Last Updated S012020


Unit Name Emergency Shutdown Systems
Unit Code MOG507
Unit Duration 1 Term (online) or 1 Semester (on-campus)

Graduate Diploma of Engineering (Electrical and Instrumentation in Oil and Gas)

Duration: 1 year


Master of Engineering (Electrical and Instrumentation in Oil and Gas)

Duration: 2 years   

Year Level One
Unit Coordinator Fraser Maywood
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites Nil
Credit Points



Grad Dip total course credit points = 24

(3 credits x 8 (units))


Masters total course credit points = 48

(12 credits (Thesis) + 3 credits x 12 (units))

Mode of Delivery Combination of modes: Online synchronous lectures; asynchronous discussion groups, videos, remote and cloud-based labs (simulations); web and video conferencing tutorials. High emphasis on personal and group self-study.
Unit Workload

Student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week:

Lecture 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture 1 hours

Practical / Lab 1 hour (where relevant)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

This unit provides depth of understanding of the principles, design, configuration, testing, installation, commissioning and maintenance of Emergency Shutdown (ESD) systems in the context of the oil and gas industry.

The underlying principles of ESD system requirements (hazard management, safety instrumented functions, safety requirements and design development, field instrumentation interfaces, system design architecture, operator interface(s), alarm systems, packaged equipment, cabling, power, earthing and environmental control.) will provide the student with an understanding of how to systematically identify and apply these principles to ESD system design based on commercially available products. Practical aspects of overall project development and the impact on ESD system design development will be addressed as will system operation and maintenance.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Identify and apply principles of ESD system engineering to onshore and offshore Oil & Gas facilities.
  2. Apply disciplined and practical engineering processes to enhance the lifecycle performance of ESD systems.
  3. Analyse, apply and demonstrate in-depth understanding of ESD related hazards and systems.
  4. Evaluate and recommend principles for incorporating design information into system design development.
  5. Evaluate and apply principles for the operation and maintenance of ESD systems.

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic)

Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed

(eg Week 5)


(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Quiz

Word length: n/a

Topic examples: Fundamental concepts of ESD system design, installation and maintenance

After Topic 5


1, 2

Assessment 2

Type: Report (Midterm Project)

[This will include a progress report; literature review, hypothesis, and proposed solution with concept workings]

Word length: 1000

Topic examples: overall ESD system design development considerations


After Topic 8


2, 3, 4

Assessment 3

Type: Report (Final Project)

[If a continuation of the midterm, this should complete the report by adding sections on: workings, implementation, results, verification/validation, conclusion/challenges and recommendations/future work. If this is a new report, all headings from the midterm and the final reports must be included.]

Word length: 4000

Topic examples: overall ESD specification for an offshore production facility covering process and utility plant and packaged equipment or as specified by the lecturer

After Topic 12


1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Practical Participation

May be in the form of quizzes, class tests, practical assessments, remote labs, simulation software or case studies: E.g. Development of a shutdown system hierarchy based on a typical offshore production facility with interface to a fire and gas system








Prescribed and recommended readings

Required textbook(s)

  • J. Reddy, Industrial Process Automation Systems - Design and Implementation, 1st Edition, Elsevier, 2015. ISBN 978-0-12-800939-0
  • M. Goble and H. Cheddie, Safety Instrumented Systems Verification: Practical Probabilistic Calculations, ISA, 2004

Reference Materials

  • Gruhn and H. Cheddie, Safety Instrumented Systems: Design, Analysis, and Justification, ISA, 2006
  • IEC 61508/ 61511 Functional Safety of Electrical / Electronic / Programmable Electronic Safety Related Systems
  • Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures) [some examples below]:
    • Control Engineering
    • EIT notes

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1

Introduction to ESD Systems

  1. Introduction to the purposes of ESD systems (including Process Shutdown - PSD) and their role in managing safe plant operations
  2. History and development of ESD systems
  3. Typical ESD system architectures and characteristic features used in the Oil & Gas industry
  4. Current state of technology and key challenges

Topic 2

Legislative and Compliance Framework

  1. Typical legislative requirements
  2. Codes and standards including Certifying Authorities (Lloyds, DNV, ABS) requirements
  3. Safety case
  4. Safety critical elements and performance standards
  5. Design, operation and maintenance considerations

Topic 3

ESD Hazard Management

  1. Risk assessment, inventory isolation and blowdown
  2. Layers of protection
  3. Typical safety instrumented function design including safe state considerations
  4. SIL determination
  5. Safety Requirements Specification
  6. Application of the functional safety lifecycle (FSLC) to ESD systems (details will be in MOG506). Supply model and FSLC responsibility
  7. SIL 3 & SIL 4 design considerations

Topics 4 and 5

Field Instrumentation

  1. Hazard sensing devices
  2. Isolating valves (including seat leakage classification and standards)
  3. Blowdown valves
  4. Actuators and controls (including sizing, torque calculation, meeting process safety time)
  5. Diagnostics and advantages / disadvantages of partial stroke testing
  6. Special considerations for PSD / ESD applications (including proof testing valves, diagnostics, SIL verification, survivability, fire proofing, riser ESDV)
  7. Hardware reliability verification - probabilistic calculations, Markov, FTA
  8. Relief valves design, sizing, selection and testing (whilst not part of a ESD/PSD system they are an important layer of protection)
  9. Bursting discs – as above

Topics 6 and 7

ESD Design Development

  1. ESD / PSD design philosophy
  2. Cause and Effect development
  3. Functional logic, including start-up overrides, maintenance override switches
  4. Voting and spurious trip management (logic solvers as well as sensors and final elements - how to calculate return on investment for redundant equipment), avoiding common mode failure
  5. System hardware design, signal segregation, I/O allocation, equipment rooms, power sizing, earthing, environmental control, EMC, distributed ESD modules, fail safe communication network, manual PSD / ESD initiation, operator interfaces, SUO and MOS control and indication, latch / unlatch / reset
  6. Interfaces to package equipment, motor control centres, HVAC, fire & gas, process control system, drilling equipment
  7. ESD system procurement process
  8. Project lifecycle, contracting strategies, evolution of design information and third party vendor data
  9. System testing (module, integrated hardware & software, pre-FAT, FAT, SAT)
  10. System installation and commissioning
  11. System operations and maintenance
  12. Change management

Topics 8 and 9

ESD System Software Development

  1. Design inputs
  2. Software design principals and considerations
  3. Typical PSD / ESD applications (eg compare SIS sensor with process sensor measurement value, shutdown status check residing in the Process Control System, controller status post shutdown)
  4. Managing interfaces (as for hardware) in software design
  5. Managing fault conditions (field instrumentation, logic solver, communications)
  6. V-model system development process
  7. Software testing

Topics 10 and 11

Case Studies

  1. Industrial accidents, lesson learnt, design implications
  2. Special PSD / ESD applications (BMS. HIPPS, subsea)

Topic 12

Project and Revision

In the final weeks students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far.  Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues.  Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Professional Development

 Completing this unit will add to students professional development/competencies by:

  1. Fostering the personal and professional skills development of students to:
    • Be adaptable and capable 21st century citizens, who can communicate effectively, work collaboratively, think critically and innovatively solve complex problems.
    • Equipping individuals with an increased capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.
    • Planning and organising self and others
    • Instilling leadership qualities and a capacity for ethical and professional contextualization of knowledge
  2. Enhancing students’ investigatory and research capabilities through:
    • Solving complex and open-ended engineering problems
    • Accessing, evaluating and analysing information
    • Processes and procedures, cause – effect investigations
  3. Developing the engineering application abilities of students through:
    • Assignments
    • Labs / practical / case studies / self-study (where applicable)

Resource Requirements


Web & Video conferencing software

Students will be provided with Blackboard Collaborate (or similar) for video and web conferencing. This will allow them to attend lectures, interact with lecturers and fellow students, and use the Remote Lab facility. Students will be required to download the latest version of Java and .NET in order to use these packages.


For ease of communicating with peers and lecturers, installation of this package is recommended.

Word, PowerPoint and Excel

It is recommended that students install at least a 2007 version of the Microsoft Office. Older versions will work, but sometimes create issues with file compatibility. If individuals are reluctant to use these, they can also use Open Office (

Virus detection

As students are co-operating with people from throughout the world with a multitude of different PCs, it is recommended that they have good quality up-to-date virus detection software installed. The free version of AVG is sufficient. A thorough automated scan of computers at least once a week is recommended.

Learning Management System

EIT uses a state-of-the-art learning management system (Moodle) for lecturing and interacting with lecturers and fellow students. Students can chat, socialize, and collaborate on projects with similarly motivated and enthusiastic course participants.

Computing resource requirements


Students’ computers should have an Intel Core Duo CPU and 2 Gigabytes of RAM. Hard disk space available should be at least 2 Gigabytes free. If necessary the built-in hard drive can be augmented with an inexpensive USB drive. No particular special graphics card is required. The operating system should be Windows with Windows 7 Service Pack 1 as a minimum.


An ADSL Internet connection with a minimum speed of 128 kbps down and 64 kbps up is recommended. 

Good quality headset and low cost web cam

Students will require a good quality stereo headset with analogue or USB connectors.  In addition, a low-cost USB webcam is recommended. Students should budget in the order of $30 for a headset and $20 for a webcam. This will vary from country to country.

Technical Help

For difficulties with other online materials the lecturer should be contacted. Technical material will be accessible 24/7 through the online portal.