23rd August – Murray Purves – Predicting the Unpredictable

Modelling the Risks from the FSO Safer Oil Tanker

The FSO SAFER is an oil supertanker moored off the coast of Yemen. Holding over a million barrels of oil – over four times that spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster – it has been left abandoned and neglected since the outbreak of Yemen’s civil war in 2015. This has led to widespread international concern around the possibility of a spill or other release from the vessel, and the human, environmental and commercial impact this could have on the fragile ecosystems and society in which it is located.

With a UN-led operation to transfer oil from the decaying facility now underway, Murray will revisit work carried out between 2019 and 2021 by Riskaware, ACAPS and the Satellite Applications Catapult to support the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
in understanding the potential consequences of a fire or explosion on board the vessel. This work involved distilling thousands of atmospheric and oil spill dispersion model runs into a handful of easily understood visualisations and impact assessments.

Murray will talk about the technical challenges and considerations when carrying out analyses of highly uncertain scenarios, as well as how to effectively communicate technically complex information to a non-technical audience without losing the message (or the concept of uncertainty!).

Brief Bio

Murray Purves is a technical leader and software developer with experience in the defence and security domains. His background is in the application of scientific modelling and simulation to real-world problems – particularly using atmospheric and marine transport and dispersion models. He has also had brief forays into the world of policy, including in arms control and public safety/security. He currently works for Dynamic Intelligence Solutions – an aerospace startup applying  artificial intelligence / machine learning (AI/ML) techniques for counter-unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) tracking and analysis applications.

Standard Stuff

Talks are usually on the 4th Wednesday of every month,  at 7:00 for 7:30, at The Winchester Club in Winchester.  Please take a look at the FAQs for more info.

Admission is £5 which also gives you an entry in the book raffle. We take cash and major cards (cards preferred).

The event is in two parts – the talk and then a Q&A after the interval. We encourage you to support the venue by indulging in the available drinks before and during the event.

You are also welcome to join us for a drink in the bar after the event.