Visualising our World

By Richard Laing, 12 November 2018

Together with OGIC and CSIC, it was fantastic to attend and participate in last week’s event “Visualising our world“.

The event, which had the subtitle of “How visualisation technologies can advance the oil and gas and construction industries” brought together an audience of over 100 delegates to discuss the practical ways in which visualisation can and is being used to transform our industries. As more than one speaker noted on the day, it was unusual and very exciting to present work to an audience which was so informed on the subject, and where it was possible to talk about experiences and possibilities in some considerable depth.

The event, chaired by Ian Phillips (OGiC), included specific sessions on oil and gas (Andy Till, BP) and construction (Stephen Slessor, Morrison Construction), and the day returned regularly to the subject of the digital twin (Dr Marianthi Leon and Prof Richard Laing, from RGU).

In the case of this latter subject, presentations from Sean Huff (Return To Scene) and Paul McLauglin (Multivista) described specific approaches to visual asset management (which itself is the subject of a current knowledge transfer partnership between Return To Scene and RGU).

Mark Stevens (Oceaneering) gave a truly inspirational presentation on the use of 3D visualisation and subsea systems, which connected directly with an equally impressive, practical and visionary talk from Suzannah Brecknok (CGI UK).

Finally, and vitally to the discussion, Gary Kelly (Leica Geosystems) described how their ground breaking work over the past decades has resulted in the development and availability of both hardware and software which is able to now provide democratised access to the technology, whilst forming a bridge between towards usable data. The software presented by both Gary and Adam Box (Clearedge) present pathways which demonstrate the reasons such technology moving towards becoming pervasive across industries.

Perhaps the most important message to take from the event is that these subjects have moved significantly beyond future thinking in the past 5 years, and that we are now at a stage where design, delivery, maintenance and management in both oil and gas and construction have been transformed. This is worth bearing in mind as we see the development of Digital Built Britain, and as we plan for education and developments in both industries. What once perhaps seemed rather futuristic has come to pass, and the effects on how we work, how we create, and how we collaborate, are being transformed.

From an RGU perspective, the event was led by Dr Marianthi Leon and Sally Charles, in close collaboration with OGIC (Ian Phillips and Audrey Sheal, in particular) and CSIC (with Ben Westland and Wendy Rizza).

A huge success, and one which deserves to be followed by similarly inspirational workshops!