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In Memoriam: Robert J. Brown
ACOPNE received news that Robert (Bob) J. Brown, P.E., D.OE, F.ASCE passed away on January 23, 2018, just prior to his 90th birthday on February 17. Mr. Brown was considered one of the pioneers of the offshore pipeline engineering.
During his distinguished six-decade career as a marine pipeline engineer, Mr. Brown was known for innovations that made marine pipelining more efficient and safer. Among Brown’s innovations were development of a third-generation vessel capable of double-joining 40-ft sections and a retractable stern ramp improving the efficiency of pipe lay operations. In the Arctic, he built a 2-D modeling system for development of installation methods and procedures and a remote diverless connection system.
Mr. Brown pre-assembled 10-mile long pipelines, then bottom-towed them into position offshore. He also designed and built some 15 full scale plows, for trenching and burial of subsea pipelines. Later, he applied his engineering skill to design installation techniques for ultra deep-water lines to 8,000-ft water depth. These included 3-D physical models that helped engineers design pipelines efficiently for specific applications.
One of his key accomplishments was the use of a highly accurate 3-D physical model for training contractors’ personnel by demonstrating the hazards during installation of large complex systems with many risers and mooring lines. As a result, he was recognized with a number of awards, including the Ocean News & Technology Heritage Award presented at the 1997 Offshore Technology Conference. In 2008, Bob was inducted into the Offshore Energy Center's Hall of Fame. He was elected as a Fellow of ASCE and board certified as a Diplomate, Ocean Engineering.
Bob was Director of R.J. Brown Deepwater, a Technip Company.