Working at SLPE: Spotlight on Navraj Sokhi, Senior FEA Specialist

06 February 2024
Working at SLPE Navraj Sokhi quote

In this month's employee spotlight, we're delving into the world of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) at SLPE, and there's no better person to guide us through this intricate field than Navraj Sokhi, our esteemed Senior FEA Specialist. With his profound expertise and dedication, Navraj has been a pivotal figure in pushing the boundaries of structural analysis and design at SLPE, significantly contributing to the efficiency and success of our offshore projects.

We sat down with Navraj to discuss his experiences and insights at SLPE. Here's what he had to share:

How is SLPE Harnessing the Power of FEA?

FEA is not just a tool, but a cornerstone of modern engineering at SLPE. We use it to go beyond the industry standards, providing an unparalleled depth of insight that extends past traditional hand calculations. This approach allows for a more comprehensive analysis, revealing the intricate nuances of structural behaviours under various conditions.

One of the most critical elements of our work is the analysis of structural fatigue. Given the challenging offshore environments of our projects, where structures are constantly under stress, FEA enables us to understand the intricate stress fields around attachments and details on our structures to ensure our structures can survive the fatigue loading they are subjected to.

FEA in this sense enables us to optimise and inform the fabrication of these details. For instance, weld toe grinding, a method of improving the fatigue performance of a connection, could be further optimised to only localised areas of concern, thereby saving the project significant time and effort during fabrication.

This year, our FEA team has been involved with a range of analysis types at various stages of projects. We have performed detailed design on structural attachments on a monopile structure, provided fabrication support to inform the most efficient fabrication methods, provided installation support on the assessments of lift points, as well as post installation support to verify the as-built condition of offshore grouted connections.

All of this ensures the durability and safety of our designs. Personally, I find immense satisfaction in making such a vital contribution to the success of SLPE's offshore ventures.

What Benefits are SLPE Realising with FEA?

SLPE has invested in High Performance Computing (HPC) licenses for our FEA software, which enables us to use high performance machines to efficiently complete multiple analyses. The impact of this advancement has been profound, resulting in substantial cost savings and enhanced efficiency, particularly when addressing unexpected challenges that require innovative solutions. It's a testament to SLPE's commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry and continuously improving our analytical capabilities.

The assessment of single bolt segment models for large connections

Load application at top of modelled tower section

Application of bolt preload

How Does SLPE Go Beyond Engineering to Build Community and Wellbeing?

I've been part of SLPE since 2016, and it's the supportive, familial culture here that truly stands out. From a modest team of 12 engineers to a now robust group of 33, I've always felt an integral part of the SLPE family. During the COVID-19 pandemic, to maintain this feeling of being part of a family, I initiated an online weekly Wednesday morning coffee catch-up. This space fast became an innovative way for us to connect and support each other through both personal and professional challenges.

What I appreciate the most is SLPE's focus on mental health and wellbeing. Our proactive approach in understanding and supporting mental health has cultivated a culture of care and empathy, strengthening our bond as a team. It's initiatives like these that make SLPE not just a workplace, but a community, and a truly exceptional place to work.

Did you enjoy finding out about working at SLPE through the eyes of Navraj? If so, you may wish to explore some of our other Working at SLPE interviews: