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CDT-SIS-523: Integrated geotechnical and structural design of subsea structures

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S Gourvenec
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Current design practice for subsea structures usually leads to adoption of a siloed approach where design of the structure, the connected equipment (such as pipelines and spools) and the seabed response occurs in isolation.

Conservatisms compound during the design process as worst-case conditions are considered in each design silo and simplified input-assumptions and data-exchanges are used to achieve design-chain simplicity. The usual consequence of these compounded conservatisms is structure “growth”, with a consequential substantial knock-on impact on fabrication, transportation and installation costs. Transport and installation costs contribute significantly to the total installed cost of a typical subsea structure and are driven by structure size and weight.

This project will develop and validate an integrated design strategy for subsea structures to achieve reduction in structure size, weight and resulting total installed cost to alleviate current challenges of offshore installation.

This project will involve analytical and numerical modelling to develop improved models for the response of the structure and foundation and the interaction with the attached systems. These outcomes will be used to develop and validate an integrated design strategy with benchmarking against the conventional design approach for a selected subsea structure.

The applicant should have a strong civil engineering background and demonstrable interest for analytical and numerical modelling. Offshore experience is not required.

Strong potential for engaging with industry partners as the project progresses.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Susan Gourvenec, Infrastructure research group, Email: [Email Address Removed], Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 9139.

Please be aware that the academic selectors review applications as soon as they are received so please make sure to submit your application for consideration as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

This project is being run in participation with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (View Website). For details of our 4 Year PhD programme and further projects, please see

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