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Professor Susan Gourvenec BEng, PhD, FIEAust, FICE

Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies – Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering, Deputy Director of Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute, Professor of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering

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Professor Susan Gourvenec is Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies – Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering, Deputy Director Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute and Professor of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Southampton.

My research addresses technology gaps at each stage of the engineered life cycle of ocean structures, from characterising and forecasting ocean and seafloor behaviour, to the design and operation of novel platforms for ocean facilities. By harnessing the intelligence of sensing, robotics and autonomy, next generation resilient engineered systems will unlock ocean resources more efficiently and more sustainably, with less risk to life.

I am a specialist of offshore geotechnical engineering, which involves developing technologies and methodologies to characterise the engineering properties of the seabed and advance geotechnical design of infrastructure that is founded on or in the seabed. Emerging technologies of sensing, robotics and big data have immeasurable potential to improve the safety of engineering operations in the ocean for workers and the environment, and open up new approaches to design and operations.

I am committed to high quality, relevant and engaging education for the next generation of geotechnical, civil and offshore engineers and have developed and delivered courses into undergraduate and postgraduate curricula as well as short courses for industry internationally.

I have co-authored the text book “Offshore Geotechnical Engineering”, chaired and co-edited the proceedings of international conferences, and authored of over 100 international scientific papers. I write about a range of mainstream interest marine and a maritime topics on The Conversation.

I work collaboratively with industry partners through research projects, through my role as a consultant to industry,  and as Deputy Director of the SMMI, and in my role as a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies. I am a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK) and Convenor of the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) committee responsible for developing industry standards for marine soil investigation and offshore geotechnical design.

Research interests

  • Offshore engineering
  • Energy
  • Technologies and methodologies to advance design of offshore infrastructure
  • Development of hardware and software to change the way engineering is done
  • Whole-life response of offshore infrastructure
  • Life cycle of engineered structures
  • Safer decommissioning of offshore infrastructure
  • Solid bulk cargo liquefaction
  • Numerical modelling
  • Geotechnical centrifuge modelling
  • Theoretical modelling

Research group

Infrastructure Group

Affiliate research group


Deputy Director of Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute

University of Southampton representative for Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) – Responding to Climate Change Global Challenge Group

International roles include:

Convenor of the International Standardisation Organisation Working Group 10 (TC67/SC7) - Marine Soil Investigation and Geotechnical Design Considerations

Member of International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering Technical Committee 209 - Offshore Geotechnics

Lloyd's Register Offshore Technical Committee

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Supervision of undergraduate and post-graduate individual and group projects.

Personal academic tutor.

Guest lecturer - SESS6070 Offshore Engineering & Analysis

Professor Susan Gourvenec
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number: 178/3003

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