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Ex-Formula 1 CFD aerodynamicist drives forward Senergy's technology

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A technology specialist who has a track record in Formula 1 and aircraft industry is successfully applying his expertise to the oil and gas industry after being appointed by global energy services company Senergy.

Lesmana Djayapertapa specialises in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) which is used to study the dynamics of elements that flow such as water, oil and gas in associated environments.

CFD, which has been used in industries such as aviation, car manufacturing and wind turbine design for decades, wasn't introduced to the oil and gas industry for reservoir inflow modelling until two years ago when Senergy launched its own Wellscope technology.

Lesmana's appointment as senior CFD consultant builds on the success of Wellscope which has already been achieving significant results for clients around the world. It also further strengthens Senergy's Production Technology and Formation Integrity teams which include specialists in CFD, finite element, production technology and formation damage.

Originally from Indonesia, Lesmana was awarded a scholarship in aeronautical engineering at Bristol University where, on the advice of a professor, he was then offered the opportunity to study a PhD in CFD - becoming one of the first students at the university to study the subject.

After graduating, Lesmana was offered a job with leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus where he was responsible for developing CFD and implementing it as a design tool for aircraft wings. Lesmana spent more than eight years at Airbus during which he became heavily involved in aircraft aerodynamics, particularly for the A320, the double-decker A380 and A350.

In 2009, Lesmana's career went from aircraft to racing cars after he was offered a job as a CFD aerodynamicist with Formula One team, Lotus Racing (now Caterham F1 team), to develop a CFD capability from scratch. He was involved in the design of the cars driven by household names Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli during the 2010 season - the first of Lotus's return to the F1 scene following a gap of several years.

Within six months, Lesmana successfully developed a CFD capability which engineers could use on a daily basis to improve a car's performance. He also went on to further build the technology before deciding to turn his expertise to oil and gas when the F1 team relocated.

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