||Andrew C. Palmer, Roger A. King
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Submarine pipelines are the arteries of the oil and gas industry, important in engineering practice and full of excitement and interest, though at first sight less spectacular than platforms and floating production systems. The technology has advanced dramatically. Projects that were dreams 20 years ago are now becoming reality. I came into this field by lucky chance. I was a university lecturer in Cambridge; and in the summer of 1970 was invited to spend the summer at Brown University, where I had completed my Ph.D. five years earlier. The Alaska pipeline was in the news. Former colleagues in the Division of Engineering remembered that I had worked on permafrost as a sideline to my Ph.D., and they had some money for research on geotechnical aspects of environmental problems. They told me that if I could link my research to the pipeline, they could support me for the summer. I was keen to go and networked through a colleague in Cambridge to locate the people in BP in London who were working on the problem. I told that them that I was not looking for money but was looking for an interesting problem. Impressed by this refreshingly naive approach, they gave me a problem to do with differential settlement on thawing permafrost; I researched that topic and was taken to talk to the pipeline team in Houston...