Western Australian Scientist of the Year for 2013, Professor Mark Randolph, has been appointed Fugro Chair in Geotechnics at The University of Western Australia's Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS).
A Fellow of the Royal Society, Professor Randolph has applied his geotechnical expertise to meet the scientific and engineering challenges of the offshore oil and gas industry over many years.
Professor Mark Cassidy, COFS Director, said Professor Randolph was an internationally regarded guru in offshore geotechnics.
"He is perfectly positioned to expose UWA to the world's most pressing geotechnical problems as faced by Fugro and their industry partners," he said.
"Together, UWA and Fugro will develop new solutions to building economic and safe platforms in our ocean environment."
An international company that specialises in the design of offshore foundations, Fugro will work with COFS to develop a sustainable research group, address key questions related to design and performance within the field of offshore geotechnics, reduce risk and enhance engineering design within the offshore sector.
Professor Randolph's leadership has established Perth as an internationally recognised hub for excellence in geotechnical engineering and attracted many world-leading companies as well as academics.
He has advanced the design of piled foundations, made important scientific advances through plasticity solutions and finite-element analysis of soil penetration problems, and developed novel techniques for offshore site investigation, and the difficult, little-studied, and economically important foundation problems of calcareous materials off the Australian coast.
His work includes analysis, computations, experiments, the development of new software, and comparisons between those techniques and the observed behaviour of large offshore structures. He founded the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at UWA in 1997.
COFS is a major node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering, of which Fugro is a Partner Organisation.
The Fugro partnership with UWA also provides funding for three PhD scholarships to facilitate the growth of high quality graduates in offshore geotechnics and engineering, with selected students offered the opportunity to work with Fugro.
The Energy and Minerals Institute (EMI) and the UWA Oceans Institute at The University of Western Australia have welcomed Professor Mark Randolph's appointment to the newly created Fugro Chair in Geotechnics.