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Professor Susan Gourvenec BEng, PhD, FIEAust, FICE

Professor of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering, Deputy Director of Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute

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Susan Gourvenec is Professor of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering in the faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Offshore geotechnical engineering contributes to unlocking food and energy from our oceans and facilitating transport of people and goods by sea.

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. Offshore geotechnical engineering also deals with understanding or managing processes that involve the seabed such as submarine slides, trenching for pipelines or cables or seabed mining. I work in a transdisciplinary context to address challenges including decommissioning offshore infrastructure and vessel loss due to solid bulk cargo liquefaction. I write about a range of mainstream interest marine and a maritime topics on The Conversation.

I am committed to providing 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 work collaboratively with industry partners through research projects, through my role as a consultant to industry and as Deputy Director of the SMMI. 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 energy

Technologies and methodologies to advance geotechnical design of offshore infrastructure

Decommissioning of offshore infrastructure

Solid bulk cargo liquefaction

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

Coordinator of Southampton University Corporate Civil Engineering Scholarship Scheme SUCCESS

Chair of School of Engineering Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee


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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Book Chapter




CENV1027 Civil Engineering Fundamentals -

Engineering Geology (Lecturer)

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

Room Number: 178/3003

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