carbon disulphide for synthetic fibres. One study led to the replacement of eleven small heaters cracking naphtha under vacuum with just three steam cracking furnaces. He later joined a team developing a herbicide process which needed multiple reactions and chemical recovery steps. Peter then embarked on a career in engineering and construction with Stone & Webster, where he led a multi-national team engineering a polypropylene plant, and later McDermott, where he led the process and pipelines work for several offshore projects, including the gas field in Morecambe Bay. At this time he developed a means of sizing slug catchers by treating the transitory liquid flows analogously to a first order chemical reaction based on the pipeline holdup, a method later applied to projects in the North Sea, to a deep water project in the Mediterranean, and onshore in Kazakhstan. He also carried out a Beta test for an engineering database, which enabled a project team to create and store engineering drawings and data sheets on a shared platform. He then joined Bechtel, working on a range of subjects, from early studies aimed at producing LNG on a tanker, to refinery upgrading studies for a major European refiner. He also led the technical work troubleshooting the world’s largest sulphur plant and subsequently directed the work of process and pipeline engineers engaged on a complex gas condensate field development in the same Caspian Basin covering 400 sq.km of Kazakhstan. Amongst the challenges were treating gas with an exceedingly high content of mercaptans and injecting sour gas at 500 bar pressure. He went on to lead design teams on two large gas projects in the Middle East, one being the 3rd NGL fractionation train at Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. Its NGL feed capacity of 1000t/h needed 8m diameter fractionation columns. In 2012 he started developing conceptual design emulation (CDE), a computer system which uses mathematics and logic to mimic the steps taken by an engineering team in process plant design. Several articles on the use of CDE to compare heat exchanger types were published by Hydrocarbon Processing and Hydrocarbon Engineering. Research into the barriers to undertaking preliminary engineering design directly from a process simulator has led to the grant of a US Patent, no.11,163,927, as well as a UK patent, for the advances in the program. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Attendees will that the power of mathematics, when we don’t let drawings get in the way, can open up a real prospect of reduced engineering time and effort, whilst building process plants with higher efficiency at lower cost.