Anchoring enormous oil and gas platforms on relatively unstable seabeds and ensuring the efficiency of pipelines three kilometres or more under the sea is work that has seen an outstanding young researcher based at The University of Western Australia named Physical Scientist of the Year.
Professor Mark Cassidy in UWA’s School of Civil Engineering is Director of the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS), one of the three leading centres in the field worldwide.
Professor Cassidy was presented with the $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year by the Prime Minister in Canberra tonight (Wednesday, September 19).
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said Professor Cassidy’s achievement in winning one of only three prestigious Prime Minister’s Science Prizes was fitting recognition of outstanding research for the benefit of the wider community.
“The University of Western Australia has had a long and productive relationship with the sector and Mark’s commitment to solving global problems exemplifies this University’s ambition of achieving international excellence,” he said.
As oil exploration heads into deeper oceans, Professor Cassidy’s latest work involves investigating how to design and protect the pipelines that will carry resources from under-sea, up the continental shelf and onto land.
“We’re in the right place at the right time,” he said. “The epicentre of the industry is moving from the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea to Australia and Asia. There are new issues, and spiralling costs and problems, to deal with as new oil fields are opened up in the deep ocean.”
Professor Cassidy is heading an initiative to resolve these challenges – bringing together a range of collaborating institutions to address the complexities of constructing pipelines to carry oil and gas over rugged and sometimes moving terrain in powerful ocean currents.
Professor Mark Cassidy 61 8 6488 3732 / 0431 241 508