Stephen Richardson

Stephen Richardson

  • Position Past President

Stephen Richardson has spent most of his working life at Imperial College, London. He graduated there with a BSc(Eng) in chemical engineering in 1972 and a PhD in 1975, he became a Research Assistant at the Engineering Department of Cambridge University, working on computer simulation of transonic flow. In 1976, he became a Research Fellow at the Chemical Engineering Department, again at Cambridge University, working on modelling of injection moulding.

He was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemical Technology at Imperial College in 1978. In 1987, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer: this coincided with a change in his principal research interest to depressurisation of vessels and pipelines, particularly those associated with offshore oil and gas platforms, and development of the computer program BLOWDOWN, which has since been used in the design of well over 300 offshore and 40 onshore installations.  For one paper on this work, he was awarded the Moulton Medal of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in 1993. In 2003, he was awarded the Franklin Medal for his work on blowdown and related matters. In 1992, he was promoted to Reader in Chemical Engineering and, in 1994, to Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College. In 1996, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2015, he was made a CBE for his work on chemical engineering education and safety.

He has acted as a consultant to many companies and organisations. He has also acted as an expert witness on the Piper Alpha and Ocean Odyssey Inquiries, as a result of which he has considerable experience of giving expert testimony.

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