Imperial College London

Emeritus ProfessorStephenRichardson

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering







337 Roderic Hill BuildingACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus





Research Interests

The rapid depressurisation or blowdown of a vessel or pipeline is a standard way of reducing the risk posed by a process emergency. The blowdown itself is, however, also a hazardous operation, the hazard arising from the low temperatures generated in the fluid in the vessel or line. These low temperatures can lead to a drop in the temperature of the walls below the ductile-brittle transition temperature of the steel from which the vessel or line is made. With my colleague, Dr Graham Saville, I have developed a computer program called BLOWDOWN which is the only properly validated program which can simulate and predict what happens during blowdown. It has been extensively used offshore (over 120 oil and gas platforms) and onshore (over 20 gas terminals and many other petrochemicalplants). It has also been used to provide evidence in major accident investigations such as those following the tragedies on Piper Alpha and at Longford.

Selected Research Projects

  1. "2-Phase Releases" in collaboration with Dr. G. Saville



Professor Paiboon Sithithaworn and team, Khon Kaen University Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Centre, Liver fluke and cholangiocarcinoma biomarkers (part of the Wellcome Global Centre at Imperial), 2010